How to Pick The Right Workout Split

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Are you wondering how to plan your workouts every week to get the best results? Let’s talk about different workout splits, and how they can help you reach your fitness goals!

Things to Consider

When picking your workout split, here are a few things to consider, according to this article:

  • Time
  •  Goals
  •  Experience
  •  Rest & Recovery
  •  Age

You want to hit every muscle group in a workout split, but how to do so will depend on these factors, namely your fitness goals, availability to commit to a workout split, and how much recovery your body will need. Your workout split may not be the same as others, and that’s okay.

Here are three common workout splits to use or incorporate into your workout routine:

Upper/Lower Workout Split

The Upper/Lower Body workout split is suitable for beginner lifters, or people on a time crunch in the mornings. The important thing is to target each muscle group, and do a little bit of everything. Your upper body days should include the chest, back, shoulders, biceps, triceps, and forearms. Your leg days may target the glutes, hamstrings, quads and calves. Ultimately, you can do whatever is comfortable. Your upper/lower split may look something like this:

  • Monday: Upper Body
  •  Tuesday: Lower Body
  •  Wednesday: Rest or Cardio
  •  Thursday: Upper Body
  •  Friday: Lower Body
  •  Saturday: Full Body
  •  Sunday: Rest Day

Or something like this:

  • Monday: Upper Body
  •  Tuesday: Lower Body
  •  Wednesday: Rest
  •  Thursday: Upper Body
  •  Friday: Lower Body
  •  Saturday Rest
  •  Sunday: Rest/Cardio

The first example is similar to what I did when I started lifting, and eventually, once I became more comfortable and made goals for myself, I adjusted accordingly. I incorporated a day of cardio or the option of a recovery day and included a full-body workout. This may work for people who need to take that day off in the middle of the week, or need time to get used to lifting. The other example may work better for people who are getting used to the gym and need more recovery. Over time, you may decide you don’t like chest exercises, and that’s okay! You’ll figure out what you like, and what goals you want to achieve.

Push/Pull/Legs Workout Split

This was my go-to workout split for a year, and it works for a lot of people. It consists of a push day, a pull day, and a leg day. Push day involves exercises that require you to push the weight away from you such as chest, shoulders and triceps, whereas pull days include exercises that you pull towards you, like back and biceps.

Here are a couple examples:

  • Monday: Push
  •  Tuesday: Pull
  •  Wednesday: Legs
  •  Thursday: Push
  •  Friday: Pull
  •  Saturday: Legs
  •  Sunday: Rest

Another example:

  • Monday: Push
  •  Tuesday: Glute and Hamstrings
  •  Wednesday: Pull
  •  Thursday: Quads and Calves
  •  Friday: Total Upper Body
  •  Saturday: Legs
  •  Sunday: Rest

The first example is the most common and popular option, however, I included the second example for people who get bored with their workout splits easily and need more variation. I still incorporated the push-pull-legs split however I adjusted it to target specific muscle groups like glutes and quads and have a day dedicated to the full upper body. The only downside to this split is that I feel like the push day is a volume-heavy day, by trying to hit the chest and shoulders on the same day. Nonetheless, it is a good split if you are ready to challenge yourself and reach your goals.

Arnold Split

This workout split belongs to none other than Arnold Schwarzenegger, one of the biggest bodybuilders known to many. This is my current workout split, and it’s been working for me for nearly a year. It consists of 4 arm days and 2 leg days for optimal results. It may not work for everyone, but I feel this has helped me improve my strength by changing up my arms days. Keep in mind, Arnold used performance-enhancing substances to aid his gains, so don’t be fooled.

It looks something like this:

  • Monday: Chest & Back
  •  Tuesday: Shoulders & Arms
  •  Wednesday: Legs (Glute focus)
  •  Thursday: Chest & Back
  •  Friday: Shoulders & Arms
  •  Saturday: Legs (Quad focus)
  •  Sunday: Rest

This example is almost identical to what the Arnold split actually is, however, I altered it according to my own preferences, as can you! He exercised his abs every day, and while I probably should do that too, I engage my core in all of my lifts anyway. I added a glute-focused leg day and a quad-focused leg day so I can focus on different exercises for each leg day.


The takeaway from all of this is that these workout splits alone won’t get you the results you need, but they’re a great start to achieving your goals. Using PEDS won’t get you those results, but rather following a routine, applying progressive overload, and consuming enough protein.

The important thing is to do what works for you! Each workout split is a little bit different from the other, and it takes time to figure out what works best for your body and goals.

Stay tuned for more and contact me if you want to chat about fitness!

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