The 5 Day Bro Split

Hypertrophy training is an interesting beast.


Depending on what you read or who you watch on YouTube, you’ll hear varying opinions on the “best training program to build muscle.”


After years of combing through the scientific literature as well as conducting our own “n=1” experiments in the gym, we’ve realized (and hopefully you have as well) that just about any reasonable training program can work for building muscle and strength.


But, don’t take our word for it. Here’s what renowned hypertrophy researcher, Dr. Brad Schoenfeld, has to say on the matter:


“In conclusion, there is strong evidence that resistance training frequency does not significantly or meaningfully impact muscle hypertrophy when volume is equated.”[1]


Now, are we saying that you’ll be able to step on the Mr. Olympia stage and land in the top 6 following any old training program?

No, not in the least.


But, if you’re like the vast majority of supplement consumers and fitness enthusiasts out there, you’re not aspiring to stand alongside the likes of Phil Heath, Jay Cutler, and Ronnie Coleman.


You’re interested in building a decent amount of muscle, losing some body fat, and achieving a physique that you’re not embarrassed to display if you go to the beach. For those goals, so long as you’re busting your ass each and every time you show up to the gym, you can get results with just about any reasonably designed training program.


One training program that has stood the test of time, and is used by both professional bodybuilders as well as average jimmies and joes, is the 5-day bro split.

What is the 5 Day Bro Split?

The 5 day bro split is a workout routine that divides your weekly training into 5 days.


Typically, a 5 day bro split involves training a separate muscle group each workout session, which means you’ll be training each muscle group one time per week.


The reason the 5-day workout split is called a “bro split” is that it is the training program most often used by professional bodybuilders and “gym bros.” Note, you may have also heard the bro split referred to as a “pro split” since it is so frequently used and recommended by professional bodybuilders.


The 5 day Bro Split is typically structured as follows:

  • Day 1: Chest
  • Day 2: Back
  • Day 3: Arms
  • Day 4: Shoulders
  • Day 5: Legs
  • Day 6 & 7: Rest


However, seeing as just about every gym bro is training chest on mondays (aka International Chest Day), a more savvy approach to the bro split could be:

  • Day 1: Quads and Hams
  • Day 2: Back
  • Day 3: Chest
  • Day 4: Shoulders
  • Day 5: Arms
  • Day 6 & 7: Rest

Since all of the other bros will be vying for the bench and chest press machines on monday, you have the leg press, hack squat, and power rack all to yourself!

Important Training Pointers

As with all training programs, there should be an emphasis on progressive overload -- doing more work (e.g. more reps, more sets, more weight, greater range of motion, etc.) each workout.


Workouts should contain a mixture of heavy compound movements and isolation exercises to stimulate the muscle fibers to the greatest possible extent and derive the max benefit from your time in the gym.

Example Chest Workout on a 5 Day Bro Split

  • Low-Incline Dumbbell Bench Press: 3 sets of 8-10 reps
  • Flat Barbell Bench Press: 3 sets of 8-10 reps
  • Machine Chest Press: 3 sets of 10-12 reps
  • Cable Chest Fly: 3 sets of 12-15 reps
  • Dips (or push ups): 1 rest-pause set for max reps

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  1. Schoenfeld BJ, Grgic J, Krieger J. How many times per week should a muscle be trained to maximize muscle hypertrophy? A systematic review and meta-analysis of studies examining the effects of resistance training frequency. J Sports Sci. 2019 Jun;37(11):1286-1295. doi: 10.1080/02640414.2018.1555906. Epub 2018 Dec 17. PMID: 30558493.

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