Muscle & Strength Full Body Workout Routine

This M&S mass building routine is perfect for lifters who want to give full body workouts a try. All major muscle groups are trained, and the program includes a 20 rep set of squats.

Workout Summary

Build Muscle
Full Body
Beginner
3
Barbell, Bodyweight, Dumbbells
Male & Female

Workout Description

This is a muscle and strength building program for beginner and early intermediate lifters. It is designed to target all major and minor muscle groups, allowing you to maximize hypertrophy (the muscle building process) through the use of progressive resistance.

You will be training 3 days per week, resting at least one day in between sessions. Here is a sample schedule:

  • Monday - Workout A
  • Wednesday - Workout B
  • Friday - Workout C

Bicep Curls

Workout Notes

How to work ramped 5x5 sets

The first 2 sets are "working warm up" sets. The weight you use for your warm up sets will be based upon the resistance used during your 3 working sets. Here is the set up:

  • Set 1 - 60% x 5 reps
  • Set 2 - 80% x 5 reps
  • Sets 3-5 - 100% (working weight) x 5 reps

So if you are using 200 pounds as your working weight for sets 3, 4 and 5, your workout would look like this:

  • Set 1 - 120 pounds (60%) x 5 reps
  • Set 2 - 160 pounds (80%) x 5 reps
  • Sets 3-5 - 200 pounds (working weight) x 5 reps
Ramped 3x5 sets for deadlifts

This is performed in the same way you worked your 5x5 ramped sets, but with only one working set:

  • Set 1 - 60% x 5 reps
  • Set 2 - 80% x 5 reps
  • Sets 3 - 100% (working weight) x 5 reps
Workout C - Ramped 3x5 squats

If your squat sets during Workout A felt manageable, try to add 5 pounds to your working set during Workout C. Here's how your Workout C squatting would look like:

  • Set 1 - 60% x 5 reps
  • Set 2 - 80% x 5 reps
  • Sets 3 - Workout A's working weight + 5 pounds x 5 reps
How much weight to use per set

For a given exercise, use the same weight for each set. When this amount of resistance feels manageable, add another 5-10 pounds to the bar. You want to focus on progression at all times, so when you are able to, load the bar.

Progression of weight drives gains. It is essential, and this program will not yield gains without it.

Rest between sets

For major lifts like squats, deadlifts, bench press, overhead press and barbell rows, rest about 2 minutes in between sets. You can use 60 to 90 seconds rest between sets for all other movements.

Workout A
Fullbody Workout
Exercise Sets Reps
Squats (Ramped) 5 5
Bench Press (Ramped) 5 5
Barbell Row (Ramped) 5 5
Upright Row 3 10
Skullcrushers 3 10
Dumbbell Curls 3 10
Leg Curls 3 12-15
Ab Wheel Roll Out 3 10-15
Workout B
Fullbody Workout
Exercise Sets Reps
Deadlifts (Ramped) 3 5
Romanian Deadlift 2 8-12
Seated Overhead Press 3 8-10
Pull Ups or Inverted Rows 3 10-15
Dips 3 10-20
Barbell Shrugs 3 10
Standing or Seated Calf Raise 3 12-15
Plank 3 60 seconds
Workout C
Fullbody Workout
Exercise Sets Reps
Squats (Ramped) 3 5
Squats 1 20
Incline Dumbbell Bench Press 3 10
One Arm Dumbbell Row 3 10-15
Seated Arnold Press 3 10-15
Cable Tricep Extensions 3 10
Barbell Curls 3 10
Leg Curls 3 12-15
Ab Wheel Roll Out 3 10-15
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About The Author
Muscle & Strength's Content Team is a group of fitness industry experts dedicated to publishing the highest quality articles, workouts and guides on the M&S Website.

48 Comments+ Post Comment

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Posted Thu, 12/12/2013 - 15:01
Tony
This workout is great I've been working out 30 years and do other versions of this but keep the full body routine going love it .Still in great shape at 49 keep up the great articles
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Posted Fri, 12/13/2013 - 07:08
Jack
How long dose this workout run for ?
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Posted Fri, 12/13/2013 - 10:41
adam
Looks great! What can I substitute for dips? As my gym doesn't have a dipping station, cheers.
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Posted Sat, 12/14/2013 - 15:41
Dre
If you have a flat bench you can do dips that way.
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Posted Sat, 12/14/2013 - 15:46
AbbzFit
If you dont have any form of two parallel bars to do dips on, just try bench dips with weights on your lap
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Posted Sat, 12/14/2013 - 16:22
Kevin R.
Bench dips work well also.
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Posted Fri, 12/27/2013 - 11:58
tim
use a bench, look up bench dips
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Posted Thu, 08/21/2014 - 14:35
Benj
You could also do Close Grip Bench Press.
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Posted Sat, 12/14/2013 - 01:27
Phatan
I always like 3 day fullbody workouts. Your body is taxed enoug in miminum total time. Plus we get chance to workout every body part three times a week. Best approach for beginners and guys intrested general strength & muscles. I am doing 3 day routine for last 8 months in & out but still able to gain about 14lbs for weight.
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Posted Sat, 12/14/2013 - 05:40
martin
im intrested in a programe to do over the year im starting from scratch i have dumbells bench and leg and pull down and row attatchment can you give me a advice on a good routine and when to do strenth training and a good compete suppliment to use
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Posted Sat, 12/14/2013 - 15:48
jason
Nice......my new year workout
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Posted Mon, 12/16/2013 - 13:25
martin
thanx jason will look at this and give it a go
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Posted Sun, 12/15/2013 - 02:47
Phatan
Hi Maritn, You can do following dumbbell only workout http://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/dumbbell-only-home-or-gym-fullbody-workout.html
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Posted Mon, 12/16/2013 - 13:18
martin
thanx i will try this workout to start with
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Posted Mon, 12/16/2013 - 11:47
Declan
In my workouts I do squats 3x5 and 1x20 but on different days. To do 1x20 straight after 3x5 would most certainly sort out the men from the boys! I don't do it but if I did I think I'd cry!!!
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Posted Tue, 12/17/2013 - 11:19
Raymond
Starting this today, love 20 rep squats!
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Posted Wed, 12/18/2013 - 07:51
Bdub
This full body routine is solid just started this week and know I'm going to love it!
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Posted Wed, 12/18/2013 - 11:46
Steven
Good luck!
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Posted Wed, 12/18/2013 - 19:32
Tom
Will this put on size v's gaining workout thanks
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Posted Thu, 12/19/2013 - 10:28
Jacob
Steve, In your newer article about back training you mention only doing one back movement per workout day if you do a full body but I noticed you added pull ups on deadlift day. Is that an exception to what you stated in your back training article?
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Posted Thu, 12/19/2013 - 23:04
Steven
Sorry for the confusion, The back workout was merely a a good general example. A solid one.
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Posted Fri, 12/20/2013 - 11:30
Jacob
Ah, makes sense. I'm moving to a full body again because I'm limited on days I have free and this looks to have the right amount of everything I need. Much obliged.
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Posted Sat, 12/21/2013 - 16:25
Romeo
Hi Steve. Thanks for the all great workout you posting. I am 35 years old 163 lbs. I play baseball and need to gain strength and muscle. Looking for 3-4 days workout to build strength, muscle and flexibility. What workout would you suggest?
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Posted Sun, 12/22/2013 - 17:34
David
Question for Steve, How would you mix in HIIT and LISS into this workout?
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Posted Sun, 12/22/2013 - 19:12
May Palmer
Wow, this is GREAT, Steve! Finally, something for us 'newbies' just getting into the Strength/Body Building Game! I like the 3 Day, Total Body Split myself and have been at it for a month now but, really didn't know how to put a routine together that was safe/sensible. I appreciate you taking the time to craft & publish this routine. God Willing, I plan on starting this routine on Monday. Thanks so much, Steve! YOU RAWK!!
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Posted Thu, 12/26/2013 - 17:36
Henri
Hi! I was wondering a couple of things about the workout B. Why is there no chest or bicep work and why is there two different shoulder exercises?
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Posted Fri, 12/27/2013 - 09:34
augusto
with dips exercise has you working your chest, with the inverter rows you work the bicep.
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Posted Sun, 12/29/2013 - 00:15
Dogan
I want to ask you something Steve. On Workout C, is the weight for 3-rep Squat going to be the same with 20-rep Squat? I am really curious about it.
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Posted Wed, 01/01/2014 - 17:58
augusto
Question for Steve, How would you mix in HIIT and LISS into this workout?
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Posted Thu, 01/02/2014 - 02:58
Fumm
Hi i would like to know if you can add a 4th day to this routine
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Posted Thu, 01/02/2014 - 23:33
Julyisto
Where does it say how much wieght we should be using?
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Posted Wed, 01/08/2014 - 10:17
Richard
You mention 'working weight', what percentage of 1RM is that and are the none ramped exercises all at working weight?
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Posted Mon, 01/13/2014 - 07:56
Marcus
At 48 can I still get a big muscle mass?
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Posted Tue, 01/14/2014 - 19:08
Jakeem
Thanks a lot! These are some great tips.
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Posted Wed, 01/15/2014 - 20:23
Steve E
Can we split the workout for 5 days instead?
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Posted Sat, 01/25/2014 - 21:17
Jonathan
Nothing for chest on workout B?
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Posted Mon, 01/26/2015 - 12:24
Vincent
The dips are chest dips (links to Chest Dips page).
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Posted Mon, 01/27/2014 - 17:14
asher
Would it be bad to do this routine and go on runs on my off days
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Posted Sun, 02/02/2014 - 12:47
rexhino
Question to Steve:How long dose this program run ? And after this program with wich program shoud i go on
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Posted Sun, 02/02/2014 - 16:08
Coleman bullington
Has anyone tried this and have good results? If so do you have pictures of your results?
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Posted Sun, 02/02/2014 - 16:39
Coleman bullington
Does anyone that has done this program have any pictures of their results
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Posted Sun, 02/02/2014 - 22:48
roy
I would like to add Hip Thrusters to this routine. I would like some advise please. Where should I add them, and should I use them as a substitute for something else? Thanks For the help Roy
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Posted Fri, 02/14/2014 - 12:16
tobias
How many weeks should i be doing this for?
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Posted Wed, 03/26/2014 - 13:36
Matt
Had to stop working out for a few months and just getting back into it. I'd like to start this routine. My question is, should I "lightly" workout for a week or two and then determine what my working weight is? Or maybe a better question is what is the best way to determine your working weight? My goal is not to hurt myself by doing too much. Thanks in advance to any replies!
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Posted Mon, 05/19/2014 - 11:54
Ricardo Reigns
Is this a good workout for Mass? And for teenagers?
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Posted Mon, 06/02/2014 - 10:43
Chris
Hey Steve I been working out for about six months with some weeks off in between. I been doing back, chest and legs by itself then I do arms in one day. I am barely seeing results in size and gains on the bench. When I workout back muscles I also do deadlift. I would like to try this exercise but I'm concerned about not gaining muscles in NY arms since this workout doesn't contain much arm workout. Can I also do exercises like close grip bench press, tricep pulldowns, forearms and other bicep exercises with this workout? If possible maybe duo these on a fourth day?
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Posted Mon, 07/21/2014 - 13:16
Donovan Khamphasong
You got this!!!!
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Posted Tue, 07/29/2014 - 09:53
DamienH
Hi. I'm looking to build muscle and get my chest bigger, if anyone has a workout plan please let me know of any good ones that work