Muscle building – Three-way split

This muscle-building training plan consists primarily of basic exercises such as squats and bench presses. In some exercises, the weights are increased to such a degree that only five or six reps are possible. If very heavy weights are used in training, you must be sure to leave sufficient time for the muscles to regenerate. Please remember that the protein you take can only be transformed into new muscle mass on the recovery days in between training units. The abs are targeted specifically in two short, tough sessions. These sessions include exercises with additional weights for the upper and lower abs. Having a strong core ensures proper posture during the numerous basic exercises. Consequently, abdominal training should not be neglected in the muscle-building phase.

Training units

Training is spread over three days (training units) per week, maintaining specific rest days so that the muscles can recuperate. Training unit A focuses on the chest, shoulders and triceps. Training unit B focuses on the legs, calves and lower abs. Training unit C works on the muscle groups in the back, biceps and upper abs.

The following training plan is designed for a training duration of four weeks.

Training unit ATraining unit BTraining unit C
Exercise Sets Reps Break
Bench presses 3 5-6 5 min.
Dips width extra weights 3 5-6 5 min.
Pullovers 3 6-8 4 min.
EZ bar overhead extensions* 3 6-8 4 min.
Overhead barbell presses 3 6-8 4 min.
Dumbbell shrugs 3 6-8 4 min.

* Dumbbells may also be used for this exercise.

Exercise Sets Reps Break
Squats 3 5-6 4-5 min.
Leg presses 3 5-6 4-5 min.
Standing leg curls on the leg-extension machine 3 6-8 3-4 min.
Standing calf raises 3 6-8 3-4 min.
Lying leg lifts with extra weights* 3 6-8 4 min.

* Extra weights in the form of weight collars are attached to the feet. Power leg lifting is another very effective method in place of weight collars. This involves a training partner quickly pressing your legs down after each rep.

Exercise Sets Reps Break
Pull-ups with extra weights 3 5-6 4 min.
Bent-over dumbbell rows 3 6-8 4 min.
Cable curls 3 5-6 4 min.
Alternating standing hammer curls 3 6-8 4 min.
Crunches with extra weights* 2-3 8-10 2 min.

* To do crunches with extra weights, a plate is placed on the chest and the exercise carried out. This enables you to regulate that muscle failure occurs in the eighth rep.