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Workout Routine: The 3 Day Split

Updated on January 12, 2014

What is the 3 Day Split Workout Routine?

As you may have gathered the 3 day split is when you evenly spread out three days during the week to lift weights. This is the type of routine for many various kinds of people. I have personally tried the three day split workout schedule and found that it works great. People often lift more than three days a week but if you're an athlete with many practices then only lifting three times a week may be the best option.

Example of Split Workout:


  • Chest
  • Triceps
  • Traps


  • Quads
  • Hamstring
  • Calves
  • Glute


  • Biceps
  • Back
  • Shoulders

Advantages and Disadvantages of 3 Day Split

Like any workout routine there will be some advantages and disadvantages. The three day split is no different so to figure out whether this routine style is for you, then consider the pros and cons listed below.


The 3 day split workout routine is great for athletes because of the increased time available to recover between workouts. I am a college swimmer and I lift three times a week during season because otherwise there would be no way to gain muscle. Little recovery equals little muscle growth.

The three day split routine also allows you to commit less time to workout out. So if you're a busy person with a demanding job, then try this workout style out to help save time in the gym. Sometimes knowing that you only have so much time to workout enables you to workout faster and harder.

This method also enables you to focus on particular exercises. If you really love benching and squating, then you'll be able to really give it all you've got on those days because you'll be rested up. This can be beneficial when trying to maximize the amount of weight you can lift.

This method can be good for beginners because as a beginner lifter you will generally need more time to recover than experienced lifters.


If you are only lifting weights and nothing else, then this routine may not be for you. Of course you could fill in the days not lifting with other activities if you have the time, but just lifting three days a week won't do too much to build muscle work capacity or muscle endurance.

With a three day workout routine, it can also be difficult to work all of the muscle groups you want to. These workout days might take longer because you're trying to squeeze in all of the exercises you want to do. This in turn can lead to under-performing in the later exercises due to fatigue.

What Exercises to Do for 3 Day Workout Routine?

Since you will only be in the weight room three times out of the week it would be best to do compound exercises. These exercises involve the whole body and multiple muscles. Such exercises include: squats, deadlifts, pull-ups, push-ups, power-cleans, etc. Generally body weight exercises are full body but they won't allow you to build as much muscle as with weights.

If you're going to do the three day routine then I would also suggest lifting heavy weights even when performing pull=ups and dips. If you have a belt you can use to put weights on then doing weighted body weight exercises shouldn't be difficult to set up.

Weighted body weight exercises are fantastic for building functional muscle as well as providing an easy to follow progression in weights as you get stronger. I remember starting to do weighted pull-ups with a five pound weight attached. I would do three sets of eight repetitions which was tough. After a couple of weeks I moved onto ten pounds, and a couple of weeks later fifteen, and so on. Treat your body right, take care of it every day, challenge it whenever you can, and soon you'll be seeing the benefits.

Check out the video below for some quick ideas and questions to ask yourself to decide what your workout routine should be like. This is not my video but I think it brings up some good points. Keep in mind that training specific muscle groups is a bodybuilding technique and should only be done if you desire that physique. Athletes should use more compound exercises as expressed above.

Some Quick Advice


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    • greenmind profile image

      GreenMind Guides 

      22 months ago from USA

      Not sure about the tongue trick, but this hub at least is smart and really well-written, thanks!

    • Dania Razzak profile image

      Foyjur Razzak 

      5 years ago from Dhaka

      A favorite workout hint is usually to place your tongue up to your mouth's roof when you are doing sit-ups or crunches. It is possible to avoid injuries and strains.


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