Phase 3 The Three-Day Split ( Weeks 7-9)

After 6 weeks of consistent training you should be nailing your form on the exercises you've been doing. That's because your nervous system and muscle fibers are getting properly trained through the constant repetition. In week nine, step up the amount of work you're doing for each muscle group and the intensity, yet again. Remember, the goal here is to keep progressing. The only way to do that is to keep raising the bar with more work and higher intensity.

The 12-Week Beginner Bodybuilding Plan - Phase 3

 

Phase 3 progresses you to a 3-Day Training Split. So instead of dividing your body up into two different workouts, divide it among three different workouts. You'll train fewer muscle groups each workout, allowing you to do more exercises per muscle group while training each muscle group with even greater intensity.

Although there are numerous ways to pair muscle groups to work with a 3-day split, one of the most effective is also known as a push/pull/legs split. That means the body is broken down into a push day, where you train all the pushing muscles of the upper body (chest, shoulders and triceps); a pull day, where you train all the pulling muscles of the upper body (back, trap, biceps and forearms); and a leg day (legs and calves).

Weeks 7-9 Workouts

Workout 1: Push Day
1
Barbell Bench Press - Medium Grip
3 sets, 6-8 reps (2-3 minutes rest)
2
Incline Dumbbell Press
3 sets, 8-10 reps (2-3 minutes rest)
3
Incline Dumbbell Flyes
3 sets, 12-15 reps (2-3 minutes rest)
4
Barbell Shoulder Press
3 sets, 6-8 reps (2-3 minutes rest)
5
Smith Machine Upright Row
3 sets, 8-10 reps (2-3 minutes rest)
6
Side Lateral Raise
3 sets, 12-15 reps (2-3 minutes rest)
7
Close-Grip Barbell Bench Press
3 sets, 6-8 reps (2-3 minutes rest)
8
Seated Triceps Press
3 sets, 8-10 reps (2-3 minutes rest)
9
Triceps Pushdown
3 sets, 12-15 reps (2-3 minutes rest)
Workout 2: Legs Day
1
Barbell Squat
3 sets, 6-8 reps (2-3 minutes rest)
2
Leg Press
3 sets, 8-10 reps (2-3 minutes rest)
3
Leg Extensions
3 sets, 12-15 reps (2-3 minutes rest)
4
Lying Leg Curls
3 sets, 12-15 reps (2-3 minutes rest)
5
Standing Calf Raise
3 sets, 20-25 reps (2-3 minutes rest)
6
Seated Calf Raise
3 sets, 20-25 reps (1-2 minutes rest)
7
Reverse Crunch
3 sets, to failure (1-2 minutes rest)
8
Crunches
3 sets, to failure (1-2 minutes rest)
9
Oblique Crunches
3 sets, to failure (1-2 minutes rest)
Workout 3: Pull Day
1
Bent Over Barbell Row
3 sets, 6-8 reps (2-3 minutes rest)
2
Wide-Grip Lat Pulldown
3 sets, 8-10 reps (2-3 minutes rest)
3
Seated Cable Rows
3 sets, 12-15 reps (2-3 minutes rest)
4
Barbell Shrug
3 sets, 6-8 reps (2-3 minutes rest)
5
Barbell Curl
3 sets, 6-8 reps (2-3 minutes rest)
6
Incline Dumbbell Curl
3 sets, 8-10 reps (2-3 minutes rest)
7
Preacher Curl
3 sets, 12-15 reps (2-3 minutes rest)
8
Palms-Up Barbell Wrist Curl Over A Bench
3 sets, 10-12 reps (1-2 minutes rest)

Phase 1 Rundown

Exercises

The exercises in this phase are the ones you've been using in the previous phases with yet again another additional exercise added to most muscle groups. The point is to increase the amount of work for each muscle group. Although you could increase the amount of work simply by doing more sets per exercise, better to add more exercises. Different exercises target different areas of the muscles, a necessity for overall development and balanced shape. You'll also add an exercise for a new muscle group to target - the forearms.

The 12-Week Beginner Bodybuilding Plan - Phase 3

"Different Exercises target different areas of the muscles, a necessity for overall development and balanced shape."

Sets

You'll still be doing 3 sets per exercise. However, since you're now adding another exercise for most muscle groups, you'll be doing an extra 3 sets per muscle group.

Reps

In this phase, drop the reps to 6-8 for first exercise for each major muscle group, excluding calves, abs and forearms). On the second exercise, drop down to 8-10 reps. But on the last exercise, increase to 12-15 reps per set. This will help you to develop muscle strength, muscle size and muscle definition.

Weight

As you have been doing in phases 1 and 2, choose the proper weight that allows you to hit the listed rep range for each exercise. And continue to add weight as you can compete more reps than the listed rep range.

Rest

During this phase, rest 2-3 minutes between sets, allowing you to stick with heavier weight while complete more reps for maximum size and strength gains.

Do each workout once per week allowing at least one day of rest between workouts

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About the Author

Jim Stoppani, Ph.D.

Jim Stoppani, Ph.D.

Jim Stoppani holds a doctorate in exercise physiology from the University of Connecticut and has been the personal nutrition and health consultant to numerous celebrity clients, including...

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Workout Legs