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3 Day Workout For Beginners

Average: 4.1 (391 votes)
4.1 5 391
New to weight training? This workout is for you. Designed to hit each muscle group with the big compound exercises once per week. Each workout day has 3-5 exercises.

Workout Summary

Main Goal:
Build Muscle
Workout Type:
Split
Training Level:
Beginner
Days Per Week:
3
Equipment Required:
Barbell, Bodyweight, Cables, Dumbbells, Machines
Target Gender:
Male & Female
Author:

Workout Description

New to weight training? This workout is for you. Designed to hit each muscle group with the big compound exercises once per week. Each workout day has 3-5 exercises.

With this workout you focus should be on your technique not the weight you're lifting. Get the technique right in this workout then move on to a more advanced workout (Like this 4 day split) after 8-10 weeks.

The workout hits your chest/triceps on Monday, back/biceps on Wednesday and legs/shoulders on Friday. Abs and lower back should be worked after each workout with 2 exercises (see ab exercises).

Daily Workout Schedule:

Monday - Chest and Triceps
Chest
Exercise Sets Reps
Dumbbell Bench Press 4 12,10,10,10
Incline Bench Press 2 10
Triceps
Exercise Sets Reps
Tricep Dip 3 Failure
Lying Tricep Extension 3 10
Notes
  • Have a 10min warmup before you begin your workout.
  • Have your bench at a 30 degree angle for incline bench press.
  • Make sure you lean forward to focus the work on your lower chest. Use assisted dip machine if you cannot do bodyweight.
  • Light weights only for skullcrushers, focus on form.

Tuesday: Rest Day

Wednesday - Back and Biceps
Back
Exercise Sets Reps
Wide Grip Pull Up 4 10
Seated Row 3 12
One Arm Dumbbell Row 3 10
Biceps
Exercise Sets Reps
Standing Barbell Curl 3 8-10
Notes
  • Have a 10min warmup before you begin your workout.
  • Focus on form.
  • Use lat pull downs if you can not do pull ups.
  • Can use EZ bar for barbell curls.

Thursday: Rest Day

Friday - Legs and Shoulders
Legs
Exercise Sets Reps
45 Degree Leg Press 4 12,10,10,10
Leg Extension 3 12
Leg Curl 3 12
Shoulders
Exercise Sets Reps
Military Press 4 8-10
Dumbbell Lateral Raise 3 10
Notes
  • Have a 10min warmup before you begin your workout.
  • 45 deg leg press, start with 75% of your max and add weight on each set.
  • Lateral raises - focus on form using light weights

Saturday and Sunday: Rest Days

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Comments (1,288)

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david
Posted Wed, 05/26/2010 - 17:06

ill try it

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C Gul
Posted Wed, 01/19/2011 - 08:46

Hi,
How long wud u recommmend to stay on this plan before moving up ?

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Purevodka
Posted Mon, 01/30/2012 - 05:31

4 to 8 weeks, as referred in the text above

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jj
Posted Thu, 02/10/2011 - 17:25

hi im 23 5"11 i weight 154pounds,i have a bit of fat around my stomach,i want to build muscle,my arms most of all,is a 3000 calorie a day diet with 185g of protein a good start?will i put on much fat while eatin 3000 a day,should i eat this much on rest days?i want to hopefully get bigger and look better in a about 6months,what sort of results could i expect to see if i work hard?would i have pecs,some sign of ab muscles,traps ect,,sorry for all the questions,i have a lot too learn..

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parrish C
Posted Thu, 03/10/2011 - 17:59

185g of protein a day is great, you need to probably be eating 3500 - 4000 calories a day (500 - 1000 extra a day), and definitely on rest days as well. 6 MONTHS is a great goal, very realistic, aim for 2 lbs of pure muscle a month (10 lbs total with water weight), and I would suggest taking some anti-pheromone supplement diindolylmethane (DIM) should really cut the mid section weight. No Cardio - No Cardio! good luck

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Bruce
Posted Sat, 05/28/2011 - 03:35

Hi I just joined the gym last week and visited for the first time today..Im researching alot to build a good program with the two main topics being workout programs and a nutritional diet. I noticed you emphasized on no cardio but that is my main exercise. My last jog was 13 miles and I plan on training for a marathon once I get a good routine. But my question is, would it be fine to jog for an entire hour and also strength train for an hour or two in one session?

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Chris
Posted Sun, 05/20/2012 - 03:31

Hey bruce, a good programme to follow for cardio and weight training.
For nutrients have atleast 6 meals a day, with protein in each aswell as vegetables and fruit, don't for get your 5 a day fruit and veg rule, but you should be going well over that, for breakfast I recommend porridge, with semi skimmed milk and honey in and also some
Mixed fruit, a mid breakfast of fruit, yoghurt and a protein shake, lunch as protein and vegetables, mid lunch more fruit and a protein shake, dinner protein and vegetables, then mid dinner before going to bed a protein shake and some cottage cheese or yoghurt.
Supplements you should be taking are protein drinks creatine when you wake up in the morning and before bed, on training days 30mins before and after training, 3 x omega 3 tablets with breakfast with a glass of milk, and ofc your protein drinks, mid breakfast, mid lunch, after training and before bed.
Run in the morning before breakfast, so it hits more fat cells when working out.
Do cardio like sit-ups, rowing machine, cross trainer and cycling machine, when at gym before the weight training but trust do not over do yourself on these machines set a time limit say 10mins -15mins.
Kind regards Chris

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jason
Posted Wed, 06/08/2011 - 15:07

I'm new to the whole DIM thing. How does this help cut the mid section weight? I've just started working out, weigh 193 and am looking to target about 185 and changing my midsection from the typical beer gut to a little, if not a lot more cut. I'm just curious how this DIM product enhances mid-section weight and if I should incorporate it into my routine.

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Ryan
Posted Tue, 03/13/2012 - 22:23

Hey just reading your comment at the end you said NO cardio. why? i'm kinda in the same boat im 5'6" 138lbs pretty good shape and look good except for around my stomach. I run 3 miles a day, is that bad? Its before my lifting routine. which i do monday through friday. Thanks for any input. Also i eat a very good diet eggs chicken turkey brown rice veggies stuff like that.

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Harry Schurr
Posted Sat, 03/31/2012 - 18:46

i just completed my personal training course and as for how many calories you need each day is ruffly 2400. 2 ibs of muscle gain each month is actually kind of low. hit the gym hard for 4-5 days a week and you will receive results in no time. your small gut will vanish in no time. your workout routine should change every month to more intesify your muscle gain. the stronger you become the more you can do. you can weigh app. 180 in 3 months time with the right diet and exercise routine. also never neglect the most important muscle in your body...your heart. cardio 2-3 times a week.

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Asma
Posted Sun, 10/20/2013 - 17:53

Hi, I have the same questions. I'm a female, How much calories and protein should I be eating? and can I still lose fat without doing cardio or should I do cardio on rest days?
another question, how much weight should I start lifting with? (I've been lifting light weights before)
Thank you,

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Isaaq
Posted Thu, 11/17/2011 - 12:26

To find the calories needed get your weight and multiply it by 24 (w*24) for carbs and protein get your weight and multiply it by 2 (W*2) work three times a week and make sure you REST!!! muscles grow when they rest so if u can work out Monday wednesday and friday if u can and the other days REST don't go do cardio or else u will need to eat more calories and don't go play like football with friends etc. Actually have a lazy day and rest u may need to change the days u workout depending on your schedule like If u work etc.

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Harry Schurr
Posted Sat, 03/31/2012 - 18:49

i just completed my personal training course and as for how many calories you need each day is ruffly 2400. 2 ibs of muscle gain each month is actually kind of low. hit the gym hard for 4-5 days a week and you will receive results in no time. your small gut will vanish in no time. your workout routine should change every month to more intesify your muscle gain. the stronger you become the more you can do. you can weigh app. 180 in 3 months time with the right diet and exercise routine. also never neglect the most important muscle in your body...your heart. cardio 2-3 times a week.

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Richard
Posted Sat, 12/31/2011 - 16:53

hello im richard, im about 5 foot 8 and 226Lbs. im currently trying to get in shape for the Army. would this be a good way to start and how long should i do this for?

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Harry Schurr
Posted Sat, 03/31/2012 - 18:52

richard i would recommend more cardio to lose weight to fit into the weight requirement range for the military. i would suggest run/jog for 20-30 minutes 4-5 days a week. this workout routine is a good way to start but only use it for about 1 month so you can build up a base of muscle that would prepare you for a much more intense workout routine starting on month 2. pay your trainer at your gym once a month and he/she will set you straight.

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Meagan
Posted Sat, 05/29/2010 - 10:29

What's an equal alternative to the 45 degree leg press? The gym I go to doesn't have that.

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Steve
Posted Sat, 05/29/2010 - 11:37

The squat.

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John
Posted Thu, 05/24/2012 - 10:52

Steve,
I am just starting to work out I have a beer belly but the rest of my body is skinny. I am looking to loose my beer belly an add size to my body with muscle. The thing is I don't want to loose to much weight in other places cause I'm skinny everywhere else. What program do you think will best suite my needs.

many thanks in advance.

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Pravien
Posted Thu, 03/03/2011 - 10:34

You can do squats instead of this exercise using a barbell

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justin
Posted Sat, 05/29/2010 - 12:19

Could I use a dumbell squat ?

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Steve's picture
Steve
Posted Sun, 05/30/2010 - 14:54

Yes.

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Khan Ali
Posted Sun, 06/06/2010 - 05:24

I feel in knee instead of quadricep muscle during squat's and 45 degrees leg press can u please help me !!!!!!!!

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Steve
Posted Sun, 06/06/2010 - 10:17

If you are experiencing knee pain or discomfort you may be using improper form. I would discontinue these exercises until you can learn as much as possible about correct form.

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fred
Posted Fri, 07/16/2010 - 18:02

if your knees hurt you may be doing two things wrong. #1. you may be using too heavy of weight which is causing you to "come out of the seat" and put undo stress on your knee. #2. you are either locking out at the top or going to low on the bottom. Try a lighter weight and only move in the range of motion where you dont lock out on either the (+) or the (-). Let me know.

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mike
Posted Sat, 05/29/2010 - 14:22

if I do intense cardio like running for 40 minutes or swimm for an hour on my rest days, will my muscles not get enough rest? and will they not grow as they should? i need to increase muscle mass but i really feel healthier when i do cardio. and i don't know if that's affecting the way my muscle recovers.

thanks for answering

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Steve
Posted Mon, 05/31/2010 - 10:02

You should be fine as long as you are eating enough and getting good sleep.

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Luis
Posted Tue, 06/01/2010 - 17:23

I do 30 minute cardio after each workout, is this counterproductive ? I also do cardio on my off days..

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Steve
Posted Tue, 06/01/2010 - 17:39

Not at all. Just make sure you are eating enough.

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Edgar
Posted Sun, 01/09/2011 - 12:40

what do you mean "make sure you are eating enough", do you mean eat more then we are suppose to or to eat what we are required to eat according to our requirements ?

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Mike
Posted Fri, 02/25/2011 - 11:51

What he means is eat protein if your trying to bulk up. If your running eating increases your musclar endurance

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ken
Posted Tue, 06/01/2010 - 18:39

i am starting today... wish me luck

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Steve
Posted Tue, 06/01/2010 - 19:17

Best of luck!

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Tom
Posted Wed, 01/26/2011 - 16:17

hey my right arm is 2 inches bigger then my left and ive been trying to fix that and nothing is working just lookin for advice

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Gabriel
Posted Thu, 06/09/2011 - 21:10

Hey Tom, I have the same exact problem! My right bicep is bigger than my left bicep! Idk what to do, Im also stronger with my right arm more than my left! It sucks! Like when I do a tricep excercise I use a 20LB on my right arm and a 15LB on my Left arm -__- It sucks!

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Nicole
Posted Mon, 09/05/2011 - 22:11

Do to a past injury my left arm was weaker/smaller then my right. I was told to only use the weight and do the reps my left arm is capable of until my left arm can "catch up" to my right... it took about three months but now both arms are closer to the same size and can lift the same weight. Just an idea I'm not a professional or anything.

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tazz johnson
Posted Wed, 03/28/2012 - 21:54

10 lbs more weight on the weak arm. (use bells) do this for 16 days 4 days a week.

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Indrajit
Posted Thu, 06/03/2010 - 03:44

can i change any of the exercises or do i have to do the same exercises for 8-10 weeks?? can i do straight bench press instead of the dumbble bench press or can i do a preacher curl instead of the barbell curl on week 2 or 3 ??? how often should i change my exercise?

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Steve
Posted Thu, 06/03/2010 - 09:32

Stick with the same exercises over the course of the program. You could do bench instead of dumbbell bench, or preacher curl instead of barbell curl, but switching too often will halt progress.

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Reagan Kirby
Posted Tue, 04/03/2012 - 01:20

Hey, I just wanted to say thanks for writing these article, but most of all for actually taking the time to answer peoples questions. I know these posts were from a long time ago but it is much appreciated. d:D

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justin
Posted Thu, 06/03/2010 - 23:00

hi, just reading the program and it seems great. i was just wondering if deadlifts can be fit in on back day or would it be a good idea??

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Steve
Posted Fri, 06/04/2010 - 15:51

I am a big fan of deadlifts, and if you do work them in, I would probably use them instead of the seated rows. Dumbbell rows and pullups are top notch exercises and I would hate to see you bump either of those.

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treeman
Posted Fri, 06/04/2010 - 23:29

hi i started this workout almost a month ago and it feels great. Im limited for time so i try to keep to the schedule. I can def see progress already although im still having touble worrying about trying to lose more wieght. im not sure of the right diet to follow and have full access to anything cause i work in a restaurant. im 5'7 168 what could i do. thanx

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Steve
Posted Sat, 06/05/2010 - 14:08

Protein is a key. You want to be eating 30 to 40 grams every 2.5 to 3 hours. For the rest of your food, eat fruits, veggies, diary products and healthy grains. You want to eat about 500 calories less then it takes to maintain your weight. If you're not sure what it takes to maintain weight, eat about 2500 calories per day and watch the scale for a week. If you drop weight too quickly, eat a bit more. If you're not dropping any weight, eat slightly less.

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Bill
Posted Sat, 09/04/2010 - 12:25

Would I be able to take creatine with this workout ? Would it help ?

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Steve
Posted Tue, 09/07/2010 - 14:34

Hi Bill,

Once you have a solid eating approach, and are making consistent gains, creatine is definitely worth trying.

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mustafa
Posted Sat, 06/05/2010 - 02:31

hi,does anyone knows whats the alternative exercise for "Tricep Dip" because the mechine is broken in my gym and also i cant do my body weight yet??? thanx

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Steve
Posted Sat, 06/05/2010 - 14:09

Close grip bench press is a good alternative.

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thomas
Posted Sat, 06/05/2010 - 11:31

I'm following this plan. However, I play tennis on Saturday morning (and also on Sunday afternoon), which demands my fine legs and shoulders.
So is it possible that I switch the plan between Wednesday and Friday? That is: do legs+shoulders on Wed and back+biceps on Friday.

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Steve
Posted Sat, 06/05/2010 - 14:10

That would be ok.

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