The Best Workout Split for MAXIMUM Muscle Gains

  • Published: 11 November 2018
  • Whether you are following a total body workout split or a bro split (or any variation of) you are going to want to watch this video. Find out the best workout split for building maximum muscle gains and overall performance. There is a key message that you will not want to miss when it comes to answering this question truthfully and without relying on simple studies to do so.

    When we talk about workout splits we are referring to the way that you break up your training over a period of time. Generally, this is the amount of workouts that it takes to complete one cycle of training and that ensures that you are hitting all of the areas you are attempting to target in your workouts. One of the most popular ways to split up workouts right now is actually one of the oldest in the books, and that is total body training.

    This refers to performing three total body workouts per week, generally on a Monday, Wednesday and a Friday with the remainder of the days either being reserved for conditioning or rest. The benefits to this type of training are the higher focus on compound lifts that are designed to hit maximum muscle in each lift as well as the increased time for recovery.

    Additionally, as science would indicate, hitting a muscle (even with a lower daily volume) more frequently in a training cycle is one of the most effective ways to make it grow. This would mean that if you were once following a more traditional bro split where you trained say chest just once per week with twelve to sixteen sets you would now be doing it as four to five sets per day over the three days in the week.

    The restimulation of the chest every 48 hours is sufficient to increase muscle protein synthesis without waiting too long to hit the muscle again (as would happen with a bro split - or at least a poorly planned one). Does that mean that bro splits don’t work? Not at all. In fact, this is one of those instances of throwing the baby out with the bath water. Nobody could argue that the single muscle group per day routine has been effective for some. Maybe not as much as total body training, but there are many instances of it working well, and quite well to be exact.

    How can that be? How can something that is somehow proven by science to be inferior actually produce results that in some cases are superior? That is because the real best way to split your workout for maximum gains is to switch what you are doing when you can honestly answer that you have stopped making gains in either strength, size or both. Just because something is supposed to be the best doesn’t mean that it is best for you at this time. Changing your split may reveal to you that certain muscle groups of yours are more responsive on a different training cycle.

    The best you could do at that point is take the observations that you have made and use them to adapt your workout plan to idealize the volume and frequency that your body responds to the best. This video is meant to open your eyes to that possibility. If you are looking to change your current workout split and want to be sure you are putting the latest science into your workouts to make sure you get it right, head to the link below to pick the program best suited to your goals.

    For more videos on how to split up your workouts and the best workout splits for strength and muscle size, be sure to subscribe to the link below.

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Comments • 4 563

    ATHLEAN-X™   7 months back

    Want to win an ATHLEAN-X program for free, no strings attached? Click the link below to find out how!

    • Dark Magna
      Dark Magna  2 days back

      That was one of my take-away's as well. More so, because I've recently watched another video with a different trainer and I think he implied the same thing.

    • Grey Fox
      Grey Fox  2 days back

      Great vid!!! Absolutely right about changing your regime if you don’t see changes. Question though: how long should you still give your regime if you notice that results (wether it be bulking or shredding) are minimal or even none?

    • Frost Reaper
      Frost Reaper  5 days back

      gordon russell when I do chest tri i have 8 differ t chest work outs 3 sets of 8-10 and 7 different triceps work outs 3 sets of 8-10.
      Idk if this is to much but I’ve been growing a lot

    • gordon russell
      gordon russell  5 days back

      @Frost Reaper thank you will do

    • Frost Reaper
      Frost Reaper  5 days back

      gordon russell chest tri/back bi/legs shoulder/ rest day / repeat this worked amazing for me after you do this also read about shocking your muscles

  • nunya buizznazz
    nunya buizznazz  4 hours back

    I just wrote a whole thing bitching about your "Bro split" set up
    then continued watching and saw you fix it lol
    Good stuff

    • Tristun Alekzander
      Tristun Alekzander  4 hours back

      Great advice. I just started working out and I noticed bigger gains before I started splitting, which I was told to do by another YouTuber. I think I will experiment with different regiments.

      • Tristun Alekzander
        Tristun Alekzander  4 hours back

        WHERE'S THE CORE!?!?

        • Ethan Foster
          Ethan Foster  5 hours back


          Jeremy Ethier: Am I a joke to you?

          • Jody Wainwright
            Jody Wainwright  5 hours back

            This is helpful. My split is as follows
            But my arm development sucks. Thinking maybe I’ll hit tris with chest and bis with back in addition to working them solo on Friday. And see what happens.

            • Joshua Cortez
              Joshua Cortez  7 hours back

              I used to do bro splits all the time 😂 always discouraged me from working out from being too sore. With Jeff's program I actually am sticking with the workout routine. I highly recommend it 💪

              • fizerek
                fizerek  9 hours back

                I'm, doing for years now, total body training and finding it really effective and works really well on me! I don't find myself or my body gets bored on training because of the vast amount of excercises and muscles involved in every move!plus if you happend to miss a day at the gym, you will probably feel more relaxed that you've covered some of today's missing training, on a previous day. So im really satisfied, but before I get misunderstood, im just pinning what's working on me and my body! I would recommend to try it and see it for yourself tho.

                • twz
                  twz  21 hours back

                  Watched the whole video and still didnt learn what brosplit will give me the gainz 😥

                  • Edwin Perez
                    Edwin Perez  22 hours back

                    Why does every video you put out make sense?

                    I have no idea what I’m doing at the gym, I thought I did but I don’t. fml

                    • SuperSerg
                      SuperSerg  22 hours back

                      MANS SPITTING TRU FAXXXX

                      • Leonard Vitacion
                        Leonard Vitacion  23 hours back

                        Thanks Jeff

                        • Gilbert
                          Gilbert  1 days back

                          i think you should listen to your body

                          • Niki Moore
                            Niki Moore  1 days back

                            Hey Jeff! I'm a woman new to weights and I have been doing mon/wed upper body and tues/Thurs lower body. Is that going to be an effective way of working out?

                            • itsdani2u
                              itsdani2u  1 days back

                              Is the concern with how a "beginner" approaches [less] split days/week based more on the potential to overtrain and/or be injured or due to other factors? I'm trying to understand how I can balance split days and cardio effectively as a beginner for fat loss (while building strength most efficiently). My primary goal is building strength and resilience but I have fat to lose also. Thx

                              • potato psoas
                                potato psoas  2 days back

                                I just use an app and it tells me what to do

                                • lavege thomas
                                  lavege thomas  2 days back

                                  I'm glad someone said the back by science is BS I started doing PPL splits and it works for me.

                                  • Ashwin Thomas
                                    Ashwin Thomas  2 days back

                                    Wow!! So what he finally said was that stop doing all the researches and experiment your own body, Challenge yourself and do those challenges in a proper way.

                                    • wlbernie
                                      wlbernie  2 days back

                                      How do you feel about low volume training for natural lifters?

                                      • Samir Strasser
                                        Samir Strasser  2 days back

                                        The top yellow one is me

                                        • Panel Van Halen
                                          Panel Van Halen  2 days back

                                          Welp, some of us only have like 45 minutes per morning to train so if you can show me how to properly train chest, shoulders and triceps in that time without half assing everything then cool, until then, bro splits it is

                                          • Aurimas Kriauciukas
                                            Aurimas Kriauciukas  2 days back

                                            I still don't understand what kind of workout ruotine should I use :/

                                          • HyperMous3
                                            HyperMous3  2 days back

                                            Monday: put your right foot in
                                            Tuesday: put your right foot out
                                            Wednesday: put your right foot in
                                            Thursday: shake it all about
                                            Friday: Do the hokey pokey
                                            Saturday: and turn yourself around
                                            Sunday: Rest

                                            • Claire Redfield
                                              Claire Redfield  2 days back

                                              I'll just do a full body workout 3 times a week

                                              • A La Madre Productions

                                                Bro splits 😂 but damn hes right 👏👏👏

                                                • ZekiYC
                                                  ZekiYC  2 days back

                                                  Im a beginner (5 month) and I’ve been using the PPL, 6 days a week. Is that bad and should i change it to upper-lower or full body?

                                                  • William Roman
                                                    William Roman  2 days back

                                                    After watching/listening to this video a few times and feeling confused, here are the main points that stand out to me.

                                                    No one split is perfect. All the splits he shows have their pros and cons.

                                                    Don't follow the same one for too long or else your body will get used to it and you'll stop seeing results.

                                                    If you're not seeing results with particular muscles, then modify or switch to a different split that works those muscles more often.

                                                    11:28 really brought it all together for me.

                                                    • GD USBlues
                                                      GD USBlues  2 days back

                                                      Probably one of your best videos......

                                                      • Drum Therapy
                                                        Drum Therapy  3 days back

                                                        13 mins and 51 seconds of Jeff explaining specificity

                                                        • Tom S
                                                          Tom S  3 days back

                                                          Thank you Jeff. After 35 years of training the same basic split workouts I'm gong to try a full body routine for 3 months. When I was in my 20's I trained each muscle 2x per week with 1 day off. For the last 20 years I've been training each muscle 1x per week and always to failure every set after warmups. What you are saying is "Change" is the key to new muscle growth and I believe you. This is going to be really weird not doing 12 sets per muscle group but here goes.

                                                          • Shabba Ranks
                                                            Shabba Ranks  3 days back

                                                            I've got great results on a 4 day split so whatever lol

                                                            • Qintz
                                                              Qintz  3 days back

                                                              why does leg day get a bad rep man I like doing leg day more than my push day (chest, triceps, shoulder day)

                                                              • Oscar Gurrola
                                                                Oscar Gurrola  3 days back

                                                                This channel and Jeff are amazing, every time I have a question I search this channel and Jeff has a deep thorough explanations that answers questions I didn't even know I had!

                                                                • Leo Lonely
                                                                  Leo Lonely  4 days back

                                                                  this sounds like a TED talk

                                                                  • Agustin Viera
                                                                    Agustin Viera  4 days back

                                                                    Thanks a lot for your work Jeff! This is so helpful! Keep on it! From Basque country.

                                                                    • Stk 123
                                                                      Stk 123  4 days back

                                                                      Thank you...that was very helpful!!!!!!!!

                                                                      • CHRISTOPHER CHANG
                                                                        CHRISTOPHER CHANG  4 days back

                                                                        Mind is blown... And as confused as ever...

                                                                        • Miguel
                                                                          Miguel  4 days back

                                                                          this just goes on to confirm the age old standard of bodybuilding: is some part of your body lagging? hit it more often. Dont forget your compound movements tho, lmao

                                                                          • zamira -
                                                                            zamira -  4 days back

                                                                            can someone let me seriously know if my split makes sense:

                                                                            day 1: upper body (abs, back, arms)
                                                                            day 2: legs (all type of exercises with a lot of compounds)
                                                                            day 3: hiit
                                                                            day 4: rest

                                                                            • Tim eric
                                                                              Tim eric  5 days back

                                                                              man, all the way from Kenya...indeed this is the science back in training...thanks man, Cheers!!!

                                                                              • Fieris
                                                                                Fieris  5 days back

                                                                                Follow my routine for best gains Day 1: Knees Day 2: Elbows Day 3: Wrists Day 4: Neck Day 5: Ankles

                                                                                • Too Slick
                                                                                  Too Slick  5 days back

                                                                                  Jeff should have a series called “straight to the point videos”

                                                                                  • Jebbie Sans
                                                                                    Jebbie Sans  3 days back

                                                                                    Yes! Lots of info in these vids, but a lot of word salad too.

                                                                                • Cann Abinoid
                                                                                  Cann Abinoid  5 days back

                                                                                  Just do face pulls, 1 hour per day, 6 days a week. Problem solved.

                                                                                  • Trolling soul
                                                                                    Trolling soul  5 days back

                                                                                    im confused.

                                                                                    • Jared Duval
                                                                                      Jared Duval  5 days back

                                                                                      Someone has probably already thought of this, but with all of these perfect bis, tris, shoulders, etc series, it would help a great deal if he made a perfect push/pull workout series as well. Or those other muscle groups that should be trained together like back/triceps

                                                                                      • Jared Duval
                                                                                        Jared Duval  5 days back

                                                                                        I don't know how to manage a whole push/legs/pull split with each workout under 1 hr

                                                                                    • My Amigo
                                                                                      My Amigo  6 days back

                                                                                      Mon-back, bi and abs
                                                                                      Tue-chest, tri and abs
                                                                                      Wed-legs, shoulders and abs

                                                                                      Thu-back, bi and abs
                                                                                      Fri-chest,tri and abs
                                                                                      Sat-legs, shoulders and abs

                                                                                      Worked best for me.

                                                                                      • Frost Reaper
                                                                                        Frost Reaper  6 days back

                                                                                        what do you guys
                                                                                        think about Chest Tri/Back Bi/Legs shoulder restday then repeat!

                                                                                        • gordon russell
                                                                                          gordon russell  6 days back

                                                                                          Thanks for making these vids .Iam 59 year old since eating g right and making it a life style choice have lost 18 kilo correcting bad posture even stopped smoking only the last month.started skipping I could never have done that.fav face pulls and on a roller light weight bring elbows near shoulders and t let hand touch floor above head thank you for the education.would have signed up for exercise program thou on disablity can't afford thou do follow your vids and how to work around thank you Gordon Australia