I've been familiar with targeting a muscle group each day for example, chest for monday, legs for tuesday, and so on.

The constraint is: I can only workout 1 hour each day for 3 days a week because of my busy work schedule . and that's it.

If I work on chest on monday, then arms on wednesday and then legs on friday. I left out my abs, or back or shoulders and that's not good. They say i should at least group my workouts like targeting two muscle groups each workout session.

My problem is: How do i order these workouts?what do i work on monday? and what two muscle groups should i do?


 monday - biceps and triceps (they say it's good to group these two).

 wednesday - legs and abs 

 friday - chest and back

But i'm not sure it's a good ordering because i just made this up. How do i fit in a full body workout to a 3 day workout week? Thanks!

  • If you already have rest days, why not do a whole-body workout each day? Also, what kind of exercises make up these workouts? More specifics make better answers. Oct 31, 2013 at 9:20

1 Answer 1


A commonly used three day routine is:

  • 1st day - Chest and Triceps
  • 2nd day - Legs and shoulders
  • 3rd day - Back and Biceps
  • Abs - Do abs whenever you can, they aren't like other muscle groups and don't require as much recovery time. Some people even say you can work them out everyday, you might want to consider doing abs Tuesday and Thursday or whenever you can find time.

The reason the workouts are grouped as they are is because they are all complimentary muscles. When you workout your chest, you also work triceps so it's a good idea to go ahead and hit triceps as well that day. Same with back and biceps but not so much legs and shoulders. I just threw shoulders in there with legs to fit your 3 day schedule.

Sample Routines

Shaun's 3 Day Muscle Building Split Workout - This routine switches triceps and biceps, but you can always just do the reverse (for a while and then maybe switch it back)

3 Day Workout for Beginners

(You can find plenty of great workouts online.)

  • 1
    And also, just for the sake of having it in mind, later on, when you developed your muscle groups, you may hear about programs which are coupling opposing muscles with eachother, such as biceps & Triceps and chest & back. This doesn't mean they are wrong but different methods shock the body in different phases of development. Meanwhile, What JordanC recommended is the most common start for beginners and a usual routine to switch to now and again.
    – Mehrad
    Nov 1, 2013 at 22:05

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