Power Muscle Burn 5 Day Powerbuilding Split

Rapidly build size and strength with this powerbuilding 5 day split which focuses on strength building power sets, and crazy-intense burn sets. You have been warned!

Workout Summary

Build Muscle
Barbell, Cables, Dumbbells, Machines
Male & Female

Workout Description

For more information on the Power, Muscle and Burn training system, check out the 4 Day Power Muscle Burn Workout Split.

This 5 day split is for intermediate lifters who are hungry for rapid size and strength gains. You will notice that deadlift is separated from the back workout day, and grouped with hamstring training. This is a very effective approach, and will allow you to not only blast your back and hamstrings, but also increase your deadlift max. Also, by grouping deadlifts with Romanian deadlifts, you will be hitting your lower back one less training day per week, which is always a good thing.

The Power Muscle Burn System

My Power Muscle Burn training system will help you build muscle and strength by focusing on three different training approaches, all used in the same workout. You will be performing the following types of sets for each muscle group:

  1. Power. You will perform power sets to lead off the workout. Power sets are performed in the 3 to 5 rep range. Use the same weight for each of the sets. When you can perform 5 reps for all power sets, move up in weight. Major muscle groups will perform 2-4 power sets per workout, and minor muscle groups will perform 2 power sets per workout. Please note that for some minor muscle groups, power sets do not make sense, or they are not realistic. For example, it is difficult to perform extremely heavy resistance abdominal sets.
  2. Muscle. Muscle sets are performed in the 6 to 12 rep range. Use the same weight for each of the sets. When you hit the upper rep limit of 12 for all muscle sets, move up in weight. Major muscle groups will perform 4-6 total muscle sets in each workout, using 2 different exercises. Minor muscle groups will perform 2-4 total muscle sets in each workout, using 1 to 2 exercises. You can also perform a single exercise for 3 sets.
  3. Burn. You will perform 1-2 burn sets for each muscle group - generally using isolation movements. Pick a weight that allows you to hit 15 to 20 reps, and then perform 40 total reps. How? Do as many reps as possible, then take a slight rest and perform more reps. Rest only long enough to regain the energy and willpower to perform 1 to 3 more reps. Keep pushing yourself through the pain until you hit 40 total reps. When you can hit 25+ reps from the start without stopping, add weight. Major muscle groups will utilize 1-2 burn sets, minor muscle groups will use 1-2 burn sets.

Power Muscle Burn Notes

  • Failure - I do not recommend training to failure. Try to perform each set until you feel like you may fail on the next rep, then stop. It's ok if you occasionally fail on a set, but do not purposely try to train to failure on every set.
  • Progression - You must have the goal of progressing on every set of every workout. Sets performed with a half-hearted effort are wasted. If you lack energy or are pressed for time, it's better to perform fewer quality sets then it is to waste sets.
  • Small Tweaks - What if I don't like training in the 6 to 12 rep range, and want to train in the 6 to 10 rep range? Then train in the 6 to 10 rep range. What if I don't like training in the 3 to 5 rep range? Then train in the 4 to 6 rep range. 40 burn reps are too difficult!? Then aim for 30 burn reps. Note: small tweaks are ok, as long as you are using the core mechanisms of this program. Don't obsess about the details - obsess about moving weight and getting bigger!
  • Alternating Exercises - It is not a bad idea to alternate exercises every other week. You can't possibly fit every exercise into every workout. For example: for muscle sets you could hit dumbbell bench presses one week and chest dips the next week.
  • Total Sets - It is better to start with the minimal amount of sets, and build in to this routine by adding sets if you find you need more work.
  • Calves - Please note that there are no power sets for calves. I am not convinced that calves respond effectively to lower rep training.
  • Quads - If you love pain, you can do a single 20 rep set of squats for your quad burn work.

4 Day Power Muscle Burn Split

The 5 Day Power Muscle Burn Powerbuilding split:

Note: This is a sample template. Feel free to "swap" in any appropriate (and favorite) exercises.

Chest and Triceps
Exercise Sets Reps
Bench Press - Power 2-4 3 to 5
Incline Bench Press  - Muscle 2-3 6 to 12
Dumbbell Bench Press - Muscle 2-3 6 to 12
Dumbbell Flys - Burn 1 40
Exercise Sets Reps
Closegrip Bench Press - Power 2 3 to 5
Seated French Press  - Muscle 2 6 to 12
Cable Tricep Extension - Burn 1 40
Back and Traps
Exercise Sets Reps
Barbell Rows - Power 2-4 3 to 5
Dumbbell Rows  - Muscle 2-3 6 to 12
Lat Pull Down - Muscle 2-3 6 to 12
Seated Cable Row - Burn 1 40
Exercise Sets Reps
Power Barbell Shrugs - Power 2 3 to 5
Dumbbell Shrugs  - Muscle 2 6 to 12
Power Barbell Shrugs - Burn 1 40
Quads and Calves
Exercise Sets Reps
Squat - Power 2-4 3 to 5
Leg Press  - Muscle 2-3 6 to 12
Front Squat - Muscle 2-3 6 to 12
Leg Press - Burn 1 40
Exercise Sets Reps
Seated Calf Raise - Muscle 2 10 to 15
45 Degree Calf Raise  - Burn 2 40
Shoulders and Biceps
Exercise Sets Reps
Seated Barbell Press - Power 2-4 3 to 5
Seated Arnold Press  - Muscle 2-3 6 to 12
Barbell Front Raise - Muscle 2 6 to 12
Dumbbell Lateral Raise - Burn 1 40
Exercise Sets Reps
Pinwheel Curls - Power 2 3 to 5
Standing Barbell Curl  - Muscle 2-3 6 to 12
Cable Preacher Curl - Burn 1-2 40
Deadlift and Hamstrings
Deadlift and Hamstrings
Exercise Sets Reps
Deadlift - Power 2-4 3 to 5
Romanian Deadlift - Muscle 3-4 6 to 12
Leg Curl  - Muscle 3-4 6 to 12
Leg Curl - Burn 1 40
About The Author
Muscle & Strength's Content Team is a group of fitness industry experts dedicated to publishing the highest quality articles, workouts and guides on the M&S Website.

2.5K Comments+ Post Comment

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Posted Tue, 06/15/2010 - 22:30
what could i replace close grip bench press with?
Steven's picture
Posted Wed, 06/16/2010 - 10:57
I wouldn't recommend replacing close grip benches. That's an essential power building exercise.
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Posted Mon, 06/28/2010 - 20:09
Hey wouldn't you get burned out doing flat bench, and than the same day doing close grip. I did this routine and it was great but I really had to go down in weight for the close grip bench. My routine so far is, Monday Chest Tuesday Back Wednesday Shoulders Thursday Legs Friday Triceps & Biceps thanks
Steven's picture
Posted Tue, 06/29/2010 - 14:41
Hi Yuri, It is a very difficult approach, for sure. But you have 6 days to rest after the workout. My routines generally utilize a lower volume then most traditional muscle mag style routines, so you will be fine.
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Posted Mon, 04/21/2014 - 03:32
Hey Steve, what would you recommend as a cardio and I have work out too compliment this routine? I see you have added everything you said cardio and abs may I ask why?
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Posted Mon, 12/06/2010 - 06:02
is there any cardio needed to be done with this routine?
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Posted Mon, 04/04/2011 - 09:16
Rajat Sahoo
yes dude U can Do cardio in am if u r doing ur workout in pm and vice
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Posted Sat, 07/31/2010 - 17:33
Dear Steve, I intend to start this routine soon. Can you please tell me how long should I continue with this one and what will be the next routine when I finish this one? Thanks
Steven's picture
Posted Tue, 08/03/2010 - 11:15
Hi Nazeer, You can run this routine 8 to 12 weeks at minimum, or as long as you are making great progress.
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Posted Sun, 08/15/2010 - 16:46
how often are u supposed to switch exercises and are u supposed to switch just the muscle exercises
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Posted Mon, 07/16/2012 - 18:48
Hi Steve I been going to gym for about 2 month lost 12 pounds,And know i want to lose these man Boobs, What is the best workout to get rid of them, I do benchpress,push-ups, They just dont go away,
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Posted Wed, 10/17/2012 - 14:42
From what I heard, you can't loose fat by doing local exercices where the undesired fat is. I think eating healthy and lots of cardio is the thing. Dwayne Johnson (aka THE ROCK) lost around 40 pounds of fat with intense cardio before and after workout. Just saying.
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Posted Wed, 09/04/2013 - 04:03
You can't spot reduce fat. You have to lower overall body percentage
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Posted Sun, 07/17/2011 - 12:00
I totally agree with Steve here, although if you have access board press is an excellent excercise as is floor press. For size on the triceps though you cannot beat close grips.
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Posted Mon, 08/01/2011 - 15:55
Whats up Steve, love the workout routine. I was wondering, can i replace the seated french press with skullcrusherz?
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Posted Thu, 02/23/2012 - 13:26
HI steve, I'm looking for a different exercise for my quads. mainly instead of squats what would be next best exercise. Ive been told of my doctor not do squats because off my knee which he says I will have to get it replaced in a few years.
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Posted Mon, 02/27/2012 - 17:32
Can I throw in abs and cardio on the off days?
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Posted Mon, 02/27/2012 - 22:32
Can I throw in abs and cardio on the off days?
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Posted Mon, 05/23/2011 - 14:23
Use Dumbbells.
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Posted Tue, 08/09/2011 - 11:43
you dont
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Posted Thu, 08/11/2011 - 23:19
Skull crushers.
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Posted Tue, 09/06/2011 - 21:45
Mike Wexler
Hey Joe, I like to replace that workout with a close grip dumbbell press. Just grab two dumbbells hold them together and press. Same work out just a change up from the same thing.
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Posted Sat, 01/14/2012 - 11:21
Chris Lever
I replaced close grip bench with weighted dips, the reason i did this is because an article written by Steve Shaw in a different section of the site stated the following... Dips: Dips are often called the upper body squat, and for good reason. Dips work the shoulders, chest and triceps very hard, and are a great overall exercises for building a beefy upper body. Dips should be performed at a parallel bar dipping station. I kept the rep and set range the same and added heavy weight to make it challenging. It worked for me but then again everyone is different.
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Posted Fri, 05/31/2013 - 14:22
not sure about close grip, but isn't deadlifting and than straight deadlifting, plus the 2 hamstring exercises on the last day a bit much? that only leaves 3 days of recovery until the next leg day. I did them last week, and was not able to recover in time. furthermore, don't tell me there are no hamstrings being worked on the leg day in this program because squats and leg press definitely hit hamstrings, not as much as quads but they do. so is it according to this plan to not be fully recovered? I couldn't lift as much weight during my second leg workout than i could in the first week. need help, answer asap, thanks.
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Posted Wed, 06/16/2010 - 12:21
Hay is it ok if i take the weekend off insted of thursday and sunday?
Steven's picture
Posted Wed, 06/16/2010 - 12:30
Hi James, I wouldn't recommend 5 straight training days for this type of routine. I think the 4 day split would serve you a bit better. You could take Wednesday off. http://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/4-day-power-muscle-burn-workout-split.html
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Posted Mon, 06/28/2010 - 21:45
yeah if your doin 5 days a week you can consistantly do 5 days in a row for example mon-fri. and take saturday and sunday off i do monday and tuesday then takeoff wednesday and then start back up and take a day out of the weekend its the best to do that so that your muscles have time to recover.
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Posted Wed, 06/16/2010 - 18:23
I like this one a lot better.
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Posted Sat, 08/20/2011 - 05:38
hi. i am following ur this schdule to build up my muscles wht i want to know can i add some other exercises after completing ur schduled exercises like for biceps there r too many exercises and u hv given only three............pls let me know
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Posted Wed, 06/05/2013 - 14:49
If you follow the workout plan the way your supposed to, use proper form, and use the right weight to hit the rep range that Steve has suggested, your arms will be plenty tired by the end of this and you will make gains if you're eating right. By the time I have finished these three exercises, my biceps feel like they are going to burst out of my skin and I'm adding weight every week. You don't need to do a dozen different bicep exercises to make gains.
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Posted Thu, 06/17/2010 - 13:15
anthony santiago
hey i am going too start that workout this week comeing up but i have too finish my 4 day but i love this workout i kown i will get a better reslute with this one and i think it would be harder but pain it love that what i allways say
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Posted Thu, 06/17/2010 - 17:43
On any given day, is it recommended that I alternate between exercises? For example, day 1 (chest and tris), should I do a chest exercise then a tricep exercise then another chest exercise. Or should I do the entire chest routine then the entire tricep routine? Please respond only if you are the author of this routine or actually know what you are talking about. Thanks.
Steven's picture
Posted Thu, 06/17/2010 - 19:26
Perform all exercises for the major muscle group first. On chest/triceps, you wouldn't want your triceps taxed while you still are performing pressing movements for chest.
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Posted Sun, 10/03/2010 - 07:23
gaurav goyal
hi steve tel me after complitian of this schedule what would b the next one?
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Posted Thu, 06/17/2010 - 22:35
Steve, I just want to let you know man, I started with your 4 day power split 3-4 weeks ago, and ive never seen such better results, I am going to start this one once this week is over, I appreciate everything your doing
Steven's picture
Posted Fri, 06/18/2010 - 10:19
Awesome! Great news! Keep hitting it hard!
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Posted Fri, 06/18/2010 - 21:53
I like the workout but have a few issues with why you hit the triceps with a power set after just pounding them in the chest portion of the workout. Seems like this workout could be leaning toward over training side of things? I would like to try this workout starting next week but would like to know benefits of using the 5 day split opposed to your 4 day split. And as a side note I've been lifting consistently for 5 years, so I'm no beginner.
Steven's picture
Posted Sat, 06/19/2010 - 08:27
No need to worry about overtraining. This is a moderate to low weekly volume per muscle group. I have provided a varying amount of possible rep ranges for most exercises. You can perform power work for triceps after as little as 7 total chest sets if you prefer. Regarding routines, this routine will be more taxing because of the extra training day, but it does allow you to focus on the deadlift a bit easier, which is a benefit if you enjoy training for deadlift strength.
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Posted Wed, 06/15/2011 - 12:58
I'm 17 and I have been consistently training for two years is it safe for me to do the power and burn sets in this exercise because I really would like to do this workout
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Posted Tue, 03/05/2013 - 00:45
hello Steve i want to do some abs workout whith this routine. can you please suggest me some best exercise for flat belly. i am not aiming 6 pack just a flat stomach?
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Posted Tue, 05/21/2013 - 17:37
This has been my go-to routine for the past couple years. Alway get the best results with the way its set up.
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Posted Sun, 09/05/2010 - 03:35
Steve Loving the workout only on week 1 and already seeing results. What would your suggestion be for when I get to the end of week 8. Can I just keep with the program or would alternation be better?
Steven's picture
Posted Wed, 09/08/2010 - 09:27
Hi Heath, There is no need to change programs if you are making good progress. You can stick with this program as long as you're happy with strength and muscle gains.
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Posted Mon, 08/22/2011 - 05:58
Ditto. I have been using a variety of training methods over the past 5+ years and this routine is by far the best for getting results quickly and/or breaking plateaus. My workout partner and I keep coming back to it every 3-4 months. No workout we try ever compares. Great work!
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Posted Fri, 06/18/2010 - 15:45
Hey Steve, I'm currently serving in the Air Force and i am deployed to Iraq. It is kinda like being in prison so I get alot of time to workout. I was wondering do you have any tips on supplementing for this workout. I currently just kind of mix and match. Any help would be great.
Steven's picture
Posted Sat, 06/19/2010 - 08:20
Hi Daniel, My recommendation is to start with the fundamentals...find a whey protein you like, then find a quality multivitamin and also use fish oil. At that point, the next best supplement option is creatine. If you want to expand beyond creatine, BCAAs and glutamine are solid choices, and nitric oxide can help push you through tough workouts. This is the supplement plan I use and it's a solid base.
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Posted Tue, 07/27/2010 - 14:25
Creatines usually aren't generally allowed overseas, but really its up to your commander's discretion. However, if you get a good AAKG and Beta Alanine powder for a pre-workout and use BCAA's pre, post, and bedtime, You will see the added pumps.
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Posted Tue, 01/11/2011 - 08:08
Have you not been overseas? They sell creatine in every PX there is over here.
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Posted Thu, 01/05/2012 - 23:05
I am currently on a tiny fob in Afghanistan, and I can tell you that there is creatine everywhere. It is not that complicated, and thanks to the author, this is a phenomenal work out, as I just got through week one, and it is amazing.. Now I can do this work out every week correct?? I don't have to wait after do I? Please let me know Thanks
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Posted Tue, 07/09/2013 - 16:31
LIES !!!! i have been able to buy creatine in every counrty i have been too, 'specially on base