There are many individuals who believe that the more time spent in the gym, the better. This is very definitely not the case. REST is one of the most essential elements of fitness. This is why three-day exercise schedules are so successful. A three-day exercise schedule gives you the most bang for your money. You can increase the intensity of your exercises as well as your body’s recuperation, resulting in excellent results for both hypertrophy and strength without having to spend as much time in the gym.
Than be clear, we are not suggesting that a three-day split is superior to a four-day, five-day, or six-day split, but for many people, a three-day exercise regimen will enough.
In this article, we will examine who will benefit from a three-day exercise regimen and show you how to create an effective three-day workout schedule.
WHAT IS A 3 DAY SPLIT?
A three-day split is a fitness regimen that consists of three exercise sessions each week on separate days.
So, three workouts on three separate days each week.
A three-day exercise split will often include a rest day between each workout session as well as one two-day break throughout the week.
As an example:
Tu, Th, Sa, M, W, F
While this structure is ideal since the rest days in between enable you to maximize recovery and exercise intensity, workout days may be organized in any manner you choose.
For instance: M, Tu, W F, Sa, Su
M, T, W… and so on.
Again, there are no hard and fast rules for which days of the week to plan your exercises since it is entirely dependent on your schedule, but best practice suggests that you take rest days in between sessions. This offers your nervous system and synergist muscles more time to recuperate, allowing you to maximize energy on training days and promote muscular growth more effectively.
WORKOUT SPLIT OPTIONS FOR 3 DAYS:
Now, let’s talk about the various types of three-day exercise splits, since you have some fascinating choices to select from.
There are many exercise programs that may be used for a three-day split, but we’ve only shown you the four that we believe are the most effective.
• 3 Day Push Pull Leg Split
• Traditional Bodybuilder Three-Day Split
• Upper and lower Three-Day Split
• 3 Day Full Body Split
Let’s go through how each will appear, and then we’ll provide you with example fully-designed programs for all of them.
3 DAY SPLIT PUSH PULL LEG
1st Session: Push
Pull Session 2
Legs (Session 3)
These may be done on any day of the week, although one rest day between push and pull days and two rest days following legs are preferable. Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays are your exercise days.
Push days focus on the chest, shoulders, and triceps; pull days focus on the back and biceps; and leg days focus on the glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, and calves.
3 DAY SPLIT FOR CLASSIC BODYBUILDER
Session 1: Triceps, Chest
Session 2: Biceps and Back
Legs and Shoulders Session 3
This one separates your three main muscle groups, with the lesser muscle groups complementing them. In general, the method described above is the most effective approach to divide the muscle groups. However, if you have particular muscles that are lagging and need extra attention (like as your shoulders or legs), you may arrange the split differently.
As an example:
1st Session: Chest, Back, and Biceps
Session 2: Triceps and Shoulders
Legs (Session 3)
Since with the Push Pull Leg Split, it’s recommended to take one day off between upper body exercise days and two following the leg day, as leg workouts are often the most demanding on the body.
UPPER LOWER 3 DAYS SPLIT
A 2 week perspective will be required to show how an upper lower 3 day split works.
Session 1 of Week 1: Upper
Upper Session 3:
Session 4 of Week 2: Lower
5th Session: Upper
Sixth Session: Lower
Then it happens again. So you’ll have two upper body days one week and two lower body days the next. As a result, your training cycle should conclude with a week that includes two lower body days.
In terms of rest days, you should ideally have one between two sessions and two between one of the sessions each week, i.e. Tues, Thur, Satu or Mon, Wed, Fri are workout days.
This three-day split is great since it increases the frequency with which your muscle groups are exercised.
Upper body days comprise the chest, back, shoulders, biceps, and triceps; lower body days include the glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, and calves.
Related: The Ultimate Upper and Lower Split Guide
3 DAY SPLIT FOR THE WHOLE BODY
A full body exercise split, as the name implies, includes full body workouts for each of the three periods.
1st Session: Full Body
Session 2: Whole-Body
Full Body Session 3
As with the previous divides, you should preferably have recovery days in between training sessions.
Now, each training session will include a variety of exercises so that you may do all of the most essential complex exercises and target all of your muscle groups equally and from all angles (and also it will allow you to keep your workout session around 60 minutes, which is best).
WHICH IS BETTER, 3 DAY OR 4 DAY SPLIT WORKOUT?
I’ve already spent a significant amount of time discussing exercise frequency.
The majority of that time has been spent determining how often each body component should be trained each week. You know, weighing the benefits and drawbacks of exercising once a week, twice a week, and three times a week, since these are the most frequently utilized training frequency.
And the conclusion that I (and many others) have reached is that training everything three times per week is generally most successful for beginners, and twice per week is usually most effective for everyone else, based on an equal mix of scientific and anecdotal data (intermediates and advanced).
While once a week is not useless, it is the least effective (although it is perfectly sufficient for maintenance).
With this in mind, the best training split for novices is the three-day full-body split. That divide that my beginning routine and every other clever beginner routine use.
But what about the “twice per week” frequency recommended for intermediate and advanced trainees? There are many split possibilities for making that frequency work.
Three or four workouts per week?
Rather than analyzing the structure of the splits and how body parts are grouped together, it is best to focus on the amount of exercises each split entails over the course of the week.
For example, the ever-popular upper/lower split includes two versions: one with three exercises per week and one with four workouts per week. 4-5 exercises per week are required for the rotating form of push/pull/legs.
In these instances (and a dozen more using other splits), the optimum training frequency of (roughly) thrice per week is easily attained. There will be 3 or 4 total exercises utilized throughout the week to make this happen, depending on the split you select.
As a result, the obvious question arises: which is better for you?
Does it really matter how many weight training sessions you utilize to get there if the same frequency is reached in the end? And, if so, how do you know which is best for you?
Three things must be considered while answering these kinds of questions. They are as follows:
• Your particular timetable.
• Your recuperation abilities (and the various factors this encompasses).
• Your requirements.
The first factor is your own schedule.
The first thing to think about is your own personal schedule. And it all boils down to simple common sense.
If you can only carry out 3 workouts per week and you attempt to do more (e.g., four or five workouts per week) it is definitely going to become unsustainable from a scheduling standpoint – which then lead to you missing workouts or possibly even stopping lifting altogether due to the inconvenience of trying to fit in more workouts than your schedule allows for – then the decision is simple: a fewer workouts.
If, on the other hand, you have a schedule that is flexible enough to allow for three, four, or even five sessions each week, the other considerations will assist you make this choice. To begin with…
The second factor is your capabilities for recovery
The ability of individuals to recover is the next aspect that must be considered. In other words, how does your body react to the stress of training? Or, more specifically, what is the amount of training you can do each week to optimize your body’s potential for growth without exceeding what your body is capable of recuperating from?
Because of that phrase: “That is the perfect spot” That is when you are giving your body with the maximum amount of training stimulus that it can recover from. There is nothing more or less. That is when you will see the greatest effects.
The only issue is that that line isn’t always constant. It may and will vary greatly from one individual to the next due to a number of unique characteristics to each of us
Your age is also a factor
The younger you are, the better your recuperation, performance, job capacity, and just much everything else physical will be. I know, it’s shocking. So it’s quite reasonable to assume that the typical 18-year-old is capable of various things than the average 48-year-old.
This implies that someone younger is more likely than someone older to be capable of performing well with more training days each week.
Of course, there are exceptions. And all of these exceptions will be discussed later on. However, my general advice for men and women over the age of 40 is to continue with a three-day split.
If you are under 40 (or one of the exceptions to this default suggestion), the following criteria will assist you make your choice.
The stronger your genetics, the better your recuperation, performance, job capacity, and pretty much everything else physical.
If your genetics are above-average, additional weight training days per week will usually suffice (and perhaps even improve) your results. You won’t if your genetics are below-average.
And this is a factor that may supersede the age issue we just discussed. It’s why some 50-year-olds may perform well with 4-5 weight-training sessions each week, while others in their teens or early twenties can’t advance with anything more than a three-day split.
Take a look at the power of genetics.
So, if you find yourself in the below-average genetic range for the quantity of exercise your body can take AND develop optimally with, my default suggestion is to stay with a three-day split.
If you have ordinary or above-average genetics, the other criteria will assist you make your choice.
Your Way of Life:
Age and genetics are perhaps the most important variables influencing your healing ability, but they are not the only ones. Another significant factor is your way of living.
This includes issues such as sleep and sleep quality, levels of stress, dietary quality.
The better all of these things are (enough sleep, minimal stress, a healthy diet), the better your recuperation, performance, work capacity, and pretty much everything else physical will be.
And, as previously said, there are variables that may take precedence over others. So, someone young or with excellent genetics who might perform well with more exercises per week could easily find themselves doing badly as a consequence of not sleeping enough, being excessively stressed, or having a poor diet.
This may also operate in reverse at times. Someone who is older or has poor genetics may find themselves capable of more exercise each week than they thought they could do simply because they are taking care of these lifestyle variables.
Because these variables are subject to change, I can’t truly suggest a strategy based on them. Except for the obvious: get adequate sleep, avoid stress, and make sure your food supports your objectives.
Your Non-Weight Training Activity is also a factor
Following that, we will discuss the additional physical activities in your life that is not weight training.
This may include everything from cardio and metabolic exercises to sport-specific training to any hobbies you have that require a lot of physical activity.
Furthermore, your employment falls within this group. So, whereas one individual may spend all day at a desk in front of a computer, another may be a construction worker or a furniture mover.
Because the human body can only take so much physical activity in a given amount of time before crossing that “border,” the more of this kind of things you have in your life, the more likely that line will be crossed.
Last but not least, we have the person’s unique requirements.
Can you only train three days a week? Use a three-day split.
Are you above the age of 40 and have average (or below-average) genetics? Use a three-day split.
Are you a person of any age who has below-average genetics in terms of recuperation and work capacity? Use a three-day split.
Do you engage in a considerable quantity of intensive non-weight training activities in your life? Use a three-day split.
Are you an average person with average genetics under the age of 40 with a schedule that can support a four-day split? Use a four-day split.
Are you younger and/or have better genetics than the typical person? Use a 4-day split and feel free to try a 5-day split.
Are you someone who has a unique requirement that necessitates a particular split? Carry it out.
What If I Don’t Know What To Do?
Choose anything (for example, a four-day split), give it some time, and see how things go.
Then, try something else (for example, a three-day split), give it some time, and see how it goes.
After that, you might try something different (for example, a 5-day split), give it some time, and see how it goes.
Pay close attention and keep track of your progress during all of your self-experimentation.
Then, apply your basic common sense to figure out what was best for you.
And then you know. Keep doing it.