5 day split workout plan

Best 5 Day Split Workout to Build Muscle & Strength

Just as the name suggests, a 5-day split workout is an exercise program where you train one big muscle group per day, doing a different muscle group each day for five days, with two days of well-deserved rest.

The 5-day workout program is not as popular as 3 or 4 days a week workout programs. However, if you have time on your hands and really want to meet your fitness goals, a 5-day schedule is more effective than the other two.

5-Day Split Workout Explained

5 day split workout

Full-body Training Vs 5-Day Split Workout

In full-body training, you train all the major muscle groups in one exercise session. This type of exercise is ideal for people who have limited time or beginners who are conditioning their bodies to get into serious workouts.

Unfortunately, you cannot use full-body training as your regular type of exercise because you would need a longer period of resting (between 48 and 72 hours) depending on your fitness levels.

On the other hand, 5-day or 4-day split workouts allow you to work on specific muscle groups each day across the week. It gives the specific muscles some time to rest and recover before you work them again.

That is the beauty of split training. This also makes it the ideal type of exercise for people who are looking to grow some serious muscle with regular workouts.

Is the 5-Day Workout for You?

This 5-day workout plan to build muscle is ideal for intermediate and advanced trainees, both men and women.

First, make sure that your schedule will allow you enough time to fit five workouts a week. Second, you should be capable of handling five weight training session a week, and finally, you should go for this training if your primary goal is to gain muscle.

If you are a beginner, you need to start with volume exercises and low- to middle-level weight training workout routine so that you can condition your muscles before hitting high-intensity workouts.

If you have problems recovering after a 3-4 day workout program, stick to the schedule until your body recovers fast enough for strenuous exercises.

You need to understand that if your goal is building endurance or growing your strength, this exercise is not the best method to meet your goals.

This exercise is also not for people whose focus is fat loss. This is because the calorie deficit may affect the recovery speed and therefore make you not strong enough for the next session.

Why Go for  a 5-Day Workout Split?

Several benefits go with the 5-day split that may not be available in 3 and 4-day split programs. If you’re looking for inspiration to build muscle, a 5 day workout routine to get ripped will give you the following benefits.

Benefits of the 5-Day Workout

  • Increased Intensity and Volume

One of the most significant benefits of the 5-day program is that each major muscle in your body gets a day to workout. Unlike the full-body and 1-4 day split program, you can dedicate a session to train each muscle group.

You end up performing 6 to 8 exercises on each muscle group as opposed to 1-4 exercises targeting large muscle groups. Consequently, the high intensity and volume of the exercises increase your muscle stimulation and accelerate the growth of the tissue.

  • Flexible Exercise Program

In a 5-day plan, you do not have to work muscle groups together. This means that you do not have to stick to specific exercises to keep going. You may do some repetitive exercises at first to grow your strength, but you can then try out a whole range of new exercises to become more all-rounded.

  • Improves Your Focus

In this program, you will not multitask, rather, you will have enough time to focus on a given muscle group until you get the results that you need. This has proved to be more effective than splitting your attention into two or three muscle groups in one session.

body building workouts

  • Enough Time for Muscle Recovery

Most people think the 5-day program is very exhausting. While you will feel quite exhausted at the start, you will soon discover that instead of going overboard, you’re giving each body muscle more time to recover with this type of workout.

Most paired workout athletes have to deal with muscle fatigue by the time they get into the second muscle group. As you will find in the plan below, you can create a workout plan where assisting muscle groups in latter workouts will be trained first so that they’re well-recovered by the time you use them to work out other muscles later.

Things to Keep in Mind Before You Start Your Workout

While a 5-day weightlifting routine allows for the right amount of intensity on each muscle group, chances are high that you will hurt yourself rather than grow muscle.

To keep you safe and help you meet your muscle-building goals, it’s important to keep in mind a few things.

Important Precautions

  • Always Stretch or Warm Up

Most people think of rest and fail to factor in the warm-up sessions. Before embarking on a workout as intense as the 5-day workout, you need to warm up your muscles and prepare them for the tough workout you’re going to put them through.

Warm-ups help with flexibility and keep the blood flowing through your muscles at the start of the session. If you try to jump into an intense workout without warming up, there is a chance that soreness will hit you early in your workout schedule and might need a longer recovery period.

  • Keep Hydrated

The reminder to keep yourself hydrated might sound very simple, yet it bears repeating. Water is the best friend to any workout enthusiast. Drink lots of water before, during, and after your workout session. Dehydration can limit the effectiveness of this workout program and become a serious workout obstacle.

  • Maintain Short Recovery Periods

I’m sure you already know that you need to rest between sets so that you don’t overwork and strain your muscles. However, long rest periods are counterproductive, causing you to lose the ‘steam’ and the energy required to maintain high-intensity exercises.

In most paired workouts, your recovery period should not be more than 30 seconds. For more intense exercises such as the 5-day workout split, your recovery period must be between 60 and 90 seconds.

Remember, in this focused program you pull all the energy from various muscle groups to focus on a given muscle. If you have a long rest period, your other muscles tend to reset, which leads to fatigue.

  • Under-Estimate Your Strength

It may seem counterproductive, but that is what it is supposed to be. Workout logic says that you build more muscle by lifting heavier weights. However, pushing your body above the limit will only result in injury and strain.

This, in turn, stops your progress in the exercise regime. The best plan is to start with lighter weights to allow you to master the correct technique and form and then increase your weights gradually.

Planning Your 5-Day Workout for Weight Loss & Muscle Gain

Now that you will not be combining various muscle groups in a single workout session, you need to find the best order to train each group. This is because you will still use some secondary muscles when working out the primary tissue.

5 Day Split Workout

That said, if you work out specific muscles a day before others, you would not give the secondary muscle enough time to recover, thereby losing the strength needed in the entire routine.

Let’s illustrate that point. You shouldn’t work out your arms before the chest muscle. Why? You’ll need your triceps for the chest exercise. If you work out your arms first, they’ll be too tired to assist you when you do the chest muscle routine the following day.

The five muscle groups that you should train in your 5-day workout routine at home include:

  • Legs
  • Chest
  • Back
  • Shoulder
  • Arms

The Best 5-day Exercise Routine

This is the best split exercise program you can carry out at home. You may vary it according to your preference, but keep in mind the points discussed above.

  • Day 1: Legs/abs
  • Day 2: Chest
  • Day 3: Back/abs
  • Day 4: Rest
  • Day 5: Shoulder/abs
  • Day 6: Arms
  • Day 7: Rest

One of the primary reasons for putting the muscle groups in this order is because most trainees find training the lower part of the body more tasking than the upper.

Therefore, it is better to train the most tasking part of the body first when the body is still fresh. For those who don’t find this an issue, they can use the following schedule:

  • Day 1: Chest and Abs
  • Day 2: Back
  • Day 3: Rest
  • Day 4: Legs Workout
  • Day 5: Shoulders and Abs
  • Day 6: Arms
  • Day 7: Rest

Abdominal muscles are paired with other muscles since you will be using them to train the main muscles in the list. For that reason, you cannot train your abs on their own.

Workout Program for Each Muscle Group

1. Legs

leg workouts

  • Leg Press – 3 sets; 10 to 12 reps each
  • Leg extension – 3 sets; 15 reps each
  • Barbell Squats – 4 sets; 8 to 10 reps each
  • Hack Squat – 4 sets; 10 reps each
  • Calf raises – 3 sets; 20 reps each. You can use a seated calf raise machine
  • Hamstring Curls – 3 sets; 15 reps each
  • Other machines you can use for your legs include spin bikes, or 20 inch stride elliptical machines

2. Chest

chest workouts

  • Incline dumbbell shoulder press – 4 sets; 8 to 10 reps each
  • Flat bench barbells – 4 sets; 8 to 10 reps each
  • Incline dumbbell flayers – 4 sets; 12 reps each
  • Cable Crossovers – 3 sets; 15 reps each
  • Peck Deck – 3 sets; 15 reps each
  • Push-ups – 3 sets; 15 to 20 reps each. See how may calories push ups burn.
  • Decline Hammer Strength machine – 3 sets; 12 reps

3. Back

back workouts

  • Pull-ups of wide grip – 4 sets; 10 reps each
  • Barbell bent-over rows – 4 sets; 8 to 10 reps each
  • T-bar rows – 4 sets; 8 to 10 reps each
  • Close grip lat (pull-down machine) – 4 sets; 12 reps each
  • Dumbbell rows – 3 sets; 10 reps on each arm
  • Reverse grip pull downs – 3 sets; 15 reps each
  • Hyperextensions – 3 sets; 15 reps

4. Shoulders

5 Day Split Workout

  • Lateral raises using dumbbells – 4 sets; 12 to 15 reps each
  • Seat shoulder press with dumbbell – 4 sets; 10 to 12 reps each
  • Standing military barbell presses – 4 sets; 8 to 10 reps each
  • Dumbbell front raises – 4 sets; 8 to 10 reps on each arm
  • Dumbbell shrug – 3 sets; 15 reps each
  • Rear delt flys – 4 sets; 12 to 15 reps each

5. Arms

  • Standing hammer curls – 4 sets; 10 to 12 reps each
  • Preacher curl machine – 3 sets; 10 to 12 reps each
  • EZ bar curls – 4 sets; 12 to 15 reps each
  • Triceps rope push down – 4 sets; 15 reps each
  • Seated dumbbell curls – 4 sets; 10 reps each
  • Triceps overhead extensions – 4 sets; 15 to 20 reps
  • Skull crushers – 3 sets; 12 to 15 reps

You can rearrange the sets as you deem fit. We’ve not specified days for each muscle group to allow you to determine the best order as per your goals.

As for the push-ups, you can do as many or few as you can until failure. As you improve your fitness levels, you will find it easier to do close to 20 reps a session. As a side note, if you have an elderly loved one, they can exercise safely using the best arm bike.

Abs Workouts

Abs training should not take more than two sessions a week. These days should not be consecutive. The duration of training should only be about 10 to 15 minutes. There are several exercises that you can undertake to train your abs. Here are a few.

  • Alternating Toe Reach

Lie flat on your back and extend your legs in the air at a 45-degree angle while those arms are straightened out on the sides of your body at shoulder level. Then lift your right leg and left hand so that you touch your toes.

Return to the former position and repeat with your left leg and right hand. That is a single rep. Do about 10 to 15 reps. It works for transverse abs and obliques.

  • Lying Windshield Wiper

In the exercise, you will be sitting on your tailbone, having propped your body with your forearms and the legs lifted together in the air at 45 degrees. Without moving your upper body, rotate your legs together such that you make a half a circle.

Arch up, making sure that your legs come close to the mat at the end of each half circle movement. Return to start after each rotation and do 15 reps. This exercise works for transverse, oblique, and six-pack abs.

  • Leg Raise and Reach Clap

Lay on your back with arms stretched out alongside your body and palms rested on the mat. Lift your legs into a 45-degree angle with the body while your arms are pressed against the mat.

Without lifting your bottoms from the floor, raise your legs to reach hip level while at the same time curling the upper body off the floor and clapping behind knee level. Return to the lifted leg position and do 15 reps. This exercise is good for six-pack abs.

What to Do in Your Rest Days

You should not just rest the entire two days in your 5-day split workout. Instead, you need to do some light cardio exercises. However, you will not be pushing your body to the limit as this is the time for your muscles to recover.

Essentially, any rhythmic activity that raises your heart rate to the fat-burning zone is welcome. Rather than do long cardio exercises, go for short intermittent workouts.

A non-exercising person needs 300 minutes of cardio to lose substantial weight on average, but you don’t need that since you’re already carrying out intense workouts five days a week.

Choosing the Right Cardio Exercises

You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to picking an activity that increases your heart rate. If you have the chance or love outdoors, consider such activities as walking, cycling, or jogging. Do not run so that you do not work your calves so much in the process.

cardio exercises

On the other hand, if you fancy the indoors or would like to exercise on a treadmill, you can go for such machines as climbers, treadmills with iFit for guided workouts, seated elliptical machines, and stationary bikes.

Other home cardio exercises that you can carry out with ease include burpees, jogging in place, jumping jacks, and jumping rope. Taking the stairs rather than the elevator, walking to the grocery, school, work, or a brisk walk to your nearest pack also count as good cardio to do on your rest days.

Always pick something that you enjoy doing. If you love socializing, jog for a few days with a friend. You will find that the volume training helps you deal with lactic acid accumulation that might still be causing pain in various parts of the body.

Does Diet Count in this Program?

Yes. It does. Like any other fitness program, the diet has a significant role in helping you grow your muscles. By now, you know that you should have done away with junk.

With high-intensity training, you need to increase your protein and amino acid intake so that your body gets the resources it needs to build muscle.

You will be alternating bulking and cutting diets in your fitness lifestyle. A bulking diet helps you gain enough weight with the growth of muscle. However, it is about a pound or so a month with this program.

It works with the knowledge that your body needs some fat to burn so that you can gain muscle mass. Go for skinless chicken thighs, salmon, bison or lean beef, rolled oats, quinoa, and such foods.

On the other hand, the cutting workout diet helps you get rid of excess body fat. At this point, you will have to go through several weeks of the 5-day workout plan and do the maximum number of reps in each type of workout.

You may also increase your cardio workouts to a few minutes after training. You may go for leaner proteins such as salmon, sesame seed oil, white kidney beans, green teas, and leafy green vegetables.

Final Thoughts

A 5-day workout routine at home is ideal for anyone who wants to chase the pumps and has a substantial record of regular training.

Luckily, the workout program can be applied to any fitness lifestyle and lead to a well-rounded physique. However, like any other plan, you need to be consistent in your workouts. Before you start the program, you need to reschedule your commitments to allow for intensity training and recovery period.

You will find this fitness plan more flexible than four-day workout plans because you’re focusing on a given muscle group per session. The beauty of it is that you can work out the muscle in any way that you feel right as long as you reach your intense training goal.

Feel free to adjust the training program shown in the section above to meet your specific fitness goals. However, remember the precautions and always start with the weakest muscles. Also, you can use a foam roller for beginners for after workout recovery.

If you want ripped muscles and a rounded physique, give the 5-day workout schedule a try, and you will love the results. Best of luck!