3 Day Beginner Upper Body/Lower Body Split Routine

This 3 day beginner upper body/lower body split routine is designed for provide the novice lifter with a good variety of exercise choices and extra recovery time to ensure proper recovery. It will develop a solid foundation of strength and build muscle, while teaching good form on basic lifts.

Generally, a quality full body workout routine for beginners (e.g. MYx8, Rippetoe's Starting Strength) is the optimal choice for most beginners. However, there are times when a upper body/lower body split can be more beneficial.

For instance, some beginners may have difficulty recovering between when training each muscle group 3x/week on a full body routine.

A 3 day upper/lower split routine can be perfect for this type of beginner, since it reduces training frequency by half (you hit each body part 1.5x/week, on average).

This routine can also work for beginners who want to perform a greater variety of exercises and do more training volume per workout, than what is possible with full body training.

Beginner Upper Body/Lower Body Split Routine - Template

MondayWednesdayFriday
Week 1Workout A
(Lower Body)
Workout B
(Upper Body)
Workout A
(Lower Body)
Week 2Workout B
(Upper Body)
Workout A
(Lower Body)
Workout B
(Upper Body)

Workout AWorkout B
Squat - 3 x 5Barbell Bench Press - 3 x 5
Step Up - 3 x 5Barbell Bent Over Row - 3 x 5
Deadlift - 3 x 5Barbell Overhead Press - 3 x 5
Barbell Glute Bridge - 3 x 8(Weighted) Pull Up - 3 x 8
Weighted Crunches - 2 x 12Weighted Hyperextensions - 2 x 12

Beginner Upper Body/Lower Body Split Routine - Guidelines

Adhere to these guidelines to maximize your training performance and results:

Warm Up

Perform this warm up routine before every workout. As a beginner, you shouldn't need to do any more than 3 warm up sets for your first exercise. For each exercise after that, you should only need to perform 1-2 warm up sets.

Rest Time Between Sets

Rest no more than 2-3 minutes between sets. That should be enough time to recovery and feel ready do to the next set.

Weight & Progression

The weight should be the same for each set of each exercise. Use the same weight for each work set. The last set should be very difficult to complete, and it’s okay to fail.

Add as much weight as you can per workout as possible, without sacrificing form. You should be able to add about 5 lbs (sometimes 10 lbs) to each major lift, per workout, for at least a couple of months (unless you're having a bad day).

Eventually, your progress will slow and you'll have to add weight every other workout, or every third workout, etc.

About the Author Alex

Hey! My name is Alex, and I'm the owner and author of King of the Gym. I started this website back in late 2009 during college, and it has been my pet project ever since. My goal is to help you learn proper weight training and nutrition principles so that you can get strong and build the physique of your dreams!

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