If you're looking to completely transform your physique, we've got the perfect workout for you! This program combines 3 types of training for max results!
Workout Summary

Workout Description

It’s that time of year where the gym population grows and the resolutions are made.

People from all walks of life are setting new goals, and getting in shape is among the most popular resolutions made.

Maybe you’re someone who is brand new to this world of fitness and looking to start on the right foot. Perhaps you’re one of the many who started and stopped short but is now ready to re-commit to the mission of achieving your best.

Regardless of which category you fall in, we’re here to help you succeed.

12 Week Transformation Workout Overview

The program that follows is a 12-week routine that is designed to help you improve strength, size, endurance, conditioning, and overall health. The way this will work is we're going to keep the body guessing and focus on each aspect of your fitness one at a time.

There are three different sets of programs here. You’ll alternate which program you follow each week. You won’t do the same workout twice in a row throughout the entire process.

One week will focus on power and strength, the next on hypertrophy (muscular size), and the final one will help with conditioning and muscular endurance.

The training days will change and muscle groups you train will change. Each week will have its own different type of cardio too so you can burn calories different ways just like you'll train the muscles in a different way.

Weeks 1, 4, 7, 10 Workouts

This phase is devoted to power and strength. So the plan is to go heavy, heavy, heavy. You need to be able to achieve the desired reps but if you can do two reps more, go up. Make sure you keep your form in check too. Just because you’re trying to move serious weight doesn’t mean you get to swing and use momentum. No one benefits from that in the long run.

Rest for two minutes between sets. During this time you should change weights if necessary, drink your water or BCAAs, and focus. Commit your entire mental state to the next set.

Your cardio is going to take place post weight training and will be done in High-Intensity Interval Fashion. For 40 seconds you're going to go at a moderate pace. The next 20 seconds will be all-out max effort. That's one minute total. Repeat that pattern for 12 minutes.

Monday: Chest, Side Delts, Triceps
Exercise Sets Reps
Barbell Bench Press 3 5
Incline Dumbbell Press 4 6
Single Arm Dumbbell Lateral Raise 3 8
Cable Lateral Raise 3 8
2 Arm Overhead Dumbbell Extension 3 8
Close Grip Pressdown 3 10
Wednesday: Back, Rear Delts, Biceps
Exercise Sets Reps
Pendlay Barbell Row 3 5
Close Grip Pullup 4 6
Incline Bench Rear Delt Fly 3 8
Upright Row 3 8
Hammer Dumbbell Curl 3 8
Machine Curl 3 10
Friday: Legs and Abs
Exercise Sets Reps
Squat 3 5
Single Leg Press 4 6
Stiff-Legged Deadlift 3 8
Standing Leg Curl 3 8
Seated Calf Raise 3 10
Crunches 3 10
Hanging Leg Raise 3 10

Weeks 2, 5, 8, 11 Workouts

The focus shifts to muscle building and stimulation at this point. You’ll notice that there are different exercises than last week and the rep ranges are different. The goal now is to complete the reps and feel quality muscle contractions each time. You shouldn’t reach failure at any point.

When the reps decrease, add weight. And when the reps go up, you should lower the resistance. Your rest periods here will drop from 2 minutes to 90 seconds. We want to give the muscles time to recover but also want to maintain a decent pump.

As for the cardio, you’re going to still do HIIT but the pattern changes. Alternate 2 minutes of low to moderate effort with 1 minute of high effort. It shouldn’t be all-out this time but push yourself during those one-minute stretches. Six rounds total will be 18 minutes of work. Do these sessions post-weight training.

Monday: Chest and Side Delts
Exercise Sets Reps
Incline Smith Machine Press 3 12, 10, 8
Dumbbell Fly 3 8, 10, 12
Pec Dec 3 10
Seated Lateral Raise 3 10
Machine Lateral Raise 3 12
Tuesday: Back and Rear Delts
Exercise Sets Reps
Bent Over Barbell Row 3 12, 10, 8
One Arm Dumbbell Row 3 8, 10, 12
Dumbbell Pullover 3 10
Bent Over Rear Lateral Raise 3 10
Y Raise 3 12
Thursday: Arms and Abs
Exercise Sets Reps
EZ Bar Curl 3 12, 10, 8
Incline Dumbbell Curl 3 8, 10, 12
Close Grip Bench Press 3 12, 10, 8
Single Arm Pressdown 3 8, 10, 12
Weighted Decline Situp 3 12
Lying Leg Raise 3 12
Friday: Legs
Exercise Sets Reps
Front Squat 3 12, 10, 8
Single Leg Extension 3 8, 10, 12
Walking Lunge 3 10
Standing Leg Curl 3 10
Calf Press 3 12

Weeks 3, 6, 9, 12 Workouts

When it comes to the weight training, this will be the toughest week of all because the focus is now on endurance and conditioning. For those of you that are new to training, supersets are performing two exercises back-to-back without rest. Trisets are when you do three in a row before taking a break.

You won’t go heavy here because you need to focus more on finishing the sets. Moderate weights will be just fine at this point. Just make sure you keep the form in check.

There is no rest between the exercises within the superset or triset but you do get 60 seconds to recover. This will take a toll on you mentally too but fortunately, as you progress, the mental strength will increase as well as the physical strength.

Since you're going to be going harder in the weight room, the cardio will be low intensity. Walking on a treadmill or riding a bike will suffice. Perform 25-minute sessions on the days you don't train with weights.

Monday: Chest and Back
Exercise Sets Reps
A1. Incline Bench Press 3 10
A2. Pull Ups 3 10
B1. Dumbbell Bench Press 3 12
B2. 2 Arm Dumbbell Row 3 12
C1. Cable Crossover 3 15
C2. Wide Lat Pulldown 3 15
Wednesday: Shoulders and Abs
Exercise Sets Reps
A1. Machine Shoulder Press 3 12
A2. Lateral Raise 3 12
A3. Bent Over Lateral Raise 3 12
B1. Ab Crunch Machine 3 15
B2. Reverse Crunch 3 15
B3. Bicycle Crunch 3 15
Thursday: Biceps and Triceps
Exercise Sets Reps
A1. Barbell Curl 3 10
A2. Lying Tricep Extension 3 10
B1. Seated Dumbbell Curl 3 12
B2. 2 Arm Dumbbell Kickback 3 12
C1. Cable Bar Curl 3 20
C2. Rope Pressdown 3 20
Friday: Legs
Exercise Sets Reps
A1. Goblet Squat 3 15
A2. Leg Extension 3 15
B1. Romanian Deadlift 3 15
B2. Seated Leg Curl 3 15
Leg Press 4 25
C1. Seated Calf Raise 3 20
C2. Standing Calf Raise 3 20
118 Comments
Jacob
Posted on: Mon, 01/23/2023 - 15:46

I haven't worked out in years. I am about to start working out again with my son but looking for a good plan to follow. We only have Sunday through Thursday to workout though. I know in the beginning we will just be finding our grove together. Wont be able to go the full 4 days till wrestling season is over. Would it be fine to follow this plan but doing the days back to back?

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Roger
Posted on: Thu, 01/26/2023 - 20:16

Man, Jacob. You haven't worked out in years, but you're ready to go in the deep end by training four days in a row. If you have no other option, then go lighter so you don't trash your body right out of the gate. Slowly progress as the weeks pass. I don't know how old your son is, but if he's young, then he should follow this same approach. Even then, I would suggest a day off for him in between until he is familiar with training.

Jake
Posted on: Thu, 12/29/2022 - 08:19

Is this workout plan good for endomorph body types?

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Roger
Posted on: Sun, 01/08/2023 - 12:53

If you follow a nutrition plan that supports fat loss, then yes it could help you along with cardio.

Ashton Allen
Posted on: Wed, 12/21/2022 - 22:39

Should we do any warm up sets, or use the first set as a lighter weight set (I'm wondering particularly with things like bench press and squats where the weights will tend to be heavier). Thanks, Roger. Looking forward to mixing it up and giving this routine a go to kick off the new year. Cheers.

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Roger
Posted on: Wed, 12/28/2022 - 18:10

Hey Ashton, do one or two lighter sets before starting the three work sets. So for bench and squat, you would do five total. Hope this helps, thank you for reading M&S, and please let me know how this goes for you in 2023!

Ashton Allen
Posted on: Wed, 01/04/2023 - 15:58

Awesome. Really appreciate your reply. Thank you!

Anthony
Posted on: Sun, 12/04/2022 - 16:27

is it ok for skinny guys to skip cardio?

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Roger
Posted on: Mon, 12/05/2022 - 09:54

I don't suggest skipping completely, but less sessions is definitely ok. Do one a week so you can at least keep good cardio shape.

Richard Lafley
Posted on: Fri, 11/18/2022 - 10:54

Are the workouts designed to be a circuit or do you finish the 3 sets of first exercise then move on to next exercise

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Roger
Posted on: Wed, 11/23/2022 - 20:26

The pairs are to be done in supersets. For example, A1, no rest, A2, rest. Repeat until you do the number of sets for each exercise.

If you don't see the letters next to the numbers, you do those as regular straight sets.

Brandon
Posted on: Tue, 11/08/2022 - 00:37

Hey Roger, I’m about to start this program, and I was just wondering if it will also knock off a little belly fat? Or is that going to depend more on my diet?

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Roger
Posted on: Sat, 11/12/2022 - 11:13

Diet determines all, Brandon! That said, it can help you trim down the waistline as long as you eat responsibly.

Khaled
Posted on: Tue, 10/25/2022 - 11:41

Hi Roger, How can I adjust this nice program to be on the intermediate or advanced level?

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Roger
Posted on: Wed, 10/26/2022 - 21:25

What's good, Khaled? Add drop sets to the final set of each exercise. Push those to absolute total failure, then superset them with isometric contractions at the end of the set. For examples, when you do curls, do a drop set for the final set, then flex for as long as you can.

Khaled
Posted on: Thu, 10/27/2022 - 05:33

Thanks Roger

Joseph Cantu
Posted on: Sat, 10/08/2022 - 21:16

1st week done but still learning for cardio is just running or swimming count as well

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Roger
Posted on: Sun, 10/09/2022 - 15:57

They count, Joseph. Let us know how it goes for you. Thanks for reading M&S!

Raffaele
Posted on: Thu, 09/08/2022 - 09:49

Hello Roger,
may I ask you about the integration of Citrulline and beta alanine together with creatine? How much to take each and when? And aside from creatine, should I also take the other two on rest days? I train in the evening at 8 pm until 9:30 pm and have dinner at 10 pm. what are your tips? Thank you so much

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Roger
Posted on: Thu, 09/15/2022 - 20:56

What's good, Raffaele?

Citrulline and beta-alanine can be taken pre-workout. I do 1500 mg of citrulline and 2000 mg of beta-alanine. You can take citrulline on rest days, but I suggest saving the other one for training days only. Hope this helps, and thanks for reading M&S!

Jake
Posted on: Tue, 09/06/2022 - 13:25

Hey Roger on week 3 on the days we don’t lift weights, during the 25 minute sessions, are we still doing low intensity or regular cardio?

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Roger
Posted on: Wed, 09/07/2022 - 06:45

I suggest regular cardio, but you can do either, Jake. Thanks for reading M&S!

Omar Mansour
Posted on: Sun, 08/28/2022 - 16:17

Can I have a list of substitute exercises

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Roger
Posted on: Mon, 08/29/2022 - 08:23

I have no idea what you have access to or your reasons for changing exercises. You can find an extensive set of choices for you to swap at this link.

https://www.muscleandstrength.com/exercises

Raffaele
Posted on: Sun, 08/28/2022 - 15:23

Hi Roger,
Thank you for this workout, I’m thinking to use it for restart after summer holidays. I’d like to start gain muscle and I think this is really a great workout.
I’ve a little question, in the weeks:3, 6, 9, 12
The workout days is Monday, Thursday,Wednesday and Friday
It’s ok or a little mistake, in other weeks the workout days is:
mon/tue wed/fri

Thank you so much

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Roger
Posted on: Mon, 08/29/2022 - 08:25

The days listed are optional, Raffaele. If you need to shift them based on your schedule, go for it. I did that intentionally because that was how I did the workouts when I ran this myself before writing the article.

Raffaele
Posted on: Mon, 08/29/2022 - 08:44

Thank you so much Roger!
I start this program today

Thank you so much

Steve
Posted on: Sun, 08/28/2022 - 15:13

Is this a good program for a advanced natural? The reason I ask is that you are only hitting each bodypart once a week. I know you are still hitting body parts indirectly so what is your take. Thanks

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Roger
Posted on: Mon, 08/29/2022 - 08:24

Yes, this is a great option for you. Make the most out of each set, and do your best with recovery, and you can make gains on this one.

Casper
Posted on: Wed, 06/01/2022 - 05:49

Amazing program! I just finished it and I gained alot of strength and muscle mass. What do you recommend for a new level workout? My goal is to gain more mass and little bit of strength, so im focused on muscle mass more.

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Roger
Posted on: Sun, 06/05/2022 - 07:26

Casper, I love reading when people see results. Thank you for posting and sharing. Since mass is the priority, run with this one.

https://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/10-week-mass-building-program...

Jean
Posted on: Wed, 05/04/2022 - 14:41

Hello and thank you for this program. I just finished this and have nice results.

I am quite lost in the type of program to choose after this one … which one is good to continue to build muscle ?

Thank you !

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Roger
Posted on: Tue, 05/24/2022 - 21:07

Sorry for the delay, Jean. If you haven't chosen one yet, how many days a week can you train?

garrett chesnut
Posted on: Thu, 04/07/2022 - 20:30

Hello,

So I noticed that some days are missing from the weeks and was wondering if those were designated rest days or if it was okay to still go to the gym and workout. I'm just very used to a 5 day a week schedule and was wondering what might be best for the situation.

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Roger
Posted on: Sun, 04/17/2022 - 07:56

If you don't see the day on the schedule, it's designated as a rest day, Garrett. I suggest taking the day to recover so you can be at your best when the next training session comes.

Cesar
Posted on: Fri, 04/01/2022 - 12:13

Done with this program. I gained strength, stamina and muscles. But my belly fat and love handle is quiet stubborn. My goal is to lose this fat. Any workout you can suggest? Thank you.

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Roger
Posted on: Sun, 04/17/2022 - 07:55

Here you go, Cesar. Try this one. https://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/12-week-fat-destroyer

Make sure you check this one out as well if you haven't already. https://www.muscleandstrength.com/expert-guides/fat-loss

Cesar
Posted on: Sat, 01/29/2022 - 09:03

I started this program and I'm on the 5th week. What program is next after I'm done with this 12week workout?

Thanks!

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Roger
Posted on: Sat, 01/29/2022 - 16:09

It would depend on what your goal is after the 12 weeks is up, Cesar. Wait until you see the full results from this program before making that decision.

Cesar
Posted on: Sun, 01/30/2022 - 08:07

Thanks again, Roger.

Anthony
Posted on: Thu, 01/20/2022 - 05:00

Am in between a beginner and intermediate gym goer. At what weights shall I start this program? Thanks.

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Roger
Posted on: Fri, 01/21/2022 - 18:01

The weights that provide the best challenge, Anthony. As long as you reach the target rep range without sacrificing form, you're good.

Anthony
Posted on: Sat, 01/22/2022 - 01:08

Thanks, Roger for the response. Having said that, shall I try to increase it every next workout or how often shall I increase the weight of the same exercise? Will it be as long as I am comfortable doing so? Cheers for the help and support!

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Roger
Posted on: Mon, 01/24/2022 - 17:56

Yes, Anthony. When you're comfortable going up, go up. There is no rigid method to increasing work capacity. If you feel you can add weight, do it. You may need 10 pounds one week, and none the next. Do what is best for you on that day.

Anthony
Posted on: Mon, 01/24/2022 - 17:58

Awesome, Roger! Thanks for promptly and patiently answering my queries! Cheers

Mahdi
Posted on: Mon, 01/17/2022 - 09:58

Isn't it weird to have a chest exercise in the back & rear delts day on week 2?

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Roger
Posted on: Tue, 01/18/2022 - 18:11

If you're referring to the pullovers, that is also a lat exercise. Actually, if you do it correctly, the lats will work more than the chest.

Grant Rogers
Posted on: Wed, 12/29/2021 - 10:14

The workout states that HIIT is to be done after the workout, but I don't see any specifics listed for HIIT other than 40 second moderate and 20 seconds full go

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Roger
Posted on: Thu, 12/30/2021 - 21:37

You can do whatever activity you like, Grant. You can do this on an elliptical, rower, bike, or running/jogging. I don't suggest using a treadmill because you would have to adjust speed while running.

Kitty
Posted on: Mon, 11/29/2021 - 07:25

I am just starting this 12 week workout.
What do you recommend for the off days?