• Sarah Louise

The best workout split to build lean muscle

To build lean muscle in the most effective way possible you must have a good workout split in place. The right workout split will allow for the perfect amount of activity & recovery for your muscles.

Here’s how to set up the best workout split for you, so you can make your workouts as efficient as possible & build lean muscle 👇🏼



The best workout split to build lean muscle


What is a workout split?


Briefly explained, your workout split is how you choose to divide your workouts into certain muscle groups. The two most common workout splits are:

  • Full body split: Someone who only does full body workouts

  • Upper- / Lower split: Someone who splits their workouts into either upper body or lower body.

We optimise our workout split in order to engage our muscles often enough to see progress, but also allow our muscles to fully rest and recover between workouts.


The best workout split for you depends on 3 things: your experience, your workout frequency, and your fitness goal.






Step 1: Decide your workout frequency

Figuring out the best workout split for you, first and foremost comes down to your availability and how often you workout. Set yourself a realistic frequency you can see yourself maintaining in the long run.

If you’re a beginner, it's recommended to start with 2-3 times per week the first couple months because your body is not yet used to working out as much, and you'll be sore from even the lightest workout.


If you're more experienced, you can workout 3-5 times per week.


Once you know how many days per week you can (and want to) workout, you can start figuring out your workout split.




Step 2: Apply the golden rule ⭐️


After you've figured out how many workouts you'll be getting in per week, it's time to apply the golden rule: To build lean muscle you must workout each muscle group 2-3 times per week.

This means the less frequent you workout the more muscle groups you need to target in each workout. On the other hand, the more frequent you workout the more you’re able to break down your workouts into specific muscle groups.

Here’s how we suggest your workout split to be based on how often you workout 👇🏼




Working out 1-2 times per week

If we’re training 1-2 times per week, your workouts will have to be full body in order to apply the golden rule of engaging each muscle group 2 times per week. Full body workouts are also great for beginners, as it allows you to slowly get your body used to working out.

Best for: Beginners who are new to lifting; or someone who has had a long break from training

  • Day 1: Full body

  • Day 2: -

  • Day 3: -

  • Day 4: Full body

  • Day 5: -

  • Day 6: -

  • Day 7: -


Workout out 3 times per week

At this frequency you have two options for how your workout split can be. If you’re more of a beginner, full body workouts will be best; and if you’re more experienced you can opt for the upper/lower split.

Best for: Beginners who are new to lifting; or someone who’s been working out for at least 2 months

  • Day 1: Full body

  • Day 2: -

  • Day 3: Full body

  • Day 4: -

  • Day 5: Full body

  • Day 6: -

  • Day 7: -

Or you can begin having workouts for specific muscle groups:

  • Day 1: Lower body

  • Day 2: -

  • Day 3: Upper body

  • Day 4: -

  • Day 5: Full body

  • Day 6: -

  • Day 7: -


Working out 4 times per week

Working out 4 times per week is ideal to build lean muscle because it means you can split all your workouts into upper- and lower body workouts.

It’s more recommended for intermediate lifters. Jumping straight into this workout split as a beginner can be quite tough on your body.

Best for: Intermediate lifters; and someone who’s used to working out.

  • Day 1: Lower body

  • Day 2: Upper body

  • Day 3: -

  • Day 4: -

  • Day 5: Lower body

  • Day 6: Upper body

  • Day 7: -

💡 Tip: At this frequency, make sure you’re strategic with rest days. Try and avoid targeting the same muscle groups two days in a row. Overworking them will mean weaker workouts and increased risk of injury.


Working out 5 times per week

At this workout frequency you can even further tailor your workout split based on a specific muscle group you’re trying to build the most.

Best for: Intermediate / Advanced lifters. Someone who’s simply enjoys going to the gym or who no longer feels challenged enough with a 4-day split

For an upper body focus, we're splitting up our upper body workouts even further:

  • Day 1: Upper body (push)

  • Day 2: Lower body

  • Day 3: Upper body (pull)

  • Day 4: -

  • Day 5: Lower body

  • Day 6: Upper body (push & pull)

  • Day 7: -

For a lower body focus, we're splitting up our lower body workouts even further:

  • Day 1: Lower body (quads)

  • Day 2: Upper body

  • Day 3: Lower body (glutes & hamstrings)

  • Day 4: -

  • Day 5: Upper body

  • Day 6: Lower body (quads, glutes & hamstrings)

  • Day 7: -



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