Whether you got into working out for your physique, to get into the professional leagues or just to be the center of the crowd, you made the right choice regardless of the reasoning behind it.
Everyone has a sort of methodology they follow during training either out of preference or comfort but let’s face it.
I‘ve talked to a lot of guys who had high ambitions for hitting the gym.
“I will get a six-pack in no time, I am doing countless exercises with many variations just to spice up everything I might miss out“ and many other ambitious sentences that have usually left much to be desired.
You see, a high percentage of your benefits will come from just a few exercises that have remained the staple of exercises for a long time. Your routine must take into account your physical capabilities and your level of fitness, which is why we will divide everything into a step-by-step guide that will get you where you want to be.
Why is the individualization of a training program important?
You can‘t expect a complete novice to ace a program intended for a pro, and a pro will find the novice‘s equally ineffective due to how easy it for him to do them.
Some exercises have obvious benefits that will get you gains if you follow a set guideline, and that is what we will focus on in this article.
- 1 BEGINNER PHASE
- 2 INTERMEDIATE EXERCISE ROUTINE
- 3 ADVANCED EXERCISE ROUTINE
- 4 CONCLUSION
When you are getting into the world of fitness, you will most likely find it an initial challenge to set the correct routine and mindset to get you through the initial step.
As the biggest amount of muscle growth is accredited to beginners, we will start by targeting a general group of muscles.
Before going into details, it is worth mentioning of guidelines a beginner’s exercise routine that can be summed up as follows:
- The exercise should have adequate volume
- Consistency IS the key
- Adequate frequency of training
- Forming a habit of preparation
1. First Day
The staples of a good body are an essential outcome of nicely done squats, and
Based on performance, include 2-3 sets consisted of 7-10 reps with rest of 1-2 min between sets.
2) Barbell Bench Press
This exercise builds strength In the chest, shoulders, and triceps. It is a great addition to add strength and power and tighten your form.
Make about 2-3 sets with 6 repetitions, with rest of at least a minute and 5 minutes max before continuing.
With this technique, we are focusing on your Latissimus and middle back.
For starters, it is a good idea to start with 3 sets combined with 7-10 reps.
It is very important to do these exercises in a slower motion, remember that as a beginner you must slowly adapt to exercising without straining yourself too much.
4) Triceps Rope Pushdown
This is a highly recommended exercise that works on your core muscles and your shoulders. It has the benefit of being adaptable to your strength and endurance capacity, so it can be taken up by trainee of any skill and strength level.
Push yourself with this one, take 3 sets with 8-15 reps to the best of your ability.
2. Second Day
This time, we will mix in different techniques to maximize your adaptation to the changing routine that will be intensified over time.
1) Trap-bar deadlift
Take about 3 or 4 sets, with reps going for about 5 – 10 based on your ability to withstand the exercise, with 1 minute of rest in between if you can manage.
2) One-arm dumbbell row
2- 3 sets with 5- 10 reps on each side, switch if the exercise becomes too much difficult
3) Machine chest press
One of the best middle chest workouts out there, it doesn’t require a spotter and is safe, so focus on working on your form and execution while gradually increasing intensity
2 sets with 4-8 reps
4) Flat dumbbell bench press
Take note that this is one of the higher intensity exercises a beginner can do, and as such, it is important to take adequate weights of about 5 or 10 kg
Take 2-3 sets with 5-8 reps, 1 minute of rest
5) T- Bar Row
This is a strong strength-building exercise that will push you to the limits of your abilities but is also used by pros and beginners alike, so add weight’s appropriate to your capabilities.
Take 4 sets of 4-6 reps this time, and take it easy with a minute of rest in between.
3. Third Day
By now you have begun feeling differently, and are on the good path of earning great benefits
- Your sleep is already improving
- Your workout is less strenuous and slightly more refined
- Your muscles feel tighter
During the third day, we are pushing the boundaries once more!
Despite the intimidating name, this is a safe and effective exercise to work on your triceps. This exercise is single joint by nature, the elbow joints are the only movements that you will make, making it easier to focus on that single muscle group, so weak triceps are a thing of the past!
Take 2-3 sets with 10-15 reps and you will be reaping the positive effects of this technique in no time!
2) Close-Grip Lat Pulldown
This will focus on a multitude of muscles, but mainly on the shoulders and the joints that will be put into action.
DIFFICULTY BONUS: When you do this exercise many different times and it becomes a breeze, you can make it more difficult, you can take the bar with the hands outside the width of your shoulders, thus increasing the challenge.
3 sets with 10-15 reps
3) Straight-arm cable pulldown
An essential yet often difficult exercise, most people have a hard time nailing it properly, hence why detailed tips and guides exist to lament any mistakes that go beyond beginner levels often occur,
This is pretty straightforward, so do 2 sets with 8-15 reps with 1 minute of rest, especially if you are going to quickly
4. Fourth Day
It’s that day of the week! We are getting down onto working out the legs.
1) Leg press
I cannot stress enough how important this exercise is, so much so that I would recommend that you do it regardless of the separate muscle group planned for the day. This workout works your calves, hamstrings, gluteus, and quadriceps in such a way that a few other exercises can match it.
Do 3 sets with 7- 10 reps, but be careful not to injure yourself, so work on your form first.
2) Split Squat
With this technique, in a unilateral stance, you are building both stability and strength in an area that is the central point for athletics.
Take two options for this one
- If you are aiming at a specific muscle group that includes the aforementioned, 3 sets with 10 -15 reps.
- if you aim at a more central workout with shifting focus, do 2-3 sets with 7-10 reps each.
3) Glutes Bridge
This one is a recent hit that has numerous advantages. You can do it with or without weights, at home or the gym and with just your floor, a great choice overall
Ideally, take up 2 sets with 10 repetitions, and increase the sets over time with a minute of rest.
5. Fifth Day
1) Standing Barbell Curl
With increasing weight over time, you can use this exercise with advanced difficulty as you progress later on, which solidifies its reputation as the cornerstone of biceps building exercises.
2) Dumbbell Hammer Curl
When you want to be rocking big arms, there are a few exercises that aim at making them bigger and stronger than this one. Besides the heavy focus on the biceps, the entirety of the arm is pumped up and over time this will dramatically increase the entire size of your arm.
3) Roman Chair Sit-Ups
It might seem like a walk in the park, but this is part of the workout is the beginners’ last test to see how far they have gone with their abdominal muscle development
I recommend taking it easy with 2 sets of 5-10 reps, with a gradual increase as you feel stronger and more able to do this intense workout.
INTERMEDIATE EXERCISE ROUTINE
After about 7-8 months you notice a change.
You are a lot less sloppy in your workouts, you more easily get through reps without ending up winded and you most likely do follow a stricter diet plan
Congratulations, you are now an intermediate, and that means you have acquired consistency, technique and intelligent training for at least 6 months
1. First Day
We are aiming at the triceps, shoulders and.
1) Machine chest press
An old preferable workout, this time we will kick it up a notch!
3 sets with 12-15 reps each, take a 30-second break if you can.
ALTERNATIVE: Try out the icon of bodybuilding, the bench press, as a possible alternative.
4 sets with 7- 10 reps each, increase or decrease based on weight but keep It to a degree that you can control with relative ease at first as you build your muscles.
If you are training with heavyweights, don’t do it for too long and take longer breaks.
2) Chest Dip
With a bigger group of engaged muscles and wide chest development, you can engage in this delight of an exercise with a good amount of reps to back up your muscle growth.
3 sets with 10 – 15 reps, as you progress increase the number of aimed reps in a shorter number of sets.
3) Dumbell Bench Press
Improving your muscular balance gets more important the more you progress, hence why this recommendation score so highly.
2-3 sets with 10-15 reps with lighter weights.
8-10 with heavier ones.
4) Barbell Front Raise
The infraspinatus, trapezius, pectoralis major, the serratus anterior and anterior deltoid. Do those muscle names inspire you to work on this particular workout?
One of the main muscle groups packed into a convenient workout, need there be any more motivation my dear reader?
2. Second Day
We will focus on an additional plan for the second day that focused more on biceps and your back and your triceps in one day, so try to set the second day up for variation.
1. Triceps dip
A simple and very effective workout for your triceps that will go a long way with burning all that excess fat on the back of your arms and give them strength. It has a huge health benefit in the long run since most elderly folks have issues related to their triceps and this Is the best remedy out there.
This time, feel free to make it a personal choice but stick with a higher rep – lower set count.
2. Triceps extension
Compatible with most days where you plan on working on your upper body, this exercise will go a long way in increasing your day-to-day activities as well as the overall control of your arms due to the activity of the triceps that can be often overlooked at traditional routines.
3. One Arm Dumbbell Extension
A great way to build up each arm with a flexible routine.
3 sets with 10 reps on each arm with the appropriate weights.
A classic exercise that needs no introduction, it will set test your stability and muscle strength adequately.
2-3 sets with 10 – 20 reps each.
5. Standing biceps curl
A single joint exercise that comes in a multitude of versions, it works on your biceps and tones them but requires more repetitions to reap what it has to offer.
4 sets with 10-15 reps, if possible decrease sets while adding 5 reps to each set.
3. Third Day
The third day will shift the focus to a more intensive leg workout. By now you should be packing at least a modicum of a recreative athlete’s stamina and vigor because you will need it for what we are going to do next!
1) Dumbbell Lunge
While they may look exactly like a standard lunge, the difference is that the dumbbell variation pushes your body harder by adding extra weight which strengthens your body over time. Compared to the standard form, it amps up the difficulty for intermediates.
Do 3 sets with 6-9 reps with each leg separately.
2) Romanian Deadlift
A fantastic compound movement that can work your hamstrings to their limit and increase their overall endurance.
Take up 4-5 sets with 6-8 reps, at least 1 – 2 minutes of rest.
3) 45 Degree Leg Press
This is a basic exercise move that aims at strengthening your gluteus muscles and quadriceps.
3 sets but with 10-14 reps on each, with 90 seconds rest in between.
4) Back Squat
This will be your bread and butter exercise that you should always keep in mind whenever you are committing to a leg workout, but make sure to do it each week to maximize gain.
5) Bodyweight Lunge
This is the big one I have been waiting to give you!
This workout is very effective and simple – two great things merged into one exercise.
The goal: 100 reps in as few sets as you can.
4. Fourth Day
By now you should have already realized common myths that you can hear everywhere from people still stuck in the beginner phase and your diet has followed up with your improvement, but you still have a long way to go!
As a side note, it is a good idea to look up several tips to improve your workouts.
1) Pec Deck (instructions)
The staple of all chest related exercises, this is a good workout for both warming up and pushing your limits alike with huge benefits ( being one of the rare exercises that work on your serratus anterior) that will improve your overall figure.
For a warmup, do 2 sets of 10 reps.
Then, make 3-4 sets with 15-20 reps each, with 90 seconds of rest after each set.
2) Lying Back Extension
You surely have done this in high school and for a good reason. This exercise is aimed at working on your erector spina and your stabilizing muscles which will have a big impact on your posture as well.
Btw, if you need to improve posture, check this article out.
3) Standing Cable Pressdown
This isolation workout will hit your triceps up while also working on the abs and chest to a lesser extent. Your triceps will be under constant pressure, ensuring a focused workout.
Take 4 sets with 8-15 reps at your leisure, with 40 seconds rests.
5. Fifth Day
For the last day, we will focus on a more generalized routine, follow the previous workouts and customize them in case you want a specific muscle group-oriented workout in addition to the following:
1) Bent-Over Row
An essential workout for activities that involved pulling and good practice for more advanced deadlifting.
3 sets with 10-14 reps.
2) Seated Dumbbell Row
The Seated Dumbbell Row is a fantastic upper and middle body exercise that can be done in quick succession, so take this with a flexible amount of sets and reps.
3 sets and 7-10 reps, as an intermediate don’t push yourself too hard but keep consistency.
3) Bent-Over Row
A great workout to do in the middle of this routine, keep a steady amount of sets with a lower rep count before mastering this workout.
At the beginning: do 5 sets with 5-7 reps.
After you become accustomed to it, make it 2-3 sets with 10-13 reps.
4) Cable Curl
With pressure constantly being thrown on your muscles, this exercise is a great addition to any muscle-building routine.
4 sets with 10-13 reps.
5) Reverse Barbell Curl
Now it’s time for your forearms and biceps to take a turn, as this is the secret most professionals focus on behind the scenes, and it is surprisingly a rather simple one!
3 sets with 7-10 reps, after you get more comfortable with this move make it 5 sets with 8-10 reps with rest included.
ADVANCED EXERCISE ROUTINE
Ok, let’s get something important out of the way.
While the first two classifications can be put into place by the duration of their practice and skill, this group centers around one thing.
How close you are to reaching your full genetic potential
This is completely individual, it can take years or even a decade of correctly and consistently done training to attain the status of an advanced trainee, when your body is improved nearly to it’s limited, only then can you truly be called an advanced.
1. First Day
Intense, painful and exciting all the way! Your days of meager restraint are over, you will be facing the full unrelenting burn as you are running towards the highest of muscle gains!
1) Military Press
Once the king in the weight room, this old essential exercise was replaced by the bench press due to how popular it became but let’s be honest, that was not the main reason.
The military press is a hard workout that is reserved exclusively for pro’s, the standing 200lb military press, done strictly, was what made a difference between the men and the boys, so you must get necessary tips on hand during the exercise.
In the beginning: 5 sets with 5 reps
Later on : 3 sets with 8-10 reps, increase the number as difficulty ramps up.
2) Barbell Curls
An addition to any serious strength training program, your well-developed arms will take a serious step forward and, in addition to sticking to adequate tips to boost their growth, you will be packing big guns in no time.
3 sets with 10-15 reps, make it 2 sets with 20 reps as a challenge.
3) Lateral Raises
While it, in essence, an easy exercise, even professionals make a good deal of mistakes here, you can correct it with their assessment and proper execution
4) Overhead press
An old champ that needs no introduction.
4 sets and 7-13 reps, as you progress lower the number of sets for higher amounts of reps.
2. Second Day
You came this far, but you have to take into account situations where you might not be able to workout at the gym, so working out at home is a good option to look into in such cases, plus guidelines to add up to the routine.
1) Hamstring Curl
With weights packed on each side, this is a basic version out of many that can seriously impact your hamstrings because you will be adding more and more weight. As you take on a progressive route to your routine, you will need to add more and more weight to keep the gains coming.
3 sets with 10-15 reps.
2) Plank (advanced)
Engaging your core muscles, spine, back, shoulders and, as strange as it may sound, your entire body can be engaged with just this exercise and its huge assortment of variations.
3 sets with 45 – 60 seconds, take 45-60 seconds of rest.
3) Seated Calf Raise
As an isolated exercise, I recommend taking it up with increased difficulty after the initial workout laid below, increase reps.
5 sets with 5-10 reps.
4) Stiff-Legged Deadlift
Gluteus maximus, erectors, lats, and hamstrings are all rigorously worked out in this part of the workout. Besides the aforementioned, you might want to check out alternative forms that can supplement or improve additional routines you might adopt later on.
4 sets with 5-7 reps.
5) Front Squats
Easy and useful, a great variation of the standard squat.
4-5 sets with:
- 20 normal squats.
- 8-10 pyramiding squats.
3. Third Day
With everything implemented so far, it is worth noting that you can improvise a few of your workouts with simple additions that make the normal execution more difficult, in a setting within the gym and with a formulated plan.
As a legacy workout that is used as a general test of one’s strength and endurance, you can’t go wrong with this one yet your routine will be as hard as a drill sergeant’s treatment of insubordinate! Be sure to avoid common mistakes that might make it a difficulty.
3-4 sets with 6-12 reps.
A fantastic workout that stood the test of time within all levels in both professional and recreational circles, your back, arms muscles, and shoulders will be immensely strengthened, and with an impressive selection of variations to choose from, you can eventually choose your workout that suits your changing needs.
3-4 sets also with 6-12 reps.
3) Rack Deadlift
A lifter’s bread a butter, this is classified as a competitive powerlifting move that you will use to build your muscles, with alternatives in mind for additional muscle groups within the deadlift group of workouts.
3 sets followed up by 12-15 reps.
4) Band Row
The muscles located at your upper back are directly worked out and isolated, so you can focus on a specific muscle group while resting the rest of your muscles which also makes it good.
3 sets with 20-22 reps.
4. Fourth Day
Take the fourth day a little more easily, your muscles require rest so the following exercises can be done at a slower pace with longer periods of rest included so you can avoid any injuries that can occur.
1) Hammer Strength Press
Phew! After going through both the dumbbell bench/chest press, this will be a piece of cake! The underlying goal is, to sum up, a bigger part of chest training into one compact exercise that will prove to be extremely beneficial as a singular workout on the majority of the targeted area.
3-4 sets with 8-12 reps.
2) Lateral Raises
An old crowd favorite, supplement it with its essential variations for the best results.
6 sets, and go from 20-23 reps if you can reduce or increase based on performance.
3) Cable Fly
The cable machine is packed with many different workouts and muscle groups you can work on, so you have the option of choice once again what variation you can implement.
Make it 4 sets with 10-15 reps each, rest at least 45 seconds in between.
4) Incline Dumbbell Press
The cherry on top, you can fit this at the end of the workout alongside another weight-related exercise.
3-4 sets with 5-10 reps, increase to 7-12 after you get comfortable with it.
5. Fifth Day
Favored by the military and recreationists for its great workout for both the joints and most of the upper body, it is a great way to end the week with a complex and safe workout with many benefits.
3 sets with 6-12 reps, for a challenge, make it 2 sets with 15-20 reps.
2) Pendlay Rows
This is a super move that was utilized by legends such as Arnold Schwarzenegger for immense muscle building routines, it is now rarely seen outside competitive circles, another reason to stand outside the regular crowd!
Make it 4 sets with 5-10 ross
3) Incline Dumbbell Press
And for the last exercise that specifically targets three muscle groups ( triceps, shoulders, chest) you can end it with a fiery muscle burn that will leave you panting!
3-4 sets with 9- 12 reps
We covered a lot of workouts you can commit to achieving your goals. In the end, you will certainly come across issues related to consistency, motivation and many other problems that can be personal as well.
Fortunately, you can cover most of them within the area of expertise many professionals have left for us, such as general tips and tips related to your nutrition and exercises when you have goals that are related to specific muscle groups that you might find lacking.
Whatever difficulty you come across, remember that you can customize most of these after a while, so don’t think any of them are fixed.