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What Are the Best Workout Splits to Build Muscle?

4th Oct 19

When it comes to exercise, there is a lot you need to know about to make sure you’re getting the best deal. Its time consuming, after all. One of the best ways to manage your time and your workouts, especially in weight training routines, is to split your workouts. Finding the best way to do it, however, is easier said than done. That’s why we’ve brought you the best workout splits we think you should try.

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Targeting Muscle Groups

When you’re weight training, you really need to be hitting every muscle group in your body equally. That usually gets broken down into:

  • Upper Back
  • Lower Back
  • Shoulders
  • Chest
  • Triceps
  • Biceps
  • Core/abs
  • Glutes
  • Quads
  • Hamstrings
  • Calves

That’s a lot of muscle groups, so how do you find time to hit them all? Especially when there’s overlap.

There are actually a lot of ways to do it.


Person doing compound exercise

The first point of contact for many of us is the full-body workout split. You train a little bit of everything multiple times per week, but not as intensively as giving them their own day. This is one of the best ways that you can really get the most out of beginner gains, especially, but as far as training goals go, too, it’s awesome for strength building.

It’s not as rigid as it may sound either, especially compared to other workout splits. You can do a little bit of everything or push yourself and do some awesome compound exercises. Exercises that use more than one muscle group are up there with the most efficient after all, since you’re getting more bang for your buck and can lift much heavier weights. The downside is you’re only as strong as your weakest muscle. It’s all relative. There’s more to muscle than just mass and appearance, after all. If you’re looking for real power, compound exercises like you often see in this kind of workout split is just what the doctor ordered. Awesome.


Workout 1

  • Bench Press
  • Squats
  • Bent Rows
  • Calf Raises

Exercise 2

  • Lat Pull Downs
  • Deadlifts
  • Shoulder Presses
  • Bicep Curls

Workout 3

  • Leg Press
  • Seated Row
  • Tricep Pulldown
  • Dumbbell Flyes

Push-Pull Legs

Image of push pull legs workout split

The next workout split, and arguably the most famous and potentially the best for what it offers you, is the mighty push-pull legs. It’s pretty much exactly what it sounds like too, which is always nice. It means that you’re splitting your workouts into three sections. Push workouts use your chest, shoulders and triceps; pull workouts use your back, biceps, and legs.

These splits mean you can use all of the muscles to their fullest potential and still have enough of a break in between to minimise the risk of injury, as well as give you everything you need in only three workouts. You’re hitting complimentary muscles HARD.



  • Bench Press
  • Incline Bench Press
  • Shoulder Press
  • Tricep Extensions


  • Lat Pulldown
  • Seated Row
  • Bent Row
  • Hyperextensions
  • Bicep Curls


  • Deadlift
  • Squat
  • Lunges
  • Calf Raises
  • Leg Curls


Close up of bicep isolation

Last but by no means least is the isolation workout split, which makes things even more specific. That’s great for the more advanced lifter that is seriously dedicated to the cause. So much in fact, that it means you need to be exercising around six times a week. That’s a lot of time spent in your gym.

Nevertheless, it works. The idea behind it is that you split up your muscle groups into specific workouts. Not always too equally, either. It focuses on the arms, back, chest, shoulders, legs and abs. They all have their own dedicated day, which means you can really max them out, and you don’t have the worry about them getting fatigued through working other muscles first. That’s often a problem with other exercises since your chest uses your triceps to train, for example, back and biceps etc.


Workout 1

  • Pull Ups
  • Lat Pull Down
  • Seated Row
  • Bent Row
  • Rear Delt Flyes
  • Hyper Extensions

Workout 2

  • Bench Press
  • Incline Bench Press
  • Pec Flyes
  • Push Ups
  • Cable Crossovers

Workout 3

  • Chin Ups
  • Bicep Curls
  • Hammer Curls
  • Concentration Curls

Workout 4

  • Russian Twists
  • Crunches
  • Reverse Crunches
  • Leg Raises
  • Plank
  • Pike

Workout 5

  • Squats
  • Leg Curls
  • Leg Extensions
  • Lunges
  • Leg Presses
  • Calf Raises

Workout 6

  • Tricep Pull Down
  • Tricep Dips
  • Kickbacks
  • Skull Crushers
  • Tricep Push Down

Overall, these are all more than viable training workout splits. They’re all awesome for what they have to offer you, and if you use them to their full potential, they’ll all help you build muscle. They’re all designed for different purposes. If you get bored with one, switch it out. That’s the best way to maximise your progress anyway. Find what you enjoy doing and what fits in with your lifestyle, and go from there.

To see full examples of each workout split we’ve talked about in much more detail, check out the links below:

Before beginning any exercise or nutrition program, consult your physician, doctor or other professional. This is especially important for individuals over the age of 35 or persons with pre-existing health problems. assumes no responsibility for personal injury or property damage sustained using our advice.

If you experience dizziness, nausea, chest pain, or any other abnormal symptoms, stop the workout at once and consult a physician or doctor immediately.