Shaun's 30 Minute Workout Split Routine

Shaun McEwan
Written By: Shaun McEwan
October 14th, 2009
Updated: December 13th, 2017
309.7K Reads
A 5 day muscle building split routine for those who are pressed for time. Each workout can be completed in 30 minutes.
Workout Summary
  • Main Goal
    Build Muscle
  • Workout Type
  • Training Level
  • Program Duration8 weeks
  • Days Per Week
  • Time Per Workout30 minutes
  • Equipment Required
    Barbell, Cables, Dumbbells, EZ Bar, Machines
  • Target Gender Male & Female
  • Workout PDF Download Workout

Workout Description

This is a 5 day muscle building split designed so that each workout can be completed in around 30 minutes max for those who are pushed for time or workout during lunch.

Daily Workout Schedule:

Monday - Legs
Exercise Sets Reps
Squat 5 8-10
45 Degree Leg Press superset w/ Leg Extension 3 12
Stiff Leg Deadlift 3 10
Leg Curl (Drop sets) 3 10
Tuesday - Chest and Calves
Exercise Sets Reps
Barbell Bench Press 4 8-10
Incline Dumbbell Bench Press superset w/ Incline Dumbbell Flys 4 10
Pec Dec (Drop set on third set) 3 10
Exercise Sets Reps
Seated Calf Raise 4 8-10
Wednesday - Shoulders
Exercise Sets Reps
Seated Barbell Press 4 10
Dumbbell Lateral Raise (Drop set on last set) 3 10
Cable Reverse Fly 3 10
Thursday - Back
Exercise Sets Reps
Lat Pull Downs 4 10
Machine Row (Low rows) 4 10
Reverse Grip Lat Pull Downs (Drop sets) 3 10
Barbell Shrug Superset w/ Bent Over Row 4 10
Friday - Arms
Exercise Sets Reps
EZ Bar Skullcrushers 3 10
Cable Tricep Extensions 3 10
Reverse Grip Cable Tricep Extensions (Drop sets) 3 12
Exercise Sets Reps
EZ Bar Preacher Curls 4 10
Standing Hammer Curl (Drop sets) 3 10

Saturday and Sunday - Rest Day

Posted on: Sun, 09/18/2022 - 17:02

Hello. I’m just getting started and found this workout searching for something I could do in about a half hour. This looks like it will work time-wise with 20-25 minutes of cardio for about an hour long workout, but I was wondering if the exercise sets are to be done in a cycle, i.e. one set of one exercise, one set of the next, and so on until the exercises are complete, then start the cycle again. Thanks for your help.

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Thu, 09/22/2022 - 17:05

All sets of one exercise should be performed before moving on to the next. Hope this helps!

Posted on: Sun, 01/03/2021 - 10:51

If I want to do this workout at home where I just have dumbbell weights (no machines except a treadmill) how would I go about changing the exercises?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Mon, 01/04/2021 - 09:28

Hey Joe - we have a 5-day dumbbell only workout program:

Posted on: Wed, 10/07/2020 - 07:15

Hi Shaun !
Can I do cardio with this program?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Wed, 10/07/2020 - 08:52

Hey Hossi - yes you can. You can add in 30 minutes after your workouts 2-3 days per week if you have time.

Posted on: Wed, 10/07/2020 - 15:25

Tanks for your answer but I have not more an 30 min for training

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Thu, 10/08/2020 - 09:05

Hey Hossi - I would prioritize resistance training over cardio.

Posted on: Mon, 10/05/2020 - 10:29

Hi Shaun !
Is this routine help me for fat loss ?
I go to the gym at the morning kl:08:00 to 09:00
Before breakfast

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Tue, 10/06/2020 - 09:26

Hey Hossi - your diet plays a large role in fat loss. A solid diet paired with a workout routine such as this one will work for fat loss. You can use our BMR calculator to find your daily caloric need:

Posted on: Wed, 10/07/2020 - 05:53

Hi shaun!
My daily calorie is 2565.
What can I take for supplement ?
I train at the morning between kl:08:30 to 09:00 and weak up kl 07:00

Posted on: Wed, 11/21/2018 - 15:43

Hi Shaun, with this split, would it be better to switch the shoulder and back days, so shoulders wouldn't be getting trained directly the day after chest?

Posted on: Sun, 03/26/2017 - 19:29

I need to know when is the best time to do abs

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Mon, 03/27/2017 - 09:51

Hi Omar,

You're more than welcome to add in abdominal work to the tailend of these workouts or to your off days. I've provided a link to our complete ab workout database below. Feel free to browse it for ab workout ideas.

Hope this helps!

Posted on: Wed, 07/27/2016 - 19:41

Can i do chest workout on monday and legs on tuesday because i want to concrntrate on my chest

Posted on: Sat, 02/07/2015 - 07:31


Just came across the site and am very impressed with the format. Looks like I was doing it wrong for a long time. Will give my brief history and request you to guide me.

I am 5'7" tall and weigh around 71 Kg.

I have been doing some general weight training for almost 2 years now but it has been very un-organised. I general work out for 30-40 minutes for 5 times a week

I do Biceps, back, Abs every Monday, Wednesday and Friday
I do Triceps, Shoulder Abs every Tuesday and Thursday
Plus I run on a treadmill for 1.5 to 2 kilometers on all five days.

As you would have noticed, I do not do legs at all - except for the running.

Saturday and Sunday are off. There are times when there is unscheduled outstation visit once every 3-4 months and my miss the Gym routine for 10-15 days.

Firstly, my objective is to stay fit and not gain weight
Secondly and importantly I want to look good with Muscles, a defined chest and with good arms.

As I read in your answers here, you say it is not possible to loose weight and gain muscle at the same time. Very honestly I have always this fear that some day I will stop the gym and then the weight will not be manageable. So I do not want to increase my weight at any cost (not more that 72-73 kgs - so there is room for another 2-3 kgs may be). Another point. I am a borderline case of diabetes hence another reason why I don't want to increase my weight. (i am genetically prone to diabetes but have been able to fend it off till now)

How do I get this lean look with good arms. Should I stop running to avoid loss of mass ? What routine do I take. I am CONFUSED. Please guide



Posted on: Sun, 08/18/2013 - 11:12

Hi Shaun, my question is what percent of my one rep max should I start with for the exercises? I've been lifting seriously for 6 years I'm in my early 40's, my work schedule changed so this is going to work perfect for me. Also how much cardio do you recommend per week? Thanks

Posted on: Wed, 07/31/2013 - 04:53


How long can you stick to this same workout before your body adapts and thus losing muscle gain? Should I try adding different things to work out? Also should you always try to add more weight on each session or just do more reps?

Posted on: Mon, 04/29/2013 - 02:43

Hi Shaun,

Thanks for taking the time to propose this 30 minute workout, I've been struggling to find something to fit in my lunch break.

My goal so far is try and bulk up to make my build more apparent. Would I be better doing higher weight, less reptition than your workout suggested or stick to what you've planned out?

Also, to compensate for the tight schedule, would you recommend doing any additional work outs before/after work, or maybe do some cardio?


Posted on: Sun, 01/13/2013 - 23:42

i want to loose weight fast about 10-15 kg in 3 months. I was told to increase mucle mass which will burn fat and then later I can tone the muscles down via endurance type work out e.g. small weights many reps. Is this a correct way?

sean rivera
Posted on: Thu, 11/15/2012 - 12:07

Would you say this workout is good for a hard gainer? I'm 5`6 and I weight 143

Posted on: Tue, 08/21/2012 - 22:58

Tomorrow I start on Wednesday-Shoulders. I looked up the beginning shoulder workout and am going to run with that. My question is should I be doing any cardio other than 10 min warm ups? And what about abs? When should I work them in? I am 45 yrs old 5'7" 170lbs. Medium to small build with a gut. My goal is to increase muscle mass and lose the gut. I like going to the gym and working out but time is very tight. I try and eat clean. Should I be ramping up the calories to 4,000 or as much as I can? Thanks for your help!

Posted on: Tue, 08/21/2012 - 20:22

Hey Shawn, This routine looks great! I have been frustrated trying to find a program that will fit my timeframe. Is it ok to mix the exercises for that day as long as I am working that body part? I start tomorrow with Wednesday and will keep you posted. Thanks!

Rob Law
Posted on: Fri, 05/04/2012 - 04:58

This workout is Amazing! I am just starting again lifting weight after 7 years off. How long do you recommend cardio before starting? I usually do 20 minutes and then jump right into weight training. I haven't built endurance to complete whole workout yet. Is this a problem?

Steve G
Posted on: Tue, 03/13/2012 - 20:35

Hi I was just wondering how would you incorporate this routine into 4 days in a row. I can only get to the gym Monday- Thursday due to my 18 hour a day work schedule. Please set up a routine for me thanks

Posted on: Tue, 02/21/2012 - 06:28

For the exercises that state "drop set" does that mean do the number of sets listed without stopping, dropping weight each set or to do e.g. 3 sets of drop sets (leg curls as an example).

Posted on: Sun, 03/04/2012 - 13:58

Hi, not sure that you have wrote the question very well but here is a drop set;

SET 1 - 50kg x 10 reps
SET 2 - 40kg x 10 reps
SET 3 - 30kg x 10 reps

Posted on: Sun, 02/05/2012 - 21:50

How long to rest between sets? And how long to rest between exercises?

Posted on: Tue, 02/14/2012 - 08:49

2 minutes between sets, 1 minute between exercises

Posted on: Sun, 03/04/2012 - 13:56

1 minute and 2 minutes!

Posted on: Mon, 10/10/2011 - 19:15

I cant do leg press with the equipment i have. what would be a good alternative?

Posted on: Wed, 10/12/2011 - 17:30

Front squats

Posted on: Wed, 10/05/2011 - 20:27

Hello I hear what your saying about you can't gain muscle while cutting fat. With that being said are you saying if I do some sort of cardio after every days workout I won't lose any fat? Reason I'm asking is I love this workout routine but I have plenty of time to throw in some cardio didn't know if It would hurt or help me. I'm 5'9 218pounds and carrying around a lot of fat in belly area but upper body is solid. Any advise would be great also I'm not really trying to get cut up per say just lose some body fat while still doing this routine. thanks again bro.

Posted on: Mon, 10/10/2011 - 03:39


To bulk up and gain muscle you need to be eating more calories than you burn during the day.

To lose fat you need to be in taking less calories than you burn off during the day.

Having said that, if you are new to training, ie within the first year then you can often see great results by combining a good diet with some cardio and a solid routine, these are known as beginner gains. If you are a more experienced trainer then you will probably achieving your goals faster if you work in bulk and cut cycles.

Performing cardio after your work outs can be done when you are trying to gain muscle but remember you need to accommodate for the extra calories burned in your diet - ie eat more.

If you want to trim a bit of fat first then my advice would be to keep hitting the weights hard and perform cardio when you can after your work out. Sort out a decent diet and aim for 500 calories under your BMR each day.

Posted on: Sun, 08/28/2011 - 07:27

Hi Shaun,

Thanks for this workout. Do you have any replacement for the EZ bar Preacher curls? I cannot do that with the equipment I have.

Posted on: Tue, 09/06/2011 - 03:06

Standing Barbell curls would be a solid replacement.

Posted on: Fri, 08/19/2011 - 11:30

Hi, I am 44 years old and i am working out 4-6 days a week for 3 years now. can i use this training. also when i can do my cardio and for how long and how many days per week.


Posted on: Mon, 08/22/2011 - 06:17


It depends what you goals are... the bet time to do your cardio if you're looking to loose some fat is after your weights work out of first thing in the morning. But cardio at other times is still effective and your diet will also play a big part in achieving your results.

Posted on: Wed, 08/31/2011 - 07:15

Thanks, my goal is to gain mussels and shape. With 44 years old is it useful to use this program to achieve my goal ?

chippo parker
Posted on: Wed, 05/11/2011 - 04:25

Hi Shaun. Thanks for posting this work out, I'm seeing results and am working muscle groups I had previously neglected.

One quick question, I have recently moved gyms and sadly my new one does not have a Pec Dec. I've always been a big fan of this machine and feel there is now a big gap left in my chest day.

What exercise would you recommend I add in on chest day to replace the pec dec? I cant think of any other exercise that replicated the pec dec motion.

Thanks a lot

Posted on: Thu, 05/12/2011 - 04:18


Cable Cross Overs would be the best replacement!

chippo parker
Posted on: Thu, 05/12/2011 - 09:48

thanks a lot Shaun. I'm guessing the mid-chest one is best?

Posted on: Mon, 05/16/2011 - 05:45

Those would be fine, personally I do the bent over variation.

Posted on: Wed, 04/13/2011 - 22:06

I've been having good progress with this workout and it's been a lot of help. So, thank you.

I do have a question, I know you said that the order is important, But I've been having some problems, especially on Legs (Mon). By the time I am done with the squats, press & extension, my legs are s weak and shaky I cannot keep them still enough to perform a solid stiff-leg deadlift. Would it be better for me to switch the deadlift and make it first/second or would it be better to try something else?

Posted on: Mon, 04/18/2011 - 03:29

Hi, perhaps try SLDL after squats and see how you go, if you still have problems it might be worth thinking about splitting legs onto 2 days and training hamstrings separately.

Posted on: Wed, 04/13/2011 - 15:34

great work out! be most effective, how much rest time between sets? say 30 secs to 1 min doing some ballistics stretching?

-cheers, Mike

Posted on: Mon, 04/18/2011 - 03:23

Hi, I would use rest times of around 1 minute.

Posted on: Wed, 04/13/2011 - 14:43

Hey I've been doing this workout for a while I was wondering how long are you suppose to do this routine?

Posted on: Mon, 04/18/2011 - 03:23


I would take a rest week after about 12 weeks, you can continue using the routine until you stop seeing gains.

Posted on: Wed, 04/06/2011 - 09:35

My right arm seems stronger. Anything wrong? I am right handed and i have muscle soreness also.