Strength Training Schedule Options

The ways to divide up your strength training schedule are as varied as you can imagine. The bottom line is, you have to do what works for you. How you schedule your routine should be based on how often you want to train each muscle group and how many days a week you can realistically workout.

Below are examples of common options that can give you ideas and get you started. You can use them as outlined here or use them as a starting point for creating your own program that works and gets you the results you're looking for.

Full Body Routine


3 Days/Week

M - Full Body Workout
T - Rest
W - Full Body Workout
Th - Rest
F - Full Body Workout
S - Rest
S - Rest

This program consists of 3 workouts per week that exercise all the major muscle groups during each workout. This routine is very common and works well for most fitness levels and goals.

2 Days/Week

M - Rest
T - Full Body Workout
W - Rest
Th - Rest
F - Full Body Workout
S - Rest
S - Rest

This program consists of 2 workouts per week with 2-3 days rest in between. This exercises all the major muscle groups during each workout. This is similar to the 3 days per week routine but provides more rest. This would be best for beginners or anyone with very limited time for exercise.

Upper/Lower Split Routine


4 Days/Week

M - Upper Body Workout
T - Lower Body Workout
W - Rest
Th - Upper Body Workout
F - Lower Body Workout
S - Rest
S - Rest


This program consists of 2 upper body workouts and 2 lower body workouts for a total of 4 workouts per week. Splitting your program this way allows you to add additional exercises for all major muscle groups. Like the full body routine, this routine works well for most fitness levels and goals.

3 Days/Week

Week 1                         Week 2
M - Upper Body     M - Lower Body

T - Rest                      T- Rest
W - Lower Body    W - Upper Body
Th - Rest                   Th - Rest
F - Upper Body        F - Lower Body
S - Rest                       S - Rest
S - Rest                       S - Rest

This program consists of 3 workouts per week and rotates over a two-week time period. The first week includes 2 upper body and 1 lower body and the second week includes 2 lower body and one upper body workout. This program still works well for most people but may take a little longer to see results.

Push/Pull Split Routine


This program involves splitting your routine into "pushing" muscles and "pulling" muscles. This type of program is a little more challenging and may be best for intermediate fitness levels. Some people who use this type of program add a "legs" component of the rotation and train the entire lower body as a separate workout rather than within the push/pull split.

Every muscle has an opposing muscle that works against it to balance the body. Working opposing muscle groups separately helps maintain body balance.

Muscle groups
included in

the "Pushing" routine

Chest
Triceps
Shoulders
Quadriceps
Calves 

Muscle groups
included in

the "Pulling" routine

Back
Biceps
Hamstrings
Abs

 


                    Week 1
                    M - Push Workout

                    T - Rest
                    W - Pull Workout
                    Th- Rest
                    F - Push Workout
                    S - Rest
                    S - Pull Workout

                    Week 2
                    M - Rest

                    T - Push Workout
                    W - Rest
                    Th- Pull Workout
                    F - Rest
                    S - Push workout
                    S - Rest

Similar to the 3 days per week Upper/Lower routine, the Push/Pull routine rotates over a two week period, alternating between workouts and rest days. Even though you are working opposite muscle groups, doing workouts back-to-back may not allow enough recovery time.