If you’re reading this, then it appears you’ve made it all the way to the end of my guide to creating The Ultimate Weight Training Workout Routine. Nice!
At this point, I have just 5 things left to say.
First of all… congratulations are in order.
You’ve now learned more about weight training, program design, and how to get the results you want than the majority of the population will ever learn in their lifetime. So… congrats on that!
2. Put It To Use!
I hope you liked the guide and actually use what you’ve learned.
Because honestly, reading and learning and understanding are great and all, but the only way it’s truly going to work is if you actually put it into action. So… do that.
3. But Wait, There’s MORE!
Believe it or not, I still have a ton of information to share with you.
While this guide was pretty damn comprehensive, there’s actually plenty of stuff that I purposely left out, skipped over, or didn’t think fit right within this guide.
Stuff about weight training, cardio, diet and nutrition, supplements, building muscle, losing fat, increasing strength and performance, improving health, and much more.
And I’ll be sharing all of it right here on a regular basis. To make sure you never miss any of it, you can subscribe for free, and also follow me on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.
4. More Workouts To Choose From!
Even though I just covered how to create your own workout routine, I’ve realized that many people want something more.
More what? More proven workouts to choose from that I designed myself and have been using with my coaching clients for years with amazing results.
They are now all included as part of my Superior Muscle Growth program.
Feel free to check it out.
5. Give Me Your Feedback!
And last but not least, I want to hear your feedback. In fact, I want 3 different kinds of feedback.
- First, I want to know what you thought of the guide.
I want to know what you liked best, what section was most useful, what you wish I covered in more detail or explained better, what you felt was missing (if anything), and basically just your thoughts and opinions on the guide itself.
- Second, I want to answer your questions.
If you had any questions about any aspect of weight training, creating your routine, reaching your specific goal (building muscle, increasing strength, losing fat, etc.), the sample workouts or anything else while reading any part of this guide, email me here and ask. I will answer. Also be sure to check out the nearly 3000 comments below this post. Most questions have already been asked/answered at this point.
- Third, I want to hear how well it’s working for you.
Once you start using the information contained in this guide, guess what’s going to happen? You’re going to start getting the results you want. Sounds good, huh? Trust me… it is. And when that starts happening for you, I want to hear all about it. So, email me and let me know.
Well, that’s about it.
I hope you liked the guide (and if you did, be sure to tell your friends about it) and I hope you actually use what you’ve learned from it.
I also hope you subscribe for free, because I plan on writing similarly awesome and useful guides in the future.
And again, if you have any questions, comments, feedback, or just want to tell me how well it’s working for you, email me here.
Enjoy your results.
(This article is part of a completely free guide to creating the best workout routine possible for your exact goal. It starts here: The Ultimate Weight Training Workout Routine)
2,735 thoughts on “The End Of The Ultimate Weight Training Workout Routine”
I’m a beginner and am just started to lift with friends. After going to the gym a few times I felt like I needed more guidance and a workout routine that actually had goals rather than lifting without a specific plan in mind. I found your site and I have to say it is amazing. You really spell everything out in a way that I can understand and your beginner workout routine is something I can get behind 100%. The problem is, I’ve been using a lot of machines because you can’t really mess up the form. I’m a excited about your routine but a bit hesitant to start it because it uses bit compound movements that could definitely hurt me if not done right. I also don’t want to start off wrong and build bad habits. Do you have any good references where I can learn the proper technique for these exercises? I especially appreciate videos because you can only imagine an exercise you’ve never done so much.
Glad to hear it Frank!
As for your question, that is something people have been asking me for years and I have yet to come up with a good answer/resource like that. Perhaps one day, I’ll create that resource myself. Stay tuned.
Would it be o.k to do 4 sets on the first 2 Exercises of upper and lower body days.
So instead of 3 sets of 6-8 reps, I would do 4 sets of 6-8 reps .
Maybe. You’d have to experiment and see.
Could you make an optimal beginners workout routine with no weights and about a 30 minute limit. Im trying to start but with 3 kids and a job its hard to make the time for it so 30 minutes at the moment would work best for me. Thanks for your time.
A bodyweight-only workout is something that is definitely on my to-do list for the future. Stay tuned.
Thanks for all the great articles! I’ve been doing the 5-Day Push/Pull/Legs Split (5 Day Cycle) for about 6 months and seeing great results. Unfortunately due to some upcoming work/lifestyle changes the only time I’m going to be able to work out is Mon-Thurs. Would you advise only working out 3 of those days with a rest somewhere as oppose to 4 consecutive days? Or could something like this work:
Week 1 Push/Pull/Legs/Push
Week 2 Pull/Legs/Push/Pull
Week 3 Legs/Push/Pull/Legs
(My concern with this is there isn’t enough rest time between Mon and Thurs for whatever muscle is being worked twice in that week)?
If you can only work out Mon-Thurs… I’d give up on push/pull/legs (it’s just not well suited for that schedule) and go with a 3-day upper/lower split.
I am an 42 year old male, intermediate routine follower.
Quick q – does it matter what days of the week I do weights on?
For example, if week 1 I do weights on Monday/wed/Friday, and then next week tue/thu/sat, and the next week, something else – does it matter?
Maybe. It could potentially lead to a little too much or a little to little frequency depending on how things ended up.
I have been an on again off again weight lifter for 20 years. After all those years it wasn’t until about 4 months ago that I started doing full body workouts. I have to say that the results came faster than any other routine. I have yet to try the workout you outline but it does look comprehensive. For me it seems like a 3 time per week per body part with a smidge more intensity would be even more ideal? Also, the arm work is extraordinarily minimal with your routine. I am tempted to do more arm work with your routine. I suppose since your focus is on progressive overload you’re not terribly concerned with intensity as that could stress the nervous system and delay recovery? Also, I suppose the back, shoulder, and chest work obviously incorporates the arms and just gaining strength and adding weight to the bar will translate to bigger biceps? I guess I answered my own questions. Sorry for wasting 30 seconds of your life. 🙂
Ha, yup. Thanks for taking care of that one for me. 😉
hi do you have sample page for your book thanks in advance
Nope, not currently. However, keep in mind that you can purchase the book and take up to 60 days to read it and decide if you like it. If you do (and I’m pretty sure you will), awesome! If not, send me an email and I’ll give you a full refund.
Hi! I’ve been following your beginner routine for 5 weeks now and gaining some results. However my concern is about my chest, I used to do full chest workout like bench press + inclined bench press + flys + etc. on one day for a long time now (but not consistent) before I switched to your program, I am worried that my chest is used to that routine and may not be stimulated when I do bench press alone. Is it alright? Thanks!
Read this one.
I’ve been training with the help of “The Beginner Weight Training Workout Routine” and have seen some great results, as in I gained mass as is my goal. However I’ve been also disproportionately putting weight on my belly, which is probably genetic… Do you know of any way to undo that or at least reduce it? It’s really ironic that most people go to the gym to have abs whereas I lost mine since I started training. :D.
Many thanks in advance
That would be a result of eating too many calories (not genetics). To undo/reduce it, you’d need to create a caloric deficit. Full details here.
Jay, great guide! My problems is I can’t always make it to the gym but I do have a set of free dumbbell weights at home. How can I substitute the exercises in your beginner workout with ones that I can do with my weights at home? Preferably without any other equipment (such as a bench) since I really just have a set of weights and the ground.
Basically by making the closest/most suitable replacement you can make for each exercise. For example, dumbbell squats instead of squats. Push-ups instead of bench press. Seated or standing overhead dumbbell press for the shoulder press. Bent over rows in place of pull-ups. Etc.
Can I spread out my intake of fish oil pills? Id rather not take 8 in a row. As long as the total intake is 1-3g EPA/DHA at the end of the day, should it still work the same?
Yes. I recommend spreading out your fish oil intake.
Hello, just wondering why there isn’t rear delt work in the muscle building workout? Can I switch out the chest flyes to face pulls or rear delt flyes?
You can add 2-3 sets of 10-15 reps of a rear delt exercise to the end of one or both upper days. Everything else should stay the same.
Is there any way I can add extra sets to grow my glutes to the beginners routine? (or even the intermediate routine since I’ve been following your beginner routine for a year now) I’m talking about hip thrusts, cable kickbacks, hamstring curls etc. What do you recommend?
That would require a full article to properly answer (stay tuned, it’s already on my to-do list).
Thanks! Looking forward to it, as I’m sure most women are lol
Hi have you seen significant changes in your glutes following his method ?
Going to try and hit the three types of feedback you ask for in hopes you’ll answer my questions.
First, I want to know what you thought of the guide:
I think the guide is great. What I found most useful was the sections on workout frequency, and timing between sets. The simple diet stuff is excellent too. I don’t feel like anything was “missing” per se, but I do have questions. If I has one suggestion, it would be to have the table of contents consistently in a sidebar. The site can get a bit labyrinthine as you click through the progression from one article to the next.
Second, I want to answer your questions.
Using your guide, I figure I am of intermediate skill and experience. My goals are to gain muscle and lose fat. The “about twice a week” frequency seems to fit my needs. I will be choosing 8-10 rep ranges for my sets. Now my questions:
1) I am not being skeptical, but perhaps I just yet do not understand-how can I really make any gains on small muscles (such as biceps and triceps) by only doing two sets per workout. I am trying to envision getting a to “near failure” workout on tow sets without perhaps slowing my reps down to a crawl. Am I missing something? My triceps in particular can take a lot of punishment to get to near failure.
2) I guess this is related to #1, but, my delts also can take a real beating, and I always thought they were kinda a large group. So..again, just a couple sets per workout?
3) Quick diet question. Since I am overweight (but by no means obese), can I lose fat AND gain muscle at the same time by hitting my macros? Also, since I have probably 20 extra pounds of fat on me…does it make sense to be consuming .7-1 gram of protein for that extra weight? I Weigh 215 and want to weigh 195, should I be aiming for about 195 grams of protein or 215?
Third, I want to hear how well it’s working for you.
Haven’t made the switch from my inferior once a week workout yet. I want to get the plan in place first, so I will begin next Monday.
Thanks in advance.
Thanks dude, definitely appreciate the feedback. Glad the guide was helpful.
1. The biceps get a ton of secondary volume during all back exercises, and the triceps get a ton of secondary volume during all chest and shoulder pressing exercises. Some people do ONLY that and their arms grow quite well. I think they grow better with some direct volume in addition to all of that, which is why I include some.
2. Same as #1. The anterior delts get a ton of volume during all chest exercises.
3. The further you are past the beginner level, the less likely you become to be able to build muscle and lose fat at the same time (at least, to any meaningful degree). As for protein intake, anywhere between 195-215g will be fine. Pick whatever number in that range is most sustainable for you.
In order to lose fat, what would you suggest adding to this workout? I know sprints and other HIIT workouts are great fat burners, so would you recommend adding them into this routine? Thanks!
Read this one.
Your entire articles are amazing. It’s rare that trainers emphasise rest and not to burn out our muscles . The rest of your articles are very wise and to the point. I have a stack of books regarding excersices and they are not so presice and practical like your articles . My question is if I can do cardio on my days off. If yes, can you suggest the best for beginners.
Thanks Carlos… definitely appreciate it.
As for cardio on rest days, read this one.
The Guide is undoubtedly comprehensive. I’m a beginner and find this very helpful for my weight training program. I extremely love the way you write. It’s spontaneous and straightforward. Keeps my attention all the time. Thanks for making such a amazing guide for us. Really appreciate it.
Hi, I am very happy with your begginers routine. All your advice is very wise. Thank you. I have a shoulder problem that only bothers me when I do the seated shoulder press. Is there at lease two other excersise that I can replace the shoulder press with? Great job!
Is it just a specific type of shoulder press that bothers you? For example, lots of people have issues with barbell pressing but dumbbell pressing feels fine.
You mentioned I can add rear delt exercise at the end of one of the upper body days, can I do the same for shrugs too? Also can I add 2 sets of flies to upper A?
For shrugs, see #3 here.
I don’t really recommending adding much more of anything else, though.
Your guide has inspired me to get back in shape! I’m trying to figure out what equipment I need. I’m planning to use free weights, and I have a question about training to failure.
I’ve read your article about training to failure, and I know that sometimes it happens “unintentionally”. What do you recommend for preventing injury in those moments when I’ve reached failure, have heavy weight above me, and have no spotter?
I’ve used the Free Spotter from Shermworks before to allow me to work to failure. Do you think this (or something else) is a good idea for those unintentional times that I reach failure?
That would depend on what exercise you’re going to failure on. If it’s some type of press, get a spotter. If it’s squats, set the safety bars in the rack to the appropriate height.
For goals focused primarily on performance you mentioned that compound exercises are ideal and that isolation exercises should be limited or possibly completely avoided. I understand this, but I’m not sure how exercises that work secondary muscles contribute to getting into the desired rep range. For example, since the best rep range for triceps and shoulders is 30-60 reps per week and I want to do 3 sets of 5 for the bench press and 5 sets of 5 for the incline bench press two times per week, would this get me into the desired rep range for shoulders and triceps or would i need to do something more?
The volume recommendations are for direct/primary volume only, because secondary volume is already taken into account. This is part of why volume recommendations for shoulders and triceps are lower than the recommendations for chest.
What is your head position when you squat? Is it looking straight ahead, down, up, or other?
I prefer straight.
I’m a beginner and was reading your page on the beginner workout. I’m
excited and really glad you make things easy to understand. I love the routine and you lay everything out amazingly. I just had a question since I am a beginner, what kind of cardio should I do, or is it needed at all. I’m wanting to lose fat and my overall goal is that to gain muscle and lose fat.
Glad to hear it Jaime!
Ad for your cardio question, read this one and this one.
Hey, I just wanted to ask a question about volume… I really, really want to be able to do an unassisted pull up. I’m doing the beginners workout ( love it by the way, thanks!) but every other week it means I only do pull ups once all week, this doesn’t seem like enough practice and I’m not improving very fast. Is there really any harm if I do a set or 2 on the assisted pull up machine after every workout?
Also wondering how important it is to have the 2 days off every week, could I just do a workout every other day? I’m not a ‘true’ beginner, I just haven’t been able to consistently train for more than 6 months at a time so have been doing beginner routines for a few years off and on!
If your main goal is to improve your ability to do pull-ups, then doing them more frequently would certainly be an option to experiment with.
Hi Jay! Do you think this layout would work okay? I am happy with my legs so I only need to do them once a week, but I was wondering if there was a problem doing arms on a separate day to reduce the amount of exercises on my upper workout days.
Tuesday- Quads, Hamstrings
Friday- Arms, calves
Arms immediately after an upper day can cause issues since biceps/triceps and joints/tendons of the arms are used heavily both days.
I am a 47 year male that has begun over the last year to try to get in shape. I am interested in building muscle and taking control of my body. I read through all of your information for which I am really grateful and you supplied for free, thanks so much. My question would be regarding age. Can the nutritional and workout information you supplied really work for a male of my age and still be able to hit the ideal rate of growth that you mentioned or should something be modified?
I also have some interest if I am successful in accomplishing my goals finding a way to reach those who are over 40 to help them get back their bodies as well.
I actually have an article about training over 40 on my to-do list. Until then, Christian Finn does a good job of covering this topic here.
I’m 160lbs in a caloric maintenance of 2600 calories. My current macros are 160g protein, 25% fat, the rest carbs as you ideally recommend. If I stop working out for 3 months due to injury, and drop my protein down to 100g, (even though you recommend to have a higher protein intake to maintain muscle), and up the carbs but keep the total calories at 2600, will I lose muscle and start building fat?
Conversely, is the opposite true? If someone is 160lbs in a caloric maintenance and works out (not a beginner) with 40% body fat, will eating a higher protein and lower carb diet allow this person to lose the fat and maintain muscle, while staying at a caloric maintenance?
If you’re going to stop working out for 3 months, you’re going to lose muscle no matter what you do. Keeping protein sufficient will help to minimize that loss. And fat gain won’t happen at all unless you’re in a surplus during this time.
As for the second question, see my section on the “recomp” here.
I’ve been using your muscle building workout for about 10 months and have made some solid gains (thanks!!). I’ve gotten to the stage where I’ve gained as much fat as I’m comfortable with and wanted to start to get lean and my goal is to get down to single digit body fat around 8-9%. I’ve read all these articles to achieve this I HAVE to use intermittent fasting, carb cycling, bringing calories up to maintainence for a few weeks after x amount of time in a deficit and a bunch of other things. Would all this be necessary? Or would maintaining my lifts, setting a moderate deficit of 20% or so and reducing calories in 200-250 increments if weight loss comes to a complete hault (at least 3 weeks) be enough to get me there? My macros are currently 40/30/30 would this still be suitable for fat loss or should I adjust? Thanks mate!
1. IF is not remotely needed at all. Not even slightly. If it happens to suit your needs/preferences, feel free to use it. But with all else being equal, it’s not doing anything.
2. Carb cycling has the potential to provide some small benefits during periods of fat loss in the context of providing the benefits of a refeed/multi-day refeed. But, it’s certainly not required.
3. Sounds like you’re talking about a diet break, and there are indeed benefits here. Is it required? No. Useful? Yes.
For the most part, what you described (maintaining strength, small/moderate deficit, adjusting downward when needed, etc. plus sufficient protein) is BY FAR the most important part of this. Having said that, refeeds and diet breaks can help, especially when you’re trying to get as lean as you are.
If you’re interested, my book (Superior Fat Loss) covers all of this stuff in detail.
I just started working out and am very impressed and grateful for this well-organized site you’ve put together. You cover a lot of topics in a very well thought-out, organized way that’s also easy to understand without overloading us with information that doesn’t really apply.
I’m currently working out four days a week (Tue-Fri), focusing on different muscle groups each day, but as a beginner, I want to try your beginner workout program. The problem is, I use the gym at work and I only work four days a week. Would I benefit from staggering my workouts Tue, Wed, Fri instead of Mon, Wed, Fri? Or would that hurt my recovery time/leave too much space between Fri and Tue? Or would I benefit more from something like Upper Tue, Lower Wed, and Full Body Fri?
Thanks for your help!
Glad to hear it dude!
As for your question, with your schedule, upper/Lower/full would probably be the option I’d go with.
I am a former varsity athlete with a degree in Kinesiology. I enjoyed an active life after competitive sports, but have drastically reduced my activity level over the past 10 years tending to kids and being just plain lazy. Being 50 and having early onset osteoarthritis, need to get back into a strength program for general health and quality of life reasons. This set of articles was very enjoyable and very well composed. It quickly brought back crucial basics of weight training and on point in saying without training properly for 6 months, I was again a beginner. Should be mandatory reading for anyone wanting to “get back” into proper training. Thank you for such a great set of articles.
Glad to hear it Gary! Thank you for the awesome feedback.
Greetings from the UK!
Super impressed with the quality and quantity of advice on your web pages – will definitely be buying your guides!
I’m 41 and have been following your muscle building program at home with just dumbbells and a bench and am really pleased with my progress. I so wished I’d had access to advice like yours 20 years ago!
Two questions if you’d be so kind:
1 – how long should I follow the muscle building program before switching to something else? (Have been going for 9 months now and still making progress most weeks).
2 – I know this isn’t ideal, but I do your workout in the morning after about 20 mins of light running. This is fasted (although I’ve recently started eating a banana before the run). How much is this likely to impact my muscle gain? (I’m not trying to lose fat just gain muscle/strength).
Glad to hear it dude!
1. Check out this one. (This topic is covered even better in SMG.)
2. This is another topic covered in both of my books if you’re interested. But, basically, I’d recommend at least consuming a scoop of whey prior to/during the workout.
I am religiously following all of your advice but i have a question i have not yet found the answer to it.
I am a beginner respecting all aspects of your advice and am not doing “extra” because the ABA and BAB is not enough (even though it feels like it haha).
My question is this: How should i work out if I miss a working out day?
A scenario: If I’m on a ABA week and miss on Monday or i miss the B workout because i wont be able to hit the gym on Wednesday. What do I do?
Your content is super helpful. I’ve been using it for my self and have since referred it to all of my friends. Many kudos and thanks.
I was hooked on your content from the article that talks about how you cannot add weight unintentionally and become big in one single night.
Glad to hear it dude!
Basically, the simplest answer to your question is to ensure you always have at least 1 day off between workouts. If that’s happening, then feel free to adjust as needed to make up for missed days.
Would doing a push/pull/leg rotation work if the template goes as follows:
I just want to find a high frequency schedule without total body leaving the weekends free which is hard. Just wondering if that works, thank you.
That could be a workable option.
Thank you for answering a lot of doubts that I’ve had. How to have a good diet and workout plan for me. I liked that your sharing good info and help people like me who want to get better but don’t really understand how. I also like that your funny and very honest about things. I have always been active but I can see now that I don’t always eat right and that when I want to burn fat I am actually burning muscle. I’m a beginner but I have been doing hard workouts for about two months mostly because I have joined the Marines and I go to bootcamp next year. I would love it if you could give me any tips. But according to what you’ve said, I will do the full body split 3 times a week, use low volume and consistently make progress. I do want to say that I need to perform by doing as many pull-ups, crunches, push-ups as I can in a certain time and I obviously want to do as many as possible. I need to also run a certain distance in certain time and again be very effective. Last thing I would want to ask is: what do I do the days I have off?
Endurance training isn’t really my thing, so I’m probably not the best person to ask. As for what to do on your rest days, read this one.
Hi! Big fan of your work. Learned alot from your site and articles!
I have a question regarding the beginners program. I have a herniated disc and i keep getting injured from deadlifting, is there any way to replace it with maybe cupple of other excersices?
I have no problem with stifflegged deadlift, but at the starting position of a traditional deadlift my back is very weak and stiff. Ive been stretching alot but i cant seem be able to do it the excersice safe, even at low weighs like 60 kg. (im at 193cm tall and weights 86kg).
Also, i have troubles with the static position when doing bent over rows, so im going with dumbellrows.
If you’re fine when doing SLDLs (or RDLs), then replacing it with that would be perfect.
Hi. First, thanks for the site. I’m a beginner and a little confused about the optimal volume range for your sample beginner program. Based on my computation, the beginner program won’t meet the volume range for hamstrings in any week, and for chest in B-A-B week. It seems that the quads, and back muscles are the only big musles that meet the 60-120 reps per week volume range. Can you clarify this one for me? Thank you very much!
This is something I plan to cover in a future article, but for now the short answer is that what’s ideal for beginners simply tends to deviate somewhat from the guidelines of what’s best for everyone else.
I’ve been working out since around 1958, have owned six commercial gyms and trained many people. Jay’s approach to training is effective. If you’re young you could probably tolerate more work. But if you’re past forty, it’s a good idea to take it slow and give yourself enough rest. Jay knows what he’s talking about.
Thank you for the kind words.
Hi Jay, conrats on putting together an awesome site. This is definitely one of the most comprehensive and informative ones I have seen so far on exercise.
I am about to start your 4 day a week upper and lower body routine and wanted to know if my regular practice of doing MMA, yoga, and 5 mile beach runs on off days would hinder it or could be incorporated into it?
Over the summer I followed a standard 3 day a week one muscle group per day routine with legs on Sunday and would usually do a 30 minute heavy bag workout and or yoga every other day, with 1 or 2 5 mile runs at the beach towards the end of the week.
Then come winter, I switched it up to total body 3 days a week with varying reps and weight per workout with yoga and mma on off days again
Curious to hear some feedback and or advise to maximize my benefits, thanks!
Glad to hear it dude! As for your question, this one covers the basics of what you’re asking.
Hi! I gotta say I love the way you explain stuff about all the Gym Details, without giving those BS tips that most trainers give nowadays. What I Wanted to ask you is:
1: Can I Bench Press twice a week and replace some Chest exercise on upper body B with the Bench Press?
2: Can’t I avoid romanian deadlifts for an example as long as on both days of lower body training I hit my hamstrings with the required number of reps with two exercises like leg Press and the leg Curl? Do you have better results on body compositon if you hit a muscle group with a compound + isolation instead of an isolation + isolation on that same muscle even If the same number of reps is done per muscle group?
3:If I follow the diet and muscle building plan, when should I expect results?
4: Do you think that after some time following the program, you will hit a plateau? If so, when do you hit it and how do you prevent it?
All the best, thanks for Helping me Out, cheers!
1. Yup. Replace dumbbell bench press with barbell bench press.
2. You could, but it probably wouldn’t be ideal for hamstring growth. The hamstrings are involved in hip extension (deadlifts) and knee flexion (leg curls). Only doing leg curls would leave out one of those.
3. Muscle building results? See “Step #2” in this one.
4. This one.
Thanks for the reply! Just want to know one more thing, can split squats and skull crushers be replaced with leg extensions and close-grip Bench Press respectivelly?
Good evening Jay,
Can you explain what the posterior chain muscles are and how important it is to strengthen this group? Furthermore, what exercises are required to achieve this strengthening?
Hamstrings, glutes and lower back. These muscle groups are targeted mostly during various forms of deadlifts, plus many individual exercises for each part (leg curls, barbell hip thrusts, etc.).
Hi, I’m a 16 year old male who has just started working out. I’m wondering how long I should use your beginner workout routine until I move on to something more intensive.
Check out this one.
Great guide! One thing please, can you add a topic on time under tension and tempo or the speed of the rep in general? It is a very confusing topic. I found some people talk about patterns like 2121 or 313 and I don’t understand what this means.
Already got you covered right here.
I have a question please. Is it normal to drop some weight in the 2nd or 3rd set? I found that for some exercises I can do 12 reps in the first set with certain weight, but in the 2nd set I can’t even complete 10 reps with the same weight and in the 3rd set the number gets lower.
Yup, check out this one.
Thank you so very much for this very comprehensive guide. Without further ado: the feedback you asked for 😉
Your website is an amazing resource. It gives an advanced basic understanding of everything important about (strength) training. Reading your series I realized that I knew a lot in certain areas, but had literally no clue in others. This guide really patched the gaping holes in between.
I love your articles making fun of workout- and diet fads that should be made fun of. Especially the toning workout for women is great. I never shared an article about fitness as much before.
Could be improved
If you write something is backed by science- then please back it by science (a peer reviewed study, from a scientific journal). Weirdo fitness gurus also claim that they are backed by science.
I think the guide could use a part about flexibility as well. (I lifted for more than half a year, before a physiotherapist massaged & stretched my legs, which immediately allowed me to squat about 15cm deeper. With his stretching & smashing exercises i reached much greater range of movement.)
I would appreciate a Core exercise part in the best exercises section. There is a lot of “do exactly this /never that” talk about core exercises online, and in opposition to the classic lifts, I really have no clue what source to trust on this one. Most places also seem to have quite a mess, about which workout will target what muscle group.
Great site, shared it many times already. Thank you very much for your amazing advice.
Thanks dude, definitely appreciate the feedback!
As for the lack of references, yup… I agree. I actually mention this in my FAQ, and it’s something I’ve been waaaaay better about in the last couple of years. One of these days I plan to go back into my older stuff and add some references in.
And I don’t know when exactly, but I can tell you that flexibility is definitely a topic on my to-do list.
Hi, I am doing the Beginner Workout Routine at home with dumbbells, however I don’t have a bench or a pull up bar. Will substituting a floor press for a bench press be effective, and can you recommend any exercise substitutions for a pull up?
Push ups or floor presses are fine in place of bench press. As for pull ups, see #4 here.
Can I do standing shoulder press instead of seated press in the beginner workout?
Yup. Just keep an eye on lower back fatigue.
One more question please. Yesterday I did workout A and I feel my shoulders were engaged heavily as I have soreness there today. Tomorrow I will be doing workout B which includes shoulder press, I am afraid that the soulders will be overtrained, will it be so?
Soreness doesn’t automatically mean you’re not recovered or will be “overtrained” if you train the same body part again. Sometimes soreness is just soreness and it’s perfectly fine to train through. This is especially true in the case of beginners, as soreness is always more significant at that stage and gradually becomes less and less over time.
Sorry for asking many questions, but today I tried to do deadlift, I started with an empty barbell (45 lbs). The weight wasn’t heavy for my legs but I had pain in my arms during the exercise so I stopped immediately. I can’t do any form of deadlifts. I am skinny and weak. Can you recommend a substitution, please?
My first suggestion would be to figure out what you were doing wrong that caused arm pain during deadlifts and correct it rather than assuming you can’t ever deadlift again.
The pain is in the upper part of my left hand triceps. Could it be because it is weak?
Another question please. In the gym I train there is no squat rack. Instead there is a smith machine. Is it fine to use it?
I’d prefer leg presses over smith machine squats.
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