Build Your Physique Quickly With This 3 Day Split

A 3 day split workout allows you train your entire body with just 3 sessions per week.

One advantage of a 3 day split is that you’re able to work out all of the different muscle groups in a way that allows you to finish training your entire body with just 3 sessions. It’s a time efficient and balanced way to maximize your strength and muscle gains.

The 3 day split is suitable for beginners and advanced lifters as it focuses on a lot of compound movements, meaning that 1 exercise can hit multiple muscle groups at once. You can also get plenty of time for recovery in-between your sessions so that you don’t have to worry about fatigue and overtraining as much – as long as your diet is in check and you’re getting enough protein!

Keep in mind that there are many variations of a 3 day split. Ahead you will find an effective 3 day split workout you can use to build up your physique quickly. Feel free to adjust the repetitions and weight of the exercises according to your own level of fitness. In terms of rest, it really depends on your fitness goals and the weights you are using. For example, more reps and lighter weight will require less rest time (45-90 seconds). Heavy weights with less reps will require more rest between sets (3 minutes).

Exercise Repetitions Sets
Day 1
Pull Ups 8-10 2-3
Lat Pulldown 8-12 4
Seated Cable Row 8-12 4
Preacher Curls 12-15 4
V-Bar Pulldowns 12-15 4
Standing Bicep Cable Curl 12-15 4
Back Hyperextension 12-15 4
Plank 1-2 Minutes 4
Day 2
Decline Press Ups 10-12 2-3
Bench Press 8-12 4
Pec Deck 12-15 4
Dumbbell Pullover 12-15 4
Kettlebell Swing 12-15 4
Tricep Rope Pulldown 12-15 4
T Press Up 12-16 4
Day 3
Elliptical Trainer 10 Minutes 1
Ab Roller 12-15 4
Barbell Squats 8-12 4
Hip Adduction Machine 12-15 4
Lying Leg Curl 12-15 4
Seated Leg Curl 12-15 4
Side Plank with Leg Raise 1-2 Minutes 4

Day 1: Back and Biceps

On the first day of the 3 day split you will train your back and biceps. One advantage of this combination is that back and biceps are both “pulling” muscles, so working them together allows you to indirectly get more workload on the bicep without having to target it directly.

Pull Ups

Grab the bar tightly with both hands with a fairly wide grip. Raise your feet off the floor and bend your knees, then pull yourself up by pulling your elbows down towards the floor. Make sure to get your chin at least past the bar before lowering yourself back down and repeat.

Do 2-3 sets of 8-10 repetitions as your warm up.

Lat Pulldown

Grab the bar tightly with both hands with a fairly wide grip. Pull it down towards your chest with your elbows pointed towards the floor. Keep your chest pushed out and squeeze your lats as you pull the bar down. Slowly let the bar back up and repeat.

Do 4 sets of 8-12 repetitions.

Seated Cable Row

Place your feet firmly on the pads with your knees slightly bent and grab the handles with both hands. Keep your spine straight, head facing forward and push your chest out. With your elbows pointed towards your hips, pull the bar towards your torso and squeeze your lats, as if trying to make your shoulder blades touch. Slowly release it back to the starting position and repeat.

Do 4 sets of 8-12 repetitions.

Preacher Curls

Preferably use an EZ curl bar. Grab it with both hands roughly your hip-width apart. As you exhale, begin to curl the bar towards your face. As you begin inhale, lower the bar back to the starting position slowly and repeat.

Do 4 sets of 12-15 repetitions.

V-Bar Pulldowns

Grab the V-Bar with both hands and take a seated position. Pull the handle towards your chest in a similar manner to the regular lat pulldown, but make sure your elbows are in, facing your torso. Slowly release the handle back to the starting position and repeat.

Do 4 sets of 12-15 repetitions.

Standing Bicep Cable Curl

Grab the rope with both hands while standing with your feet roughly shoulder-width apart. Make sure your elbows are down by your hips. Curl the rope towards your shoulder and squeeze your biceps, then slowly return it back to the starting position and repeat.

Do 4 sets of 12-15 repetitions.

Back Hyperextension

Anchor your feet on the bench and cross your arms on your chest. Start by lowering your upper body towards the floor in a bowing motion. Keep your glutes squeezed tight. When you get to a 45 degree angle, bring your body back up to the starting position and repeat.

Do 4 sets of 12-15 repetitions.

Plank

This full-body static exercise is a great finisher. Enter a plank position using your forearms for balance. Make sure that your elbows are planted on the floor and keep your glutes and abdomen tight throughout.

Do 4 sets of 1-2 minutes.

Day 2: Chest and Triceps

On the second day of this 3 day split you will train your chest and triceps. The same principle applies to this combination as your triceps are heavily engaged during pressing movements – which are most chest exercises. So it makes sense to train these muscle groups together to maximise your strength and muscle gains.

Decline Press Ups

Keep your body straight with your glutes and abs squeezed tight. Begin to lower your body towards the floor as you inhale, then press yourself back up to the starting position as your exhale and repeat.

Do 2-3 sets of 10-12 repetitions as your warm up.

Bench Press

Lie on the bench with the bar located above your eyes. Grab the bar tightly with both hands using medium grip. Lift the bar up by straightening your arms and begin to lower it towards the middle of your chest. Try to briefly touch your chest with it as you inhale and then press it back up to the starting position as you exhale and repeat.

Read our article for tips on how to increase your bench press.

Do 4 sets of 8-12 repetitions.

Pec Deck

This exercise is a great way to isolate your chest muscles. Adjust the seat to a height that sets the handles to the same level as your chest. Sit down and grab the handles. With your body in a fixed position, bring the handles together, but don’t let them touch in order to keep the tension in your muscles. Make sure to squeeze your chest as you perform the exercise and slowly release the handles back to the starting position, then repeat.

Do 4 sets of 12-15 repetitions.

Dumbbell Pullover

Position yourself on a flat bench and grab a dumbbell firmly with both hands. Plant your feet firmly on the floor and hold the dumbbell with both hands directly overhead. While keeping your arms straight, bend your shoulder and lower the dumbbell behind your head until it reaches the height of the bench. Then, raise the dumbbell back to the starting position and repeat.

Do 4 sets of 12-15 repetitions.

Kettlebell Swing

Begin by standing in an upright position with your feet roughly shoulder-width apart. Lower your body into a half-squat position and grab the kettlebell firmly with both hands. Explode from this position, swinging the kettlebell to roughly the height of your chest. Then, return it back down to a half-squat position with the kettlebell between your legs in a single motion and repeat.

Do 4 sets of 12-15 repetitions.

Tricep Rope Pulldown

Stand upright with your feet roughly shoulder-width apart. Grab the rope with both hands, with your elbows tucked into your sides close to your hips. Pull the rope down towards the floor and seperate it so that each is close to your legs. Slowly release it back to the starting position and repeat.

Do 4 sets of 12-15 repetitions.

T Press Up

Grab two dumbbells (preferably hexagonal) and enter a press up position. Lower your chest to the ground and press yourself back up. Once you reach the top position, raise one dumbbell off the ground and rotate your torso, then return to the starting position. Repeat this movement by alternating sides with each rep.

Do 4 sets of 12-16 repetitions.

Day 3: Legs and Abs

Training your legs and abs on the same day is a good combination because many of the leg exercises activate and engage your core, as well as your spine stabilizing muscles. Studies have actually shown that training your legs, especially with compound exercises like heavy barbell squats, can increase the levels of muscle building hormones in your body.

Elliptical Trainer

Elliptical trainer is a great way to raise your heart rate at the start of your workout. One of the main benefits of using the elliptical trainer over a treadmill is that it can greatly reduce the load on your joints, compared to running.

Do it for 10 minutes as your warm up.

Ab Roller

Start on your hands and knees and grab the handles of the ab wheel with both hands. Roll forward to the point where you feel like you can pull yourself back up. Make sure to keep your abdominal muscles tight and your hips stable. Return back to the starting position and repeat.

Do 4 sets of 12-15 repetitions.

Barbell Squats

Start by placing the bar on your upper back with your feet shoulder-width apart. Lift the bar from the rack and take a small step back. Then, squat down to a 90 degree angle, while pushing your knees to the side and moving your hips back. Keep your chest pushed out throughout the movement and head in a neutral position looking forward. Then, squat back up returning to your starting position and repeat.

Recommended: Learn Proper Squat Form To Get Stronger

Do 4 sets of 8-12 repetitions.

Hip Adduction Machine

Sit down with your back straight, against the pad. Breath out as you pull the legs together in an attempt to squeeze the pads. Once you have reached that point, breath in as you slowly return to the starting position and repeat.

Do 4 sets of 12-15 repetitions.

Lying Leg Curl

Lie down on the bench and adjust the pad to be slightly above your ankles. Now contract your hamstrings, bringing the pad towards your glutes. Slowly return it back down to the starting position and repeat.

Do 4 sets of 12-15 repetitions.

Seated Leg Curl

Adjust the seat so that it sits comfortably against your lower back, then adjust the pad to be slighly above your ankles. Start to extend your legs with your toes pointing up throughout. Return to the starting position and repeat.

Do 4 sets of 12-15 repetitions.

Side Plank with Leg Raise

This is a great static finishing exercise that targets your glutes and obliques. To begin, enter a side plank position, resting on your forearm for balance with the other hand placed on your hips. If you need more balance, you can bend the leg that is touching the ground behind you. Start to raise the leg that is on top as high as you can and hold it. Then, return to the starting position and repeat.

Do 4 sets of 1-2 minutes.

This article first appeared on GYMNASIUMPOST.com on 21st August, 2020.

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