Blog Fitness Workouts 3-Day Weight Lifting Routine That Ensures A Steady Progress Without Plateaus

3-Day Weight Lifting Routine That Ensures A Steady Progress Without Plateaus

3 day weight lifting routines

Working out is very important because it helps people become fit and maintain their health by losing weight, gaining weight, or building strength. A 3-day weight lifting routine is probably one of the most popular ways to work out for those who are trying to pack on muscle, as it is highly manageable and effective. When it comes to creating a workout routine for building muscle or losing weight, the options are endless. Having to go to the gym 4, 5, or even 6 days a week can be tough on the body and a major inconvenience. This is where the 3-day weight lifting routine for mass comes in handy! Is working out 3 days a week enough? It’s even more than that! Following a 3-day weight lifting routine may be more effective than hitting the weight room every day because it allows sufficient time for recovery before the next workout.


3-Day Weight Lifting Routine

What is a 3-day split workout? It is a workout routine in which different muscle groups are worked on each of the 3 days in a week. The Monday, Wednesday, and Friday split will be applied here, but any 3-day combination can give the same results. Here is how to do a 3-day workout split as a beginner (6):

3-day weight lifting routine

Day 1 (Monday)

  • Chest: Flat Bench Barbell Press 

This is among the most effective exercises one can ever do. It is meant to build the pectoral muscles and result in a bigger chest. To do it, lay flat with your back on a bench and your feet firmly planted on the ground. Your eyes should be level with the bar.

Once you are in position, grip the bar in a neutral grip at about 4 to 6 inches wider than your shoulder width.

Take a deep breath and lower the bar to graze the upper middle part of your chest lightly. Slowly push the bar back up into the air to the point where your arms are fully extended. Exhale and breathe in before the next rep (2).

Do 4 sets of about 10 to 12 reps.

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  • Back: Barbell Bent Over Rows 

Hold a barbell with an overhand grip. Your knees should be slightly bent, and your body should lean forward by bending at the waist.

Maintain your back in a straight position to be almost parallel to the floor. Lift your head and keep it up. The barbell should hang down in front of you, and your arms should also hang perpendicular to your body and the floor.

Ensure that your body is still, and then exhale before slowly lifting the barbell to the point where it grazes your stomach. Your elbows ought to be as close to your body as they can possibly be (4).

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While the bar is grazing your stomach, hold for about a second as you squeeze the back muscles.

Inhale as you slowly return the barbell to the start position and repeat for the remaining reps.

Do 4 sets of about 8-10 reps.

3-day weight lifting routine

  • Shoulders: Standing Barbell Military Press

Sit on a chair that has back support and hold a dumbbell in each hand. Put the dumbbells on both of your thighs while your back is rested against the chair support. Your feet should be firmly planted on the ground.

Lift the dumbbells one at a time to shoulder height while rotating your wrists to make your palms face the front and your elbows, forming a 90-degree angle.

Take a heavy breath and push the dumbbells up and beyond your head to the point where they almost touch each other when your arms are fully extended (14).

At the top, hold for some seconds and squeeze the shoulders before lowering the dumbbells down slowly until at a right angle just above shoulder height. Repeat to complete the reps.

Do 4 sets of about 10 to 12 reps.

  • Legs: Barbell Squats

Start by ensuring the bar is racked up at a position where you have to duck down to get it into position, then squat in a squat rack slightly. Maneuver your body to the point where the bar is set up at the base of your neck.

Squeeze your shoulder blades and grip the bar about 4 to 6 inches wider than the shoulder width. Your feet should be apart a few inches wider than the shoulders, and they should be slightly bent (11).

Take a deep breath and unrack the weight from the hooks and move back slightly. Sit back slowly as you squat down and slightly as you move your knees outwards. Go as deep as you possibly can, and then power back up with your legs to the starting position. Repeat for the remaining reps.

Do 4 sets of 8 reps.

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3-day weight lifting routine

  • Biceps: Ez Bar Curls

Sit on a preacher bench with your feet firmly planted on the ground. Hold the EZ bar with your arms being shoulder-width apart. The elbows should be well supported.

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Curl the EZ bar upwards slowly to the point where your arms graze your biceps and are in a vertical position.

Return the EZ bar slowly to the starting position and repeat for the remaining reps (7).

Do 4 sets of 15 reps.

Day 2 (Wednesday)

  • Back: Wide Grip Pull-Ups

Grab a chinning bar with an underhand grip with your palms facing towards your body.

Extend your arms outwards as you grip on the bar while simultaneously slightly sticking out your chest. The body should remain straight.

Breathe out and pull your body off the floor to the point where your head is slightly above the chinning bar. Your arms ought to hold the weight of the bar as you pull yourself up (9). 

When you reach the top of the movement, squeeze and contract the back and biceps before lowering your body to the starting position. Repeat for the remaining reps.

Do 4 sets of about 10 to 12 reps.


  • Biceps: Alternate Dumbbell Curls

This weight lifting split routine 3-day dumbbell exercise begins by holding a dumbbell at arm’s length in both hands.

Face your palms forward while your upper arm remains still, and then curl the dumbbells upwards to contract your biceps fully.

Squeeze the biceps for a few seconds.

Breathe in and lower the dumbbells slowly to the starting position.

Repeat for remaining reps to complete the set (5).

Do 4 sets of 10 reps for each arm.

  • Chest: Incline Dumbbell Press

Lay on a bench that is inclined. The higher the incline, the more effective it will be for the shoulder area.

Hold the barbell just like when doing normal bench presses.

Lift the bar from the rack hooks and raise it until your arms are fully extended.

Breathe in before lowering the barbell to your upper chest. Repeat to complete the remaining reps (8).

Do 4 sets of about 10 to 12 reps.

weight lifting

  • Triceps: Overhead Triceps Extensions

Sit on a bench with a right angle back support and hold a dumbbell with both hands above your head. The palms should face upwards for safety reasons.

Your back should lean straight against the back support, as well as your head and your feet firm on the floor.

Lower the dumbbell slowly behind the head and neck as far as you can reach. The upper arm should remain still as the arm moves only from the elbow joints.

Hold for a few seconds, and when you feel a deep stretch in the triceps, extend your arms back up slowly until the dumbbell is above your head (13).

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Do 4 sets of 20 reps.

Read More: Taking A Week Off From Lifting: How Rest Days Could Help You Maximize Your Gains

  • Shoulders: Seated Dumbbell Arnold Press

Sit on an exercise bench with back support and hold two dumbbells in front of you so that they are at chest-height while your palms face your chest.

Raise the dumbbells over your head as you rotate your palms outwards. When your arms are fully extended, they should be facing in front of you.

Hold for a few seconds and slowly return the dumbbells to the starting position while rotating your palms in the opposite direction (5).

Do sets of 12 reps.

3-day weight lifting routine

  • Legs: Leg Press Machine

Sit on the machine and press your back against the support.

Your feet ought to be flat on the footplate and a bit wider than the hip-width, while the legs and knees should form a right angle.

With your butt firmly in the seat, grip the assist handles and push the plate platform away with your feet (15).

Slowly push the weight with your feet but don’t fully push the knees out. Bring the knees back towards the chest and let the footplate return to the starting position.

Do 4 sets of about 12 to 15 reps.

Day 3 (Friday)

  • Core: Bicycle Crunches – Do 3 Sets Of 30 Reps

Lie on the ground, with your lower back pressed flat into the floor and your head and shoulders raised slightly above it.

Place your hands lightly on the sides of your head.

Lift one leg just off the ground and extend it out.

Lift the other leg and bend your knee towards your chest.

As you lift the legs, twist your core so that the opposite arm comes towards the raised knee. While doing this, ensure that the elbow stays in the same position (10). 

Lower both your leg and arm simultaneously while bringing up the opposite two limbs to mirror the movement.

Keep alternating sides until you have managed to do ten reps on each side until the set totals to three.

3-day weight lifting routine

  • Triceps: Skull-Crushers – Do 4 Sets Of 15 Reps

Lie on a bench with your head at one end. Pick up a dumbbell with both hands and then hold the dumbbell with both hands above your chest and with the dumbbell shaft vertically positioned.

Move the dumbbell down towards the rear of your head by flexing your elbows as you exhale. Ensure that the upper arms are not moving back and forth since your focus is on the triceps and not the shoulders. 

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Lower the weight on the rear part of the head until the dumbbell’s head is in line with the top of the bench. 

Reverse this movement until you hold the weight above the chest in the position you began with. At this position, ensure that the muscles are not locked; instead, maintain tension in your muscles.

Do four sets of 15 reps (4).

  • Biceps: Preacher Curls – Do 4 Sets Of 12 Reps

Hold the E-Z curl bar at close grip with your palms facing forward and slightly tilted inwards due to the bar’s shape.

Position your upper arms and chest against the preacher bench pad while holding the E-Z Curl Bar at shoulder length.

Use the biceps to curl the weight up until your biceps are fully contracted, and the bar is at shoulder height as you exhale. Squeeze the biceps hard and hold this position for about a second.

Slowly lower the bar until your upper arm is extended and the biceps are fully stretched as you breathe in.

Repeat the process until you have done four sets of 12 reps (7). 

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3-day weight lifting routine

  • Back: Dumbbell Bent Over Rows

Hold a barbell with an overhand grip with your knees bent slightly, and then bend the waist to lean forward slightly.

Your back ought to be straight and almost parallel to the floor, at this point lift your head so that the barbell hangs down just in front of you. Your arms should also hang perpendicular to the body and the ground.

Lift the barbell to the point where it grazes your stomach. The elbows should be close to your body.

Hold on to that position for some seconds and squeeze the back muscles before slowly lowering the barbell to the starting position (3).

Do 4 sets of 10 reps for each arm.

  • Shoulders: Lateral Raises

Grasp moderately light dumbbells in each hand as you stand upright.

Lower the dumbbells, so they are at your sides with palms facing inwards.

Lift the dumbbells slowly up and outwards as you bend your elbows slightly.

Your arms should be parallel to the ground at the top of the movement, and the dumbbells almost level with your ears. Hold for a few minutes and slowly return to starting position (1).

Do 4 sets of 20 reps.

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  • Legs: Standing Calf Raises

Hold reasonably light dumbbells in both hands,

Taking a simple aerobics step, place the front of your feet at the edge of your step.

Stand on your tiptoes for a second before lowering your feet to complete the rep. Repeat for other reps.

Do 4 sets of about 20 to 30 reps.

  • Chest: Incline Dumbbell Flyes

Laying down on a flat bench, hold two light dumbbells directly above you with your arms fully extended.

Make an outward and downward arching movement as you bend your elbows slightly.

Lower the dumbbells to the furthest you can go, and then hold for a second.

Bring the dumbbells back to the starting position, using the same motion as before (12).

When in the air, squeeze the pec muscles and hold them for a second.

Do 4 sets of about 12 to 15 reps.


The 3-day weight lifting routines can be effective while at the same time being easy on your body and schedule. Is working out 3 days a week enough? Definitely a big yes. As long as you follow the routines outlined above, you will be satisfied with the results.



This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!


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  2. Breathing matters (2018,
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