Shaun's 3 Day Muscle Building Split Workout

Shaun's 3 day split workout is a solid routine for those who are looking to pack on some pounds! It features a chest & biceps day as well as a legs & shoulders day.

Workout Summary

Build Muscle
Split
Intermediate
3
Barbell, Bodyweight, Cables, Dumbbells, EZ Bar, Machines
Male & Female

Workout Description

The goal of this workout is to build muscle. All rep timings are 2-1-2 unless stated in the notes and all rest times are 1 min between sets and 2 mins between exercises. As always, perform a warmup by doing 5-10 mins cardio followed by stretching and some warmup sets on the first exercise.

Work the Abs on a Monday and/or Friday if desired.

Daily Workout Schedule:

Day 1 - Chest and Biceps
Chest
Exercise Sets Reps
Incline Smith Machine Press 4 10
Flat Bench Barbell Press 4 10
Chest Dips 3 10
Pec Dec 3 12
Biceps
Exercise Sets Reps
EZ Bar Curls 3 8-10
Concentration Curls 3 10
Reverse Barbell Curls 3 12
Workout Notes:
Use 3-1-3 timing on Incline Smith Machine Press

Tuesday - Rest Day

Day 2 - Legs and Shoulders
Legs
Exercise Sets Reps
Squat 5 10
Leg Press 4 10-12
Stiff Leg Deadlifts 4 8-10
Seated Calf Raise 3 8-10
Standing Calf Raise 3 12-15
Shoulders
Exercise Sets Reps
Dumbbell Shoulder Press 4 8-10
Seated Dumbbell Lateral Raise 3 10
Rear Delt Machine 3 10
Dumbbell Shrugs 4 10-12
Notes
Try some deep squats with 3-2 rep timing (use lighter weight) for some variation. Use a drop set on the leg press machine to give the quads a shock. If your gym doesn't have a Rear Delt Machine substitute Reverse Dumbbell Flyes. Use 3-1-3 rep timing on the seated lat raises

Thursday - Rest Day

Day 3 - Back and Triceps
Back
Exercise Sets Reps
Wide Grip Pullups 4 8-12
Lat Pull Downs 4 10
One Arm Dumbbell Row 4 10
T-Bar Rows 4 10
Triceps
Exercise Sets Reps
Lying Tricep Extension 3 10
Rope Pulldowns 3 12
Reverse Single Arm Extension 3 12
Notes
3-1-3 rep timing on Lat pulldown machine

Weekend - Rest

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About The Author
Shaun started training seriously in 2006. Using the knowledge gained from Muscle and Strength, he has packed on the muscle and dropped his body fat %.

1.3K Comments+ Post Comment

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Posted Wed, 07/01/2015 - 21:36
Louis..

Hey guys. I also care about my traps, out of the 3 days when should I implement them?

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Posted Thu, 07/02/2015 - 09:22
MikeWines

Louis,
There are shrugs on day 2.

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Posted Tue, 06/16/2015 - 14:19
phil

hi how can we print this workout please

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Posted Wed, 06/17/2015 - 09:12
MikeWines

Phil,
The easiest way is to take a screenshot and then print off the picture. You can also pull up the workout on your mobile device or tablet and then you can take it anywhere with you.

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Posted Tue, 05/26/2015 - 13:34
pete mansfield

NEED SOME HELP HERE PLEASE... i like the look of this because i dont have a great deal of time for the gym due to work and kids but i love working out ... what rep range and sets do you use on this workout program please

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Posted Tue, 06/30/2015 - 06:23
Robin Bulsink

'Swipe table to the left to reveal more data'

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Posted Sat, 04/04/2015 - 21:08
yoga

Halo bro,
can i add Abs intense workout in thursday (rest day) + little cardio in saturday (rest day) ?

wait ur feedback,
Terimakasih (thankyou)

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Posted Tue, 01/27/2015 - 15:51
Triago

This is a solid three day routine. I see a lot of other 3 days that don't have a single bi or tri exercise. I understand they're being worked during other exercises, but if your aim is to look like you work out, you better put some arms in there. I also see a lot of 3 day routines with the only chest exercise as 3 sets of flat bench, nothing else. Hey, i'm not saying spend all your time on the pec dec, but there's no way you're going to get the look you want with 3 sets of bench being your only chest target, especially if you don't have naturally well developed pecs. I think this routine here hits all of the essentials in the correct amounts. Good work brah.

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Posted Fri, 12/12/2014 - 01:54
Jason Salinaz

Could I use this workout 4 days a week allowing for a rotation of every muscle group with a workout partner who can only meet twice a week on fixed days? If no could you point me in the right direction for a good rotating workout that would end up hitting one muscle group twice a week. Thank you

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Posted Mon, 09/22/2014 - 14:22
Danny

Hello Steve, I have just started using your routine and I must say I've never felt so sore before, which is good of course. Anyway, I wanted to ask you, are the exercises listed in an order they should be performed in? I'd guess so but I'm just asking to be sure. Thanks, Danny

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Posted Tue, 01/27/2015 - 16:28
Triago

I'm not Steve, but the answer is yes and no. The exercises are laid out in a specific order for general purposes. But if you notice you need more work on an underdeveloped muscle or muscle group, move that exercise up earlier in the workout while you have more strength. After a few weeks, you can go back to the original order. In bodybuilding, you have to look in the mirror and be honest with yourself. If you see a body part that needs more work, spend more time on it. Just watch Pumping Iron with Arnold Swartz. You'll get it after that. Cheers

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Posted Tue, 09/02/2014 - 12:15
alvin

Hi steve :) so i can do this routine for 3 months? Same reps and sets?ive been lifting for 1 montj do u think thia is for me? I need to get toned for dec.do i need to changes the weights every month? Thank you so much..

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Posted Mon, 08/18/2014 - 05:53
Marius

Hi

Im 30years old 182cm and my weight is 70kg, working nights still smoking :) So i decided to quit and start to put so weight on my. So i took this 3 day program bought creatine, proteine plus amino acid, but i can drink them just after the night shift 1 and a half hours before training and just when i wake up to work in the evening. Is it gonna work or no how would you do?

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Posted Mon, 08/18/2014 - 05:53
Marius

Hi

Im 30years old 182cm and my weight is 70kg, working nights still smoking :) So i decided to quit and start to put so weight on my. So i took this 3 day program bought creatine, proteine plus amino acid, but i can drink them just after the night shift 1 and a half hours before training and just when i wake up to work in the evening. Is it gonna work or no how would you do?

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Posted Wed, 08/06/2014 - 14:34
Mike

Hi Steve. I love this workout. My only issue with it is after doing legs I struggle to be able to focus on another body part that day as squats and dead lifts completely drain me. I know this is a three day but I was wondering if I could split legs and shoulders into two separate days so I can make sure each part is getting proper attention. My legs are my weak point so eventually when they get stronger I'll hopefully be able to do legs/shoulders like the program calls for. Any thoughts on this?

Thank you,
Mike

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Posted Tue, 01/27/2015 - 16:01
Triago

I know what you mean. Here's what I do. I alternate. One week I do legs first, then take it a little easier on the shoulders. The next week I do shoulders first, and take it a little easier on the legs. The Leg and shoulder day is an interesting dilemma though, considering that if there were only 2 body parts you could work on, legs and shoulders would the best ones to choose. Without shoulders, nothing else looks right on the upper body. You could have a great chest or back, but look really bad w/underdeveloped shoulders. However, if you have big bulky shoulders and an under developed chest or back, you still look good with your shirt off. And as far as legs go, chicken legs don't look good on anyone. Cheers.

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Posted Sun, 06/15/2014 - 20:10
kanav

i am using this plan and i am wondering,muscle and pharma combat protein powder after workout it is good for this plan. because i am 5.9 ft and my body weight is 180 pounds..and what other excercise i can perform instead of chest dip ?

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Posted Sun, 06/08/2014 - 11:52
Amit

Hi Steve,
I do three day workout ie
Monday, Thursday - legs n shoulder
Tuesday, Friday - chest n back
Wednesday, Saturday - bicep n triceps.
I have been doing this for many years on and off.
Never felt any under recovery of muscles over the years.
I'm 29 now. I have recently started the workout after a long gap of 3 yrs. Should I continue the same schedule? Now my life is settled and I'm looking for serious muscle gain. Please reply.

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Posted Sat, 05/24/2014 - 04:42
Erik

Why do incline bench on a smith, isn't it just better to do it with BB/DB?

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Posted Tue, 05/13/2014 - 22:03
Kris

On the back day? How come there arnt any dead lifts ??

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Posted Mon, 04/21/2014 - 15:58
Grant

Hi - would the routine work if you done chest biceps day 1 legs triceps day 2 and shoulders and back day 3 ?

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Posted Sun, 04/13/2014 - 04:12
TA

Hey, I was wondering could you work this routine with 3on1off or 3on2off way? Would it be optimal for growth?

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Posted Tue, 04/08/2014 - 09:47
Muneeb

What Ab exercises would you recommend along with this workout if we would be performing them at the end of each workout?

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Posted Tue, 04/08/2014 - 07:04
Thilina

hey shaun,
i thought of adding 1/2-1 hour swimming session per week as a cardio session. would that be a good idea? if it is when is the most suitable day for swimming?

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Posted Tue, 04/08/2014 - 07:04
Thilina

hey shaun,
i thought of adding 1/2-1 hour swimming session per week as a cardio session. would that be a good idea? if it is when is the most suitable day for swimming?

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Posted Thu, 03/27/2014 - 18:57
Luis

hey shawn! i was wondering if instead of mon, wed, fri i could do tues, thurs, then fri? i figured that wouldnt be bad since im training the lower half of my body one day then the next will be upper body. please let me know because my school schedule is pretty chaotic. also, how long would it take to gain 10-15 pounds of muscle doing this workout with the proper eating habits?

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Posted Sat, 03/22/2014 - 20:10
Paul

I am about to start the 3 day split, what is meant by 2-1-2 or 3-1-3, is this the amount of time pushing up resting then returning

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Posted Sat, 03/08/2014 - 20:59
Reda AB

any alternative exercice of the reverse single arm extension because i dont feel comfortable with it

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Posted Thu, 03/06/2014 - 01:16
lt

Would it be ok to do this Mon Wed Thur having Tuesday Friday Saturday Sun off?

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Posted Sun, 01/26/2014 - 13:04
M.

Would glute ham raises be an acceptable alternative to the stiff legged deadlift. If not, what is a good alternative?

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Posted Mon, 12/30/2013 - 10:54
Dale

Getting ready to start this routine today. Was wondering if you suggest doing heaviest sets first, and going lighter, or the reverse? Thanks!

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Posted Sun, 12/01/2013 - 03:45
k dagher

Hey guys just wanted to ask, when i do this workout espcially since im bulking up is there a specific nutrition plan i should follow?

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Posted Tue, 11/05/2013 - 13:10
Andrzej

Hi,
What can I do instead of T-bar row? And about pull-ups for example, if there are 4 sets 8-12 reps it should be 8,8,12,12 or what? And what about weight, should I add some in the last set or two maybe?

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Posted Mon, 10/21/2013 - 11:36
Paul

I started this routine 2 weeks back. I started it doing all the sets, but I started it with 10 or 12 reps, then 10 reps going up in weight, then 8 reps going up in weight, then finally 8 reps going up in weight. Same as with the 3 sets. This week though I'm going to start on the same reps for every set just going up in weight like before. I love the workout. Makes my 4 weeks solid of working out now. Is it OK for me to re-arrange some of the workouts from the order you have them? And after I do my Chest workout, seems like I struggle with the weights for my biceps. My Biceps feels like they are cramping up after the 1st set or so. I'm doing the same weight as when I did them on their own day. Any suggestions on why that is happening and what I need to do to fix that. Thanks

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Posted Tue, 10/15/2013 - 17:05
Wil

Hey how every so often do your recommend switching up the workout? Every month ? Every w eek? Every workout? Thanks a lot. Love the 3 day split.

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Posted Mon, 11/04/2013 - 13:19
Paul

You switch routines when you've reached a plateau. When you are not gaining anymore or showing signs of improvement, then its time to see about getting another workout routine. Even if its just keeping your routine and switching your reps/sets around.

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Posted Mon, 10/07/2013 - 22:09
Jay

Is it possible to switch chest and biceps to chest and triceps?

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Posted Mon, 09/30/2013 - 20:22
Billy Capps

I am a hockey player interested in trying to gain some more lean muscle. I don't have time for a 4 day a week split. I have read some on FST-7. What would be the best way to incorporate FST-7 techniques in this workout?
I am also a hard gainer and I eat a lot and often.

Thank You

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Posted Thu, 09/26/2013 - 13:08
Lane

I was wondering if you can change the days of the split? Example would be switching back/biceps with legs/shoulders. Thanks!

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Posted Thu, 09/19/2013 - 08:36
HiiPower1990

How soon should we start increasing weight? And increase it by how much?

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Posted Mon, 09/02/2013 - 21:21
Waylon Brown

Hey just wandering if I can do this 4 times a week such az Monday Tuesday Thursday and Friday? Doin vest and biceps twice a week on Mondays then again Friday?

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Posted Tue, 08/27/2013 - 03:01
jeff

Hi Steve, I dont have a T-bar, can I replace it with Barbell Bent-over Row?
Should all the excercies be completed? Just seems to be too many for one hour session...

Thanks

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Posted Sun, 08/25/2013 - 14:19
Alex

Is it possible to train tuesday, thursday and saturday and reverse the musclegroups so i start with back on tuesday? Thanks

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Posted Sun, 08/25/2013 - 01:14
Jason

Hi Steve,

What ab exercises would you recommend for mon/fri with this routine?

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Posted Fri, 08/09/2013 - 14:23
bossmanham@yahoo.com

I've been doing this routine for over a year now. What should I move on to when I plateau?

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Posted Thu, 08/08/2013 - 02:35
Adam Oufkir

could i replace the chest dips with decline dumbbell bench press?

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Posted Tue, 07/30/2013 - 17:37
Bruno

I've been doing this routine for a month and everyone thinks I'm juicing. It works great.

Do you have any other routines?

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Posted Sat, 07/20/2013 - 14:24
Atifmohamed

this my second month in the gym but i do different workouts i have now a summer holiday so i go 5 days per week , i train one muscle in one day so it could be 6 workouts for 1 muscle per day , after this month i will be busy because school is this progress 3 days per week and less workouts will be good for me ?

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Posted Thu, 07/18/2013 - 10:09
Jason melaas

no deadlifts
wtf?? why

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Posted Tue, 01/27/2015 - 16:14
Triago

He has stiff leg dead lifts in there, which specifically target the hamstrings and lower back, leaving out the quads. Regular dead lifts are great, but just target your quads also. He already has squats in there which target the quads, and depending how you do your squats, you can target your lower back and hamstrings as well. Your choice. It makes sense the way he has it.