Muscle Growth 5-Day Split, 6-Week Program

This program is for advanced and higher-level intermediate fitness levels. It is designed to promote muscle growth and strength, but not major hypertrophy. Do not attempt this program if you have not been strength training regularly and consistently for at least 8-12 months. The program consists of 6 days of exercise, 5 of which include strength training.


  1. Make sure your muscles and joints are adequately warmed up before lifting any amount of weight by performing a dynamic warm up like the one below.
  2. Make sure you are properly hydrated before, during, and after your workout.
  3. Workouts are designed to be approximately 1 hour per day.
  4. Use proper form and biomechanics to perform each exercise. Do not compromise form for any reason, including to lift more weight. Modify where necessary.
  5. Progress your workouts appropriately by increasing reps, sets, or weight used each week.
  6. Rest for 60-90 seconds between sets and for 90-180 seconds between circuits, or as needed.
  7. Maintain a controlled tempo. Minimize momentum. Increase speed slightly on the concentric (contracting) action and decrease speed slightly on the eccentric (releasing) action. For example, when doing a squat, lift body slightly faster and lower body slightly slower. For a bicep curl, curl up slightly faster and lower down to starting position slightly slower. Etc. A good general guide is to perform a 2 second concentric action and a 4 second eccentric action.
  8. Make sure you actively recover on your off day. For ideas on active recovery activities, click here. Do not increase workload on this day. It’s crucial to allow your body to fully recover.
  9. Listen to your body. Challenge yourself, but don’t overdo it. Be conscientious of signs of overtraining, and rest as needed.

Progression: When you get to weeks 3-5, begin with 1-2 sets and at the upper limit of reps for week 3. Increase to 2-3 sets for weeks 4 & 5. For weighted exercises, decrease reps and increase weight in week 4, and increase reps in week 5. For body weight exercises, continue to increase reps.

Dynamic Warm Up

Upper Body

2-3 sets:

  • Arm circles, 8 each direction
  • Plank, 30-45 sec.
  • Prone arm raises, 10 front and side
  • Weight shifts in plank positions, front-back and side-to-side, 16 total
  • Push ups, 25% of your max reps
  • Machine or cable rows, 10 at 50% 1RM

Lower Body

2-3 sets:

  • Hip circles, 8 each direction
  • Plank, 30-45 sec.
  • Body weight squats, 10 reps
  • Walking lunges, 12 total
  • Side lunges, 10 each side

Prep Weeks – Weeks 1 & 2

Screenshot 2017-04-24 09.35.42

For prep weeks 1 & 2, perform two weeks of the Intermediate 3-day split program.

Growth Week – Weeks 3-5


Screenshot 2017-04-29 10.23.21


Screenshot 2017-04-29 10.51.48*Note: Weight can be added to all bodyweight exercises by holding a weight (dumbbell, flat weight, kettlebell), adding ankle weights, or incorporating elastic bands.

Chest, triceps, core

Screenshot 2017-04-29 10.56.49

Back, biceps

Screenshot 2017-04-29 11.07.07

Shoulders, core

Screenshot 2017-04-29 11.12.13

Recovery Week – Week 6

For week six, follow the calendar for weeks 3-5, but only do 1-2 sets of each exercise at about 60% 1RM keeping the reps the same.

Don’t forget to let me know how it goes in the comments! And feel free to like and share 🙂


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