The Best Workout Split for MAXIMUM Muscle Gains

  • Published: 11 November 2018
  • Whether you are following a total body workout split or a bro split (or any variation of) you are going to want to watch this video. Find out the best workout split for building maximum muscle gains and overall performance. There is a key message that you will not want to miss when it comes to answering this question truthfully and without relying on simple studies to do so.

    When we talk about workout splits we are referring to the way that you break up your training over a period of time. Generally, this is the amount of workouts that it takes to complete one cycle of training and that ensures that you are hitting all of the areas you are attempting to target in your workouts. One of the most popular ways to split up workouts right now is actually one of the oldest in the books, and that is total body training.

    This refers to performing three total body workouts per week, generally on a Monday, Wednesday and a Friday with the remainder of the days either being reserved for conditioning or rest. The benefits to this type of training are the higher focus on compound lifts that are designed to hit maximum muscle in each lift as well as the increased time for recovery.

    Additionally, as science would indicate, hitting a muscle (even with a lower daily volume) more frequently in a training cycle is one of the most effective ways to make it grow. This would mean that if you were once following a more traditional bro split where you trained say chest just once per week with twelve to sixteen sets you would now be doing it as four to five sets per day over the three days in the week.

    The restimulation of the chest every 48 hours is sufficient to increase muscle protein synthesis without waiting too long to hit the muscle again (as would happen with a bro split - or at least a poorly planned one). Does that mean that bro splits don’t work? Not at all. In fact, this is one of those instances of throwing the baby out with the bath water. Nobody could argue that the single muscle group per day routine has been effective for some. Maybe not as much as total body training, but there are many instances of it working well, and quite well to be exact.

    How can that be? How can something that is somehow proven by science to be inferior actually produce results that in some cases are superior? That is because the real best way to split your workout for maximum gains is to switch what you are doing when you can honestly answer that you have stopped making gains in either strength, size or both. Just because something is supposed to be the best doesn’t mean that it is best for you at this time. Changing your split may reveal to you that certain muscle groups of yours are more responsive on a different training cycle.

    The best you could do at that point is take the observations that you have made and use them to adapt your workout plan to idealize the volume and frequency that your body responds to the best. This video is meant to open your eyes to that possibility. If you are looking to change your current workout split and want to be sure you are putting the latest science into your workouts to make sure you get it right, head to the link below to pick the program best suited to your goals.

    For more videos on how to split up your workouts and the best workout splits for strength and muscle size, be sure to subscribe to the link below.

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Comments • 5 037

    ATHLEAN-X™   10 months back

    Want to win an ATHLEAN-X program for free, no strings attached? Click the link below to find out how!

    • Lisa karneeb
      Lisa karneeb  3 days back

      Your awesome and knowledgeable!! Question how often should you switch up your splits? I am assuming 3-4 weeks??

    • Music.
      Music.  3 weeks back

      @OvaChicken Yeah I should Good idea !

    • Heath's HobbyLobby
      Heath's HobbyLobby  3 weeks back

      Can you post a video of good bro split routine for people who want to get into bro splits for the first?

    • OvaChicken
      OvaChicken  3 weeks back

      @Music. of course. You have no chance, Take up chess maybe ?

    • Manny More
      Manny More  3 months back

      Jeff !! Im a beginner! I was confused! Now after seeing your vid I’m more confused!! So what’s better? I’m lost

  • Tropsmoo
    Tropsmoo  12 hours back

    I'm a little confused why any of those splits on the board that have triceps on pull days or that group biceps with chest. When you utilize chest like benching, that's a push exercise, it's also utilizing triceps, which is a push. To do any bicep that day is a pull. Why would they be categorized together? Wouldn't/Shouldn't it be always chest with triceps, back with biceps? More shoulder exercises also require triceps and so would be categorized as such. Am I wrong? I've been doing splits with squats, chest, triceps and deadlift, back, biceps with a day off in between... am I doing it wrong?

    • Zetsuke4
      Zetsuke4  20 hours back

      Jeff is my favorite guy on YouTube

      • Zetsuke4
        Zetsuke4  20 hours back

        Fuck I overtrained from doing total body everyday for lengthy sessions each day gotta go back to push-pull-legs now my muscles got wasted and beaten up

        • LONDONEZE
          LONDONEZE  23 hours back


          • Mike'sManCave
            Mike'sManCave  2 days back

            I recently started my new split a few weeks ago. I used to do Monday: back, Tuesday:cardio/abs, Wednesday: chest, Thursday: cardio/abs, Friday: arms/shoulders, Saturday: Legs, Sunday rest.

            Now I’m doing Push/Pull/Legs/Push/Pull/Legs/Rest. On the 4th week of it now.

            • Space_man Irv
              Space_man Irv  2 days back

              Monday-Push 1
              (Chest, shoulders & triceps)
              Tuesday-Pull 1
              (Back & biceps)
              Wednesday-Legs 1
              (Lower body muscles)
              Thursday-Push 2
              (Chest, shoulders & triceps)
              Friday-Pull 2
              (Back &Biceps)
              Saturday-Legs 2
              (Lower body muscles)

              • my name is Jeff
                my name is Jeff  2 days back

                Yo nem is Jeff? Ma nem iz jeff

                • Ben Janes
                  Ben Janes  2 days back

                  A lot of this I gleaned from Athlean-X, or is a subtle modification of the information that Jeff provides. This channel is a fantastic resource. I've lost some of the muscle I gained when I simply wasn't doing as much work, but whenever I follow this routine even somewhat strictly I make noticeable gains.

                  Workout Routine: Chest/Triceps, Back/Biceps, Shoulders/Legs, Rinse, Repeat.

                  General Principles that work for me :

                  (1) Hit every muscle in muscle group with 3-4 sets ranging from lowest to highest weight, or highest to lowest weight.
                  (2) Drop sets on biceps & triceps.
                  (3) One and a half raises on front & lateral raises
                  (4) Use cables after chest and shoulders to squeeze the last bit of juice out.
                  (5) .8 to a gram of protein per pound of weight.
                  (6) I also aim for 2 minutes of shoulder hangs per day.
                  (Got this one from Joe Rogan, and Dr. Ben. I experience less shoulder pain after shoulder workouts now)

                  • Oscar Neri
                    Oscar Neri  3 days back

                    Ive just started habit workouts and I’ve just been doing legs, abs( basically rest day) upper body, and rest and start over, is that bad?

                    • KhoiKO
                      KhoiKO  4 days back

                      Do you like soreness? Work a muscle just once a week lol.

                      • An Engineer
                        An Engineer  4 days back

                        Summary of the video : TEST EVERYTHING AND SELECT WHAT WORKS FOR YOU BEST.

                        • Ee ee
                          Ee ee  4 days back

                          Frequency is king as long as in every session there is progression. Also there might be a limit of how much muscle you can gain per week and it is volume dependent. It is recommended to do max 15 sets per muscle group per week for optimal growth. This volume can be split by multiple training sessions. Doing more volume results in diminished gains.

                          • Magee_Games 1
                            Magee_Games 1  4 days back

                            this is actually finally something that helped me! thank you so much

                            • Adam Port Blue
                              Adam Port Blue  5 days back

                              08:00 roasting Jeff Nippard

                              • Russell Turner
                                Russell Turner  5 days back

                                Hi, I only have 3 days to train. I use to train 5 days a week but with kids and school runs I only have 3. Is a fully body split enough?

                                • A Fera
                                  A Fera  5 days back

                                  There are so many training splits out there. Honestly, I personally follow francesco castanos workout. The musclenow program. frank has been saying one muscle group twice a week for years. I started that routine in 1999. just my opinion. The program just makes sense. It will hit you and you will be like oh shit, lol. No I am not pushing his stuff or sponsored. Being a hard gainer and getting made fun of in high school for being skinny, I started the journey. 158 lbs to 250lbs. Just food and training. Lots of food lol. if I was just starting off and I saw someone gain that much in a short period of time, I am going to listen. Just sayin

                                  • zafe _62
                                    zafe _62  6 days back

                                    Now this all cool and everything but when and where is core workout?? Core is everything and there are so many exercises that effect the core so why do we skip those?

                                    • Frankie Fernandez
                                      Frankie Fernandez  6 days back

                                      Upper/lower body split..Sunday rest.

                                      • Justair
                                        Justair  1 weeks back

                                        In case you’re lost (just like me because I watched this 3 times feeling confused),

                                        Total body split:
                                        Many recovery
                                        48 hours protein synthesis

                                        Push pull split:
                                        Similar to Total Body
                                        Much more frequent
                                        Each workout will be shorter

                                        PPL (2x a week)
                                        Train Similar muscle group function

                                        PPL (1x a week)
                                        Much less volumn

                                        Unorganized bro split
                                        Bad, will train similar muscle two days in a row.

                                        Modified bro split
                                        Just make sure not to train same muscle in 24 hours.

                                        Key message:
                                        If we follow the same split for too long, each split would have weakness and our body will reflect that.
                                        Change up a bit to experiment from time to time. Each individual is different.

                                        • Alexandre Mario
                                          Alexandre Mario  1 weeks back

                                          sir.. i have 2 question and im very very confused about it.. im from Indonesia by the way
                                          1. what you mean by “split kills gain” is that if we keep sticking on the same split while our muscle gain doesnt grow the way we want? and the solution is by trying another splits(?)

                                          2. if we do the same exercise every splits is it more effective than changing exercise on every splits? or it doesnt affect the effectiveness at all?

                                          Thank you :)

                                          • Snake Plissken
                                            Snake Plissken  1 weeks back

                                            I've been studying the older era of bodybuilding due to the fact that modern bodybuilding mentality is geared toward steroid use. I want to know what worked for Steve Reeves, Reg Park, etc. They used full body routines much of the time.

                                            • Lawrence Chand
                                              Lawrence Chand  1 weeks back

                                              Research says ❌
                                              Jeff Cavalier says ✔

                                              • Dalton Davis
                                                Dalton Davis  1 weeks back

                                                Chest and Biceps gives you a dummy pump 💪💪💪

                                                • africaRBG
                                                  africaRBG  1 weeks back

                                                  This is one of my favourite videos of his

                                                  • Yiğit Yurdabak
                                                    Yiğit Yurdabak  1 weeks back

                                                    It looks like you tryed it to be more complicated so we cant understand anything from this working rouitine

                                                    • Safwan Siddiqui
                                                      Safwan Siddiqui  1 weeks back

                                                      Head, shoulders, knees and toes...........I'm dying laughing ........😂😂😂

                                                      • lourdf0x VG
                                                        lourdf0x VG  1 weeks back

                                                        Can you provide what are the push exercise for leg and pull exercise for leg? I really want to try this but i dont know what are the pull/push exercise for legs

                                                        • Sierra Alpha Romeo
                                                          Sierra Alpha Romeo  2 weeks back

                                                          “Research shows”- instead of making a comment in such a way jeff should have mentioned “jeremy ethier” has no experience😁 8:09

                                                          • Abhijit Mitra
                                                            Abhijit Mitra  2 weeks back

                                                            where is the abs in the push pull workout am new to gym

                                                            • Shakirioseats Cheerios
                                                              Shakirioseats Cheerios  2 weeks back

                                                              More memes
                                                              My whole week

                                                              • Rhakesh G
                                                                Rhakesh G  2 weeks back

                                                                i treat my legs the way i treat my girlfriend, forget them and let em dissapear.

                                                                • Sankar Ram
                                                                  Sankar Ram  2 weeks back

                                                                  Here is my split. (Without any research) any comments?
                                                                  Mon: Chest and back ( long day at gym)
                                                                  Tue: Shoulder, Legs (light), Abs, Forearms
                                                                  Wed: Bicep, Triceps, Light Chest and back
                                                                  Thu: Chest and Back (Heavier, Less rep)
                                                                  Fri: Shoulder, Legs, Forearms, Abs, Cardio
                                                                  Sat: Bicep, Triceps (Heavy) , Cardio

                                                                  I anyway do some cardio daily.

                                                                  • mrgclips
                                                                    mrgclips  2 weeks back

                                                                    I'm seriously considering to start a real no-BS power building video series just to expose these drug-addict steroid-user/abuser junk-program-selling BS artists that even with all the drugs look like NOTHING! I can't stand these phonies! 😛

                                                                    • amin hoho
                                                                      amin hoho  2 weeks back

                                                                      I stare with back and biceps on Monday shoulders triceps and traps on Tuesday. Wednesday I train my legs abs and a little bit of biceps then on Saturday I finish with chest and triceps and I'm seeing great results

                                                                      • J. Rambo
                                                                        J. Rambo  2 weeks back

                                                                        I tried everything what works best for me is 5 days in a row then a break then 5 days in a row again i even did 6 days in a row it was crazy haha...did that for like 8 months (4 months 3-4 days days a week when i started) i almost look like Jeff now

                                                                        • Lee S. Reyes
                                                                          Lee S. Reyes  2 weeks back

                                                                          Could someone explain to me pls why are the leg days push and pull?

                                                                          • Exzavier
                                                                            Exzavier  2 weeks back

                                                                            My split
                                                                            Sunday: Rest

                                                                            • Tije Meevis
                                                                              Tije Meevis  2 weeks back

                                                                              isn't it kinda odd to say put the science back in training but than disregard "what studies say" i get that studies and practical experience aren't the same, but a decent study is repeatable and therefor should be close to the practical.

                                                                              • The1nonlyraiden
                                                                                The1nonlyraiden  2 weeks back

                                                                                Ty for the text on the screen it helps to take screen shots and pull them up for later :)

                                                                                • Alexander Larin
                                                                                  Alexander Larin  2 weeks back

                                                                                  Perfect training plan was created a long time ago. Why people are still trying to create something that already exists?!

                                                                                  • LeMan Booker
                                                                                    LeMan Booker  2 weeks back

                                                                                    I like the push, rest, pull method. Thanks Jeff.

                                                                                    • Oskar winters
                                                                                      Oskar winters  2 weeks back

                                                                                      should i be caring about this at all if i work out at home with light weights ? as a total beginner ?

                                                                                      • Mo Luj
                                                                                        Mo Luj  2 weeks back

                                                                                        Used to hit the gym at least 6 times per week. Got busy and only able to go 3 days a week now. Seeing better results with the new routine tbh.

                                                                                        Monday: Back and Shoulders + abs
                                                                                        Wednesday: Chest and legs + abs
                                                                                        Friday: Biceps, Triceps and legs + abs

                                                                                        • Spencer Gadbois
                                                                                          Spencer Gadbois  2 weeks back

                                                                                          He is super knowledgeable but goddamn get to the point! He needs to treat his videos like a public speach and write it out beginning with a thesis, then an outline, etc. and edit it down so he doesn't ramble or puts forward numerous hypotheticals that get him off topic nonstop.

                                                                                          • Jamie Beddard
                                                                                            Jamie Beddard  2 weeks back

                                                                                            My splits .... legs . Shoulders. Knees an toes knees and toes

                                                                                            • Justin Angel
                                                                                              Justin Angel  2 weeks back

                                                                                              "I'm advocating for change."
                                                                                              Jeff Cavalier for President

                                                                                              • Tub
                                                                                                Tub  2 weeks back

                                                                                                Im pretty new to the gym, been training for 10 months
                                                                                                i do 6 day split everyweek so everything gets trained atleast 2 times
                                                                                                monday, 'chest triceps shoulders' tuesday 'back and biceps' and weedensday 'legs and core'.. and then repeat before taking a rest day
                                                                                                ive heard of full body workouts can i have some advice on whats best plz :=) im 19 btw sooo got lots of energy