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6 Bodybuilding Training Splits for Mass Gains

February 5, 2020

bodybuilding training splits for mass gains

How many days a week should you train to pack on muscle mass? What’s the best training split for making gains?

The real answer is there’s is no ‘right answer’ and there is no ‘best training split.’

Rather, I’m going to give you 5 bodybuilding training splits. And at the end of this post, I’ll show you how you to alternate all of these training splits to change up your routine.

About these Training Splits

Cable flyes crossovers for ripped chest

To keep things simple, all of the training splits below start on Monday. Feel free to switch up the days to cater to your schedule.

You’ll also see how certain muscles are trained together in some of the splits. That’s just an example; you can change that around if you want.

The goal here is to just you some ideas on how to use different training splits.

6-Day Training Split

MondayHeavy chest, shoulders, and tricpes
TuesdayHeavy back, rear delts, and biceps
WednesdayLegs (focus on quads)
ThursdayLight chest, shoulders, and tricpes
FridayLight back, rear delts, and biceps
SaturdayLegs (focus on ham)

Training 6 days a week is awesome for 2 reasons:

  1. You want to train the majority of your body parts twice a week
  2. You simply love going to the gym and have more time to dedicate to bodybuilding

To the first point, this workout split is based on the ‘push-pull-legs’ concept.

  • Push day consists of chest, shoulders, and triceps.
  • Pull day is back, rear delts, and biceps.
  • Leg day…well, I hope that’s self-explanatory!

I will say that training this often can be counterproductive if you don’t know what you’re doing. So this bodybuilding training split is more for experienced bodybuilders and weightlifters.

If you’re new, scroll down and choose one of the other splits below.

**Here are some workouts that use a 6-day training split:

Push-Pull-Legs Workout: 6-Day Routine for Mass and Strength
6-Day Bro Split Bodybuilding Workout Plan

5-Day Training Split


Training 5 days a week is an excellent way to focus on just one muscle each workout. And it caters to the typical Mon-Fri schedule. You can work and workout during the week and relax on the weekends.

This also allows you to spend more time on each muscle, which is another reason so many bodybuilders use this split.

**Here’s a mass training workout plan with a 5-day split:

5-Day Workout Routine for Building Mass and Strength

4-Day Training Split

MondayChest and biceps
FridayShoulders and triceps

Many consider training 4 days a week to be the perfect split. It’s a ‘2 days on, 1 day off, 2 on, 2 off’ routine.

Having that extra rest day in the middle of the week give your body and muscles a chance to recover. And we all know that muscle recovery leads to muscle growth.

**A great 4-day workout program is the FST-7 program. Since your workouts are more intense, it’s good to have that day of rest in the middle of the week.

You can read my full FST-7 program for mass gains here:

FST-7 Full Workout Routine for Mass Gains

In addition, I also recommend taking something to increase your testosterone while you’re on an intense program.

You can read more about my recommended test booster here.

3-Day Training Split

MondayChest, shoulders, and tricpes
WednesdayBack, rear delts, and biceps

Training 3 days a week may not seem like a good way to gain mass. But remember, your muscles do not grow in the gym. They grow when you’re resting.

On that note, if you’re only training 3 days a week you must make sure that you’re workouts are intense and you’re exhausting the muscle every workout, every set.

Another thing you’ll notice is that this is similar to the 6-day training split in the sense that it’s using the same ‘push-pull-legs’ method. This allows you to work all of your muscles in those 3 days.

**Training 3 days a week could also be a deload program. Deloading is a great way to take a break from the gym without actually taking a break.

You can read more about deloading (and a full deload program) below:

Deload Workouts: Back-Off To Build More Muscle

Legs Twice a Week Training Split

MondayLegs (focus on quads)
WednesdayChest and biceps
ThursdayLegs (focus on hamstring)
FridayShoulders and triceps

Truth: If you want your legs to grow you should ‘strongly’ consider training them twice a week.

Think about it. Most people dedicate 3-4 days on the upper body but only 1 workout a week to legs. That doesn’t really make much sense. Your legs are the largest muscle in your body.

To top it off, many bodybuilders have trouble making their legs grow. So instead of working them harder and more often they’ll just wear long pants to the gym.

Well, it’s time to break the cycle of small legs with this training split…

**You can read more about how training legs twice a week can help you build an awesome set of wheels. There’s a full program in this post as well.

Training Legs Twice A Week: Your New Leg Routine

Back Twice a Week Training Split

MondayBack (heavy)
ThursdayBack (more concentrated)
FridayChest and shoulders

Another muscle you should pay more attention to is your back. It’s your largest upper body muscle.

Back is a bit more complex as well. There are so many muscles within your back and many bodybuilders have a difficult time making their back grow thicker and wider.

One of the ways to make sure you’re growing this muscle is to hit it twice a week.

How I recommend doing this is to have a heavy back workout followed by a more concentrated back workout 3-4 days later.

**Here’s a full workout program that has you hitting back twice a week:

Train Back Twice A Week to Build Ripped Muscle Mass (Full Workout Routine)

Training Periodization

Stiff Leg Deadlifts back and hamstrings workout

Have you ever noticed that you make some awesome gains for the first few weeks of starting a new workout program?

If you really want to gain mass and make continuous gains it’s important to change up your workout program on a regular basis. This is called periodization.

Here’s an example of a way you can use the training splits above for periodization in your workouts:

  • Weeks 1-3: 4-day training split
  • Weeks 4-6: 5-day training split
  • Weeks 7-9: 6-day training split
  • Weeks 10-12: Legs twice a week split
  • Weeks 13-14: 3-day training split

Many will stay on a program for 8-12 weeks before changing their workout routine. But even then they will have phases during this time where the workouts will have subtle changes without changing the entire program.

**My Hardcore Muscle Building Program actually changes your workouts every 2 weeks. Click here to access that program.

All that said, you don’t want to stay on the same program for too long because your muscles will adapt. This is why your gains come to a halt.

Best Training Split for Mass Gains

The best training split is one that you can stick to. Cater your training split to your schedule in a way that it’s feasible (at the same time, don’t make excuses to miss the gym!).

  • If you have more free time and can train 5-6 days a week, do it.
  • If you have other commitments or if it’s just a busy season in life for you, then you can train 3-4 days a week.
  • There’s also the fact that we need to be flexible and learn to adapt because life is always changing. Sometimes things come up.
  • You may be training 6 days a week but have an event that throws your schedule off. It’s okay if you only train 5 days that, or even 4.

And remember that it’s important to change up your workout routine from time to time. That will help you keep growing.

I hope you enjoyed reading about these bodybuilding training splits for mass.

Feel free to share this article on your social media, and tell your friends which one of these training splits you’re doing.

Excuses Don’t Build Muscle,


About the author

Jason Stallworth

Hi, I'm Jason Stallworth and I created The Muscle Program in 2010 for the purpose of helping you build muscle. I know first-hand how weight training and being in the gym has shaped my life in more way than one. And here is where I share that experience with you so that you can continue pushing yourself and becoming the best version of yourself each day!