A winning split to build muscle

3-time 'Mr. India' Jayaprakash has an awesome physique.

3-time ‘Mr. India’ Jayaprakash has an awesome physique.

Competitive body builders train hard to build muscle and get ripped up for shows. Several champions have good systemic and muscular recovery, which helps them to train each muscle group more than once a week with a variety of exercises. What this means in simple language is the ability of their muscle groups and nervous system to recover from intense training and trigger growth is substantial.  However, not all trainees will be able to train each muscle group twice a week. Some of them may actually find that training each muscle once a week is less while training twice is too much. Such trainees may benefit from the split given here.

3-on 1-off plan

You split the entire body into three – Workout 1 will be chest, shoulder, triceps; Workout 2 will be thighs, hamstrings, abs; Workout 3 will be back, biceps, calves. Using three different workouts, you will train three consecutive days and take off on the fourth day. The cycle repeats. This kind of split has helped a lot of champions.

Here is a sample routine.


Bench press 16,12,10,8

Incline dumbbell press 10,10,10

Dips 10,10,10

Seated barbell shoulder press 12,10,8,6

Seated lateral raises 12,12,12,12

Seated bent over lateral raises 15,15,15,15

Close grip bench press 12,10,8,6

Lying barbell extension 10,10,10,10

Cardio 2530 minutes


Squats 15,12,10,8

Leg press 12,12,12

Hack squat 10,10,10

Leg curl 15,12,10,8

Stiff leg deadlifts 10,10,10

Hanging knee raises 15,15,15

Cable crunches 10,10,10

Lying oblique crunches 15,15,15


Chinning 10,10,10,10

Barbell row 10,8,8,8

Barbell shrugs 8,8,8

Barbell curl 10,8,6

Barbell preacher curl 12,12,12

Hammer curl 10,10,10

Standing calf Raises 15,12,10,8

Seated calf raises 15,15,15

Cardio 2530 minutes

Thu: Rest

Cycle repeats

2-on 1-off plan

However, if a trainee feels too tired after two consecutive workout days, he can take off on the third day and train again on the fourth and fifth days. In that case, this might become a 2-on 1-off split. Do not forget that your training depends on your recovery.

3-on 1-off, 2-on 1-off plan

If your gym does not function on Sunday, you can train like this: Perform Workout 1 on Monday, Workout 2 on Tuesday and Workout 3 on Wednesday, take off on Thursday; again perform Workout 1 on Friday and Workout 2 on Saturday and take off on Sunday.

Make changes in the training programme as you will have to train using Workout 3 on next Monday, Workout 1 on Tuesday and Workout 2 on Wednesday. The cycle goes on like this.

Based on feedback

Listen to your body’s feedback and take an off whenever you feel too tired. Do not push hard if you are too tired as it might short-circuit your gains. Training smart is very essential to build a great body. This is especially true in the case of trainees who are in their thirties.

Train smart, eat right and take enough rest.

– C. Lakshmi Kumar



One Response to “A winning split to build muscle”

  1. look at mr jayaprakash now. real champion.

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