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The Ultimate 3-Day Bodybuilding Split Routine for Putting on Mass

Make gains in just three days per week with this weightlifting routine designed to pack on more muscle.

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  • 3 days

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The Muscle-Building Benefits of Circuit Training
Artem Varnitsin / EyeEm / Getty
The Muscle-Building Benefits of Circuit Training
Artem Varnitsin / EyeEm / Getty

Gaining size isn’t as easy as it sounds. Your body is built to survive, not to look like an Olympia competitor, so putting on—and holding on to—muscle mass is a complicated, multilayered affair that can vary from person to person. But one thing everyone can do to maximize your ability to build mass is to select the right exercises—the type that will break down muscle tissue and trigger the hormonal responses that send your body into anabolic overdrive. 

Mass Moves Routine

You will only be lifting three days per week. (Yes, only three days per week.) Each workout should take you about 60-70 minutes, door to door. Rest at least 90 seconds between exercises such as bicep curls and Romanian deadlifts, and up to 3-4 minutes on your heavier sets of bench presses and squats. A good guideline is to rest long enough to move heavy weight, but not long enough to cool down. Use warm-up sets as needed.

On work sets, add weight to each successive set. A Monday/Wednesday/Friday or Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday split would be optimal. In the end, just make sure you get three lifts in per week on non-consecutive days.

Routine

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Workout 1

Exercise
Equipment
Sets
Reps
Rest
Exercise 1 of 24

Dumbbell Shoulder Press

Equipment
Dumbbells
Sets
3
Reps
10
Rest
--
Exercise 2 of 24

Barbell Front Squat

Equipment
Barbell, Squat Rack
Sets
4
Reps
8
Rest
--
Exercise 3 of 24

Romanian Deadlift

Equipment
Barbell
Sets
2
Reps
10
Rest
--
Exercise 4 of 24

General Pullup

Equipment
Pullup Bar
Sets
--
Reps
25
Rest
--
Perform 25 reps, using as many sets as it takes. If it is too easy, add weight and strive to complete your 25 in fewer segments from week to week.
Equipment
Barbell, Bench
Sets
3
Reps
10
Rest
--
Equipment
Dumbbells
Sets
5
Reps
5
Rest
--
Exercise 7 of 24

Dumbbell Hammer Curl

Equipment
Dumbbells
Sets
3
Reps
10
Rest
--
Exercise 8 of 24

Farmer’s Walk

Equipment
Dumbbells
Sets
1
Reps
to failure
Rest
--
Pick up a heavy set of dumbbells and walk as far as possible until you cannot hang on anymore.

Workout 2

Exercise
Equipment
Sets
Reps
Rest
Exercise 9 of 24

Dumbbell Shoulder Press

Equipment
Dumbbells
Sets
5
Reps
5
Rest
--
Exercise 10 of 24

Barbell Front Squat

Equipment
Barbell, Squat Rack
Sets
2
Reps
8
Rest
--
Exercise 11 of 24

Romanian Deadlift

Equipment
Barbell
Sets
2
Reps
10
Rest
--
Exercise 12 of 24

General Pullup

Equipment
Pullup Bar
Sets
--
Reps
15
Rest
--
Perform 15 reps, using as many sets as it takes. If it is too easy, add weight and strive to complete your 25 in fewer segments from week to week.
Equipment
Barbell, Bench
Sets
5
Reps
5
Rest
--
Equipment
Dumbbells
Sets
2
Reps
10
Rest
--
Exercise 15 of 24

Dumbbell Hammer Curl

Equipment
Dumbbells
Sets
5
Reps
5
Rest
--
Exercise 16 of 24

Farmer’s Walk

Equipment
Dumbbells
Sets
1
Reps
to failure
Rest
--
Pick up a heavy set of dumbbells and walk as far as possible until you cannot hang on anymore.

Workout 3

Exercise
Equipment
Sets
Reps
Rest
Exercise 17 of 24

Dumbbell Shoulder Press

Equipment
Dumbbells
Sets
3
Reps
10
Rest
--
Exercise 18 of 24

Barbell Front Squat

Equipment
Barbell, Squat Rack
Sets
5
Reps
5
Rest
--
Exercise 19 of 24

Romanian Deadlift

Equipment
Barbell
Sets
2
Reps
10
Rest
--
Exercise 20 of 24

General Pullup

Equipment
Pullup Bar
Sets
--
Reps
20
Rest
--
Perform 20 reps, using as many sets as it takes. If it is too easy, add weight and strive to complete your 25 in fewer segments from week to week.
Equipment
Barbell, Bench
Sets
3
Reps
10
Rest
--
Equipment
Dumbbells
Sets
3
Reps
10
Rest
--
Exercise 23 of 24

Dumbbell Hammer Curl

Equipment
Dumbbells
Sets
3
Reps
10,10,5
Rest
--
Exercise 24 of 24

Farmer’s Walk

Equipment
Dumbbells
Sets
1
Reps
to failure
Rest
--
Pick up a heavy set of dumbbells and walk as far as possible until you cannot hang on anymore. Go heavier and walk farther than you did in Workout 2.
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