Best workout split for mass – How do you pick the right split?

Young man doing bicep curls with an EZ bar

We all want to spend our time in the gym as efficiently as possible. We want to do the right exercises with the right amount of sets and reps. Before we can figure out what exercises we should be doing, we have to decide on how to share our muscle groups into different workouts. We do this by finding the best workout split for building muscle mass.

Let’s have a look at some of the most common workout splits and try to determine which is the best workout split for building mass.


As the word full-body indicates, you’re going to hit every single muscle group every workout.

While the number of exercises and intensity of your training might be low, you’ll experience a higher frequency than with some of the higher splits. The full-body split allows you to work out every muscle group three times a week. As you only have three days in the gym every week, you’ll be left with plenty of time for cardio, other kinds of physical activity, or maybe time for your other passions.

The full-body split generally isn’t the best for building muscle mass, but it leaves a lot of free time. It’s best suited for beginners or people who don’t want to spend too much time in the gym.

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The 4-day split – Upper body/Lower body

The classic workout split, upper body/lower body, is one of the best for beginners. It requires two workouts a week to train the whole body.

The 4-day day split requires, as the name might indicate, a minimum of four workouts a week but can be up to six times. Compared to the full-body split, you’ll be able to add more exercises to each muscle group and train with greater intensity. However, the intensity and volume still aren’t as high as you’ll experience with the higher splits.

The 4-day split is a good workout split for beginners, as the weekly time spent in the gym still isn’t too high. It’s better for muscle growth than the full-body split but lacks the volume of the higher splits.

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The 6-day split – Push, pull, legs

The 6-day split, push, pull, legs is a classic bodybuilding split. It’s one of the most efficient for building muscle mass and strength.

The push, pull, legs split requires six workouts a week, making it very time-consuming compared to the other two splits. However, the extra time in the gym will, for most, be worth it.

Every training is focused on a few similar muscle groups. That allows for a high volume and intensity, which in return, will make you grow.

The push, pull, legs split is one of the most effective workout splits for building mass and a favorite amongst many lifters. However, the 4-day split is better suited for most beginners. The high frequency and volume will drive most beginners to exhaustion.

For intermediate and advanced lifters, it’s one of the best splits out there. Especially if the goal is to build mass and strength.

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The best workout split for mass?

Every split has its pros and cons. They’re all suited for different purposes and people. Let’s have a look at the best workout split for building mass amongst the three mentioned.

The best muscle building workout split for beginners

The 4-day split is the best muscle-building workout split for beginners. It allows for a decent volume and frequency without taking too much time. It won’t exhaust you either mentally or physically, and with time, you’ll be able to change to a bigger split.

A few beginners will benefit from a bigger split, such as the push, pull, legs. However, most beginners will exhaust themselves, and only a few will be able to work out consistently over time.

The best muscle building workout split for intermediate to advanced lifters

You probably already guess it. The 6-day split, push, pull, legs, is the best muscle-building workout split for intermediate to advanced lifters. The high volume and frequency, while still having one off-day a week, is optimal for building both strength and muscle mass.

Some more experienced lifters will benefit from lower splits, such as the 4-day split. However, most will benefit from the increase in volume and freedom to work more on specific muscle groups.


Whether you prefer the full-body, 4-day split, 6-day split, or something completely else, you’ll still be able to add mass. The most important thing is that you enjoy your workouts and gradually increase the difficulty.

Eat enough food and protein, get quality rest, consider supplements such as creatine, gradually increase the difficulty of each workout. By doing this, reaching your goals will become possible, no matter your workout split.