2 Day Split Workout Routine Guide

Greetings from Team BurnFit! 🏋️‍♂️🏋️‍♀️

Hello Burnfitters! It’s me, Burnfit’s Paul, coming back to you again. Sometimes beginners ask questions like, “What split should I do for my workouts?”

Usually, if someone is truly a beginner, splitting their routine doesn’t really matter. As a beginner, it’s difficult to push your muscles to their limit, so rather than worrying about workout splits, it’s better to just focus on consistently exercising.

However, if a beginner still wants to do a basic split routine, I often recommend a 2 day split between upper and lower body.

There are three main reasons I recommend a two-way split:

  1. It’s simple
  2. It’s effective
  3. It still follows the basics of split training

Those who have been working out for a while generally know from experience which exercises target which body parts. But for beginners, this can be difficult to know. Even if using an app like Burnfit that shows which muscles are targeted (so use Burnfit!), it’s not the same as having an intuitive understanding.

A two-way split is very straightforward in this regard. Since it divides into upper and lower body, you can easily see if an exercise is for your upper or lower body just by the equipment or movement, even without knowing the exercise name or target muscles. It’s a simple yet effective way to follow the basics of split training.

Downside of 2 Day Split Workout

Alternating between upper and lower allows for proper rest intervals, which many beginners struggle with when not following a structured split.

The main downside of a two-way split is that it can be ambiguous how many days per week to train each split. If you can only make it to the gym 3 days a week, it doesn’t quite fit with the concept of training each split once per week.

This can lead to making excuses, especially for beginners. So with a two-way split, don’t think about it in terms of a weekly schedule. If you’re in the middle of the upper body split, just keep alternating upper/lower regardless of how many days per week you train.

Don’t think “I’m doing upper/lower so I need to go twice this week!

Exercises For 2 Day Split Workout

With upper and lower body as the splits, it may seem like there are a lot of exercise options for each day. But rather than trying to do every possible exercise on a given day, it can be better to split them into two sessions.

Exercises for 2 Day Split (Example_01)

Day 1
(Lower Body)
Day 2
(Upper Body)
Conventional DeadliftBarbell Bench Press
Leg PressIncline Bench Press
Leg ExtensionsOverhead Press
Leg CurlsDumbbell Flyes
Calf RaisesSkull Crushers
Hanging Leg RaisesDumbbell Lateral Raises
Barbell SquatsBarbell Upright Row
Hip AbductionMachine Barbell Row
Lying Hip AbductionPull Ups
Hip ThrustsLat Pulldown
Dumbbell LungesStiff-Legged Deadlift
Seated Leg CurlEZ Bar Curl

As you can see, there are a lot of exercise options. But don’t think you need to do them all on the designated day. Just pick some appropriate for your gym situation and equipment availability. If you want to plan it out more explicitly, here’s another example:

Exercises for 2 Day Split (Example_02)

Day 1
(Lower Body)
Day 2
(Upper Body)
Day 3
(Lower Body)
Day 4
(Upper Body)
Conventional DeadliftBarbell Bench PressLeg PressIncline Bench Press
Leg ExtensionsOverhead PressLeg CurlsOverhead Press
Calf RaisesDumbbell FlyesHanging Leg RaisesSkull Crushers
Barbell SquatsDumbbell Lateral RaisesHip AbductionBarbell Upright Row
Hip AbductionMachine Barbell RowHip ThrustsPull Ups
Dumbbell LungesEZ Bar CurlSeated Leg CurlStiff-Legged Deadlift

It’s essentially just splitting the first example into two parts, but you can use this format for planning as well.

Basic Rules of a Two-Way Split

This applies to any split routine – if there are exercises in the example routines that are difficult for you, it’s totally fine to modify as needed as long as you follow the core principles.

The basic rule of a two-way split is simple and straightforward. The most important principle is to focus on the major muscle groups, especially the larger ones, on each training day. On the first day, concentrate on the lower body muscle groups like legs, glutes, and core. On the second day, focus on training the upper body muscle groups like chest, back, shoulders, biceps, and triceps.

Of course, specific exercise selection and intensity may need to be adjusted based on individual fitness level and goals. But as long as this principle of focusing on the major muscle groups is followed, which exact exercises you choose doesn’t really matter.

The key to a two-way split is concentrating enough stimulus on one muscle group, then moving on to another group while allowing recovery time. This maximizes muscle development while reducing the risk of overtraining.

Reps and Sets

Rep and set recommendations vary from person to person depending on goals, experience level, etc. This could be an entire blog post on its own, but here’s a quick overview

I want to build strength

The basics of strength training involve lifting as heavy as possible. But you can’t just do 1 rep, right? Many strength programs recommend 5×5 – 5 sets of 5 reps with the heaviest weight you can handle for those 5 reps. The key is using a truly challenging weight for those low reps.

I want to build more muscle

For hypertrophy/bodybuilding, the common recommendation is 10×3 – 10 reps for 3 sets with a moderately heavy weight.

Rest periods are important here, usually around 1.5 minutes between sets to keep the tension on the muscles.

I want a more lean, toned look

For this, lighter weights but higher reps are used, like 20×3 – 20 reps for 3 sets with a lighter weight. The key is keeping rest periods short, around 1-2 minutes. Weight selection is critical to make sure it’s challenging but not too light.

Whichever style you choose, the main thing is that consistency with any of these methods will lead to progress. Don’t think doing a bodybuilding routine means you won’t get stronger, or that strength training won’t add muscle. They all work!

Embrace the Journey

Today I gave a brief overview of two-way split training. As always, it’s important to adjust your routine to your own schedule, fitness level, and goals. Even if a routine is recommended online or by Burnfit, feel free to modify it if it doesn’t suit you.

I once read a theory about “finite games vs. infinite games” – that while most things in life seem like finite competitions to be won, they’re actually infinite games that continue endlessly. Exercise is like that too.

Think about why you started – probably not to beat someone else, but simply to have a better body and fitness than you do now. The important thing is finding an exercise approach that works for you and sticking with it consistently.

Burnfitters, have an energetic and healthy day!

🏋️‍♂️🏋️‍♀️ Stay Fit, Stay Strong – BurnFit Team 🏋️‍♂️🏋️‍♀️

FOrbes Health

Winner of Best Workout data tracking App (2022,2023)

The best Workout Analysis App

FOrbes Health

Winner of Best Workout data tracking App (2022,2023)

The best Workout Analysis App