The Best Muscle Building Split to Increase Size and Strength

Whether your intentions are to increase muscle size or strength, the best training split for you is actually no split at all. Full body workouts are the top tier and logical choice for anybody looking for “quick” gains in muscle size and strength.

The simple fact of the matter is that the more muscle you can activate during a workout the greater growth stimulation you’ll receive. We have many more Workout Routine Articles Now Available.

I invite you to take 3 compound exercises such as any mentioned on the list below. Choose an upper body pull, an upper body push and a compound lower extremity exercise.

Stick with about five or six sets of 3-6 reps with 60 seconds and no more then 90 seconds of rest between sets. Some exercises can be done for slightly higher reps but not the big barbell lifts.

I normally wouldn’t recommend my clients perform an exercise that requires maximal tension or has a significant risk factor involved be done for more than six to eight reps(most times no more than 6 reps).

It’s important to understand that I am not married to any particular philosophy or paradigm in regard to any training routine or program. I’m simply offering my perspective. I don’t care about what you or anybody else chooses to do, that’s your business.

I do however, encourage you to consider what your goals are and to structure a feasible plan that’s going to get you there!

It’s important that you do understand that you have to pay attention to many of the training splits that you’ll find (in magazines for instance) and identify and potential problem areas.

For example, if you were to do shoulder exercises one day, doing chest exercises the next day would increase your risk for injury.

The reason is, the deltoids are going to be heavily impacted during both sets of exercises (as are the triceps – however the deltoids are more susceptible to injury).

If you’re dead set on utilizing a strength training split then be sure to incorporate full body movements. To begin the process of finding the best strength training split for you, you need to figure out your schedule.

If you’re doing a three day split, you’ll obviously need to hit all of your muscles during this time.

Remember it can be as convenient as taking 3 compound exercises such as an upper body pull, an upper body push and a compound lower extremity exercise from the list below to have a gnarly workout.

Remember to warm up and throw in a finisher at the end of your training!

Top 30 Muscle Building Exercises

Compound Lower Extremity:


Trap Bar Deadlifts



Walking Lunges

Reverse Lunges

Good Mornings

Turkish Get Ups

Sled Pull

Sled Push

Kettlebell Swings

Upper Body Pull:

Pull Up

Chin Up


Snatch Grip High Pulls

Barbell Bent Over Row

Single Arm Dumbbell Row

T Bar Row

Reverse Grip Row

Alternating Dumbbell Hammer & Standard Curl

Hang Cleans

Upper Body Push:

Parallel Bar Dips

Ring Dips

Clean and Press

Log Clean and Press

Standing Overhead Press

Military Press

Bench Press

Push Press


If you’re an advanced trainee and feel the need to utilize a split routine, the following can be a great place to start. You can always make adjustments as needed to better suit your goals.

Split Routine #1 (3 Days Upper Body & 3 Days of Lower Body)

Monday: (Compound) Lower Body / Sprints

Tuesday: Upper Body Pull

Wednesday: Upper Body Push

Thursday: (Compound) Lower Body

Friday: Off

Saturday: Upper Body Push/Pull

Sunday: (Compound )Lower Body

Split Routine #2

Monday: Legs

Tuesday: Chest/Shoulders/Triceps

Wednesday: Off

Thursday: Back and Biceps

Friday: Cardio / Core

Saturday: Off

Sunday: Off

Another great strength training split for you could be:

Split Routine #3

Monday: Biceps / Lower Chest

Tuesday: Triceps / Back

Wednesday: Shoulders / Quads

Thursday: Hamstrings / Back

Friday: Shoulder Press / Arms / Upper Chest

Saturday: Off

Sunday: Off

The important thing to remember is that when your schedule changes, so should your exercise routine. If you find that you aren’t going to be able to do a routine on a scheduled day, make sure you make it up on one of your off days. This ensures that you continue to benefit from the exercises. If you find that you are off for a long period of time because of vacation or a life event, go back into your routine slowly. We have many more Workout Routine Articles Now Available.