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 • 5 218

    ATHLEAN-X™   12 months back

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

    • COgunLover
      COgunLover  2 weeks back

      I need this free program. I am 35 and have changed everything in my life over the past year. I need to continue to change for growth

    • Nathan Brinson-O’Dea
      Nathan Brinson-O’Dea  2 weeks back

      Zlatan well some research is probably not credible but that’s why you analyse research and weigh the evidence to come to a conclusion. Haha yeah I get that and he has every right to say that and market his business that way, I was just criticising it and pointing out why I thought it was wrong. Yeah for sure, I agree.

    • Zlatan
      Zlatan  3 weeks back

      @Nathan Brinson-O’Dea I don't know how credible some research is really. However you are right what he said wasn't right.
      He really spent over 13 minutes saying nothing other than comes over to my website. Which I understand, at the end of the day he is running a business. But this thing about the research was just wrong.

    • Jack man
      Jack man  1 months back

      ATHLEAN-X™ hey Jeff I’m 21 yrs old and have been going to the gym for a little over a year and for about the past 8 months I’ve been doing a Push Pull Legs Split but I don’t switch the routine (Push A vs Push B) I normally spend about 90 min every workout. Is it possible for me to be overworking my muscles? (I don’t mind spending the time in the gym I just don’t know if that’s actually hurting me) I’m 5’11 148

    • Lisa karneeb
      Lisa karneeb  2 months back

      Your awesome and knowledgeable!! Question how often should you switch up your splits? I am assuming 3-4 weeks??

  • Tubecraft1
    Tubecraft1  7 hours back

    I love what you have to say but you’re talking so fast I can’t learn

    • Jose muñoz
      Jose muñoz  10 hours back

      Jeff Nippard disliked this video

      • Gabe L
        Gabe L  19 hours back

        I don’t think I’ve heard this explained better. Actually helped me understand how I might need to split up my workouts

        • baz hennessy
          baz hennessy  1 days back

          Thanks for wearing a shirt

          • Grady Willson
            Grady Willson  2 days back

            this is a phenomenal video

            • tututuims ieijebdo
              tututuims ieijebdo  2 days back

              I'm honestly confused. So what's the optimal split for muscle development? Full body split? Does this work with every type of body?

              • joe louden
                joe louden  4 days back

                My favorite training schedule: constant change.

                • Albert Fischer
                  Albert Fischer  4 days back


                  • HooX
                    HooX  4 days back

                    I am more confused, ffs

                    • Thomas Debbarma
                      Thomas Debbarma  4 days back

                      Jeff really gives away most of the knowledge which other YouTubers would just sell those in a programme and still get not as effective as it should be....Hats off for Jeff.... He's the best.

                      • Siddharth Bhandari
                        Siddharth Bhandari  4 days back

                        I'm so glad I've always practiced this method based on my own experience and comfort, even though people in my gym kept telling me that's not how it's done.. and were all focused on bro splits

                        • Ralph Mubs
                          Ralph Mubs  5 days back


                          • Aaron Blythe
                            Aaron Blythe  5 days back

                            Can you make a Video about what you learned from Ronnie Coleman?

                            • sferrin2
                              sferrin2  5 days back

                              I loved total body split when I was first working out but trying to do heavy squats, deadlifts, various presses, arms, abs, calves, etc., and hit them hard, in one workout not only took hours but I had to pace myself if I didn't want to run out of gas before the end. Now I do Push / Pull / Legs twice a week with the heaviest exercise first. Made it so I could keep intensity up for the entire workout.

                              • Tiego Phetla
                                Tiego Phetla  5 days back

                                Is it just petty me or does it sound like Jeff is taking a little jab at another Jeff who bases all his work on what research says? 🤔

                                • Orda Burda
                                  Orda Burda  6 days back

                                  Best work out
                                  Mo sleep
                                  Th sleep
                                  Wed sleep
                                  Do sleep
                                  Fr sleep
                                  Sa sleep
                                  Sun sleep

                                  • Average Anime Fan
                                    Average Anime Fan  6 days back

                                    1.4k bro splitters hating on the vid. 🤣 😂

                                    • Cesar Pena
                                      Cesar Pena  1 weeks back

                                      Thank you Jeff

                                      • Jedsan G
                                        Jedsan G  1 weeks back

                                        My workout split:
                                        Monday: ears
                                        Tuesday: fingernails
                                        Wednesday: teeth
                                        Thursday: my butthole
                                        Friday: left testicle
                                        Saturday: eyelids
                                        Sunday: REST

                                        DM me for some personal training

                                        • Punisher Destroyer
                                          Punisher Destroyer  1 weeks back

                                          Full body is the answer... Period...

                                          • MRCroosingTootH
                                            MRCroosingTootH  1 weeks back

                                            How about the 8-day splits? Maybe they are better?

                                            • Six Abs Predator
                                              Six Abs Predator  1 weeks back

                                              Thanks jeff it really motivated me to change my workout

                                              • abcmaya
                                                abcmaya  1 weeks back

                                                My Splits are...

                                                Day1 Chest/Triceps/Shoulder
                                                Day2 Biceps/Back
                                                Day3 Rest
                                                Repeat from Day 1 (I have midget legs, No need to train lower body)

                                                • Aaron Wolf
                                                  Aaron Wolf  1 weeks back

                                                  So it's ok to workout on one muscle like your arms in one day and the next day it's workout on a different muscle like your chest

                                                  • hayd wardy
                                                    hayd wardy  1 weeks back

                                                    What to understand is that changing your routine shocks your muscle so keep it fresh and changing ;)

                                                    • Ben White
                                                      Ben White  2 weeks back

                                                      Much appreciated Jeff! Really been needing this video for a good while now. Your a badass man. You have most defiantly made me a believer! Just because of you, I've been able to make a pretty awesome transformation. Keep kicking ass Jeff!.....

                                                      • Napolion Dynmomite
                                                        Napolion Dynmomite  2 weeks back

                                                        In 1995. Chris Duffy said he only did one set [heavy] per day

                                                        • Somthing OR another
                                                          Somthing OR another  2 weeks back

                                                          Going to watch this video again. For sure! Thanks Jeff. You are the best.. And thank you for sharing 9n YouTube. I come close to your program but it just doesn't fit my schedule yet (financial).. But your knowledge and skills are paramount. I don't watch anyone else. Your technique and science based lessons.. Are very much the watly. "it is da way".. " you will show me da way" (spoken in a African accent) (#I will show you da way video)

                                                          • Donald Mingo jr.
                                                            Donald Mingo jr.  2 weeks back


                                                            • Robert Dorante
                                                              Robert Dorante  2 weeks back

                                                              Just look up HST program, this is best for natural lifters.

                                                              • Yunshan Luo
                                                                Yunshan Luo  2 weeks back

                                                                8:01 I used to say: but athlean x says

                                                                • Erik Swaving Dijkstra
                                                                  Erik Swaving Dijkstra  2 weeks back

                                                                  Hello, i'd like to share my splits. I go to the gym 8 times a week (personally go twice on mondays and twice on fridays) with 1 rest day (sunday/saturday).

                                                                  Day 1 Chest/Triceps
                                                                  Day 1 Legs
                                                                  Day 2 Back biceps
                                                                  Day 3 Sholder/Traps/Chest
                                                                  Day 4 Legs
                                                                  Day 5 Chest/Triceps
                                                                  Day 5 Back/Biceps
                                                                  Day 6 Core-workout

                                                                  • Glenn Snel
                                                                    Glenn Snel  2 weeks back

                                                                    My Split that worked wonders for me:
                                                                    Monday: Lower.........(quad focused)
                                                                    Tuesday: Upper.........(chest/back/shoulders)
                                                                    Wednesday: Arms.....(Tricep/Bicep)
                                                                    Thursday: Lower.......(Ham/Glute Focused)
                                                                    Friday: Upper.............(chest/back/shoulders)
                                                                    Saturday: Arms.........(Tricep Bicep)
                                                                    Sunday: Rest.............(Couch or gaming chair)

                                                                    And sometimes i Alternate it with:
                                                                    Lower - Upper - rest - Legs - Push - Pull - Rest.

                                                                    Edit: the only thing i wish i could do was to give a bit more rest between upper and arms. But oh well.

                                                                    • Jovany Maldonado
                                                                      Jovany Maldonado  2 weeks back

                                                                      I'm an individual, that really got me🥺

                                                                      • redframe garcia
                                                                        redframe garcia  2 weeks back

                                                                        this is the only video of athleanx where there is no exact answer to a question of what is the best workout split but the word "change" 🤔🙄

                                                                        • Radoslav Varshilov
                                                                          Radoslav Varshilov  2 weeks back

                                                                          Great video! I am a beginner 10 weeks at the gym only and i am doing 3 days full body workout and it really works for me i am gaining muscle and strength and my body looks proportional i recover good and i belive not every workout works for every body.
                                                                          A lot people will tell do this workout famous body builders did it but its shit you have to adjust yourself to the best workout for you i agree!

                                                                          • Victor Ionut
                                                                            Victor Ionut  2 weeks back

                                                                            I don t see anyone talking about HST training , what s your opinion on it ?

                                                                            • Thomas Donnelly
                                                                              Thomas Donnelly  2 weeks back

                                                                              He is basically advocating for change and argues that experience trumps everything, so what you have to do is try and figure out, through trial and error, what works best for you.

                                                                              • Utkarsh Dave Sahni
                                                                                Utkarsh Dave Sahni  2 weeks back

                                                                                I find push pull legs to be the best for getting results, but bro splits are good for vanity. Your biceps, chest and shoulders will look way better if you dedicate a whole day of 15 sets to them as opposed to if you use some of your energy working your back, triceps and legs together with those muscles

                                                                                • kjgujzfrzu7
                                                                                  kjgujzfrzu7  2 weeks back

                                                                                  Has anyone tried the banana split? It's the best routine there is :)

                                                                                  • Justin Fox
                                                                                    Justin Fox  2 weeks back

                                                                                    Full body is king

                                                                                    • Steinar asger
                                                                                      Steinar asger  2 weeks back


                                                                                      • Tarang Dutta
                                                                                        Tarang Dutta  3 weeks back

                                                                                        My split :
                                                                                        Day 1: Head
                                                                                        Day 2: Shoulders
                                                                                        Day 3: knees
                                                                                        Day 4: toes
                                                                                        Day 5: look alive
                                                                                        Day 6: it's time to go

                                                                                        • uniz p
                                                                                          uniz p  3 weeks back

                                                                                          What duration should a split be maintained (eg, 1 month, 2 months, or 3 months) before working with another split?

                                                                                        • Michael Moore
                                                                                          Michael Moore  3 weeks back

                                                                                          Great advice, thanks Jeff. We all have different objectives, different time restraints and different bodies. Do your research, fine, but try different things and see how they work for you.

                                                                                          • Hicham Baidi
                                                                                            Hicham Baidi  3 weeks back

                                                                                            I train twice a day
                                                                                            Morning is at home
                                                                                            Push ups 5x40reps
                                                                                            Dips 4x20
                                                                                            wide pull up 4x12
                                                                                            Arm pull up 4x12
                                                                                            Abs 5x30

                                                                                            Evening I train one muscle at the gym
                                                                                            Rest 1 day or 2 depends on the feeling

                                                                                            Just gained a lot

                                                                                            What do you think about it ?

                                                                                            (Don’t tell me it’s too much, or say it and explain :) )

                                                                                            • gibson gibson l
                                                                                              gibson gibson l  3 weeks back

                                                                                              Arnold, mentzer and all of thoses guys were loaded up to the max with steroids! they are not examples...