3 Best Plateau-Busting Workout Splits

Fitness Workout for Men

There’s no other way to say this, so let’s get it out of the way: Plateaus aren’t fun. Getting stuck in a training rut where you make no progress can be frustrating and may even lead you to thinking you should find something else to do. Well, you should.

I don’t mean stop training, though. I mean you need to find something else to do in the gym to help you get back on the road to achieving your goals. The classic individual body-part routine, aka the bro-split, is a great place to start, but eventually, it’s time for a change, and this may be that time for you. Take a look at these three splits and pick one that will help get you moving onward and upward again.



1. Push/Pull/Legs

If you’re trying to get stronger, this may be your best choice. It’s the routine that many iron rookies start with when they begin their training, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be of help to weight-room veterans. Sometimes going back to basics is best. Doing this routine now, after training yourself into a plateau, would be a good option because you have a more advanced knowledge of your body and how to perform the lifts. Following a split like this can bring back that sense of excitement you had when you began.

To maximize recovery, train one day on/one day off. Train abs at every other workout.

Day 1: Push

Dumbbell lateral Raise

Day 2: Off

Day 3: Pull

Hammer Curl

Day 4: Off

Day 5: Legs

Barbell Deadlift

Day 6: Off

Day 7: Off (or cycle begins again)

2. Opposing-Muscle Supersets

If you’re trying to add size and have been stuck on a plateau, do what some of the greats of the Golden Era did. Pair up opposing muscle groups like chest and back or biceps and triceps, and do supersets—one exercise for the push muscle followed by one for its opposing pull muscle. The idea is to pump as much blood as possible into the overall area and both muscles get the benefit and respond.



You train four days a week on this split: two days on/one day off/two days on/two days off.

If splits like this worked for the champions of the past, this one will work for you.

Day 1: Chest and Back

Perform the exercises in order with no rest between exercises and 1 min. of rest between rounds.
Barbell Bench Press – Medium Grip

3 sets, 12, 10, 8 reps (no rest)




Barbell Row

3 sets, 12, 10, 8 reps (rest 1 min. )




Perform the exercises in order with no rest between exercises and 1 min. of rest between rounds.
Incline Dumbbell Fly

3 sets, 12, 10, 8 reps (no rest)




Lat pull-down

3 sets, 12, 10, 8 reps (rest 1 min. )




Perform the exercises in order with no rest between exercises and 1 min. of rest between rounds.
Machine chest press

3 sets, 12, 10, 8 reps (no rest)




Machine seated row

3 sets, 12, 10, 8 reps (rest 1 min.)




Perform the exercises in order with no rest between exercises and 1 min. of rest between rounds.
3 sets, 12 reps (no rest)




Straight-arm dumbbell pull-over

3 sets, 12 reps (rest 1 min. )




Barbell Bench Press
Day 2: Legs

Perform the exercises in order with no rest between exercises and 1 min. of rest between rounds.
3 sets, 15, 12, 10 reps (no rest)




Band Good Morning

3 sets, 12, 10, 8 reps (rest 1 min. )




Perform the exercises in order with no rest between exercises and 1 min. of rest between rounds.
Hack Squat

3 sets, 15, 12, 10 reps (no rest)




Barbell walking lunge

3 sets, 15, 12, 10 reps (rest 1 min. )




Perform the exercises in order with no rest between exercises and 1 min. of rest between rounds.
Leg Extension

3 sets, 15 reps (no rest)




Lying Leg Curl

3 sets, 15 reps (rest 1 min. )




Perform the exercises in order with no rest between exercises and 1 min. of rest between rounds.
Seated Calf Raise

3 sets, 15 reps (no rest)




Calf Press On The Leg Press Machine

3 sets, 15 reps (rest 1 min. )




Barbell Walking Lunge

Day 3: Off

Day 4: Arms and Abs

Perform the exercises in order with no rest between exercises and 1 min. of rest between rounds.
Close-grip bench press

3 sets, 12, 10, 8 reps (no rest)




EZ-Bar Curl

3 sets, 12, 10, 8 reps (rest 1 min.)




Perform the exercises in order with no rest between exercises and 1 min. of rest between rounds.
Preacher Curl

3 sets, 12, 10, 8 reps (no rest)




Cable overhead triceps extension

3 sets, 12, 10, 8 reps (rest 1 min. )




Perform the exercises in order with no rest between exercises and 1 min. of rest between rounds.
Hammer Curl

3 sets, 12, 10, 8 reps (no rest)




Rope Press-Down

3 sets, 12, 10, 8 reps (rest 1 min. )




Perform the exercises in order with no rest between exercises and 1 min. of rest between rounds.
Kneeling cable crunch

3 sets, 15 reps (no rest)




Lying Leg Raise

3 sets, 15 reps (rest 1 min. )




EZ-Bar Curl
Day 5: Shoulders

Perform the exercises in order with no rest between exercises and 1 min. of rest between rounds.
Machine shoulder press

3 sets, 12, 10, 8 reps (no rest)




Band upright row

3 sets, 12, 10, 8 reps (rest 1 min. )




Perform the exercises in order with no rest between exercises and 1 min. of rest between rounds.
Front Plate Raises

3 sets, 12, 10, 8 reps (no rest)




Standing crossed-cable rear delt fly

3 sets, 12, 10, 8 reps (rest 1 min. )




Perform the exercises in order with no rest between exercises and 1 min. of rest between rounds.
Cable Lateral Raise

3 sets, 12, 10, 8 reps (right side, no rest)




Cable Lateral Raise

3 sets, 12, 10, 8 reps (left side, no rest)




Barbell shrug

3 sets, 12, 10, 8 reps (rest 1 min. )




Day 6 and 7: Off

3. Upper Body/Lower Body

You may have seen several articles and videos about upper-body/lower-body splits, and it’s for good reason—they work. While you’re still performing a lot of overall training volume here, you may not be working each individual area as much. Doing 3-4 workouts a week like this may be the ticket for you to get back on the gains train. Pay attention to the way this split is set up because it isn’t organized around a week of training. Instead, it’s a simple two days on/one day off rotation.

Day 1: Upper Body

Pull-up

Use a wide grip.

3 sets, 10-12 reps (rest 1 min. )




SINGLE-ARM DUMBBELL ROW
Perform all of the reps on one side before switching to the other side. Don’t rest between sides and rest 1 min. between sets.
Single-Arm Dumbbell Row

3 sets, 10-12 reps (right side, no rest)




Single-Arm Dumbbell Row

3 sets, 10-12 reps (left side, rest 1 min. )




Smith Machine Incline Bench Press

3 sets, 10-12 reps (rest 1 min. )




Cable cross-over

3 sets, 10-12 reps (rest 1 min. )




SINGLE-ARM LATERAL RAISE
Perform all of the reps on one side before switching to the other side. Don’t rest between sides and rest 1 min. between sets.
Single-arm lateral raise

3 sets, 12 reps (right side, no rest)




Single-arm lateral raise

3 sets, 12 reps (left side, rest 1 min.)




EZ-bar spider curl

3 sets, 12 reps (rest 1 min. )




SINGLE-ARM CABLE TRICEPS KICK-BACK
Perform all of the reps on one side before switching to the other side. Don’t rest between sides and rest 1 min. between sets.
Single-arm rope kickback

3 sets, 12 reps (right side, no rest)




Single-arm rope kickback

3 sets, 12 reps (left side, rest 1 min.)




Dumbbell Crunch Isometric Hold

3 sets, 12 reps (rest 1 min. )




Smith Machine Bench Press
Day 2: Lower Body

Hack Squat

3 sets, 10-12 reps (rest 1 min. )




SINGLE-LEG LEG EXTENSION
Perform all of the reps on one side before switching to the other side. Don’t rest between sides and rest 1 min. between sets.
Single-Leg Leg Extension

3 sets, 10-12 reps (right side, no rest)




Single-Leg Leg Extension

3 sets, 10-12 reps (left side, rest 1 min. )




Barbell stiff-legged deadlift

3 sets, 10-12 reps (rest 1 min. )




Standing cable hamstring curl

3 sets, 10-12 reps (rest 1 min. )




Perform the exercises in order with no rest between exercises and 1 min. of rest between rounds.
Thigh abductor

3 sets, 12 reps (no rest)




Thigh adductor

3 sets, 12 reps (rest 1 min. )




Seated Calf Raise

3 sets, 15 reps (rest 1 min. )




Exercise ball leg curl

3 sets, 15 reps (rest 1 min.)




Lying Leg Raise

3 sets, 15 reps (rest 1 min. )




Day 3: Off

Day 4: Cycle Begins Again



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