Weekly 7-Day Split Workout Program for Advanced Weight Training

Man doing pushups outside
Geber86/Getty Images
Table of Contents
View All
Table of Contents

Split training—also called split weight training or split system training—is a type of weight training in which you schedule your daily workouts according to body region or muscle group. Some split training programs include upper body days and lower body days. Others might include front body days (pushing) and back body days (pulling).

Experienced weight trainers who want a bulking workout program or fitness enthusiasts just looking for the best 7-day workout to target the whole body might choose this type of training for its effectiveness. Studies have shown that training individual body parts on one or two days per week can be just as effective as training the whole body several days each week.

Split Training Basics

Many exercisers set a goal to gain strength, build muscle size, and boost muscular power. To achieve these goals they complete full-body workouts when they go to the gym. That is, they work all the major muscle groups (arms, shoulders, chest, back, legs, butt, and abdominals) on each workout day.

Full-body workouts are best for those who can't get to the gym most days of the week. Total body training on a few days of the week allows you to build a balanced body without working out every day. Bootcamp classes, many TRX training programs, and bodyweight workouts are examples of popular full-body workouts.

Split training athletes, on the other hand, focus on just a few muscle groups during each workout. This allows them to fine-tune their lifting technique and target specific areas of the body during each session. But in order to make sure the whole body is trained, split training athletes must work out most days of the week.

Weekly 7-Day Split Gym Workout Plan

Instructions for the full week of advanced training are listed below. Five of those days are lifting days and two are rest days. As indicated, however, you should stay active on rest days. It will go like this:

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

Before you start this training program there are a few safety guidelines you should follow. First, make sure that you are healthy enough for vigorous exercise. If you have been sedentary for some time or if you are returning to exercise after an injury or after pregnancy, check with your healthcare provider for exercise clearance.

Next, always make sure you warm up before you start. This can include some light cardio plus a light set of each exercise. After your session is complete, cool down with treadmill walking and light stretching.

Lastly, listen to your body. Stop exercising if you feel acute pain and check with your healthcare provider if it persists. Adjust weights, sets and reps and rest intervals to suit your current level of fitness.

Day 1: Chest

You'll target primarily the pectoralis major, a fan-shaped muscle that makes up the meaty part of the chest, and the smaller pectoralis minor that lies underneath.

Do 3 sets of 10–12 exercises with 30-60 seconds rest between.

Day 2: Back and Core

Muscles targeted on day two include the latissimus dorsi and the rhomboids in the back of the body. Your core work will train the abdominal muscles, pelvic floor muscles, and erector spinae.

Do 3 sets of 10-12 exercises with 30-60 seconds rest between.

Day 3: Rest

Rest days are essential to help repair and rebuild both the body and the mind. But a rest day doesn't mean that you have to spend the day on the couch. Include active recovery in your day to get some physical movement without taxing the body. Go for a bike ride or head outdoors for a hike.

Day 4: Shoulders and Traps

The deltoids are targeted today including the anterior delts (front of the shoulder), posterior delts (back of the shoulder), and medial delts (top of the shoulder). Some of these exercises also target the trapezius muscle which runs along the top half of the spine and fans out over the back of the upper shoulder.

Do 3 sets of 10-12 exercises with 30-60 seconds rest between.

Day 5: Legs

It's lower body day today and you'll work the quadriceps, hamstrings, gluteal muscles (maximus, minimus, medius), and lower leg.

Do 3 sets of 10-12 exercises with 30-60 seconds rest between.

Day 6: Arms

Since you've already worked the muscles in your shoulder area, arm day will target the biceps and triceps.

Do 3 sets of 10-12 exercises with 30-60 seconds rest between. If you change the order of the exercises be sure that you alternate the biceps and triceps exercises.

Day 7: Rest

Again, take advantage of active recovery on this rest day. You might also want to use this day off to do meal prep for the week or set up a training journal to track your progress.

1 Source
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Thomas MH, Burns SP. Increasing lean mass and strength: A comparison of high frequency strength training to lower frequency strength trainingInt J Exerc Sci. 2016;9(2):159–167.

By Paul Rogers
Paul Rogers is a personal trainer with experience in a wide range of sports, including track, triathlon, marathon, hockey, tennis, and baseball.