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
6 weeks
3
45 minutes
Barbell, Bodyweight, Cables, Dumbbells, EZ Bar, Machines
Male & Female
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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

1.3K Comments+ Post Comment

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Posted Sun, 01/08/2012 - 20:53
Gareth

Does the set count include 1 or 2 warmup sets or do i just add these in?

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Posted Thu, 01/19/2012 - 16:25
Shaun

Hi Gareth,

You should add in your own warm up.

Best to do a short bit of cardio to get the blood pumping, then a few sets of light weight and half weight and plenty of stretching before going into the first working set.

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Posted Fri, 01/06/2012 - 01:25
Brenton

I forgot to include in my last message that I am 170 lbs and I'm trying to gain, then maintain my weight at 185-190 with a leaner cut body. Right now I have a little body fat around the waist. Other wise I have really low body fat percentage already.

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Posted Thu, 01/19/2012 - 16:24
Shaun

Hi Brenton

You can do abs and/or cardio after any of the work outs, or perhaps at weekends. But remember if you are trying to gain you will need to compensate in your diet for any extra cardio.

I like to eat a good meal, prefrebly rice/chicken around an hour before my work out. This is not always ideal though because of work commitments and such but you should definitly be getting some thing in to fuel your work out. Rite not I go for a can of tuna and a couple brown rolls around 2 hours before then I will have a home made protein bar about half an hour before.

Post work out you are spot on with the protein shake, it's an important time to get nutrients to your muscles and as such protein in the form of liquid is better as it can be digested faster. Some people also like to take in some carbs at this point with the shake such as Dextrose (simple sugars) or Maltodextrin (slightly more complex carbs). Personally I don't do this but I am currently on a cut, you could give it a go if you like it certainly wont hurt if you're looking to bulk up. You should be able to find plenty of articles on post work out nutrition to help make your mind up.

Finally it's important that you get a propper meal consisting of real food around 60 minutes after the sake, this should be protein/carbs and essential fats.

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Posted Fri, 01/06/2012 - 01:20
Brenton

Hi Shaun, I'm really enjoying this workout. I'm having trouble trying to find the perfect time in between to throw in an ab workout plus cardio but otherwise this workout seems to hit all the parts of the body I want. My question is more to do with supplements/protein other than food. I don't need details on what to eat but if you can help direct me on what I can take before and after the workouts to get the best results I would appreciate it. I currently take 1 clif bar 30 minutes before the workout and then drink 1 scoop of a whey protein shake after. Is this right or should I try something else? Thanks.

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Posted Thu, 01/05/2012 - 06:51
Thilina

Dear Steve
I am 5ft 10 inch tall and now my weight is 60kg. I have been doing this workout for 2 months and I gained my weight around 5kg. My aim is gain my muscle mass as much as I can.
I have been doing 100reps for abs end of each workout day. But I heard from my mates not to do abs workouts until I gain considerable muscle mass, because as they told me when you gain your abs it will reduce the amount of foods you can eat for meal. Is it true?
And also I have been struggling with supplements. I used “USN Muscle Fuel Anabolic” and now I am using “USN Hyperbolic Mass”. Are you recommending these supplements for fast mussel gain? If not can you suggest any good product for me.
Thank you very much.

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Posted Thu, 01/19/2012 - 16:17
Shaun

Hi,

Heres a few basics;
- Gaining or losing weight is all about the diet. If you are intaking more calories during the day than you burn off, you will be gaining weight. Combine this with a decent routine and you can pack on some muscle.
- Abs are part of your core and you will do no harm in giving them a bit of work, it's good to have a strong core.
- Doing situps/crunches will not necessarily give you abs. They may strengthen and build the abdoninal muscles but if they are covered by a layer of fat no one will see them
- Doing crunches does not turn fat into muscle - this is not possible in any area.
- You generally start seeing better ab definition when you are around 10% bodyfat.
- There's no magic supplement in terms of protein/weight gainers to build muscle, as I said above it's all about the diet and these gainers should be used to 'supplement' your diet, look at the calorie content.

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Posted Wed, 02/01/2012 - 13:33
Thilina

Thank you so much for the instruction Shaun. And also your workout is amazing. Now I am really enjoying it. Cheers.

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Posted Thu, 01/05/2012 - 02:05
JD

Hey,

I just started this routine and so far I like it (although day two is pretty demanding). Some weeks I only have time to go to the gym (Tues-Wed-Thurs) so I have to train without rest. also I'm doing intervals cardio on the same days I work out. Any suggestions?? is it possible to move maybe shoulders to an extra day (if I have one) and do some abs as well that day?
Thanks.

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Posted Thu, 01/19/2012 - 16:12
Shaun

It would be tricky to move shoulders to a seperate day because of chest and triceps being seperated. You could switch biceps and triceps around so they are worked also as a secondary muscle when training chest and back , then you should find you don't need to do as much on them as they will have already moved some heavy weight and this could save some time.

You could work shoulders in on chest day also or work them on their own day but make sure they have enough time to recover for chest day.

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Posted Wed, 01/04/2012 - 07:00
Nathan

Isn't Stiff Deadlift a back exercise? I feel it in my latissimus & only moderately feel it in my hammies?

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Posted Thu, 01/19/2012 - 16:09
Shaun

It is a Hamstring exercise, you may feel a bit in your lower back but try to make sure you get a good stretch on the hamstring and look for the mind-muscle connection, it's a great exercise for hammies.

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Posted Tue, 01/03/2012 - 20:43
Sam

Hi Steve

do i have to change routines or could i just change a few exercises, and if not how will i no when i should change my whole routine?

Cheers.

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Posted Thu, 01/19/2012 - 16:08
shaun

You don't have to change every exercise when you change routine, the core lifts will always be there in some form. The key thing is that if you are progressing just keep doing what you're doing. If you like this routine and would like one similar I have a few other routines posted that you can have a go at.

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Posted Tue, 01/03/2012 - 19:13
Jack

Does anyone have a good alternative workout similar to this i can rotate to prevent muscle memory plateauing.

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Posted Thu, 01/19/2012 - 16:07
shaun

If you're still making progress stick with it. I have other routines that follow similar principles check out my author section to see the links.

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Posted Thu, 12/29/2011 - 23:37
Jimmy

Would it be fine if I threw in 4x10 regular dead lifts right after the pull ups? I would say the pull ups could be a good warm up.

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Posted Thu, 01/19/2012 - 16:06
shaun

I do deadlifts after the pulldowns, work the lats.. then deads, then upper back

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Posted Sat, 12/24/2011 - 20:43
Danny

Is it fine to start DAY 1 again on Sunday? For example, Mon Wed Fri, then Sun Tue Thur, then Sat Mon Wed and so on? Rather than M W F, M W F etc.

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Posted Wed, 12/28/2011 - 04:02
shaun

You can if you want to but there's no problem with having the extra day recovery and keeping the schedule.

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Posted Fri, 12/23/2011 - 18:23
Gavin

Hi there, could i run this routine as a cutting routine and do HITT/cardio on the rest days

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Posted Sat, 12/24/2011 - 14:00
shaun

Hi, yes that would be great, this routine will help you keep hold of the muscle then use your diet and cardio to trim off the fat.

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Posted Mon, 12/19/2011 - 23:00
Andy

Why is it a week before you workout the same body part again? Shouldn't it take only several days for the muscle to heal, and therefore it should be worked again before you start losing the gains?

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Posted Tue, 12/20/2011 - 07:17
Shaun

It can take several days for the muscle to recover, any growth occurs after this time. Most natural trainers using split routines do not need to directly work each muscle group more than once per week.

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Posted Mon, 12/19/2011 - 12:58
Shaun

Description of Workout:

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.

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Posted Sun, 12/18/2011 - 08:22
greg black

How long should u rest btween sets and excersizes?

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Posted Fri, 12/16/2011 - 01:30
dovid

can i do the back in the early afternoon and the triceps later or should i do them right after each other?
same question with shoulder legs and chest biceps

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Posted Fri, 12/16/2011 - 09:39
Shaun

It's best to do it all in one session, rather than starting the recovery process from the first session then training again.

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Posted Fri, 12/16/2011 - 14:43
dovid braverman

Thanks!!!

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Posted Wed, 12/14/2011 - 19:44
Sam

should i push to go to muscle failure?

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Posted Fri, 12/16/2011 - 03:26
Shaun

It's important to push yourself. You don't have to work to failure every set but make sure you focus on progression from week to week.

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Posted Tue, 12/13/2011 - 00:58
Kyle

I just started this workout 2 weeks ago and I am now going on vacation for 2 weeks.i know bad timming. There will be no weight equipment were I am at so I cant continue the workout untill I get back. Will pushups, crunche, close grip pushups, pullups.....maintain me well enough for 2 weeks so when I get back I wont have a hard time going right back into my lifting? If not what do u reccomend I do. Thanks

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Posted Tue, 12/13/2011 - 09:01
Shaun

If you don't go away that often with no access to weights then I would say just enjoy your holiday and don't worry about the weights. If it is a common thing then yes do what you can with body weight exercises while you are away.

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Posted Sun, 12/11/2011 - 15:53
Matt

Is it ok if I move the legs and shoulders to Friday and the back and triceps to the wednesday? I play football (soccer) on wednesdays and don't want to do a leg workout before that.

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Posted Tue, 12/13/2011 - 03:58
Shaun

Hi, it's not ideal as I have designed the split to give maximum rest to the muscles before they are next worked. You should be ok playing football on leg day, any soreness usually come in over the next 2 days. I play football on my leg day.

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Posted Thu, 12/15/2011 - 03:28
Shaun

Yep, Good luck hope you enjoy the routine!

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Posted Tue, 12/13/2011 - 18:21
Matt

Thanks for the reply. I'll give it a go and see how my legs are on the wednesdays. If it doesn't work then I could always do my workouts on tuesdays, thursdays and saturdays instead.

Cheers

Matt

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Posted Thu, 12/08/2011 - 02:30
Danny

Is it fine if I replaced the Smith Machine Press with Regular Incline Barbell Press? How many days of the week/how many workouts/when should I work on abs? Also, would be be a good idea to run 2-3 miles all at once on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays?

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Posted Tue, 12/13/2011 - 03:57
Shaun

Yes. I would work abs twice per week after your work outs.

You can do as much cardio as you like, you just need to realise how it will affect your goals. If you want to bulk up and you're doing cardio, this will burn calories and you will need to eat more to compensate. If you're looking to cut then a bit of cardio might help.

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Posted Tue, 12/13/2011 - 16:02
Danny

I have a belly and potentially a decent % of body fat, but I am a bit taller than 5'6" and about I fluctuate between 140-142 lbs. Would it be a good idea to bulk up to the size I want, then spend time getting cut and lowering the % of body fat?

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Posted Thu, 12/15/2011 - 03:27
Shaun

It's personal preference, I would prefer to get the body fat % down first then use a 'clean' bulk where you try to add muscle with as little fat as possible.

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Posted Tue, 12/06/2011 - 15:44
David

Started this program last night I left the Concentration Curls till last and could barely lift the 15lb... Great program - Im sore today, Thanks

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Posted Wed, 12/07/2011 - 11:16
Shaun

Glad you like it!

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Posted Sun, 12/04/2011 - 04:46
Cory

How do you recommend splitting up the workout in day 1, 2, and 3. meaning do you do all the chest exercises one after the other, then move on to biceps and do those all together, or do you alternate between the two? plus, I am not going to do legs (i get my leg workout done elsewhere). what do you recommend i do to fill the leg portion of the workout? Thanks for the help!

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Posted Tue, 12/06/2011 - 03:52
Shaun

You do the workout exactly as it is laid out, all the sets on the first exercise listed then move onto the second and so on.

Don't tell me you do a lot of running or cycling and that works your legs, because it's not the same as lifting weight! It's completely different when you are lifting heavy weights and over loading the muscle... work legs in the gym.

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Posted Tue, 12/06/2011 - 18:29
Cory

okay, fair enough. thanks!

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Posted Tue, 11/29/2011 - 14:11
matt

Would doing back and triceps on wednesday instead of legs and shoulders make much difference?and putting sho's and legs on fri?

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Posted Wed, 11/30/2011 - 03:32
Shaun

It's not ideal because you don't want to be hitting biceps as a secondary muscle on Back 2 days after training Biceps on Monday. Same with hitting Shoulders 2 days after working Triceps, Triceps will be used as a secondary muscle in shoulder press movements and they might still be sore and recovering from Weds.

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Posted Mon, 11/21/2011 - 22:11
domenic DiCato

Would the incline bench be better than the smith machine?

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Posted Tue, 11/22/2011 - 09:31
Shaun

You can do BB Press if you like, the range of movement is not limited and this will work your stabilizer muscles.