Muscle Building 3 Day Split, 4 Day Upper/Lower & 5 Day Split Workout Plans

So, you have finally managed to pull off a few consecutive months of uninterrupted gym attendance and feel like taking your fitness life to the next level, meaning building muscle mass. With so many workout routines on the internet, many gym-goers might be confused about the exercises they need to perform to increase their muscle mass as fast as possible.

However, building muscle mass is not necessarily about stubbornly following a predetermined routine till the bitter end It is about rather finding out, through trial and error, which one works best for you. In this article, we will cover the most common workout routines to help you make an informed decision on which program is best suited to both your physical limits and experience level. Here are a few workout programs that will help you increase muscle mass.

Best Workout Routines for Mass
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The 3-day full body routine is one of the best starting points for beginners who have some gym experience under their belt but want to push their bodies further. This full-body workout trains each muscle group at least twice a day. As rough as it might seem to the untrained eye, it is worth mentioning that each workout day is immediately followed by 1 or 2 rest days, which gives the body just enough time to recover fully until the next session.
Keep in mind that like all workout routines, this one too can be freely customized to fit your personal needs.
Here are the top reasons the 3-day full-body routine is great for rookies:
  • You get accustomed to the exercises by repeating them several times throughout the week.
  • Since, beginners have greater gains by working less than more, this routine features the ideal exercise-to-rest ratio.
  • As a beginner, you obviously do not have the same level of strength as an experienced weightlifter, and this routine works the muscles at the right pace without overly exerting them.
3 Day Workout Plans

Advanced Upper/Lower Split  4 day Version 

While this routine is a bit more advanced than the previous one, it is quite easy to follow and does not take a huge toll on the body. This routine trains each muscle group once every third or fourth day, which is an ideal ratio and frequency range for building muscle mass in a timely fashion. Here is the schedule for this program:
Upper/Lower Split  4 day Version
Upper/Lower Split Workout Routine
Warm up: 3 min for joints and 4 min for heating up
Cardio (optional): 45 min moderate intensity cardio/week
Sets: 4
Reps: 12,10,8,8
Upper/Lower Split – 4 day Version Workout Schedule
  1. Monday – the upper body A workout 
  2. Tuesday – the lower body B workout
  3. Wednesday – Day off, let your muscles recover
  4. Thursday – the upper body B workout
  5. Friday – the lower body A Workout
  6. Saturday – Day off, muscle recovery
  7. Sunday – Day off, muscle recovery
*A and B stand for different exercises and muscle groups in that specific area. 
Upper Body Workout A:
  • Barbell row
  • Cable row
  • Bench press
  • Incline bench press/Decline bench press
  • Tricep pushdown
  • Overhead cable tricep extension
  • Hanging leg raises
  • Leg raises

Upper Body Workout B:

  • Military press
  • Side delt raise/Bent over rear delt raise
  • Dumbbell bench Press
  • Incline dumbbell bench press/Decline dumbbell bench press
  • Barbell curl  
  • One arm dumbbell preacher curls
  • Knee crunch
  • Bicycle crunch

Lower Body Workout  A:

  • Squats
  • Leg Press
  • Leg curl
  • Lunges
  • Seated Calf Raise

Lower Body Workout B:

  • Squats
  • Leg Press
  • Single dumbbell squats
  • Leg extension
  • Standing Calf Raise
Furthermore, you do not necessarily have to follow that schedule – just make sure to maintain the 2-days-on-1-day-off format and you should be fine. Alternatively, if you find yourself bored during the off days, you can incorporate a cardio routine

5 Day Split Workout Routine

The 5 day split routine can be a tad rough if you are not accustomed to physical effort but is not world-class-weightlifter-difficult either. Furthermore, as much as one would want to maximize their workout efforts by exercising 7 days per week, you have to draw the line somewhere as overtraining can do more harm than good to your muscles. 
Again, this routine is recommended only to people that have at least six months’ worth of gym experience, so if you feel like your body is not capable of handling it, back off. The idea behind this routine is to dedicate each day to a certain part of the body through various exercises. Keep in mind that you do not have to do all the exercises listed below. The important thing is to maintain the day on/day off ratio and be persistent in your efforts. Here is the schedule:
5 Day Split Workout Routine
5 Day Split Workout Plan
Warm up: 5 min
Cardio (optional): 45 min moderate intensity cardio/week –  For more fat lose perform cardio after lifting 
Day 1 – Chest & forearm
  • Medium bench press – 3 sets, 12 repetitions
  • Incline dumbbell bench press – 3 sets, 12 repetitions
  • Decline dumbbell press – 3 sets, 12 repetitions
  • Bent-arm dumbbell pullover – 3 sets, 12 repetitions
  • Standing chest cable fly – 3 sets, 12 repetitions
  • Reverse cable curl – 3 sets, 12 repetitions
  • Forearm curl – 3 sets, 12 repetitions
Day 2 – Back 
(Same number of sets, and repetitions as on Day 1)
  • Weighted pull ups
  • Wide-grip lat pulldown
  • Dumbbell shrug 
  • Barbell deadlift
  • Dumbbell incline row
  • Dumbbell row 
Day 3 – Off
Day 4 – Shoulders
  • Standing military press 
  • Arnold dumbbell press
  • Bent over rear delt raise
  • Cable side delt raise
  • Dumbbell front raise
  • Upright barbell row
Day 5 – Legs
  • Barbell squat
  • Lunges
  • Single dumbbell squat
  • Leg press
  • Leg extensions
  • Lying leg curl
  • Calf raises
Day 6 – Arms
  • Skull crushers
  • Close-grip barbell bench press
  • Triceps pushdown
  • Behind the neck cable tricep extension
  • Barbell curl – 28 method
  • Preacher curl
  • Incline dumbbell curl
  • Spider curl
Day 7 – Off
Ab Workout:
Frequency: 2/week
  • Hanging leg raises – 3 sets, 15 repetitions
  • Knee crunch – 3 sets, 15 repetitions
  • Bicycle crunch- 3 sets, 15 repetitions
  • Lying leg raises – 3 sets, 15 repetitions
  • Cable wood chopper – 3 sets, 15 repetitions

Advanced Workout Programs

These were a few basic workout routines that you can follow to increase muscle mass. Keep in mind that the beauty of working out is not following a program to the teeth but finding out what is best suited to you through experimentation and trial and error. If you already have some experience and want to take your gym life to the next level, try out one of these routines.