Split workout for muscle building

Nancy Heijnis
20 februari 2022
Reading time: 15 minutes

Split workout for muscle building

A thought many often have is the more often and the harder I train, the better. This is just not always the case. Rest during exercise is also very important for muscle building and to prevent overload. Do you want to train often? Then try a split workout or split schedule!


With a split workout, you focus each workout on a specific muscle group. For example, one day you train your legs, the next day your chest and back and the next day your shoulders and arms. By spreading this you avoid that you get muscle pain all over your body at the same time, so that there is always a muscle group ready for the next workout! You never have to skip a day or workout and the chance of overtraining is a lot smaller. In short, a split workout gives you the best of both: you can give yourself completely during the training and you give your body the rest and time it deserves for optimal recovery!


3-Day split workout for optimal recovery

Our 3 day split workout is the perfect workout if you want to divide multiple muscle groups over the week and if you train often. As the name implies, this equates to 3 workouts, performed each week on 3 different days. It is of course personal whether a 3-day, 4-day, 5-day or even 6-day split workout works best for you. Therefore, think carefully about this in advance and ask for advice from your gym. With the 3-day split workout, for example, you can also choose to train one muscle group for an extra day. For example, many athletes train the chest or legs twice a week. Always make sure that this muscle group has fully recovered from the last training! For example, with a 3-day split schedule, one rest day is often scheduled between each training and also once a 2-day break. For example, train on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and keep the weekend rest for optimal recovery and to be able to pop again the following week!


HON: Split schedule for 3 days

The split schedule below is aimed at 3 days. One workout focuses on the chest and back, one on the legs, and one on the shoulders and arms. For each exercise, the number of repetitions is indicated and an indication of the amount of weight, but the weight is completely dependent on you. You should rest for 30 to 60 seconds after each exercise. It is also up to you whether you start the first day with your chest and back, your legs or your shoulders and arms.


Ready for? Good luck!


Split schedule: Chest & back

1. HALTER - Bench Press

15 reps x 40 kg* > 30 - 60 sec rest

12 Reps x 45 kg* > 30 - 60 sec rest

10 reps x 50 kg* > 30 - 60 sec rest

8 Reps x 55 kg* > 30 - 60 sec rest

1. Lie on your back on a flat bench. Grab a dumbbell with hands slightly wider than shoulder width. The bar should come straight above the shoulders.

2. Press your feet firmly into the floor and keep your hips on the bench throughout the movement.

3. Keep your core engaged and maintain a neutral spine position throughout the movement. Avoid arching your back.

4. Slowly lift the bar or dumbbells off the rack. Lower the bar toward the chest, about nipple level, allowing the elbows to bend out to the side, about 45 degrees from the body.

5. Stop lowering when your elbows are just below the bench. Press the feet into the floor as you push the bar back up to return to the starting position.


2. Low-Cable - Low Crossover (pulley station)

15 reps x 5 kg* > 30 - 60 sec rest

12 reps x 7.5 kg* > 30 - 60 sec rest

10 reps x 10 kg* > 30 - 60 sec rest

8 Reps x 12.5 kg* > 30 - 60 sec rest

1. Attach stirrup handles to the low pulleys of a cable machine.

2. Next, grab both handles and stand in the center of the cable machine.

3. Place one foot forward and bend your knees slightly.

4. Now lift both cables up with the arms extended to the midline of your body at about head height and at the same time tighten your chest. Exhale during this part of the exercise.

5. Slowly lower your arms back to the starting position and inhale.


3. High-Cable - High Crossover (pulley station)

15 reps x 7.5 kg* > 30 - 60 sec rest

12 reps x 10 kg* > 30 - 60 sec rest

10 reps x 12.5 kg* > 30 - 60 sec rest

8 reps x 15 kg* > 30 - 60 sec rest

1. Attach stirrup handles to the high pulleys of a cable machine.

2. Take one in each hand - your arms should be straight in line with your thighs.

3. Place one foot slightly forward, support your core and pull the handles up, crossing in front of your face.

4. Then return to the starting position and repeat


4. Easy Chin Dip - Reversed Grip Pull Down

15 reps x 40 kg* > 30 - 60 sec rest

12 Reps x 45 kg* > 30 - 60 sec rest

10 reps x 50 kg* > 30 - 60 sec rest

8 Reps x 55 kg* > 30 - 60 sec rest

1. First, sit on the lat pulldown machine and attach a wide handle to the machine and assume a seated position

2. Now grasp the bar with an inverted or underhand grip at shoulder width (palms facing you).

3. Exhale as you pull the bar down until it touches your upper chest and squeeze your back muscles and hold for a count of two.

4. Inhale as you return the bar to the starting or starting position.

5. Repeat this exercise for the desired number of reps.


5. Bent-Over Dumbbell Row

15 reps x 14 kg* > 30 - 60 sec rest

12 reps x 16 kg* > 30 - 60 sec rest

10 reps x 18 kg* > 30 - 60 sec rest

8 Reps x 20 kg* > 30 - 60 sec rest

1. Assume a standing position holding a dumbbell in each hand with a neutral grip.

2. Hinge forward until your torso is roughly parallel to the floor (or slightly above it), then begin the movement by pushing the elbows behind the body while contracting the shoulder blades.

3. Pull the dumbbells toward your body until the elbows are at (or just past) the midline, then slowly control the dumbbells back to the starting position.

4. Repeat for desired number of reps.


6. Reverse Cable Fly (pulley station)

15 reps x 7.5 kg* > 30 - 60 sec rest

12 reps x 10 kg* > 30 - 60 sec rest

10 reps x 12.5 kg* > 30 - 60 sec rest

8 reps x 15 kg* > 30 - 60 sec rest

1. Place two cables at chest height and attach a handle.

2. Reach across your body and grab a handle with a neutral grip. Repeat for the other arm.

3. Place the arms straight forward while holding each handle and keep a gentle bend in the knees.

4. Keep the elbows slightly bent and pull the handles sideways without squeezing the shoulder blades excessively.

5. Slowly lower the levers under control back to the starting position.

6. Repeat for desired number of reps.


7. Cross Trainer

Duration: 10:00 min


8. Hip Flexor Stretch

20 sec front right

20 sec left front

1. Kneel on your right knee. Place your left foot flat on the floor in front of you, knee bent.

2. Lean forward slightly and extend your right hip toward the floor.

3. Hold for 20 seconds and switch.


9. Supine Lower Trunk Rotation

20 sec to the right

20 sec to link

1. Begin lying on your back with your knees bent and your feet on the floor.

2. Keeping your back flat, slowly rotate your knees toward the floor until you feel a stretch in your torso and hold.

3. Keep your back and shoulders in contact with the floor.

*Note: the weight is an indication, the amount completely depends on your body. So start with weight that suits your body. Is an exercise indicated to increase or decrease the weight? Then try to do this!


Split Schedule: Deadlift & Legs

1. Dumbbell - Deadlift

15 Reps x 60 kg* > 30 - 60 sec rest

12 reps x 70 kg* > 30 - 60 sec rest

10 reps x 80 kg* > 30 - 60 sec rest

8 Reps x 90 kg* > 30 - 60 sec rest

Step 1: Stand with your feet hip-distance apart and squat until your thighs are horizontal. Keep your back straight. Grab the barbell with hands slightly wider than shoulders apart.

Step 2: Exhale, contract your abs and lift the barbell with your legs. When the barbell reaches your knees, push your hips forward to raise your torso so that you stand upright. Your arms at your sides and the barbell rests on your thighs. Hold for 2 seconds, inhale and lower the weight to the floor.


2. Bulgarian Split Squat with Dumbbell

15 reps x 10 kg* > 30 - 60 sec rest

12 reps x 12 kg* > 30 - 60 sec rest

10 reps x 14 kg* > 30 - 60 sec rest

8 Reps x 16 kg* > 30 - 60 sec rest

1. Hold a dumbbell in each hand with your arms fully extended at your sides and your palms facing each other. Place your feet hip-width apart and place the instep of your back foot on a bench. †

2. Lower your hips toward the floor so that your back knee is close to the floor.


3. Lay Extension

15 Reps x 60 kg* > 30 - 60 sec rest

12 Reps x 65 kg* > 30 - 60 sec rest

10 reps x 70 kg* > 30 - 60 sec rest

8 Reps x 75 kg* > 30 - 60 sec rest

1. Place your hands on the handles.

2. While exhaling, lift the weight until your legs are almost straight. Don't lock your knees. Keep your back against the backrest and do not arch your back.

3. Exhale and lower the weight back to the starting position.


4. Lay Curl

15 reps x 45 kg* > 30 - 60 sec rest

12 reps x 50 kg* > 30 - 60 sec rest

10 Reps x 55 kg* > 30 - 60 sec rest

8 Reps x 60 kg* > 30 - 60 sec rest

1. Set up the machine with the knees aligned with the machine's pivot point.

2. Adjust the roller so that your feet and ankles are sticking out (place the pad just above your Achilles tendon).

3. Tighten your abs and glutes and inhale and slowly bring the bar towards your buttocks until you can go no further. Pull your toes up and make sure your legs don't turn in or out.

4. Then slowly lower the weight to the starting position and exhale.


5. Leg Press Calf Raise

15 reps x 100 kg* > 30 - 60 sec rest

15 reps x 100 kg* > 30 - 60 sec rest

15 reps x 100 kg* > 30 - 60 sec rest

15 reps x 100 kg* > 30 - 60 sec rest

1. Adjust the leg press machine to your height and set the desired weight.

2. Place your feet with the ball on the surface of the foot, leaving your heels free to move.

3. Push the weight away, drawing the power from your calves. Keep your knees slightly bent to avoid overstretching.

4. When you have pushed the weight as far as you can with your foot, hold this position for a moment and keep the tension on your calves for a few seconds.

5. Now move back to the starting position.


6. Multipower Calf Raise Seated

15 reps x 70 kg* > 30 - 60 sec rest

12 reps x 80 kg* > 30 - 60 sec rest

10 reps x 90 kg* > 30 - 60 sec rest

8 Reps x 100 kg* > 30 - 60 sec rest

1. Adjust the machine as desired. You sit upright on this machine with your knees under the lever.

2. Place the balls of your feet in the appropriate place.

3. Push yourself up from the balls of your feet as far as you can.

4. Hold the starting position for a while and tighten your calves.

5. Come back to the starting position.


7. Hip Abductor

12 reps x 40 kg* > 30 - 60 sec rest

12 reps x 40 kg* > 30 - 60 sec rest

12 reps x 40 kg* > 30 - 60 sec rest

1. Be sure to properly adjust the machine's back pad and position footrests in a comfortable position.

2. Exhale and push your legs out as far as possible. Hold this position for a second, then return to your starting position.

3. Repeat for desired number of reps.


8. Piriformis stretch (Stretch hips, back, glutes).

1. Sit on the floor with both legs extended in front of you.

2 Cross your right leg over your left and place your right foot flat on the floor.

3. Place your right hand on the floor behind your body.

4. Place your left elbow on your right knee and press your right leg to the left while twisting your torso to the right. Stay like this for 20 seconds. sit quietly

5. Switch sides and repeat.


9. Knee-to-chest stretch (stretches lower back, hips, hamstrings).

1, Lie on your back with both legs straight.

2. Draw your right knee into your chest, keeping the left leg straight and your lower back pressed against the floor.

3. Hold for 30 seconds to 2 minutes.

4. Repeat with the other leg.

*Note: the weight is an indication, the amount completely depends on your body. So start with weight that suits your body. Is it indicated during an exercise to increase the weight?


Split Scheme: Shoulders & Arms

1. Dumbells - Arnold Press - Standing

15 reps x 10 kg* > 30 - 60 sec rest

12 reps x 12 kg* > 30 - 60 sec rest

10 reps x 14 kg* > 30 - 60 sec rest

8 Reps x 16 kg* > 30 - 60 sec rest

1. Grab two dumbbells and raise them to your shoulders. Keep your elbows at the sides with your palms facing you;

2. Press the dumbbells overhead in a smooth motion - not all the way to the point where your arms are fully extended - while rotating your hands at the same time. In this upward move, your thumbs should rotate inward so that your palms face away from you at the top of the move;

3. Hold this position for a moment, then reverse the movement, lowering the weights and returning your hands to the starting position.


2. Cable Standing - High Row (pulley station)

15 reps x 12.5 kg* > 30 - 60 sec rest

12 reps x 15 kg* > 30 - 60 sec rest

10 reps x 17.5 kg* > 30 - 60 sec rest

8 Reps x 20 kg* > 30 - 60 sec rest

1. Attach the cable to the high pulley. Grab the handle and stand back a few steps. Raise your elbows to shoulder height. This is your starting position.

2. Pull back and out to the sides with your elbows, concentrating on the contraction of the back.

3. Avoid contraction of the biceps, relax your arms and wrists, pull only with the posterior deltas.

4. Don't pull your shoulder blades together or your head back.

5. If the weight is pushing you forward, try resting the front foot on a support or stand on one knee.


3. Cable Standing - Face Pull (pulley station)

15 reps x 5 kg* > 30 - 60 sec rest

12 reps x 7.5 kg* > 30 - 60 sec rest

10 reps x 10 kg* > 30 - 60 sec rest

8 Reps x 12.5 kg* > 30 - 60 sec rest

1. Place the pulley (pulley) at the desired height. About at the height of the knees.

2, Grab a handle in both hands.

3. Take a few steps back so that the cable is under tension with your arms straight.

4. Place one foot slightly in front of the other for a more stable stance and bend your knees slightly. This is your starting position.

5. Pull the center of the cable towards your face and bring both hands/handles approximately next to your eyebrows/forehead. Not higher.

6. Bring the weight back to the starting position in one to two seconds in a controlled manner.


4. Cable Standing - Lateral Raises (pulley station)

15 reps x 2.5 kg* > 30 - 60 sec rest

12 reps x 3.75 kg* > 30 - 60 sec rest

10 reps x 5 kg* > 30 - 60 sec rest

8 Reps x 7.5 kg* > 30 - 60 sec rest

1. Place the pulley low. Stand sideways to the pulley station and place your feet shoulder-width apart with a slight bend in the knees. Put your feet firmly on the ground.

2. Keep your back straight, chest out. Tension your upper body/core by tightening your abs, glutes and lower back.

3. Now reach across your body and grab the stirrup with your outer arm.

4. Slightly bend your elbow to a 10 to 30 degree angle and raise your arm sideways until it is level with your shoulder, exhaling as you lift.

5. Avoid twisting your arm as you raise the stirrup, and keep your focus on the area you want to train - the middle shoulder.

6. Hold this position for 1-5 seconds, then inhale as you slowly lower the weight back. Let the cable come to a complete stop before starting the next rep.


5. Dumbbells - Arm Curl Twist

15 reps x 6 kg* > 30 - 60 sec rest

12 Reps x 8 kg* > 30 - 60 sec rest

10 reps x 10 kg* > 30 - 60 sec rest

8 reps x 12 kg* > 30 - 60 sec rest

1. Grab a dumbbell in each hand. Stand up straight with your feet together and palms inward and thumbs forward.

2. Squeeze your biceps and lift 1 dumbbell in a controlled manner. Your upper arm remains level with your upper body. While lifting the dumbbell, slowly rotate your wrist outward so that your palm is facing up at the end of the movement.

3. Once at the highest point, slowly lower the dumbbell back down while turning your wrist back in to return to the starting position. Make sure to keep contracting your biceps even after your arm is back in the starting position.

4. Do this movement alternately on each arm.


6. Dumbbells - Hammer Curl

15 reps x 6 kg* > 30 - 60 sec rest

12 reps x 8 kg* > 30 - 60 sec rest

10 reps x 10 kg* > 30 - 60 sec rest

8 reps x 12 kg* > 30 - 60 sec rest

1. Grab a dumbbell in each hand. Stand up straight with your feet together and palms inward and thumbs forward.

3. Slowly raise both dumbbells toward your shoulder in a slow controlled motion.

4. When raising, keep the upper arm as still as possible. So you make the movement completely with your forearm, your upper arm remains in the same place.

5. Squeeze your biceps and slowly lower the dumbbell back down in a controlled manner.

6. Repeat this movement for the desired number of reps.


7. Dumbells - French Press

15 reps x 8 kg* > 30 - 60 sec rest

12 reps x 10 kg* > 30 - 60 sec rest

10 reps x 12 kg* > 30 - 60 sec rest

8 Reps x 14 kg* > 30 - 60 sec rest

1. Lie on a sturdy bench with your knees bent and your feet flat.

2. Hold the dumbbells in each hand and extend your arms straight up over your chest.

3. Keeping your palms facing each other, keep your upper arms in the same position (straight up). Bend your elbows and slowly lower the dumbbells next to your head to ear level, until your forearm is at a 45-degree angle with your upper arm.

4. Pause here for two seconds, push back to the starting position.


8. Cable Standing - Biceps Cable Curl (pulley station)

15 reps x 15 kg* > 30 - 60 sec rest

12 reps x 17.5 kg* > 30 - 60 sec rest

10 reps x 20 kg* > 30 - 60 sec rest

8 Reps x 22.5 kg* > 30 - 60 sec rest

1. Place 1 cable down and attach a narrow cable/handle for 2 hands.

2. Face the cable machine, keep your feet flat on the floor.

3. Grasp the cable handle with both hands. Knuckles down!!!

4. Tighten your core and keep your back straight

5. Hold the cable in front of your waist

6. Use only your forearms and bend the cable to your chest

7. Hold for a moment and then return to the starting position

*Note: the weight is an indication, the amount completely depends on your body. So start with weight that suits your body. Is an exercise indicated to increase or decrease the weight? Then try to do this!

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