The Beginner Workout Plan

Arnold

Going off the heels of the last post (The Beginner Workout Checklist: A 12 Tip Guide) it’s now time to put those points to practice. Anyone can benefit from a solid beginner workout program comprising of the basic, fundamental principles, but your adherence to the plan and self-discipline will determine its rate of success.

Below is a basic, bodybuilding-style program including a comprehensive focus on the entire body. Mainly comprised of barbell, dumbbell and body weight moves, machines are mostly omitted for the benefit of those training either at home or in a ill equipped facility.

 

Remember to keep those twelve principles in mind when setting your program into action. Then you will see how such a basic routine can spell certain success and will utilize your time very wisely.

 

Program notes

 

– Perform the entire routine once per week.

– The four days of training can be performed however you like. One good example is Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday with Wednesday and the weekends off.

– Cardio training is of your choice. Just be sure it is performed either on rest days and/or after resistance training.

– Pay close attention to the rest periods, warm-ups and form. They can make or break a great workout.

– You should be able to finish each workout in one hour or less.

– Perform the program for a total of no more than six weeks. Afterwards, either take a few days off from the weights or downshift your intensity for a week.

– Perform every set to muscular failure using good form.

– More on nutrition in an upcoming post… stay tuned!

 

The Beginner Workout Plan

 

Day 1

Exercise

Warm-up sets

Work sets

Rest between sets (sec)

Incline bench dumbbell press

2 x 12

3 x 6-10

60

Flat bench barbell press

3 x 6-10

60

Wide-grip pull-up

1 x 10

3 x 8-12

60

Two-arm bent-over dumbbell row

1 x 12

3 x 6-10

60

Standing barbell push press

3 x 6-10

60

Standing dumbbell lateral raise

3 x 8-12

60

Hanging leg raise

3 x 15-20

30

 

Day 2

Exercise

Warm-up sets

Work sets

Rest between sets (sec)

Single leg dumbbell calf raise

1 x 12

3 x 8-12

30

Barbell Romanian deadlift

2 x 12

3 x 8-12

60

Barbell front squat

1 x 12

3 x 8-12

60

Walking lunge

3 lengths

60

Barbell curl

1 x 12

3 x 6-10

60

Close-grip barbell bench press

1 x 12

3 x 6-10

60

Floor crunch

3 x 15-20

30

 

Day 3

Exercise

Warm-up sets

Work sets

Rest between sets (sec)

Incline bench barbell press

2 x 12

3 x 8-12

60

Flat bench dumbbell press

3 x 8-12

60

Close-grip pull-up

1 x 10

3 x 10-15

60

Bent-over barbell row

1 x 12

3 x 8-12

60

Standing wide-grip barbell upright row

3 x 8-12

60

Seated Arnold press

3 x 8-12

60

Lying leg raise

3 x 15-20

30

 

Day 4

Exercise

Warm-up sets

Work sets

Rest between sets (sec)

Single leg dumbbell or barbell calf raise

1 x 12

3 x 10-15

30

Dumbbell static lunge

1 x 12

3 x 10-15

60

Barbell back squat

2 x 12

3 x 8-12

60

Dumbbell Romanian deadlift

3 x 10-15

60

Standing dumbbell curl

1 x 12

3 x 8-12

60

Parallel dip

1 x 12

3 x 8-15

60

Incline board crunch

3 x 15-20

30

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  • Luis

    Awesome program Brad. Thanks!

  • Chris

    Thanks for the great program. What weight would you recommend using for the working sets (i.e. what percentage of one rep max)?

    • bradborland

      Simply choose a weight that is challenging enough so you achieve muscular failure at the specified rep range with proper form. Once your form starts to break down, the set is complete.

      Percentages of one rep maxes are so different for everyone that to give you a blanketed answer would not be accurate. Some people have more muscular endurance than other and some have more absolute strength.

  • MissDibs

    Is this program ol for a female? i have been doing SL for two eeks. But I have a home gym, and I know my “modifications” are not ok. low pulley subs etc) Please advise.