7-Day Gym Workout Plan: Proper Structure for a Toned Body

Christiana Mikesch, CPT
Published by Christiana Mikesch, CPT | Senior Coach
Last updated: January 31, 2024
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As a certified fitness coach, I've had clients and readers asking if it's okay to work out seven days a week.

It is tough to take a day off when you are addicted to lifting weights and exercising.

Some bodybuilders set out to exercise every day throughout the week, and I'm here to offer insight on whether or not a 7-day workout plan is an efficient approach to growing muscle and strength in the long run.

In this article, I will provide my expertise and findings on the 7-day gym workout plan, its pros and cons, how to structure it, and the mistakes you must avoid when following a seven-day workout routine.

Quick Summary

  • A 7-day split entails doing some weight training every day, an approach that's demanding and unsuitable for everyone because it requires an in-depth understanding of correct programming and fatigue management.
  • 7-day exercise routines can be incredibly beneficial, but they can also be rigorous and risky if you do not recuperate correctly and train smart.
  • According to research from PubMed, adopting a high-frequency 7-day exercise split program can create superior hypertrophic benefits and help you build more muscle mass.
  • We suggest using modern muscle rehabilitation methods like rolling-stretching therapy, massages, and cold baths, as well as adding these best post-workout supplements to your diet plan.

The 7-Day Workout Plan

A gym coach helping someone on a 7 day workout plan

Before I get into the 7-day workout plan, let me break a few things down.

The workouts you concentrate on will have the most significant influence on the type of physique you develop. The trick is to keep the routine interesting and not monotonous.

You'll reach a plateau if your muscles become too acclimated to your training program. Aside from the volume, the level of intensity should gradually rise.

In the past, fitness enthusiasts would incorporate a Push-Pull-Leg or Upper-Lower split into their full-body workouts, reserving certain days for rest and recovery.

However, it is preferable to incorporate Upper-Lower-Push-Pull-Leg activities into your weekly gym training routine.

That entails exercising seven days a week. With this strategy, you'll exercise the key muscle groups thrice weekly without repeating the same routines.

According to research from PubMed, adopting such a high-frequency 7-day exercise split program would create superior hypertrophic benefits and help you build more muscle mass [1].

The best part regarding this workout plan is that your muscles will have ample time to recuperate before you tackle them again. This will enable you to go through the week without becoming fatigued.

Push-Pull-Leg and Upper-Lower splits are beneficial to your bodybuilding growth.

The workout plan:

  • Day 1: Upper
  • Day 2: Legs & Abs
  • Day 3: Push
  • Day 4: Leg & Abs
  • Day 5: Pull
  • Day 6: Legs & Abs
  • Day 7: Upper Body

Structuring a 7-Day Workout Plan

A gym coach helping a person plan a 7 day workout

When structuring a 7-day exercise plan, you must first identify your overall aim, how much time you can devote to the gym and your current fitness level.

You may get away with much more if your total fitness and strength are very low than if you are a strong, built, and experienced lifter.

The closer you get to your best form, the less leeway you have.

The training split might vary based on the program's purpose, but you should generally strive to exercise all major muscle groups or movements twice if not three times weekly.

"The goal is to keep your body and mind challenged by including different types of movement such as weight lifting, light cardio, and stretching."

- Courtney Wyckoff, Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist


A person in the gym doing bench presses

The Upper-Lower 7-day workout program goes as follows:

  • Day 1: Upper (Abs, Chest, Back)
  • Day 2: Lower (Glutes, Quads, Calves, Hamstrings)
  • Day 3: Upper (Triceps, Shoulders, Biceps)
  • Day 4: Lower (Glutes, Quads, Calves, Hamstrings)
  • Day 5: Upper (Abs, Chest, Back)
  • Day 6: Lower (Hamstrings, Calves, Quads, Glutes)
  • Day 7: Upper (Biceps, Shoulders, Triceps)

Also Read: 3 Best Upper Body Workouts for Women


You can structure your Push-Pull 7-day workout program like this:

  • Day 1: Push (Triceps, Quad, Chest)
  • Day 2: Pull (Back, Hamstrings, Biceps, Glutes)
  • Day 3: Push (Triceps, Shoulders, Chest)
  • Day 4: Pull (Biceps, Hamstrings, Back, Glutes)
  • Day 5: Push (Abs, Quad, Chest)
  • Day 6: Pull (Back, Hamstrings, Glutes)
  • Day 7: Bonus Day (Shoulders, Biceps, Abs, Triceps)

Arnold's Split + 1

A person doing back workouts in the gym with a kettleball

This Arnold Split +1 is a personal favorite of mine. It's structured as follows:

  • Day 1: Back, Chest
  • Day 2: Arms, Shoulders
  • Day 3: Lower Back, Legs
  • Day 4: Back, Chest
  • Day 5: Arms, Shoulders
  • Day 6: Lower Back, Legs
  • Day 7: Bonus Day (more volume to any muscles desired)

The 7-Day Workout Routine

A person in the gym doing a 7 day workout routine

Making a gym training routine focusing on the different muscle parts of the body (shoulders, chest, triceps, etc., on different days) is typical yet outdated.

The more efficient approach is to alternate between Upper-Lower and Push-Pull-Leg exercises throughout the week.

The Upper-Lower split is highly effective because it allows you to switch between lower and upper body muscles, exercising one while relaxing the other.

It is effective for bodybuilders who want to build muscle mass rapidly (hypertrophy) [2].

Similarly, the Push-Pull-Leg split has its set of benefits.

There is a more significant overlapping of different muscles and movements in this routine, offering higher synergy and efficacy [3].

"On certain days, we want to work harder and lift heavy, while on others, we want to focus on mobility. It's all about finding an appropriate balance and providing the body with what it requires."

- Latreal Mitchell, Certified Fitness Coach & Previnex Fitness Ambassador

Day 1: Upper

A person working out his upper body with bench presses

Day 1 includes the following upper-body exercises:

  • Barbell bench press: 5 sets x 5 reps
  • Incline barbell bench press:  3 sets x 10–14 reps
  • Barbell row: 5 sets x 5 reps
  • Cable row: 3 sets x 10–14 reps
  • Overhead press: 5 sets x 5 reps
  • EZ bar curl: 3 sets x 10–14 reps
  • Skull crushers: 3 sets x 10–14 reps

Day 2: Legs & Abs

Day 2 includes the following leg and ab exercises:

  • Squats: 5 sets x 5 reps
  • Leg extensions: 3 sets x 10–14 reps
  • Leg curls: 3 sets x 10–14 reps
  • Leg press: 3 sets x 10–14 reps
  • Calf raises: 3 sets x 10–14 reps
  • Decline crunches: 3 sets x AMRAP
  • Lying leg raises: 3 sets x AMRAP

Day 3: Push

A person doing bench presses in the gym

On Day 3, perform the following push exercises:

  • Push-ups: 3 sets x 10–14 reps
  • Bench press (dumbbell or barbell): 3 sets x 10–14 reps
  • Incline bench press (dumbbell of barbell): 3 sets x 10–14 reps
  • Overhead press: 3 sets x 10–14 reps
  • Arnold press: 3 sets x 10–14 reps
  • Tricep pushdowns: 3 sets x 10–14 reps
  • Overhead tricep extension: 3 sets x 10–14 reps

Related Articles:

Day 4: Leg & Abs

On Day 4, we go back to leg and abs with the following exercises:

  • Squats: 5 sets x 5 reps
  • Lunges: 3 sets x 10–14 reps
  • Leg extension: 3 sets x 10–14 reps
  • Leg curls: 3 sets x 10–14 reps
  • Calf raises: 3 sets x 10–14 reps
  • V-crunch: 3 sets x AMRAP
  • Bicycle crunches: 3 sets x AMRAP

Day 5: Pull

A person doing pull ups in the gym

Day 4 involves all pull exercises:

  • Deadlifts: 3 sets x 3–5 reps
  • Pull-ups: 3 sets x 10–14 reps
  • Lat pulldown: 3 sets x 10–14 reps
  • Cable row: 3 sets x 10–14 reps
  • Barbell curl: 3 sets x 10–14 reps
  • Dumbbell curls: 3 sets x 10–14 reps
  • Cable reverse curls: 3 sets x 10–14 reps
  • Shrugs: 3 sets x 10–14 reps

Day 6: Legs & Abs

Day 6 brings us to a third day of legs and abs with the following exercises:

  • Front squats: 3 sets x 10 reps
  • Leg extensions: 3 sets x 10–14 reps
  • Leg curls: 3 sets x 10–14 reps
  • Leg press: 3 sets x 10–14 reps
  • Calf raise: 3 sets x 10–14 reps
  • Tuck crunches: 3 sets x AMRAP
  • Russian twists: 3 sets x AMRAP

Day 7: Upper Body

A person doing upper body workouts

The last day takes us to upper-body exercises:

  • Barbell bench press: 5 sets x 5 reps
  • Decline barbell bench press: 3 sets x 10–14 reps
  • Barbell rows: 5 sets x 5 reps
  • Lat pulldown: 3 sets x 10–14 reps
  • Overhead press: 5 sets x 5 reps
  • Preacher curl: 3 sets x 10–14 reps
  • Cable tricep pushdowns: 3 sets x 10–14 reps

Pros and Cons of 7-Day Split

A person in the gym doing pull ups

Increasing your weekly workout frequency has several advantages, which are detailed below.

1. Muscle Groups Can Be Trained 2–4 Times Weekly

Exercising volume is a critical factor in increasing muscle growth, which may be done by exercising a muscle group multiple times a week.

Lifting seven days a week provides more possibilities to exercise a muscle, recuperate a muscle group, and repeat that pattern.

For instance, on a 6–7 day split workout, you may efficiently train the lower body three days per week, which could be the extra volume you need to break through a lower body power and muscular growth plateau.

2. Can Assist You in Breaking Through Plateaus

A person in the gym doing bench presses

Adding an extra session or two to your training week might make a difference between staying the same and breaking through a fitness plateau (not resting between sessions might be counterproductive).

Understanding how to manage training frequency (weekly sessions) and overall workout volume (the number of sets and repetitions you accomplish per week) is critical for muscle building.
You can add one high-quality training session to a muscle development that is on the verge of leveling up by introducing an extra session or two to a current 5-6 day workout plan.

3. Exercises Can Be Shorter in Duration

Increasing the number of workouts per week helps you keep exercise durations shorter by spreading the entire weekly volume over more sessions.

This allows you to do less, or preferably not as much, as you would if you trained a muscle group once or twice weekly to achieve similar benefits.

Longer sessions generally result in low stimulation and high fatiguing effort, implying that you are "working out hard" but not obtaining the most efficient muscle development stimulus [4].

By training more, you may restrict sessions to a more reasonable time limit and, as a result, put in higher-quality exercises.

Cons of 7-Day Split Workout

A person in the gym wiping sweat

This generally occurs after a period of overreaching, which is a period when you are exercising hard and acquiring fatigue [5].

Overtraining, as opposed to overreaching (a part of any excellent program), comes when you don't let the body recover, such as when you take rest days or de-load weeks.

When you exercise every day of the week, it may be tough to enable muscle groups and, more importantly, connective tissues (ligaments, joints, and tendons) to recuperate from workout stress.

1. Extra Focus On Proper Form Is Required

While good technique and attention to detail should always be emphasized in your exercises, daily training provides little room for mistakes regarding your recuperation needs.

Because the total recovery you can get without taking some rest days is limited, you must listen to your body and avoid pushing yourself too hard in a single day, learn the pros and cons of frequent weight lifting (train hard but don't overtrain and you'll have muscle soreness).

2. Smart Load Selection Is Required (No Ego Lifting)

Close up shot of barbell weights on a rack

When exercising daily, smart load selection and total training volume are critical areas of attention (and concerns when done poorly), since, according to Sports Medicine, more skilled lifters may experience overuse injury or excessive fatigue [6].

With the "train every day" approach, you must have a long-term perspective for your exercises rather than a short-term, crush-yourself daily sort of vision.

When training seven days a week, slow and steady wins the race, so allow the body to adjust slowly and avoid overtraining by lifting more than the body has in it on any given day.

Mistakes To Avoid on a 7-Day Workout Plan

A gym coach helping a person in a gym

Based on my experience training bodybuilders and powerlifters, here are four mistakes you must avoid when training seven days a week.

1. Not Recovering Enough

If you are not recuperating, you may have increased pain, stiffness, and decreased energy as the weeks pass. You may even discover that you are not advancing or cannot do the same weights with the same intensity level as in previous weeks.

I highly recommend consuming enough protein every day so your muscles recover quickly [7].

"Without a rest day, you will damage your muscle groups and connective tissue, such as tendons and ligaments. This increases your chance of injury and prevents your muscles from developing."

- Erin Mahoney, Certified Personal Trainer & Founder of EMAC Certification

2. Exercising Too Hard on a Specific Day

This is fairly frequent, even when not training seven days a week.

An exercise program is a long-term, systematic strategy for strength training. Each workout is meant to complement the previous one.

As a result, if you get off track or overzealous one day and crash the next, you undermine the whole program. This is especially critical in a 7-day workout plan since there is no room for mistakes or days off to relax and recover.

3. Ignoring Joint Discomfort and Pains

A person suffering from joint discomfort and pain in the gym

This is something that appears in every program, but it becomes very crucial when exercising daily.

When you have nagging joint pain or even a little discomfort, you must focus on it and listen to your body.

4. Exercising a Muscle Too Frequently

You shouldn't have much of a problem here with a well-planned training split, but it is still an issue that shows up during a high-frequency workout plan.

Most major muscle groups can be exercised 2 to 3 times weekly, with minor muscle groups such as arms and abs trained 2 to 4 times.

The more often you work out a muscle, the fewer total sets you need to accomplish on any given day.


Is 7 Days a Week of Gym OK?

Yes, 7 days a week of gym is OK. Exercising seven days a week is a great way to stay active and healthy.

How Do You Structure a Gym Week?

You structure a gym week by including workouts that target all the major muscles twice or more weekly. For instance, you can do two days of upper body and two days of lower body workouts and have 3 rest days, or you can employ a 7-day split with different exercises daily.

Should You Eat After or Before a Workout?

You should eat after a workout. Consume a meal containing carbs and protein two hours after your workout to aid recovery and replenish glycogen levels. If your supper is more than two hours away, consider having a snack such as yogurt and fruit.


  1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27102172/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9323249/
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8372753/
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK241309/
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3435910/
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4213373/
  7. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20048505/
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About The Author

Christiana Mikesch, CPT
Senior Coach
Christiana Mikesch, CPT is a personal trainer and author with contributions to publications like the Chicago Tribune and Yahoo. She emphasizes a holistic approach to weight loss, combining an energy-fueling diet, goal-oriented workouts, and daily habits. Her approach avoids short-term goals and fosters a lifelong commitment to health and well-being.
Learn more about our editorial policy
Lisa Lorraine Taylor, BSc, CPT
Staff Writer
Lisa Lorraine Taylor, BSc, CPT holds a BSc degree in Holistic Nutrition from Clayton College of Natural Health and is the owner of Taylor Made Fitness. Her philosophy centers on cutting through the hype and misinformation surrounding dietary supplements, focusing instead on practical, science-backed strategies for health and weight loss.
Learn more about our editorial policy
Dr. Harshi Dhingra, MBBS, MD is a published peer-reviewed author and renowned physician from India with over a decade of experience. With her MBBS from Bharati Vidyapeeth and an MD from Rajiv Gandhi University, she actively ensures the accuracy of online dietary supplement and medical information by reviewing and fact-checking health publications.
Learn more about our editorial policy

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