Blog Fitness Workouts What Are The Benefits Of A 5-Day Workout Split For Women?

What Are The Benefits Of A 5-Day Workout Split For Women?

Any exercise is better than none, that’s for sure. However, tailoring specific workouts to the individual can be beneficial for getting the best results. Women have certain physiological factors that men don’t necessarily have, and vice versa. 

A targeted, 5-day workout split that is tailored to female needs can be one of the best ways to maximize your gym time. While research into gender-specific fitness protocols is limited, we have some insight into what sets women apart and why a 5-day split may be the right choice. 

In this article, we’ll highlight the benefits of a 5-day workout split tailored to women, how to customize your routine, and provide the ultimate strength-training plan to help you achieve your fitness goals. 

What Is a 5-Day Workout Split?

A 5-day workout split means splitting the workout over the course of 5 days, sometimes targeting a different set of muscle groups each day. A split workout literally means to split the exercise regimen. The exercise schedule of a 5-day workout split has two rest days, which can be taken together or separately. Rest and recovery are essential for muscle building (10). 

It may seem surprising, but a 5–day workout split can even be just a splitting of days where you do different full-body exercises each day for 5 days. So, following any of the 10 at-home workouts for moms that focus on full-body exercises for 5 days is still a 5-day workout split.

Common 5-day Workout Splits

In addition to the full-body split, the most common 5-day workout splits involve different muscle group workout routines for each day. The specific workout regimen should be based on your fitness level and desired results. One of the most common indoor exercise regimen for a 5-day workout, popularly known as the bro split, has the following schedule (13):

  • Day no. 1: Chest exercises such as push-ups
  • Day no. 2: Back exercises such as rows
  • Day no. 3: Arms exercises such as bicep curls and tricep dips 
  • Day no. 4: Shoulders exercises, including shoulder press
  • Day no. 5: Leg exercises such as squats or lunges
  • Days no. 6 and 7: Rest 

Mixing up the days will give different options for 5-day workout splits. Another incredibly effective 5-day split is the upper-lower split. When this is combined with push-pull techniques, it gives exemplary results with the following schedule (3):

  • Day no. 1: Upper-body exercises training the chest, back, shoulders, and arms
  • Day no. 2: Lower-body exercises specifically for glutes, quads, calves, and hamstrings
  • Day no. 3: Rest
  • Day no. 4: Push exercises involving the shoulders, chest, and triceps
  • Day no. 5: Pull workouts that focus on the back and biceps
  • Day no. 6: Leg exercises such as squats or lunges
  • Day no. 7: Rest 
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Is a 5-Day Split Effective?

Firstly, it’s important to note that a 5-day split is not right for everyone. You may benefit more from a 3- or 4-day routine depending on your fitness level and goals. However, if you’re an intermediate or advanced lifter who is looking for optimal physical performance and a well-rounded fitness routine, a 5-day split could be just what you need because:

You’ll Maximize Training Volume 

Training volume is one of the most important aspects of an effective routine as it significantly influences muscle mass and strength development.(12). To truly understand the benefits of a 5-day split, you must understand that volume is the amount of work you do in any given session, which is measured by sets and reps.

The process of muscle growth, and even strength gains, is largely dependent on how much total volume you can do per week. Let’s dive deeper into why, when you train, you create small tears in your muscle fibers. 

The more volume that you do, the more damage is done. This doesn’t sound great, but it’s actually a good thing. The body responds to this damage by repairing and rebuilding the muscle fibers stronger than they were before, so when you do the same exercise again, they’ll be able to handle more weight. 

In terms of strength gains, this comes down to tiny neural adaptations, meaning that the more volume you do in each session, the better your body will become at recruiting muscle fibers and executing complex movements (4). 

Women who’ve been on a 3 or 4-day split for a while will often reach a plateau and find it difficult to make progress. If this is the case for you, increasing your training volume with a 5-day split could be the answer. 

5 day workout split for women  

You’ll Get Better Rest and Recovery 

Rest and recovery are just as important as training (9). If you don’t give your body enough time to rest between workouts, you won’t be able to perform optimally and you won’t make the most out of your time in the gym. 

It may sound ironic that increasing your training volume can mean more rest, so let’s explain. 

When you follow a 3- or 4-day split, the days you work out can be quite intense (particularly if you’re progressing in strength and weight). The workouts can sometimes be too taxing on your body, and you won’t have enough energy to go hard the next day, while other times, you may have to hit the same muscle groups two days in a row. 

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A 5-day split gives you more rest between workouts by focusing on different muscle groups each day. This means you’ll be able to hit each muscle group with more intensity and still get adequate rest between workouts. You’ll also make the most out of your time in the gym. 

You’ll Spend Less Time Exercising 

Increasing your training volume isn’t only an effective way to get the most gains, it’s also time efficient. 

The 5-day split allows you to focus on a specific muscle group or two every day, rather than multiple muscle groups in the same session. In this way, you can spend less time in the gym and still achieve your fitness goals. 

This quality can come in handy for those who experience burnout due to lengthy 3- or 4-day splits or those who are on a tight schedule and need to get their workouts done in a short time. 

You’ll Burn More Calories 

The rest you get while on a 5-day workout split allows you to increase the intensity of each workout session. This will result in more calories burned during each workout and ultimately help you reach your fitness goals more quickly. 

Read more: Thigh Workout Guide: 7 Effective Exercises for Building Leg Strength

You’ll Achieve a More Balanced Physique

Aesthetics are a huge motivator for many people and the 5-day split allows you to focus on different muscle groups every day to achieve a balanced physique. You can customize your split to work out certain muscle groups less regularly to give those areas more time to rest and grow.

This will help you create a more symmetrical look and ultimately make it easier to achieve your aesthetic goals. 

A Word of Caution 

A 5-day workout split can be intense. At first, finding out how much volume you can manage in each session may take some time. Going too hard too soon can lead to burnout or overtraining, so taking your time and increasing the volume gradually is important. 

Time-wise, a 5-day workout split can be unforgiving as you only have 7 days a week – miss one day, and you can’t make it up. If you do make it up, you may have to do three workouts back-to-back, which can be too exhausting. 

There’s also less room for flexibility when you work out. If something important comes up and you can’t make it to the gym, your entire routine could be thrown off. 

For some, the price of dedication may be too steep, and they’d be better off sticking to a 3- or 4-day split. 

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5 day workout split for women  

What Is a Good 5-Day Workout Split?

You’ve got several options for splitting your 5-day-a-week workout. The only rule is that you must ensure you rest muscle groups by not targeting them on consecutive days. 

  • Understand Muscle Anatomy: You’ll need knowledge of muscle anatomy to do this. Some muscles that appear isolated are actually associated with other muscle groups. 
  • Focus on Movements: A better alternative is to focus on movement patterns rather than muscle groups. 

Human beings have several natural movement patterns, such as pushing, pulling, squatting, lunging, and rotating. The muscles involved in a pushing motion are not the same as those involved in a pulling motion (for example, the arm muscles used for a chest press are different from those used doing a bent-over row). 

In this way, you can target different muscles on consecutive days without straining any individual muscle group. 

Different Patterns of Performing 5-Day Split Workouts

Push/Pull/Legs Approach

The most common 5-day split workout for women is the push/pull/legs approach, which divides the body into three sections: upper-body pushing muscles (chest, triceps, and shoulders), upper-body pulling muscles (back, biceps, and core) and lower body (quads, hamstrings, glutes, and calves). 

Upper/Lower-Body Split

An upper/lower-body split is another popular 5-day workout for women where you alternate between upper and lower-body days. This can help if you find that one section of your body is getting worked too much or not enough. 

Add Cardio to the Mix

An upper/lower-body split can also include a cardio day, which is important for weight loss and overall health (6). Including cardio in your routine can also support your physical performance and recovery from weight training. 

Ultimately, the best 5-day workout split for women is dependent on the individual and their goals. The idea is to create a well-rounded program that focuses on all the major muscle groups while allowing adequate rest and recovery time. You should be able to follow this program for at least 8 weeks before you need to make any changes.  

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Which Exercises Should You Include In a 5-Day Split Workout for Women?

The basic rule of exercise selection is to create a routine, regardless of the number of workouts per week. You’ll need a mix of compound (multi-joint) and isolation exercises (single-joint movement) to target all the muscle groups.  

These exercises are divided based on your fitness goals, strength, hypertrophy (muscle growth), toning, or weight loss.

  • Compound Exercises: Compound exercises such as squats, deadlifts, and bench presses should be prioritized in a 5-day split workout for strength for women. These exercises will help you develop overall strength with a focus on large muscles such as the glutes, quads, and chest.  
  • Isolation Exercises: Isolation exercises such as leg extensions, bicep curls, and triceps extensions should be added to supplement the compound exercises. 
  • Exercise to Target Small Muscle Groups: A workout split 5 days to build muscle for women may include exercises such as lateral raises, kettlebell swings, and cable flies. Here, you should focus on exercises that target smaller muscle groups, such as hip flexors, deltoids, and traps.
  • HIIT Approach: You may consider a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) approach, which is a type of workout that alternates between periods of intense effort and low-level activity (3). If you do this, your sessions must be short, as HIIT can be quite taxing. 
  • Combination of Cardio and Strength Training: Finally, a 5-day split workout for weight loss should focus on exercises that burn the most calories. This can include a mix of cardio and strength training exercises, such as running, jump squats, burpees, and planks. 
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Compound exercises are still important for building strength and size, but isolation exercises will help target the smaller muscles for a more aesthetically pleasing physique. 

Both compound and isolation exercises are best in a women’s 5-day workout split for toning. Toning is essentially strength training with moderate weights and moderate reps, so you should focus on exercises that target all the major muscle groups. This can include any combination of squats, deadlifts, shoulder press, chest press, rows, and bicep curls. 

5 day workout split for women  

What Workout Split Is Best for Women?

The term “best” is relative, even for workouts. The best workout is dependent on the goals and preferences of every individual. The major difference in workouts targeted at women is they tend to focus more on training the lower body, while men prefer upper-body toning.

As with any workout, it’s essential to follow a healthy and nutritious diet. Another popular option is to incorporate intermittent fasting. The benefits of intermittent fasting for women can increase manifold by simply adding a workout split routine in the fasting window. A study highlighted that workouts combined with an effective intermittent fasting schedule can support lean mass while also potentially decreasing fat levels. (5).

Another important factor is consistency in following the split workouts. Consistency is easier with a well-designed and structured plan, as it will allow ample recovery time without overstraining you. The most common split workouts suitable for women are usually part of the 10 at-home workouts for moms that are available online.

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The main factor when choosing a workout split is how much time you can spare each day. Women generally seek indoor exercises and incorporate them into their daily routines in their homes. Women tend to see good results with the common 3-day full-body workouts or 3- or 4-day upper and lower-body split (11). Also, the aforementioned bro split or ULPPL split that spans 5 days is as good for women as it is for men. 

Sample 5-Day Workout Split for Women

Now you know a little more about creating an effective 5-day workout split for women, here’s one to inspire your program. This sample upper/lower-body split program focuses on strength and muscle growth, but you can modify it as required. 

The recommendation for rest in between sets is generally 1-3 minutes, but you can take as much time as you need to recover while keeping in mind how much time you’ve allocated for your workout.  

Day One: Lower Body

  • Squats – 4 sets x 8-12 reps 
  • Deadlifts – 3 sets x 5-8 reps
  • Leg press – 3 sets x 10-15 reps
  • Lunges – 2 sets x 10-15 reps (each leg)
  • Calf raises – 4 sets x 10-15 reps 

Day Two: Upper Body

  • Bench press – 4 sets x 8-12 reps
  • Bent over rows – 3 sets x 8-12 reps
  • Shoulder press – 3 sets x 8-12 reps
  • Pull-ups/lat pulldowns – 2 sets x 8-12 reps
  • Bicep curls – 3 sets x 10-15 reps
  • Tricep extensions – 3 sets x 10-15 reps

Day Three: HIIT/Cardio

  • Jump squats – 3-4 sets x 10 reps
  • Mountain climbers – 3-4 sets x 30s
  • Plank jacks – 3-4 sets x 10 reps 
  • Burpees – 3-4 sets x 10 reps 
  • Jumping lunges – 3-4 sets x 10 reps (each leg)

Day Four: Lower Body

  • Squats – 4 sets x 8-12 reps 
  • Romanian deadlifts – 3 sets x 8-12 reps
  • Step-ups – 3 sets x 8-12 reps (each leg)
  • Glute bridges – 3 sets x 10-15 reps
  • Calf raises – 4 sets x 10-15 reps  

Day Five: Upper Body

  • Incline bench press – 4 sets x 8-12 reps
  • Dumbbell rows – 3 sets x 8-12 reps 
  • Lateral raises – 3 sets x 10-15 reps
  • Seated cable rows – 3 sets x 8-12 reps
  • Cable flyes – 3 sets x 12-15 reps
  • Tricep pushdowns – 3 sets x 10-15 reps
  • Kettlebell swings – 2 sets x 12-15 reps 

Read more: Your Flat Tummy Workouts Just Got Better With This Guide

5 day workout split for women  


  • Is it better to do full-body workouts or split for women?

A full-body workout trains the entire body, while a split workout trains specific muscles on specific days. Both of these workout routines have their own benefits. A full-body workout is ideal for beginners and those who are aiming to lose weight. Many at-home workouts for moms provide full-body exercises and yield results. 

Split workouts are beneficial for those who aim to strengthen a particular body part or improve the appearance of a specific region (7). Both split and full-body workouts are equally effective, as demonstrated by a study conducted on women (3).  

  • What is the easiest workout split?

The easiest workout split is a split that a beginner can manage to perform easily. It must be easy enough for beginners whose fitness levels are not great. Two types of splits fall into this category: the full-body workout and the upper and lower-body split (14). 

For the full-body split, 3-day splits are easily doable, so training all of the body muscles 3 times per week is an easy workout regimen. For the upper and lower-body split, the upper-body muscles are trained one day and the lower-body muscles are trained the next day, followed by a rest day and a repeat of the same.

  • Why are 3-day splits better than 4-day splits?

3-day splits are better than 4-day splits because a 3-day split provides more recovery time and requires less time commitment. A 4-day split demands more time and has less recovery time, which may leave you with a sore body. 

Even for beginners, 3-day splits are preferred as they’re easier to commit to. The major factor is that with 3-day splits, you’re more likely to remain consistent and maintain the workout schedule (1).

The Bottom Line

A 5-day split can help you create a balanced program that targets all the major muscle groups and mixes strength training and cardio. Sample splits for toning, muscle building, and weight loss can provide a great starting point, but feel free to modify them as required. 


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!


  1. 3 Day Split vs 4 Day Split vs 5 Day Split: Which Type Of Workout Routine Is Best? (2023,
  2. 5 Day ULPPL Split – Upper Lower Push Pull Legs (2022,
  3. A randomized trial on the efficacy of split-body versus full-body resistance training in non-resistance trained women (2022,
  4. Adaptations to Endurance and Strength Training (2018,
  5. Effects of intermittent fasting on markers of body composition and mood state (2014,
  6. Exercise for weight loss: Calories burned in 1 hour (2017,
  7. Full-body workout vs. split workout: Only one is worth your time (2020,
  8. High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) Improves Cardiorespiratory Fitness (CRF) in Healthy, Overweight and Obese Adolescents: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Controlled Studies (2020,
  9. Recovery from training: a brief review: brief review (2008,
  10. Split Workout Schedule: What To Know and Examples (2022,
  11. The Best Workout Split For Women (2022,
  12. The effect of training volume and intensity on improvements in muscular strength and size in resistance-trained men (2015,
  13. The Ultimate 5 Day Workout Split For Building Muscle & Strength (2023,
  14. Ultimate Training Guide: Workout Splits for Beginners (2023,
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