Shaun's 30 Minute Workout Split Routine

A 5 day muscle building split routine for those who are pressed for time. Each workout can be completed in 30 minutes.

Workout Summary

Build Muscle
Split
Intermediate
5
Barbell, Cables, Dumbbells, EZ Bar, Machines
Male & Female

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
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
Chest
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
Calves
Exercise Sets Reps
Seated Calf Raise 4 8-10
Wednesday - Shoulders
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
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
Triceps
Exercise Sets Reps
EZ Bar Skullcrushers 3 10
Cable Tricep Extensions 3 10
Reverse Grip Cable Tricep Extensions (Drop sets) 3 12
Biceps
Exercise Sets Reps
EZ Bar Preacher Curls 4 10
Standing Hammer Curl (Drop sets) 3 10

Saturday and Sunday - Rest Day

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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 %.

79 Comments+ Post Comment

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

Hi,

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

Regards

Anand
India

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

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

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

Hi,

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?

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

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?

Thanks!

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

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?

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

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

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

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!

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

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!

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

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?

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

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

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

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).

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

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

REST
LEG CURLS
SET 1 - 50kg x 10 reps
NO REST
SET 2 - 40kg x 10 reps
NO REST
SET 3 - 30kg x 10 reps
REST
NEXT EXERCISE

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

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

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

2 minutes between sets, 1 minute between exercises

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

1 minute and 2 minutes!

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

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

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

Front squats

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

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.

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

Hi,

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.

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

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.

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

Standing Barbell curls would be a solid replacement.

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

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.

Thaks

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

Hi,

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.

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

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

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

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

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

Hi

Cable Cross Overs would be the best replacement!

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

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

https://www.muscleandstrength.com/exercises/cable-crossovers-%28mid-ches...

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

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

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

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?

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

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.

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

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

-cheers, Mike

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

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

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

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

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

Hi

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

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

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

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Posted Mon, 04/11/2011 - 03:20
Shaun

This is normal for people new to training, you need to try and even it out though. To do this use dumbbells, always start with your weaker arm and never do extra reps on the stronger arm.

Muscle soreness is normal.

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Posted Tue, 04/05/2011 - 09:01
Harsha

Great workout. I keep switching workouts but i think i am gonna stick with this. One question though. My right arm seems to be stronger and lift weights better. Is something wrong?

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Posted Fri, 04/01/2011 - 15:47
jeff

Hey I was wondering what should I do if Im getting all the reps when I work out?

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Posted Mon, 04/04/2011 - 09:33
Shaun

Hi

If you hit the reps with good form then it's time to use heavier weight.

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Posted Fri, 04/01/2011 - 10:09
russycarps

Shaun - great workout. I'm packing on some nice lean muscle mass.

Couple of quick questions:

1. If for any reason I miss a day out, is it better to skip that muscle group for the week and rigidly stick to the plan, or should I just do it the next day, ie say I miss the gym on monday, should I then do legs tuesday, or skip legs for the week and do chest on tuesday as per the plan?

2. How important is the order of each specific exercise each day, ie for back is it much better to do lat pull downs followed by machine row etc or does it not really matter at all.

Cheers

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Posted Mon, 04/04/2011 - 09:32
Shaun

Hi

Glad you are seeing results,

If you miss one day I would try and get it in there before the end of the week, so push everything back a day or work on the planned off day.

It is important and I have designed the routine with this in mind, having said that the example you use is an example of where it's not so important, on back day you could train upper back first followed by your lat exercises if you wanted to.

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Posted Tue, 03/29/2011 - 21:35
Cameron Cordell

Whats a good diet? Im 16 and needing to get a six pack and get alot of tone. What diet do you suggest?

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Posted Sun, 04/03/2011 - 16:12
Shaun

Hi

You can take a look in the nutrition section for diet advice and sample diets and I have posted my diet up a few times in my work out log over on the forum.

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Posted Tue, 03/22/2011 - 09:41
Sean Helmuth

I used to work out all the time I'm 30 years old now and I lost what I had how can I start getting healthy again and put mucle back on my body along with weight

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Posted Wed, 03/23/2011 - 04:30
Shaun

Ofcourse you can! Get your diet sorted and pick a good routine and you will be on your way..

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Posted Tue, 03/15/2011 - 14:21
Nick

In the incline dumbbell press/incline dumbbell flys superset (as well as the barbell shrug/bent over row), is it 4 of each or 4 in total? I tried it today with 3 of each and that was pretty intense. Especially for my shoulders. And wouldn't it be better with back on wednesdays and shoulders on thursdays in stead of the other way around? I'm just thinking of fatigued arms after the back workout and then having arms the next day?

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Posted Fri, 03/18/2011 - 04:58
Shaun

A drop set is completing multiple sets of the same exercise without rest between the sets, you will drop the weight for each set. A superset is completing 2 different exercises with no rest in between.

EG DROP SET
DB BENCH PRESS
2x20kg 10 reps then 2x15kg 10 reps then 2x10kg 10 reps <- no rest in between the sets, you would generally not repeat this, it would count as 3 sets.

EG SUPERSET
DB BENCH PRESS 2x10kg 8 reps then DB FLYES 2x6kg 10 reps <- no rest in between these sets... this is one set, then you rest, then repeat.

It is 4 of each, I presume that you have been training seriously for at least a couple of months? If it causes discomfort then stop doing the exercise.... if it's just your muscles aching then man up.

It is better to work arms after back day not before. This is a routine designed for those with limited time, if you have more than half an hour to spare then I would not be working arms on a separate day.

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Posted Tue, 03/15/2011 - 01:01
Nick

What are the differences of a drop set and a super set and also what are the advantages?

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Posted Wed, 02/02/2011 - 17:10
joe

hi im 15 years old i would like to know some ways to put on muscle and gain weight quickly.Also i have a gym membership so i can do all your workouts do you think they will be good for me?

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Posted Wed, 02/09/2011 - 03:27
Shaun

Hi

My work outs will help you to gain muscle yes, if you are new to training then you need to start with a beginner routine.

Your diet is key to building muscle, more so than what you do in the gym.. if you're not making gains you probably need to look at your diet.