StrengthLog’s 6 Day Workout Split: A Premium Bodybuilding Program

StrengthLog’s 6 Day Workout Split is a six-week training program for bodybuilders looking to build muscle like a pro. It is designed for the upper intermediate to the advanced lifter and allows you to focus on one major muscle group per workout without trade-offs.

You can find StrengthLog’s 6 Day Workout Split as a premium program in your StrengthLog workout tracker, which you can download for free using one of the buttons below.

Download StrengthLog Workout Log on App Store
Download StrengthLog Workout Log on Google Play Store

This article outlines the workout split, detailing the workouts, exercises, and what you can expect from the program.

Introducing StrengthLog’s 6 Day Workout Split 

StrengthLog’s 6 Day Workout Split is a “bro split,” the type of bodybuilding workout split where you focus on one or two major muscle groups per training session. It is, by far, the most popular training split among bodybuilders. For example, a survey of 127 competitive male bodybuilders found that close to 7 out of 10 used a bro-style workout split, training each major muscle group once per week.1

Giving each muscle group their dedicated training day allows you to overload them, get the work done in a relatively short session, and provide maximum time to rest, recover, and grow. 

Some claim that splitting your body into four, five, or six workout days and training each muscle only once per week is inferior to working each body part several times per week. However, they might not realize that you train your muscles more than once per week with a bro-split. For example, your biceps are heavily involved when you train back. Your delts do a lot of the work on chest day. All pushing exercises for the chest and shoulders work your triceps too. 

Recent scientific research finds that training a major muscle group once weekly is just as effective as training it more than three times weekly for muscle growth.2 3 In other words, you can choose a weekly training frequency based on your preferences. Bodybuilders generally choose the bro split, training multiple times per week but only working each body part once.

The five-day split is the most common bro split, but some bodybuilders prefer to take it one step further with a 6-day workout routine. Doing so offers several benefits:

  • Time-efficient workouts
  • Optimal opportunity for recovery
  • Straight-forward: dedicated training days for each body part
  • Maximum focus on the muscles you’re training during your workout
  • You don’t overlook any muscle groups, giving them all the training they need to grow

The primary downside of a bro split like StrengthLog’s 6 Day Workout Split is time: if you can only train two or three times per week, for example, a 6-day workout plan is not for you. Then again, if you’re looking for a 6-day split, you know what you want and have the time to dedicate to it.

Who Is StrengthLog’s 6 Day Workout Split For?

StrengthLog’s 6 Day Workout Split is designed for the upper intermediate to advanced bodybuilder looking to build muscle mass. You can set aside at least an hour for the gym almost every day of the week. You also have the training experience to handle a significant training volume. This program contains plenty of sets for each body part per workout. It’s an intense training program, although you get plenty of time for adequate recovery between sessions.

If you’re new to strength training and bodybuilding, you probably want to start with a program better suited for your experience level. StrengthLog’s Bodybuilding for Beginners workout routine or our Upper/Lower Body Split Program are excellent options that will give you better results at this point in your bodybuilding journey and prepare you for a high volume training split like this one. You can find both in StrengthLog, and both are completely free.

StrengthLog’s 6 Day Workout Split: The Workouts

A week of StrengthLog’s 6 Day Workout Split looks like this:

  • Day 1: Back
  • Day 2: Chest, Abs
  • Day 3: Quads
  • Day 4: Shoulders
  • Day 5: Hamstrings, Calves
  • Day 6: Biceps, Triceps

Typically, the training week runs from Monday to Saturday, with Sunday off, but you can squeeze the rest day in wherever it fits your schedule the best. It doesn’t even have to be the same day every week.

The program is strategically designed for optimal recovery between workout sessions. You’ll never be tired from working the same muscles the day before, but you also activate them multiple times per week, directly or indirectly. You don’t accumulate fatigue and can keep your training intensity high until the last set.

This program follows up-to-date scientific recommendations for set volume and rep ranges, incorporating both heavy weight training and light weights where you go for the pump. You’ll find the exact set and rep range configuration in your StrengthLog app.

Let’s take a closer look at each training session of StrengthLog’s 6 Day Workout Split

Workout 1: Back

You start your training week with a high-volume back workout. Building a big back is challenging, and you often see bodybuilders who look great from the front but don’t look as impressive when they turn around.

This workout combines compound movements where you can use heavy weights with isolation exercises to focus on the working muscles. Because you can’t see your back, it can be tricky to feel the muscles working. Adding an isolation exercise or two with lighter weight to the heavy loads you can handle in exercises like the barbell row gives you the best of both worlds: strength gains and muscle growth in equal amounts. It’s the most effective way to hit all muscle fibers and build a stand-out back.

  1. Pull-Up or Lat Pulldown
  2. Barbell Row
  3. Seated Row
  4. Dumbbell Shrug
  5. Back Extension

Workout 2: Chest and Abs

The next day in StrengthLog’s 6 Day Workout Split is chest day. Many bodybuilders consider Monday to be International Chest Day, but with this six day gym workout schedule you’re going against the stream. Training chest on day two gives you the chance to recover between the two “worst” days of the program, back day and leg day. This chest workout still means hard work, but most lifters probably consider the back and legs sessions the most grueling. Another benefit of training chest on different days is that the equipment you want is less likely to be occupied.

Once you’re done with the chest exercises, you finish the workout with some abdominal work. Feel free to do the ab exercises back-to-back in the form of a tri-set, resting once you’ve performed all three in a row.

  1. Bench Press
  2. Incline Dumbbell Press
  3. Standing Cable Chest Fly
  4. Push-Up
  5. Kneeling Ab Wheel Roll-Out
  6. Hanging Knee Raise
  7. Crunch

Workout 3: Quads

Leg day is both feared and loved by most bodybuilders. A grueling leg workout takes a lot out of you, but at the same time, few things feel as good as the sense of accomplishment once you’ve finished a session of brutal quad work.

Back to basics is the name of the game here. Nothing fancy, just basic exercises and hard work. Put in the effort, and you’ll be rewarded with growing quad muscles and the lower body development you deserve.

  1. Squat
  2. Hack Squat Machine
  3. Barbell Lunge
  4. Leg Extension

Workout 4: Shoulders

Shoulder day isn’t as taxing as, say, back day, but you’ll feel a serious burn when you scorch your front, middle, and rear delts with this workout. Starting with a compound exercise for overall shoulder development, you move to isolation work to hit all target muscles in different ways and from different angles.

  1. Overhead Press
  2. Dumbbell Lateral Raise
  3. Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press
  4. Reverse Dumbbell Flyes

Workout 5: Hamstrings and Calves

Because you “only” trained your quads on the third day of StrengthLog’s 6 Day Workout Split, you dedicate a particular day of your legs split to the rest of your lower body: your hamstrings and calves.

Many aspiring bodybuilders tack on a few sets of half-hearted hamstring and calf work at the end of the leg training sessions. However, that’s not the most effective way to build a balanced lower body. Instead of training your hamstrings and calves when you’re already exhausted from extensive quad work, this 6-day workout plan allows you to give these important muscle groups the attention they deserve.

  1. Lying Leg Curl
  2. Seated Leg Curl
  3. Romanian Deadlift
  4. Standing Calf Raise
  5. Seated Calf Raise

Workout 6: Biceps and Triceps

Nothing shows off your bodybuilding prowess like a pair of impressive guns. You finish the StrengthLog’s 6 Day Workout Split with an arm workout sure to set your biceps and triceps on fire and down the path to growth. While the biceps might get the most attention, the triceps make up two-thirds of your upper-arm muscle mass. This training session is the best way to hit both muscles from every angle for optimal arm development.

  1. Barbell Curl
  2. Preacher Curl
  3. Cable Curl
  4. Barbell Lying Triceps Extension
  5. Dumbbell Triceps Extension
  6. Tricep Pushdown

For a more time-efficient training session, you can superset the exercises by alternating between the bicep and tricep sets. In other words, you’d do one set of barbell curls, immediately followed by a set of lying tricep extensions, only resting after you’ve completed both exercises. You’d combine exercises 1+4, 2+5, and 3+6 from the list above. That’s the layout of Bicep and Tricep Superset Workout for Mass, our popular and effective workout session for supersetting arms.

Progression Model

To keep your muscles growing bigger and stronger over time, you need progression in your training. You continuously need to lift a little heavier or do a little more work. 

As a beginner, gains come easy. Any resistance training you add is a little more than you did before, and your muscles respond by increasing in size and strength. A single set per muscle group, three times per week, is enough to stimulate muscle growth in beginners, especially in the upper body.4 With experience, gains come slower, and one set per muscle group per workout no longer cuts it.

According to up-to-date research, you need at least ten weekly sets per muscle group to optimize muscle growth, preferably 12–20 sets as an experienced athlete.5 6 Advanced lifters and high-level bodybuilders can likely benefit from even more.

set volumes per week 6 day workout split

At the same time, you don’t want to do too many sets to the point where they become junk volume, training that takes your valuable time and energy without providing any benefits.

optimal training volume 6 day workout split

StrengthLog’s 6 Day Workout Split takes care of the volume progression, keeping you at or near the “optimal training volume” point throughout the program, provided you are a reasonably experienced lifter. Your training volume gradually increases, but not to the point of overwhelming your recovery.

In addition, while StrengthLog’s 6 Day Workout Split is designed for muscle hypertrophy, it will also make you stronger. Once you can complete the target number of reps in an exercise with good form, increase the load you’re using a little. When you can perform the target reps with that weight, increase your training weights a little, and rinse and repeat.

The strategic increase in training volume and load combined with a balanced exercise selection will force your muscles into growth.

Rest Intervals

I suggest you ignore the timer between sets and self-select the length of your rest intervals. As a fairly experienced lifter, you probably know your body and how long you need to rest to do your next set justice. Besides, everyone’s recovery times are different. In addition, there is little evidence that predetermined rest intervals are superior to auto-regulation as long as you rest long enough to perform again.7

If you want to go by the clock or don’t have that much time to spend in the gym, I suggest you rest 2–3 minutes between sets, at least for compound exercises. That’s enough to recover energy and catch your breath, allowing you to keep your intensity up set after set. For isolation exercises, you can shorten your rest intervals even more if you need to, although longer rests might offer some benefits for muscle growth.8 It’s nothing that will make or break your progress, though.

Training to Failure

Training to failure is a popular way to increase the stress on your muscles and hopefully boost muscle growth. Instead of performing a predetermined number of reps, you do as many as possible until you can’t do another with correct form. Many experienced bodybuilders consider training to muscular failure advantageous for gaining size and strength.

According to science, you don’t need to train to failure for muscle hypertrophy or strength.9 10 However, there might be a slight benefit if you’re an advanced lifter.

I suggest you terminate the majority of your sets in StrengthLog’s 6-Day Workout Split one or two reps before failure. Save the all-out sets for isolation exercises, maybe only the last set. That way, you avoid the potential pitfalls of training to failure, like impaired recovery, increased muscle damage, and even reduced gains, but still get the potential advantages. Training to failure all the time can lead to overtraining and psychological burnout.11

Avoid failure on heavy compound movements like the squat or the bench press and save it for exercises where you can quickly rack the weight to avoid hurting yourself.

Preparing for StrengthLog’s 6 Day Workout Split

Before heading off to the gym for the first workout of StrengthLog’s 6 Day Workout Split, it’s be a good idea to establish your 1RM in the bench press and the squat. Your 1RM is your one-repetition maximum, the heaviest weight you can lift once with maximal effort.

You might already know your 1RM in the bench press and the squat, in which case you don’t have to do anything else. You’re good to go. If you don’t know it, and you don’t want to figure it out by doing heavy singles in the gym (you’re a bodybuilder, not a powerlifter, after all), you can use our handy calculator:

The Best 1RM Calculator: Calculate Your One Rep Max

It is based on one of the most accurate equations for predicting 1RM. While no 1RM equation is 100 % accurate for everyone, it is more than good enough for our purposes.

When You Reach the End of StrengthLog’s 6 Day Workout Split

After six weeks of hardcore training, you’ve reached the end of StrengthLog’s 6 Day Workout Split, likely feeling strong and a slightly bigger version of your previous self.

If you liked the program, feel free to start over from week one right away. StrengthLog’s 6 Day Workout Split is designed as a bodybuilding split for building muscle long-term. Take a deload week to recuperate if your body feels tired.

Follow This Workout Routine in StrengthLog

Want to give StrengthLog’s 6 Day Workout Split a go?

It’s available exclusively in our workout 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 programs and workouts. 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.

Download StrengthLog for free with the buttons below:

Download StrengthLog Workout Log on App Store
Download StrengthLog Workout Log on Google Play Store

Good luck with your training, buddy!

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References

  1. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research: June 2013 – Volume 27 – Issue 6 – p 1609-1617. Training Practices and Ergogenic Aids Used by Male Bodybuilders.
  2. 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.
  3. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research: July 2019 – Volume 33 – Issue – p S130-S139. High-Frequency Resistance Training Is Not More Effective Than Low-Frequency Resistance Training in Increasing Muscle Mass and Strength in Well-Trained Men.
  4. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research: February 2007 – Volume 21 – Issue 1 – p 157-163. Dissimilar effects of one- and three-set strength training on strength and muscle mass gains in upper and lower body in untrained subjects.
  5. 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.
  6. J Hum Kinet. 2022 Feb 10;81:199-210. A Systematic Review of The Effects of Different Resistance Training Volumes on Muscle Hypertrophy.
  7. Sports Med. 2014 Dec;44(12):1635-43. The effect of inter-set rest intervals on resistance exercise-induced muscle hypertrophy.
  8. Eur J Sport Sci. 2017 Sep;17(8):983-993. The effects of short versus long inter-set rest intervals in resistance training on measures of muscle hypertrophy: A systematic review.
  9. Strength and Conditioning Journal: October 2019 – Volume 41 – Issue 5 – p 108-113. Does Training to Failure Maximize Muscle Hypertrophy?
  10. Journal of Sport and Health Science, Volume 11, Issue 2, March 2022, Pages 202-211. Effects of resistance training performed to repetition failure or non-failure on muscular strength and hypertrophy: A systematic review and meta-analysis.
  11. Sports Medicine volume 23, pages 106–129 (1997). Resistance Exercise Overtraining and Overreaching.
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Andreas Abelsson

Andreas has over 30 years of training experience and is a highly appreciated writer and educator on exercise, fitness, and nutrition. Few people stay more up to date and have a better grasp of the field of exercise science than Andreas.