Exercises and Workout Routines » Workout Routines
The Best 5 Day-A-Week Gym Workout Routine
If you were to ask a series of bodybuilders and/or weight trainers which form of training program they preferred following, generally speaking, many of them would tell you that they prefer following what is known as a 5 day split. 5 day split programs are incredibly popular, yet unfortunately due to work, family, financial, and personal commitments, not all people can follow these programs in the gym.
Just want to see our Monday-Friday 5 day split gym routine? Scroll down!
If you happen to be fortunate enough to have the time to be able to train in this fashion, it could prove extremely beneficial. We all know just how difficult it can be to add quality muscle mass to our frames, no matter how much we tweak our diets and step up our intensity in the gym.
When it comes to building muscle, most people tend to pair up two body parts per training session, which again is usually all down to a lack of free time.
Even if you enjoy training in this way but find that you’ve stalled and have hit a plateau, following a 5 day split could be exactly what you need to shock your body into some much-needed new muscle growth so that you can begin piling on the muscle and enjoying your time in the gym.
Here we’ll be taking a look at a few benefits of 5 day splits, things to consider before starting any new training program, before providing a sample program for you to try the next time you’re in the gym. So, without any further hesitation, let’s look at ways of getting you bigger and more muscular.
What are the benefits of following a 5 day split?
There are a number of different benefits associated with following 5 day splits, and here’s a look at just a few of the more common and popular examples:
When you pair up body parts, i.e. chest/back you will only be performing 3 or 4 exercises for each body part. If you follow a full-body routine, although you will train each muscle group 3 or 4 times per week, again, you only perform one exercise per body part, so you’ll only be performing 3 or 4 exercises for each body part.
The idea behind a 5 day split is that you dedicate each of the 5 days to a major muscle group. So, on chest day, you will dedicate your entire workout to training chest, and will perform around 6 – 8 exercises for this muscle group.
High volume training is extremely beneficial for stimulating new muscle growth, which is why many people trying to build muscle tend to love these programs.
More time to recover
Another downside to pairing up muscle groups is that whichever muscle group you happen to be working on for the second part of your workout, won’t get as much of a workout as the first muscle group, because you’re already fatigued from the first half.
So, if it’s chest and back day, after training chest, you won’t be able to focus all of your efforts on working your back, and if you do, you certainly won’t be as strong or as energised.
With a 5 day split, you work the entire muscle group and then it basically has an entire week to recover before the next session. Obviously it may get a slight workout with various other compound movements, but for the most part you destroy it during the workout, and then leave it to rest and re-grow bigger and stronger, before repeating the process all over again.
People that pair up body parts tend to stick with the same three or four exercises for each session, and whilst that’s perfectly fine, it can get a little stale and boring. With a 5 day split however, as you’re performing around 6 – 8 different exercises, you get to try slightly unusual exercises which you may not have previously performed. This helps to keep things fresh and makes training far more interesting.
Things to remember before trying this program
Before we take a look at a sample 5 day split workout for you to try for yourself, here are a few things to remember before you even attempt this workout:
The program listed below is only for WORKING sets, and does not list warm up sets. Before you begin your working sets, you must first perform one or two warm up sets with a much lighter weight. This will help stretch out the muscles, get the blood flowing, and improve muscle elasticity to help prevent injuries. You should also perform some basic stretches and warm up movements as well.
Before and during your workout, make sure you’ve consumed enough water. Start drinking water an hour or two before you begin, and keep sipping during the workout. You may wish to sip on BCAAs during your workout to assist in recovery and energy rates.
Train to failure
We won’t be listed which weights to use because obviously we have no idea how strong you are. The idea however is to go to failure on virtually every working set, making sure you hit the minimum amount of allocated reps at least.
The 5 Day Split Workout Routine
Day 1 – Chest
- Flat bench barbell press: 4 sets of 8 – 10 reps
- Incline dumbbell press: 4 sets of 8 – 10 reps
- Incline dumbbell flyes: 4 sets of 12 reps
- Cable crossovers: 3 sets of 15 reps
- Decline hammer strength machine (or basic decline press): 3 sets of 12 reps
- Pec deck: 3 sets of 15 reps
- Push ups: 3 sets of 15 – 20 reps
Day 2 – Shoulders
- Standing military barbell press: 4 sets of 8 – 10 reps
- Dumbbell lateral raises: 4 sets of 12 – 15 reps
- Seated dumbbell shoulder press: 4 sets of 10 – 12 reps
- Dumbbell front raises: 4 sets of 8 – 10 reps per arm
- Rear delt flyes: 4 sets of 12 – 15 reps
- EZ bar upright rows: 4 sets of 10 – 12 reps
- Dumbbell shrugs: 3 sets of 15 reps
Day 3 – Legs
Day 4 – Back
Day 5 – Arms
- EZ bar curls: 4 sets of 12 – 15 reps
- Seated double arm dumbbell curls: 4 sets of 10 reps
- Standing hammer curls: 4 sets of 10 – 12 reps
- Preacher curl machine: 3 sets of 10 – 12 reps
- Triceps rope pushdowns: 4 sets of 15 – 20 reps
- Triceps overhead extensions: 4 sets of 15 reps
- Skull-crushers: 3 sets of 12 – 15 reps
- Close grip smith machine bench press: 3 sets of 15 reps
The admin staff at Gym Geek are all gym rats who love to share their fitness advice and knowledge!