Building Your Training Split

Based on time, strengths, weaknesses & goals

It can be overwhelming trying to build your own weekly split that works for your schedule, time, cardio and each body part. All we need is a few extra days each week, and we’d be good to go!

At my Jessie’s Girls Training Camps, I let my girls tell me their schedule restrictions, the weak and strong points of their physiques and their goals. From there, I build them a weekly split that allows them to train when they can, get enough action on weaker points of their physiques, take it easy on muscle groups that are already rockin’ and fit some cardio in there, if necessary.

It’s not easy to do! But it’s fun to work it out with them and show them that even with a tight schedule, you can still reach your physique goals.

I started helping women with this, because of my own frustrations while trying to improve my physique for the IFBB Figure stage. I needed to build muscle, burn fat and work a full-time job, so I struggled trying to figure out how to get all of that training and cardio in with a tight schedule. (And, I wasn’t even a Mom yet back then – now it’s even harder to get it all in!)

So here’s what I did.

Building Your Training Split Based on time, strengths, weaknesses & goals

I got out a pen and paper and wrote down on the left side the strong points of my physique and on the right side, my weak points. That helped me visually see which muscle groups needed more than just one training session each week, and which I could get away with combining or just training once per week.

Back then, I had time to hit the gym five times per week plus one yoga class/ (I’d kill for that schedule now!) I needed Wednesdays and most of Sunday off, so I made Wednesday my complete rest day, and Sunday, I took a yoga class. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday were my days in the gym. While in competition prep, I would do 3 interval HIIT training sessions each week as well (outside of competition season, I would do 1-2 HIIT sessions).

So, with those time limitations and outlining my strong and weak points, here’s how I built my split:

Legs (quad focused)



Legs (hamstring & glute focused)




I put my HIIT training anywhere where leg training wasn’t – leg training days need to be intense in order to grow muscle, so I didn’t want to put too much stress on them by doing HIIT on top of strength training. They need time to rest.

I really like combining my bicep training with my back training, because there are so many back exercises you can do that indirectly work your biceps. Some examples of that are: chin-ups, underhand rows and reverse grip pulldowns.

I also like combining my chest with my triceps. My triceps are a strong point for me (thanks, Mom!), and I’ve never dedicated a full training day to chest so those two muscle groups go perfectly together for me. Check out the workout below for a great chest + triceps day!


Close grip bench press
2 warm-up sets
4 sets x 12-15 reps

Double bench weighted dips
4 sets x 12-15 reps

Pec Deck Fly
3 sets x 12-15 reps
Diamond push-ups
3 sets x failure reps

Chest press machine (parallel grip – palms inward)
4 sets x 12-15 reps

Lying skull crushers
4 sets x 12-15 reps

Triceps pushdowns
4 sets x 12-15 reps

Jessie Hilgenberg

Jessie is an IFBB Figure Pro, Team NLA for Her & Athlete, registered yoga instructor, health & fitness coach, bootcamp director and fitness model. Her goal is to inspire others and illustrate that a healthy lifestyle of training with intensity, staying consistent and eating clean can truly change your life!

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