T Nation

3 Day Split - Input?


So, let's see, the goal is putting on mass and strength.
I've built a 3 day split that looks like this, the days are not in this particular order, it's just for reference:

DAY 1 - back, chest and traps
Chin-ups, Rows, (one more?), Incline bench press, Flat bench press, (one more in here too?), Dumbbell shrugs

DAY 2 - delts, hams, biceps
Military press, Lateral raises, Bent over raises, Deadlift, Leg curls, Barbell curls, Hammer curls

DAY 3 - quads, calves, triceps
Squats, Lounges, Standing calf raise, Seated calf raise, Dips, Skull crushers

I'm thinking on using 6-8 rep, 4-5 set, 90 - 120 rest.

  • any input on the program would be appreciated.
  • an alternative to it would also be useful for periodization
    Thx in advance.


Are you planning to work out three days a week, or will this be a 3 days on, 1 day off type deal?


3 days a week for the gym.


So you have 5 major exercises that are going to interally rotate your humerus (Chin-ups, Bench press x2, Military press and Dips) and you have.. 1 major exercise & 1 minor exercise that externally rotates your humerus (Row, Bent over raises)

Fix that and your program should be fine as long as you put effort into it and food into your body.


What other lift should he put in for an external rotating humerus?

Er, to counterbalance the others. Anyone have an example?


more horizontal rows and rear delt work.


A program like this would be hellish on my lower back, but if you think it'll work for you then go for it.

I personally would rather see you split things up more traditionally, eg: pull/push/legs

That way there is less overlap and you can have another back exercise or two, which would most likely be beneficial.


Chins rotate the humerus internally ?
But it's a pulling motion, like a row for example.

I've left two "holes" in DAY 1 where I can add two more exercises so I can put one more there.

About the Push/Pull/Lower split, I have a problem. How do you, or anybody if they will, incorporate all the basic exercises? Especially Deadlift and Military Presses?
Because if you do Incline and Flat chest and Dips on push... do you even have air for Presses?
The same goes for the Deadlift on the back day. And I can't put them on Legs day either because there are Squats...
So ... more input? :slightly_smiling:


And Mr popular, why do you say it would be bad for lower back?


Rows on day 1, deadlifts on day 2, and squats on day 3 would all tax my lower back to a significant degree. Doing them on separate days three times a week would just be overkill for my lower back.


k my 2c worth:

if you're after mass/strength then i think you have to be prepared for a different approach. i'm a big believer in less is more (especially at the beginning) so i'd spend 50% of my focus on compound lifts and the other 50% in the kitchen. my suggestions would be along the lines of

Mon 1 - squats, bench press, dumbell or barbell press (unless you can hang clean and press competently), stiff legged deadlift

8x3reps 2 min rests, superset sq&bp, sp&dl if req'd to minimise time in gym

Wed 1 - chins, deadlift, dumbell or barbell rows, dips

same sets and reps etc as Mon 1

Fri 1 - repeat Mon 1 but go for 4x8reps, 30sec rest

Mon 2 - repeat Wed 1 but with Fri 1 parameters. 8 reps deadlift might be a bit too high - then reduce to 6's

Wed 2 - repeat Mon 1

Fri 2 - repeat Wed 1 etc...

I really think that this is the way to go if you're a relative beginner. and of course eat a shitload of good food - crap food makes you look crap. Good Luck!


I'm also working on a new one to be able to change things after 6 weeks or so.


I'm not a beginner.
I'm no advanced either regarding size.
I posted here because the type of question seemed to fit here.
If it should be addressed somewhere else, hint me.

What you are suggesting is a full body and I have done that type of training up until now. I feel the need for a change and I've decided on a split.


As it stands, your program makes very little sense in the way it is set up. If you are going to do a split, I would go all the way and try a 4 or 5 day split. Chest, back, shoulders, legs, and possibly arms would each have their own day. You can arrange it in a way that makes the most sense for recovery and add in accessory work where you see fit.


Yes chins rotate humerus interally, it's a vertical pulling motion, targetting your lats more (a big internal rotator, which is why it should be stretched frequently), a row is a horizontal pulling motion.


I've been working on a program myself to hit the big exercises when I can finally get back into training (coming back from shoulder issues).

Focuses on:
DB Bench press
DB Row
Military press
pull ups

Day1: Squat
Day2: DB Bench & DB Row
Day3: OFF
Day4: Deadlift
Day5: Military press & pull ups
Day6: OFF
Day7: OFF

I then added in some accessory exercises to help progress on those exercises & keep my shoulders/hips healthy:

A) Squat
B) Lunge
C) Cable pull-throughs

A) DB bench press
B) DB row
C1) Scap push ups
C2) Rear delt flyes
D1) E-Z Bar skullcrushers
D2) Barbell biceps curl

A) Deadlift
B) Lunge
C) Leg press

A) Military press
B) Neutral-grip pull up
C1) Seated row, pronated grip
C2) Scap push ups
D1) Seated DB cleans
D2) Prone trap raises