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3-part split training plan - the tool for more training success

The 3-part split training plan is an ideal system for strength athletes and bodybuilders at an advanced level who want to give their training new impetus. With a 3-part split training plan,trained three times a weekwith a different muscle group being used in each unit. We have put together a proven 3-part split training plan with the classic exercises and repetition systems, as well as everything the strength athlete needs to know about weekly planning, training design and exercise selection.

All information and detailed templates for successful 3-part split training can be found at the end of this article asPDF and easy download.

Tips & tricks for 3-part split training

Before we introduce you to the exercises of the 3-split training plan, we will show youthe best tricks for one moremore effective training.

  • A warm-up of 5-10 minutes before each session, for example on the treadmill or rowing machine.
  • Prepare muscles for the coming stress through stretching exercises.
  • Before each exercise, complete 1-2 warm-up sets in order to develop a feel for the sequence of movements.
  • Perfect execution is essential - execution beats weight. This way, the muscle is better “hit” and the risk of injury is minimized.
  • A casual cool down of 5-10 minutes is part of the training routine. The body breaks down the lactate (lactic acid) and regenerates better.
  • If cardio training is carried out to reduce body fat or to increase endurance, these units should be completed on the non-training days. Cardio before strength training robs the athlete of the strength to work with weights,Cardioafterwards hinders muscle building.

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Weekly planning in a 3-part split training plan

The training week in the 3-part split training plan includes 3 units. With sensible planning of the training week, maximum progress can be made from just a few units. The change from intensive units and phases of recovery is important.

This is what a week in the 3-part split training plan can look like:

  • Monday: Training session 1
  • Tuesday: Free
  • Wednesday: Training session 2
  • Thursday: Free
  • Friday: training session 3
  • Saturday: Free
  • Sunday: Free

This is how the body parts are optimally divided in the 3-way split:

  • Training session 1: chest / triceps
  • Training session 2: legs / stomach
  • Training session 3: back / biceps

ABreak day between the units ensures that the central nervous system can also recover from the intense workouts. The nervous system is strongly challenged by the control of the complex movement sequences. In contrast to the muscles, it does not send the athlete any immediately noticeable signals of overexertion. A constant overuse leads in the medium term to the so-calledOvertraining. This can be prevented by taking sufficient rest.

The 3-part split example plan is designed in such a way that separate muscle groups are always trained in two consecutive units. This also promotes regeneration.

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Exercises for individual muscle groups in a split of three

The 3-part split training plan is suitable for fine-tuning the muscles and leaves scope for targeted work on individual parts of the body. Still, the workout should always be onBasic exercisesthat challenge the entire body. This develops both the basic athletic skills and the abdominal and core muscles, which are important for stabilization. In the overview you can find challenging exercises for each muscle group, which ensure an even development of the entire body.

Muscle groupBasic exerciseexercise 2Exercise 3
chestBench pressDumbbell Bench PressCable pull across
TricepsFrenchpressTriceps extension on the cable
moveDeadliftBarbell rowPull-downs to the chest
chestBench pressIncline bench press with dumbbellsButterflies on the cable pull
legsSquatsLeg extensionHamstrings
bellyHanging leg raisesCrunches
ShouldersMilitary PressLateral raises with dumbbellsBent over rowing with dumbbells
poorBarbell curlsFrench press with SZ bar


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The exercises presented are only a small selection. There is one for each part of the bodyVariety of other exercises. The equipment (barbell, dumbbell, cable pull, kettlebell, sandbag, machine, etc.) can also be varied.

We recommend keeping a constant in the exercise selection over several weeks and progressively increasing the weights within this selection. In this way, the progress can be followed and the body stimulated to steadily build muscle.

Supportive sports nutrition

In addition to progressive strength training and a structured nutrition plan, the intelligent use of sports nutrition is also suitable for building muscles over the long term.

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After training:

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Example week in the 3-split training plan

Monday: chest / tricepsWednesday: legs / stomachFriday: back / biceps
Bench press (5 × 5)Squats (5 × 5)Deadlift (5 × 5)
Dumbbell bench press (3 × 8-12)Inclined leg press 45 ° (4 × 8-12)Bent barbell row (3 × 8-12)
Cable pulls crossed (3 × 8-12)Lunge steps with dumbbell (3 × 10-15)Lat pulldowns to the chest (3 × 8-12)
French press with SZ bar (4 × 8-12)Sitting leg curls (3 × 10-15)Isolated dumbbell pull-downs (4 × 8-12)
Triceps extension on the cable pulley (3 × 8-12)Leg raises (4 × 12-15)Barbell curls (4 × 5-8)
Crunches (4 × 12-15)Concentration curls (3 × 12-15)


Sets and repetitions in the 3-split training plan

The training should always come with aheavy basic exercise (Deadlift, bench press, squat, etc.) and these are preferably performed in the 5 × 5 system (5 sets of 5 repetitions with sufficient break times according to feeling). In the course of the training session, isolation exercises can increasingly be used.

The training can be regularly supplemented with intensity techniques in order to constantly expose the body to new stimuli.

For the isolation exercises, a repetition scheme of 8-12 repetitions in 3-4 work sets with break times between 60 and 90 seconds is recommended. A unit should be completed in around 60 minutes.

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Typical mistakes in the 3-split training plan

The 3-split training plan is very popular among fitness and strength athletes, but typical mistakes are made again and again when creating it. The following points must be observed in order to get the most out of the split training:

Mistake 1: Two large muscle groups in one workout

Two large parts of the body are trained in one unit, for example the legs - the largest muscle group in the body - together with the back. ThePre-exhaustion Especially when using heavy training weights, it is so big that the second part of the training can no longer be performed with the necessary intensity.

Mistake 2: isolation instead of basic exercises

Instead of focusing on theBasics To concentrate, too much energy is being put into isolation exercises such as biceps curls. In general, the larger the muscle group, the more time should be devoted to it. If the legs are getting the same number of sets as the triceps, then the training schedule is unbalanced.

Mistake 3: Two similar muscle groups in a row

Two similar muscle groups are trained on two consecutive days. For example, a shoulder unit directly after the chest unit is not optimal because both partssimilar (pressure) movements and the shoulder is already involved in most chest exercises.

This division is particularly problematic when training without a day off between training units. But even those who only go to the gym every other day are giving away regeneration potential.

Is a 3-part split training plan right for me?

What goals is the 3-part split training plan suitable for?

If the beginner stage has already been left and sufficient basic muscles and a feeling for the movement sequences and training weights have been developed, the athlete can dospecific goals dedicate, for example, 100kg in the bench press or 1.5 times your body weight in the squat.

The 3-part split training plan is ideal here. It enables you to work on personal milestones in a targeted manner without losing sight of the development of the athletic basis.

Who is a 3-part split training plan suitable for?

The 3-part split training plan is suitable for athletes who have several months of training experience. The basic exercises should be technically safe and the trainee should be able to assesswhat training weights really challenge him. The training plan is a good compromise for athletes who want to pursue ambitious goals with moderate training frequency.

Have you been training hard for some time and want to start your 3-split training plan right away? Then you will find our clear training plan to print out here.

3-part split training plan PDF

Advantages of the 3-part split training plan

The 3-split training plan enables intensive training of individual muscle groups. On the one hand, only a few muscles are used per unit, so that all the energy from the first sets can be put into the body parts without pre-exhaustion. On the other hand, there is a long time gap between the training of individual parts, so that the body can regenerate sufficiently.

Training in a 3-part split is suitable forTargeted improvement of weak points and paying more attention to individual muscle groups or exercises in which the user wants to get stronger.

Another advantage is the time flexibility of the 3-way split. Three workouts a week are enough to get quick results.

3-part split training plan - not right for you?

If you have big goals and want to specifically challenge your muscles, our 4-split training plan is the right choice: high training frequency and intensive workouts for advanced strength athletes and competitive athletes.

Are you focusing on great strength values? This is where our 5X5 training plan helps to set new records. Go to your limit with difficult basic exercises and experience real strength and mass gains.

Fitness training without a gym? It doesn't always have to be the dumbbell. Our kettlebell training plan works with minimal equipment. For full-body workouts at home and when traveling.

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