Medically the evaluation by Daniel Bubnis, M.S., NASM-CPT, NASE Level II-CSS, Fitness — composed by Nicole Davis, CPT top top October 1, 2020

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We recognize that strength training is an excellent for friend — great, actually.

From enhanced muscle mass and stronger skeleton to much better balance and also weight management, incorporating toughness training right into your exercise regime is a no-brainer.

What’s infinitely more confusing is figuring the end the logistics of that all. Is over there a magic number of days every week you should work out? must you separation upper and also lower body? How numerous reps and sets?

There’s a lot of information accessible and many ways to approach training. In this article, we’ll explore the topic of how many exercises you should do per muscle group.

What’s the short answer?

It varies depending on several factors, including your fitness level and also goals.

For example, research study is clear the the much more weekly sets girlfriend perform, the an ext muscle hypertrophy — or size boost — you’ll see. But what about if you interested in acquiring strength? Or muscular endurance?

In general, a range of 1 to 3 sets of an practice can provide benefits based upon your goals, and also even simply one practice per muscle team can provide you results.

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To get strength, it’s ideal to stick through a few foundational exercises and also concentrate her reps and sets there. If dimension is her goal, you’ll desire to vary your exercises more, spreading your reps and sets in between them.

Per exercise vs. Per week

Should friend think about exercises every muscle team in a weekly view, or every workout?

To recognize this subject better, we need to start v addressing training volume.

Training volume = reps x sets x weight.

The exactly training volume because that you will rely on several factors, consisting of your fitness level and goals.

Training volume is finest to technique as a weekly target, as it accounts for how numerous workouts every week you setup to train a specific muscle group.

Whether you’ll train each muscle team once per week or three times per week, your volume target will continue to be the same. You will do it just readjust your target variety of reps and also sets every workout.

Workout set vs. Reps

It’s also important to think around your workouts in sets versus reps.

When thinking around your weekly training volume, the more reps you complete, the fewer number of sets you’ll should do. This likely means a lower weight load.

On the flip side, the fewer reps you finish — most likely at a heavier weight — the more sets you’ll should do.

Your purposes come into play here:

Lower rep arrays of 5 and under are ideal for strength gains. Center rep varieties of 6 come 12 are ideal for a combination of both strength and also muscle size (hypertrophy).High rep varieties of 13 come 20 are most valuable for muscular endurance.

Once you’ve identified your goals, you’ll recognize whether her workouts will be set-heavy or rep-heavy.

Weekly volume vs. Frequency

Another important consideration: even if it is you want to knock out your weekly training volume in one practice or spread out it out throughout several.

The frequency of your muscle group training — or the variety of sessions every week — can make a difference in your results.

Utilizing three to 4 sessions every week to hit her training volume will most likely provide better results 보다 doing it as whole because that one crucial factor: recovery.

You’ll be less fatigued and your muscles will certainly be allowed to rest, enabling for much better performance also at the end of her sets.

Choosing her split

Instead of viewing every one of your workouts with a “full body” lens, workout splits target individual muscle teams or areas during various workouts, looking at points from a weekly or also monthly perspective.

For instance, a very straightforward split regimen would be upper body-lower body. Or you could even break it down additional with a chest/triceps/abs day, a back/biceps day, a leg day, and a shoulder day every week.

The allude of a workout break-up is come give particular muscle groups time to remainder before daunting them again while still hitting the full body every week.

Recovery is critical part the seeing outcomes — particularly as your training volume boosts — so these breaks space key.

Full body

A full-body break-up is just that: her workout will hit all major muscle groups.

This approach is especially great for beginners or those who room strapped for time, as the maintain volume will be much more manageable.

An instance of a full-body separation looks prefer this:

Monday: full bodyTuesday: restWednesday: full bodyThursday: restFriday: full bodySaturday: restSunday: rest

Allowing your body at least 1 day come recover between each full-body exercise is key, so 3 sessions per week is a great baseline to begin with.

Within these workouts, you’ll choose one exercise for each muscle team — back, chest, shoulders, legs, main point — and, as a beginner, aim for 3 to adjust of 10 come 12 reps.

Body component

A body-part break-up workout routine targets significant muscle teams individually throughout the week.

While this technique will surely boost muscle size and also strength, it will have actually you maintain at the very least 5 days a week, i beg your pardon is a large commitment.

If girlfriend do have the time to adopt a body-part split routine, this is a sample schedule:

Monday: chest Tuesday: legs Wednesday: rest Thursday: backFriday: shouldersSaturday: absSunday: rest

For a body-part break-up — i m sorry is finest for much more advanced ability levels — you’ll concentrate on under reps and much more sets. Select five exercises per workout and utilize rep arrays of much less than 12.


In an top body-lower body split, you’ll divide your workouts right into upper and lower human body days.

A 4-day weekly program lends itself well here, through 2 top body days and also 2 reduced body days.

Here’s one example:

Monday: upper bodyTuesday: lower bodyWednesday: restThursday: upper bodyFriday: lower body Saturday: restSunday: rest

To start, choose two exercises every muscle group, aiming because that 3 sets and 10 to 12 reps as a beginner.


In a push-pull workout split, you’ll focus on the “push” muscles in one exercise — chest, triceps, shoulders, quads, and also calves — and also the “pull” muscles — back, biceps, and also hamstrings — in another.

Four days every week also works well because that a push-pull split, allowing for two push and two pull workouts.

A sample schedule could look choose this:

Monday: push Tuesday: pullWednesday: restThursday: pushFriday: restSaturday: pullSunday: rest

To start, choose one to two exercises every muscle group, aiming for 3 sets and also 10 to 12 reps together a beginner.

No issue which routine you adopt, there room a few things you need to keep in mind.

Rest periods

In general, a an excellent rule of thumb is the an ext you’re lifting, the much longer rest you should take in between sets.

In reduced rep ranges, aim because that at the very least 2 minutes between sets. In higher rep ranges, aim for 30 secs to 1 minute.


Low-, moderate-, and also high-rep varieties are predicated ~ above the fact that you’re daunting yourself to the really last rep.

If the last rep isn’t difficult to get through, you’re no lifting enough weight.


Recovery doesn’t simply refer to spacing workouts therefore you’ll have time come rest. Contents like nutrition and also sleep room important, too.

Make sure the entirety package is there, consisting of a well-balanced diet and also plenty of Zzz’s to ensure you’re maximizing her results.

Although over there are many ways to build muscle size, an upper-lower body separation is a foolproof method to start.

Aim because that a schedule of 4 days every week. Stick in the moderate rep variety of 6 come 12 reps because that 3 sets.

A sample routine can look choose this:

Monday: top body

bent-over row

Tuesday: reduced body

split squat

Wednesday: Rest

Remember: recovery is an important part of seeing results — particularly as her training volume increases — therefore breaks choose this are key.

Thursday: top body

bicep curls

Friday: reduced body


Saturday and also Sunday: Rest

Remember: recovery is an important part the seeing results — particularly as her training volume boosts — for this reason breaks favor this space key.

To develop strength, rod in the range of 1 come 5 reps and also 4 to 5 sets. Truly an obstacle yourself v the load. If friend feel as though you might continue, include some more weight in the following set.

A simple, no-frills approach is the best to build strength. Stick through these foundational exercises end 3 days per week to store the concentration and effort on her load and also form.

A sample routine can look choose this:


Tuesday: Rest

Remember: recovery is an essential part of seeing results — particularly as her training volume increases — therefore breaks prefer this room key.


Thursday: Rest

Remember: restore is critical part the seeing results — specifically as your training volume boosts — for this reason breaks choose this space key.



Saturday and also Sunday: Rest

Remember: restore is crucial part of seeing outcomes — especially as her training volume boosts — therefore breaks like this room key.

A full-body strategy is good to develop muscular endurance.

Scheduling 3 sessions a week and sticking in the high rep range in 3 sets will have actually you feeling favor a superhero.

A sample routine could look like this:


Tuesday: Rest

Remember: recovery is an essential part of seeing results — particularly as her training volume rises — for this reason breaks like this are key.


Thursday: Rest

Remember: restore is an essential part the seeing outcomes — particularly as your training volume increases — therefore breaks like this room key.

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Saturday and Sunday: Rest

Remember: recovery is vital part of seeing outcomes — especially as your training volume increases — for this reason breaks favor this space key.