What Is The Best Workout Split?

Five-day splits offer you the chance to launch a full-scale assault on a target muscle by maximizing volume and exercises for advanced-level growth. Here are two classic options.

Training Guidelines

  • The sets listed below include only working sets, not warm-up sets. Do as many warm-up sets as you need, and never take warm-ups close to muscle failure.
  • Choose 4-5 exercises per larger muscle groups and 2-4 for smaller ones, selecting a load that triggers muscle failure in the 8-12 rep range to maximize hypertrophy.
  • Rest for 60-90 seconds between sets.
  • Because you’re training a single muscle group for more sets, consider intra-workout supplements that help combat fatigue. For example, you could take some BCAAs during your workout and/or intra-workout carbs to ensure energy levels don’t dip.
  • Add either abs or calves wherever makes the most sense to you, up to three times a week.
  • For the arms workout, alternate the order each week. One week do the biceps first, and the next week do triceps first.

Five-Day Split Program 1: Five On, Two Off

This one is popular with trainers who want their weekends off. But that comes at a cost! You’ll have to be committed to training before or after work or school, and be fully prepared to optimize your muscle recovery post-training so you’re ready to go again within 24 hours. The upside, however, is you have your weekends to rest up and recover so you can feel well rested by Monday to start the cycle anew.

On alternate weeks, do the biceps first, then triceps.

Five-Day Split Program 2: Two On, One Off

As mentioned, the higher volume of a five-day split demands greater recovery, and that’s built into this two days on, one off cycle. Rest days are inserted every third day, though you’ll still hit every body part over the course of seven days. This arrangement necessarily requires occasional weekend training days, and rest days will precede every major muscle group at least once every two weeks.

Here’s a common schedule for this approach:

Whenever possible on this split, try to avoid working pushing and pulling muscle groups twice on consecutive days, although this may not always be possible. One big advantage of this particular split is that the biceps and triceps, smaller muscle groups that recover more quickly, get trained twice over the split. This is a great strategy if you’re looking for serious arm growth. Since your arms have already been worked pushing the heavy loads on chest and back days, these supplemental arm workouts can be nothing more than a single exercise that’s primarily focused on the pump.


Zefmesh 2nd floor, Megenagna, Addis Ababa