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The Best Workout Split for Maximum Muscle Gains

Optimise your gains.

Check out the best workout split for maximum muscle gains.

This has been chosen and explained by Jeff from Athlean X.

Best Workout Split for Maximum Muscle Gains

“Whether you are following a total body workout split or a bro split (or any variation of) you are going to want to watch this video.  Find out the best workout split for building maximum muscle gains and overall performance.  There is a key message that you will not want to miss when it comes to answering this question truthfully and without relying on simple studies to do so.”

What are Workout Splits?

“When we talk about workout splits we are referring to the way that you break up your training over a period of time.  Generally, this is the amount of workouts that it takes to complete one cycle of training and that ensures that you are hitting all of the areas you are attempting to target in your workouts.  One of the most popular ways to split up workouts right now is actually one of the oldest in the books, and that is total body training.”

athlete excited after hitting barbell lift Best Workout Split for Maximum Muscle GainsSource: elizabeth flood | BOXROX Photo Comp 2022

Best Workout Split for Maximum Muscle – Training Style

“This refers to performing three total body workouts per week, generally on a Monday, Wednesday and a Friday with the remainder of the days either being reserved for conditioning or rest.  The benefits to this type of training are the higher focus on compound lifts that are designed to hit maximum muscle in each lift as well as the increased time for recovery.”

Best Workout Split for Maximum Muscle – More Volume

“Additionally, as science would indicate, hitting a muscle (even with a lower daily volume) more frequently in a training cycle is one of the most effective ways to make it grow.  This would mean that if you were once following a more traditional bro split where you trained say chest just once per week with twelve to sixteen sets you would now be doing it as four to five sets per day over the three days in the week.”

Best Workout Split for Maximum Muscle – Restimulation

“The restimulation of the chest every 48 hours is sufficient to increase muscle protein synthesis without waiting too long to hit the muscle again (as would happen with a bro split – or at least a poorly planned one).  Does that mean that bro splits don’t work?  Not at all.  In fact, this is one of those instances of throwing the baby out with the bath water.  Nobody could argue that the single muscle group per day routine has been effective for some.  Maybe not as much as total body training, but there are many instances of it working well, and quite well to be exact.”

barbell front raiseSource: Bastien Plu / Unsplash

“How can that be?  How can something that is somehow proven by science to be inferior actually produce results that in some cases are superior?  That is because the real best way to split your workout for maximum gains is to switch what you are doing when you can honestly answer that you have stopped making gains in either strength, size or both.  Just because something is supposed to be the best doesn’t mean that it is best for you at this time.  Changing your split may reveal to you that certain muscle groups of yours are more responsive on a different training cycle.”

Video – Best Workout Split for Maximum Muscle

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Muscles of the upper body

The muscles of the upper body are critical for nearly all daily activities. They allow us to lift, push, pull and rotate our arms as well as twist our torso. The muscles in the upper body also keep our shoulders and back strong and stable during physical activity.

Best Workout Split for Maximum Muscle – Deltoid

The deltoid is the most superficial muscle of the shoulder and can be seen in five separate parts. The anterior, lateral, and posterior heads form a triangular shape (the deltoid means “triangle” in Latin). It originates on the scapulae and inserts at the humerus, functioning to abduct and flex your arm.

Best Workout Split for Maximum Muscle – Triceps brachii

The triceps brachii is a large muscle on the back of the upper arm. It is the most prominent muscle in the arm and extends from the scapula to elbow. The triceps brachii functions to extend and depress your arm, as well as rotate it inwardly at your elbow joint (pronate).

Best Workout Split for Maximum Muscle – Pectoralis major

The pectoralis major is a large, triangular muscle located at the front of your chest. It’s also called the “pecs” because they make up most of the muscles that cover this area. This muscle covers much of your shoulder and chest and is responsible for moving your arm across your body.

The pectoralis major is one of three muscles (along with the pectoralis minor and serratus anterior) responsible for rotating your upper arm outward from its natural position—the protraction motion we all know from push-ups, dips, flyes and pullovers.

To exercise this muscle you’ll want to focus on any exercise that involves moving your arms forward in front of you or down towards yourself for example: bench press or pushups against a wall; military (overhead) press; dumbbell flyes; cable crossovers; incline dumbbell presses/flyes.


The infraspinatus is a shoulder muscle that originates at the supraspinous fossa of the scapula and inserts at the greater tubercle of humerus. It acts to internally rotate, adduct, and raise your arm.

Latissimus dorsi

The Latissimus dorsi is a broad, flat muscle that extends from the lower back to the humerus. It originates on the spinous processes of the lower thoracic and lumbar vertebrae and inserts on the posterior surface of the humerus. The latissimus helps to adduct or move your arms towards your body (such as when you put something in a drawer), extend your arm behind you (such as when reaching for something that’s low), and internally rotate your arm (such as when putting on a sweater).

Pectoralis Minor

The pectoralis minor, pronounced pecto-ray-liss, originates at the lower edge of your humerus and inserts into the coracoid process of your scapula. The muscle’s function is to adduct (bring together) your arm.

These are the upper body muscles.

These are the muscles of the upper body, which include:

  • Pectoralis major (chest muscle)
  • Deltoid (shoulder muscle)
  • Biceps brachii (upper arm muscles)
  • Triceps brachii (lower arm muscles).


The shoulder is a complex joint that has many muscles. These are some of the most important ones in this area, but there are many others that play roles in movement and stabilization. The shoulder is also vulnerable to injury because it is a ball-and-socket joint with the potential for instability due to its design.

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