Review: Classic 3-Day Split Barbell Workout

One of the most often used strength training programs is the classic 3-day split barbell workout. This particular exercise program has long been considered a true classic among bodybuilder and novice a like. There are different split day options for 2-3-4-5 days routines. A split routine refers to a workout that is divided up by muscle groups. Selected exercises are used to train these major muscles groups on different days. The workout is ideal if you have limited time to workout (an hour or less). Someone on this type of routine still has a strong desire, though, to gain lean muscle and strength. The length of time needed before noticing small gains is typically 6-12 weeks. This is dependent of course on age, training history, nutritional intake, recovery etc.

A Suggested Training Schedule

There are many layout options for a 3-day routine in terms of how someone can “split” it up over the course of a week. A new Jefit training program features the following split routine, using a push day, a pull day and on day three, everything else. The push days includes exercises for chest/shoulder/tricep, while the pull day highlights the back and bicep. The third day focuses on legs and core. The weekly layout looks like this:

Monday: Chest Shoulders and Triceps
Tuesday: Rest day
Wednesday: Back and Biceps
Thursday: Rest day
Friday: Legs and Core
Saturday: Rest day
Sunday: Rest day

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Exercise Program Design

Lets discuss in a little more detail the make-up of each of these workouts. The new Jefit program, Barbell Workout (3-day Split), is an intermediate level program. The program uses a (45-lbs.) barbell for all exercises except some of the core exercises found in day 3. The resistance used will depend on the training ability of the person. If you are new to strength training, you could still try this program. In this case, the person would start out using the weight of the bar only for all exercises. See how your body responds and progress from there.

The majority of the exercises require 4 sets using a repetition sequence of 10,8,8,6. This type of repetition format takes advantage of a lighter first set (a warm-up set). The weight is increased for each subsequent set. There are 5 exercises featured for each of the workout days and many of the movements used are compound exercises. The recovery time between sets is two-minutes, a novice though may need an extra minute or two. A set that involves 8-repetitions as an example, means it’s an 8-RM (repetition maximum). A person will need to lift the most weight they can handle, using good form. If you end up performing more than the suggested amount of repetitions, increase the load by 5% for upper and 10% for lower body exercises.

Day-1: Push Movements

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Day 2: Pull Movements

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Day 3: Legs & Core

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One of the great things about a 3-day split routine is a typical workout is less than an hour. In addition, since you work only a few muscle groups per workout, you can really target that area more intensely. Also, there is a recovery day following each workout, so the body gets plenty of recovery time to repair itself, adapt and get stronger. Putting this together with a solid nutrition plan and plenty of recovery is a successful recipe for strong gains in strength and mass. Stay Strong!

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