StrengthLog’s 5 Day Workout Split is a six-week training program to build muscle and gain strength simultaneously! It is available right now as a premium program in the StrengthLog workout tracker.
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In this article, you’ll find a comprehensive overview of the program, what it’s all about, and the results you can expect.
Who Is This Workout Program For?
This program is designed for the intermediate to the advanced lifter who wants to build muscle like a bodybuilder and get stronger in the three powerlifting lifts, the squat, the bench press, and the deadlift. It is not a beginner’s program, though. If you’re new to strength training, I suggest StrengthLog’s four-day split Upper/Lower Body Split Program or our Bodybuilding for Beginners training schedule. Either of those is an excellent introduction to lifting for strength and mass,
It’s not a program for the competitive or aspiring powerlifter looking for the best way to improve as much as possible. At its core, StrengthLog’s 5 Day Workout Split is a bodybuilding program, but one that lets you combine strength increases in the main powerlifting lifts with the gains in lean muscle mass you want. It’s also a great five-day split for anyone who, like a lot of people, has made staying fit, strong, and healthy their fitness goals.
Because it is a demanding, high-volume training split, it’s not ideal if your primary training goal is weight loss. You control your fat loss through your diet; too high a training volume could wear your muscles down. You’ll get better results from a balanced calorie intake or a slight surplus when you’re looking to gain strength and muscle size.
Presenting StrengthLog’s 5 Day Workout Split
StrengthLog’s 5 Day Workout Split combines heavy strength work with hypertrophy workouts on separate days in a 5-day workout split routine. It is a six-week program, combining an upper lower split with a Push/Pull/Legs routine. You work your entire body twice per week over five training days. Those days are split into two blocks, the first focusing on strength and the second on hypertrophy.
The first two-day block is an upper/lower split focusing on the powerlifting exercises, the so-called Big Three: the squat, the bench press, and the deadlift. Heavy weights using a rep range of 5–6 reps targeting your large muscle groups is the name of the game here.
You then jump into the hypertrophy-based part of the week, a 3-day split routine using moderate weights. You still hit your large muscle groups with compound movements, but you also get to focus more on your smaller muscle groups for a balanced physique. No body part gets left behind.
Each workout contains the main exercise from the first block, which means you squat, bench press, and deadlift twice per week, once using heavy weights and once using moderate. The Romanian deadlift replaces the standard deadlift in the second block, though. Two deadlift days can be one too many for some, and adding Romanian deadlifts lets you target your hamstrings to a greater extent.
An overview of the 5-day split workouts looks like this:
- Day 1: Upper Body – Strength
- Day 2: Lower Body – Strength
- Day 3: Chest, Shoulders, and Triceps – Hypertrophy
- Day 4: Back and Biceps – Hypertrophy
- Day 5: Legs and Calves – Hypertrophy
Here is an outline of a week of training.
Workout 1, Upper Body (Strength)
Workout 2, Lower Body (Strength)
Workout 3, Chest, Shoulders, and Triceps (Hypertrophy)
- Bench Press
- Incline Dumbbell Press
- Standing Cable Chest Fly or Dumbbell Flyes
- Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press
- Dumbell Lateral Raise
- Barbell Lying Triceps Extension
- Overhead Cable Triceps Extension
Workout 4, Back and Biceps (Hypertrophy)
Workout 5, Legs and Calves (Hypertrophy)
Download the StrengthLog workout log app to see the % of 1RM, number of sets, and reps of of StrengthLog’s 5 Day Workout Split .
As you can see, you train each major muscle group twice per week. Research shows that you make similar gains in muscle mass regardless of training frequency: splitting your body parts into two, five, or six workouts doesn’t matter much.1 However, doing many sets for a specific muscle group in one training session could lead to lower quality sets towards the end of the workout. For example, a 30-set legs split probably means you’ll be too exhausted to give it your all, in other words.
That’s why you’re not seeing chest day or leg day in StrengthLog’s 5-day workout routine. If you’re looking for a bodybuilding split like that, affectionately called a bro split, head over to Bodybuilding Ballet. Or check out all our bodybuilding workout splits here. One of the main goals, along with muscle growth, of StrengthLog’s 5 Day Workout Split is strength progression. That means quality over quantity and pushing heavier weights throughout the workout session.
To get bigger, you need to get stronger. With StrengthLog’s 5 Day Workout Split, you’ll be building muscle along with strength.
Two essential variables for gaining muscle and strength are progressive overload and training volume. You always want to keep challenging your different muscle groups, forcing them to lift a little heavier and do a little more than before. Otherwise, they get lazy, and your gains slow to a crawl.
Progressive overload is one of the most fundamental training principles, not only to get stronger but also to gain muscle. It means adding weight to the bar whenever possible, use a heavier pair of dumbbells, or a thicker set of resistance bands, preferably as part of a planned progression system. Once you can do the target number of repetitions, try to increase the weight the following workout.
StrengthLog’s 5 Day Workout Split does the work for you. The two-part training block that kicks off the week offers built-in progress in the form of percentage-based 1RM training. Week by week, your training intensity goes up, and your muscles adapt and get stronger.
Training volume is another major player in the hypertrophy game. Beginners get away with only a few sets per muscle group per week, but after some time in the gym, your muscles require more work to keep growing.
At the same time, you can only recover from so much training. Add too much extra volume, and you risk getting stale and perhaps overtrained. Overtraining is the enemy of gains, and you don’t want it as your training partner. Even if you still manage to get results in an overtrained state, that’s time and energy you could have spent doing more productive things and getting more efficient workout sessions.
With StrengthLog’s 5 Day Workout Split, you don’t have to worry about training too little or too much. The program provides you with more than enough training volume to gain muscle effectively, according to current recommendations.2 At the same time, you won’t be spending hours in the gym, giving you time and opportunity to rest, recover, and grow.
The progression in the second block is based on a gradual increase in training volume. Each week you add a set or two to the workouts. For example, during the first week, you perform three sets of bench presses. The following week, you add a set and do four sets. You never go overboard with the number of sets you perform in a workout or spend too much time in the gym in any given session. You’ll be in and out of the gym in an hour or so. Again, quality over quantity.
To summarize, StrengthLog’s 5 Day Workout Split offers progression on two fronts: intensity (as in heavier weights) and volume. The result? Increased strength and muscle growth.
Workout Days and Rest Days
You can structure your training week in several ways with StrengthLog’s 5 Day Workout Split.
The first entails training for five consecutive days, followed by two rest days. The m-f workout routine is the best option if you want the weekend free. The program ensures that any particular muscle group gets enough recovery time without any days off during the workday week.
Another way is to take a day of rest on the third day of the week, after the two-day strength block, with the next day off following the hypertrophy block. For example, if Monday is your first training day, Wednesday and Sunday will be your days off.
Of course, if you prefer to train on different days, feel free to rearrange your training and rest days to your schedule, but those are our recommendations.
Stimulate, Don’t Annihilate
Training to failure can be fun, but it also puts a lot of stress on your body and central nervous system. Even though a personal trainer might tell their clients to go all-out all the time, research shows that you get similar strength and muscle gains with or without training to failure.3 4
I recommend that the last repetition of each set should be challenging but not impossible. Select an amount of weight you can control, even on the heavy compound exercises. Terminate your sets when you feel that you could probably grind out one more rep without losing form if you had to.
If you want to go to failure, do so occasionally, not every single workout, for best results. Also, keep it to isolation exercises rather than heavy compound exercises. There are more effective ways to get big and strong than to run yourself into the ground.
To perform your best set after set, you need enough rest between them to recover appropriately. I suggest you ditch the timer and go by how you feel. When you feel ready for your next set, you likely are.
Research suggests that a more extended rest period might be slightly more effective for muscle growth. You’re able to do more reps for a greater total training volume. However, the differences won’t make or break your progress. You’ll get great results if you listen to your body and give it enough time to feel ready.
If you still want concrete recommendations, 2–3 minutes of rest between sets is ample time for most people and most exercises. You’ll likely notice that you might need longer rest in compound exercises like the squat or the deadlift than in an isolation exercise like the lateral raise.
If you have plenty of time for your workouts and enjoy spending time in the gym: feel free to rest up to five minutes between sets. However, that’s not the only way to plan your rest intervals. When you don’t have a lot of time, don’t be afraid to shorten your set intervals for a more time-efficient workout.
When You Reach The End of The Program
After six weeks of training, you’ve reached the end of the five-day split workout routine. If you enjoyed the program and the results, you could just start over from the beginning. The initial lower volume gives your body a chance to rest up before it ramps up again.
Alternatively, if you’re feeling fresh and strong, you could stay at week six until you feel the need to back off on the intensity and volume.
Before you start over, I recommend you test your 1RM in at least the squat, bench press, and deadlift to update the weights you’ll be using next time. You can also use our 1RM calculator to estimate your 1RM instead. It’s also available in the StrengthLog app for your convenience.
I’ve designed this training program to be a best 5-day workout split possible, focusing on muscle hypertrophy without sacrificing strength progression in the powerlifting lifts. The workouts aren’t overly long but still provide more than enough training volume to gain muscle effectively, according to current recommendations.
Follow This Program
Want to start StrengthLog’s 5 Day Workout Split?
It’s available exclusively in our workout tracker app StrengthLog .
While this program requires a premium subscription, StrengthLog itself is entirely free. You can download it and use it as a workout tracker and general strength training app – and all basic functionality is free forever.
It even has a bunch of free training programs and workout plans – everything from full-body workouts to bro-splits – whatever your fitness goals. However, our more advanced programs (such as this one) are for premium users only.
Want to give premium a shot? We offer all new users a free 14-day trial of premium, which you can activate in the app.
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- J Sports Sci. 2019 Jun;37(11):1286-1295. How many times per week should a muscle be trained to maximize muscle hypertrophy? A systematic review and meta-analysis of studies examining the effects of resistance training frequency.
- International Journal of Strength and Conditioning, 1(1), 2021-08-16. Resistance Training Recommendations to Maximize Muscle Hypertrophy in an Athletic Population: Position Stand of the IUSCA.
- Sports Medicine volume 46, pages 487–502 (2016). Effect of Training Leading to Repetition Failure on Muscular Strength: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.
- Strength and Conditioning Journal: October 2019 – Volume 41 – Issue 5 – p 108-113. Does Training to Failure Maximize Muscle Hypertrophy?