The Best 5 Day Workout Plan for Results

One of the most popular workout regimes among people who are serious about training is a five day workout program, sometimes called a five day split. This type of workout plan is an excellent choice for adding muscle to your frame. It involves working a different muscle group every day, and comes together as the best 5 day workout plan. 

​What Does the Best 5 ​Day ​​Workout Plan Look Like?

There are many possibilities for what a five-day workout plan could entail. Usually, it is picking one muscle per day and doing 6 to 8 workouts for that particular muscle.

One of the reasons this type of workout is popular is because it allows you more time to recover between working each muscle group than a full body work out plan would.

It also tends to lead to more efficient workouts. When you’re doing a full body workout, the muscles you work on at the beginning of your workout get a more effective workout than those you leave for the end of your workout.

This is due to fatigue. By the time you reach the end of your workout, your body will inevitably be tired. You are probably ready to just get it over with.

When doing a five-day split focusing on one muscle group at a time, you can give each individual muscle group your full attention. This also means you can train at a higher intensity, since each muscle is only worked once per week.

A higher intensity level is one of the reasons the five-day split is popular amongst body builders. Being able to work with heavier weights at a more intense level leads to quicker muscle gain. You can​ start to notice the results you are looking for.

Home gym complete with kettlebells, ab roller, dumbbells and a green mat

​A Five-Day Split

Every workout should aim to leave at least 60 seconds between exercises and 20 seconds between sets.

​Day 1: Legs/Abs

Warm up: 10 minutes of running followed by light stretching

  1. ​Barbell Squat: 5 reps, 3 sets
  2. Hamstring Curl: 12 reps, 3 sets
  3. Goblet Squats: 15 reps, 2 sets
  4. Leg Presses: 12 reps, 4 sets
  5. Weighted Calf Raises: 20 reps each leg, 2 sets
  6. Kettlebell Deadlifts: 10 reps, 3 sets


  1. Sit Ups: 15 reps, 2 sets
  2. Lying Leg Lifts: 10 reps, 2 sets
  3. Bicycle Crunches: 30 reps, 2 sets
  4. V-Ups: 5 reps, 3 sets
Woman using her fitness equipment at home

​Day 2: Chest

Warm up: 5 minutes on the rowing machine

  1. Flat ​Bench Barbell Press: 8 reps, 4 sets
  2. ​Kettlebell Chest Fly: 6 reps each arm, 2 sets
  3. Dumbbell Chest Press: 10 reps, 3 sets
  4. ​Push-Ups: 20 reps, 3 sets
  5. Cable Crossovers: 20 reps, 3 sets
  6. Pec-Deck Machine: 12 reps, 3 sets
  7. Low-Incline Barbell Press: 5 reps, 3 sets
  8. Machine Chest Press: 12 reps, 3 sets
Woman lying on her back while holding a pair of dumbbells against her stomach

​Day 3: Rest

​Day 4: Back/Abs

​Warm up: 5 minutes of stair machine

  1. Pull Ups (or Assisted Pull Ups): 8 reps, 3 sets
  2. Bent Over Rows with Barbell: 12 reps, 3 sets
  3. Straight Arm Cable Pulldown: 12 reps, 3 sets
  4. Seated Cable Row: 12 reps, 3 sets
  5. Single Arm Dumbbell Row: 15 reps each side, 2 reps


  1. Side Plank: 30 each side
  2. ​Reverse Crunches: 20 reps, 2 sets
  3. ​Flutter Kicks: 45 seconds
  4. Sprinter Crunches: 8 reps each side, 2 sets
Hand wearing a fitness watch beside a pair of 15kg dumbbells

​Day 5: Shoulder/Abs

​Warm up: 5 minutes rowing machine

  1. ​Upright Barbell Row: 10 reps, 3 sets
  2. Dumbbell Shoulder Press: 12 reps
  3. Dumbbell Lateral Raise: 8 reps each side, 2 sets
  4. Dumbbell Shrugs: 15 reps, 3 sets
  5. ​Single Arm Lateral Cable Raise: 8 reps each side, 3 sets
  6. Dumbbell Arnold Press: 10 reps, 3 sets


  1. Crunches: 30 reps, 2 sets
  2. Lying Leg Raises: 10 reps, 2 sets
  3. Weighted Russian Twists: 40 reps, 2 sets
  4. Heel Touches: 30 reps, 2 sets
Woman trying to lift a kettlebell from the floor with both hands

​Day 6: Rest

​Day 7: Arms

  1. Standing Hammer Curls: 10 reps, 4 sets
  2. Tricep Extensions: 20 reps, 2 sets
  3. ​Skull Crushers: 12 reps, 3 sets
  4. Preacher Curls: 3 reps, 5 sets
  5. Tricep Dips: 12 reps, 2 sets
  6. ​Barbell Curls: 12 reps, 3 sets
  7. ​Close Grip Bench Press: 10 reps, 3 sets
  8. Alternating Dumbbell Curl: 8 rep each arm, 3 sets

​It is important to keep in mind you should be giving yourself rest days and not doing five straight days. Your body needs the time to recover after an intense workout as appropriate recovery time allows you to maintain the same levels of intensity and not risk injury.

This workout will be most effective if you do each workout at the highest weight you can handle without putting yourself at risk for hurting yourself.

Person using an ab roller

The above routine is a sample for what a five-day workout plan could look like. There are many potential options and you can design a program that suits you.

You will best be served if you put the shoulder workout and arm workout days at a distance from the chest workout days. This is because your joints will need time to recover between those days.

You should also aim to switch up the exercises in your five-day split every three weeks. If your goal is to gain muscle, you want to choose the best supplements and switch things around so your body doesn’t plateau. If you’re working out from home, you can try using dumbbell sets for beginners or an adjustable dumbbell so you can have all the weights you need in one piece of equipment.

Additionally, you may also choose to add cardio into your routine twice a week. This can be helpful if you feel you want to burn some excess calories for fat loss. If you have trouble gaining weight, cardio won’t be as helpful.


The five-day split is not the only way to arrange your workout routine. If training five days a week is too much for you, there is also the option of the three-day split. However, a five day split is typically the most effective if muscle gain is your top priority. It’s best to accompany your workouts with a good pre-workout supplement to help you get through this program efficiently.

While those who want to bulk up are most likely to choose the five-day split, it can also be effective for those whose goal is fat loss. It is particularly effective when combined with cardio twice a week.

The best five day workout is the one you find that works for you. There is no exact formula for each person. You may prefer to pair up two muscle groups per day or give your abs their own day entirely. You use iPhone apps to find new exercise routines and include as much variation as you want to find your best 5 day workout plan.

Robert Lemus has been a natural competitor for 6 years, starting in Men’s Physique, then Bodybuilding, and then into Classic Physique. He is the Orange County Bodybuilding champion in 2016 for the Musclemania Organization. In 2018, he received his Pro Card with the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) in Classic Physique.