While there is no “single right way” to structure your workout program, below are some common strength training splits, based on days per week, that may help you to get started.

These obviously do not take into account any specific goals, injuries, or restrictions you may have.

In this article I will not be discussing sets, reps, rest time, or specific exercises. If you want more information on any of those topics, you can find them below:

Common Training Splits Based On Days Per Week


3 Days Per Week (Full Body Split) – If you are limited to 3 days or less, full body workouts with a focus on compound movements are generally your best choice for maximum calorie burn and targeting the most muscle groups. See the picture for a standard full body split template.

4 Days Per Week (Lower/Upper Split) – This is my preferred training schedule as it gives you a lot of flexibility and options. You can get great results training 4 days per week, and it leaves you 3 days left over for extracurricular activities such as Yoga, bike riding, or simply taking your rest days. You can manipulate the rest days however you’d like, the only rule being to alternate between lower and upper and to get all 4 workouts in within the 7 day period. Easy enough right?

5 Days Per Week (Lower/Upper/Arms/Lower/Upper) – 5 days per week is generally best suited for advanced lifters. There are many ways to structure a 5-day per week split (see the picture). To give you some other options, you could do Upper/Lower/Upper/Lower/Arms & Shoulders or even Lower/Chest/Back/Lower/Upper. Find what works best for you.

6 Days Per Week (Lower/Chest/Back/Lower/Chest/Back) – 6 days per week is not exclusive to bodybuilders and figure competitors, but most of the general population does not fall into this category. Anyhow, the split in the picture gives a little more detail as to what a standard 6-day split routine looks like. 

workout program


I hope this helps! If you have questions on how to structure your own workout or you’ve got a favorite split of your own, leave a comment below!

Online Fitness Coach Brian DonovanBrian Donovan is a certified fitness and nutrition coach, and the founder of Online Fitness Coach – an online fitness program where clients get direct coaching and personalized training and nutrition plans. Coach Brian was voted Chicago’s “Best Personal Trainer” by Chicago Reader magazine, Best Of Chicago 2014 edition. He has been featured in publications and websites such as Muscle & Fitness, Chicago Reader, Voyage Chicago, Bach Performance, and The Personal Trainer Development Center (PTDC).

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