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
160 Comments
Maximilián Seleš
Posted on: Sun, 12/17/2023 - 15:25

Hey Roger,
I have finished this program and now doing it for one more time again so it will be my 15th week right now. Ive definitely gained a decent strenght since the beginning, but I am striggling with gaining weight. What other plan would you reccomend for me after I will be finished with this one next week? I am trying to gain muscles, thats my main goal. Thanks!

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Roger
Posted on: Mon, 12/18/2023 - 18:02

What's good, Maximilian? Glad you made progress with strength. Not sure of your schedule or where you're training, but we have plenty of plans for you to choose from here. Once you pick one, ask questions if you got them on that page as you did here, and I will do my best to help. Thanks for reading M&S!

https://www.muscleandstrength.com/articles/how-to-choose-your-next-train...

Maximilian Seles
Posted on: Tue, 12/19/2023 - 15:51

Thanks for the reply! After looking over some programs I think the best fit would be: 8 Week Mass Building Workout for Beginners written by you. Do you think there will be some improvement in that plan or should I stay with this one? I have read somewhere that people should not be switching plans often, however 15 weeks already is quite a long time. I am beginner and flexible, working out at gym, I will try to focus on meal plan more. So would you recommend switching the plans or should I keep going with this one if my main goal is to gain muscle? Thanks a lot!

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Roger
Posted on: Thu, 12/28/2023 - 20:57

I think the 8 Week Mass plan is a great one, so take it on. 15 weeks is fine to make a change. Believe it or not, many of the pros change workouts often. They just follow the same overall principles with their training.

Let me know how it goes!

Khaled Youssef
Posted on: Fri, 11/17/2023 - 15:44

Hi Roger,
This program is labelled for beginners. I like it, however, I am an advanced lifter.
My question is how to modify it to be on the advanced level.
Thanks in advance

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Roger
Posted on: Tue, 11/28/2023 - 18:57

Hi, Khaled. Thanks for reading M&S and considering my workout.

Several ways to make this advanced. Do drop sets on the final set of each exercise, add in rest-pause training for the compound movements, and you can also do supersets with bodyweight like pushups with chest or bodyweight squats for legs. If you try any of these or find others on your own, let me know how it goes for you!

Khaled Youssef
Posted on: Wed, 11/29/2023 - 00:43

what do u think about adding more exercises per body part? or perhaps increase the number of sets?

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Roger
Posted on: Thu, 11/30/2023 - 20:44

I can see adding one or even two more exercises for similar sets and reps. I wouldn't go beyond that, though.

mansour
Posted on: Sun, 10/22/2023 - 09:33

Hi roger,
I am working with https://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/power-8-workout-3-day-split
plan now and expecting to start your perfect workout after that, but I can't exercise 4 days a week because of my job. I have 3 times going gym therefor I want to know How could I split this plan to 3 part (if it is possible!) tnx

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Roger
Posted on: Mon, 10/23/2023 - 20:25

Hey there. If three days is all you can do, then just cycle the workouts for the days you train. The days on the workout are recommended, not required. So, if you were to train three times a week, it may look like this.

Week 1
Day 1 you train - Chest and Back
Day 2 you train - Shoulders and Abs
Day 3 you train - Arms

Week 2
Day 1 you train - Legs
Day 2 you train - Chest and Back
Day 3 you train - Shoulders and Abs

And you just keep going. Understand?

mansour
Posted on: Mon, 10/30/2023 - 10:04

yes. thank you very much

Andrei Sorin
Posted on: Mon, 10/16/2023 - 17:55

Exercises for strength press with one leg or lateral lifts with one hand .... is there a recommendation for a time break? when do we change after the right member to the left one? (I take a break of 15-20 seconds but I don't feel perfect to start again)
I would like it to be more explicit how to perform these types of exercises correctly,I would like the opinion of someone who knows and understands this very well

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Roger
Posted on: Mon, 10/23/2023 - 20:23

If you need 30 seconds to rest between sides, that would be ok, Andrei.

Almost every exercise on the workout has a link to a guide you can follow for proper instructions.

Kp
Posted on: Sun, 09/24/2023 - 21:58

Hi I’m going to start this 12 program. Any tips on what to eat along with this program? Could you email me them?

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Roger
Posted on: Wed, 09/27/2023 - 14:19

There is no set diet plan with this. This guide should help you with the nutrition part.

https://www.muscleandstrength.com/articles/complete-guide-how-to-increas...

Tony
Posted on: Mon, 09/11/2023 - 04:48

Hey. My gym has taken away the lat raise machine. Is there an alternative? I’m not keen on using dumbbells or cable due to getting the form right. I always found the lat raise machine helped with that. Any suggestions on alternative machines would be great. Thank you

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Roger
Posted on: Wed, 09/20/2023 - 19:49

You could go single arm with cable, Tony. That may help you with the form since you're concentrating on one side. Outside of that, I don't know of any other options.

CJ Kinsey
Posted on: Sun, 09/10/2023 - 01:22

Starting lifting as I would like to gain more muscle and I like this program as well as another one written by you https://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/8-week-hypertrophy-workout

Which would you recommend someone doing as somewhat of a beginner? I also tend to play basketball as my cardio so hoping that would cover the cardio portion!!

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Roger
Posted on: Wed, 09/20/2023 - 19:50

Hey CJ, thanks for reading M&S! For a beginner, this one would be a good starting point. Once you feel more comfortable training, then you can move on to the 8 week one.

Eric
Posted on: Mon, 09/04/2023 - 13:30

For the supersets what would you recommend for rest between reps?
I understand no rest between A1,A2 etc but would you say 15sec between rep?

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Roger
Posted on: Wed, 09/20/2023 - 19:48

One minute at least between supersets, Eric. 90 seconds if needed.

Wilson
Posted on: Tue, 08/29/2023 - 08:14

Soy de cuerpo atlético, está rutina transformará mi cuerpo en el tiempo establecido?

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Roger
Posted on: Wed, 08/30/2023 - 06:42

Puede ver un progreso significativo en este programa si se mantiene constante con el entrenamiento, la dieta y la recuperación.

from Spanish: Soy de cuerpo atlético, está rutina transformará mi cuerpo en el tiempo establecido?

My answer: You can see significant progress on this program if you stay consistent with training, diet, and recovery.

Rob Mathis
Posted on: Sun, 08/27/2023 - 17:40

Hey Rock! I’m looking to get in shape for my 50th Birthday in November. I need to lose 25lbs. Will this program work or would you recommend something else? Thanks

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Roger
Posted on: Mon, 08/28/2023 - 09:25

Hey Rob, not guaranteeing 25 pounds, but this one should get you a lot closer to that goal. Run it, and let me know if you have questions along the way. Thanks for reading M&S!

Rich
Posted on: Sun, 08/27/2023 - 12:27

Hey Roger!
I'm kinda skinny and want to get some mass along with muscle, do you think this programme will fit my goal?

I'll start the gym in around 2 weeks from now, in the meantime I'm only doing some pushups at home to accustom my body to the stress that's coming and be less tired from the first week at the gym.

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Roger
Posted on: Sun, 08/27/2023 - 12:33

What's good, Rich? Good timing because I was on here answering questions.

I think this would be a great choice for you. Make sure you're eating to support that size building goal, and you should be pleased with the results. Good strategy with the pushups. I would suggest doing bodyweight squats as well to prepare that lower body. You're still going to be sore, but it may not be as bad.

Check back in if you got questions along the way. Thanks for reading M&S!

Rich
Posted on: Sun, 08/27/2023 - 16:06

Roger that, Roger ;)
And thank you!

Tony
Posted on: Sun, 08/20/2023 - 02:41

Hey. I’m planning on starting this programme beginning of September. I’m pretty lean as it is but have kind of taken a gym break this summer. Is there anything you recommend I should be doing in the build up to starting?

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Roger
Posted on: Sun, 08/20/2023 - 21:24

Take the first week kind of slow to get back into a routine. Then from week 2 on, give it all you got!

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Roger
Posted on: Wed, 08/30/2023 - 06:43

Yes, I do, Tony.

Tony
Posted on: Tue, 08/29/2023 - 12:35

Thanks Roger. Appreciate your reply. Just a quick question re diet. My previous muscle building/fat loss workout plan was designed at around 2100 cals a day. Would you recommend keeping the same for this plan? I’m currently 73.2kg. Cheers. Tony

Tony
Posted on: Sun, 08/13/2023 - 10:06

Hey. I completed a 16 week training plan back in March with a coach. I was really pleased with the results but, as expected, when you go it alone and there isn’t the expectation there anymore, you slip a bit. I’m still pretty fit but nowhere near as defined as I was. 5 workouts a week was not sustainable with my work pattern. Would you say this workout would suit me? My goal is slim muscular, which I am, just with a slightly less emphasis on the muscular.

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Roger
Posted on: Sun, 08/20/2023 - 21:23

I think this can help you, Tony. Not much that can be done about going at it alone, but feel free to share your experience here every week so we can cheer you on from afar. Thanks for reading M&S!

Brian Mitchell
Posted on: Thu, 08/03/2023 - 12:52

On your week 3 workout here, what specific exercises are supposed to be super setted? On the leg day it appears what would be best would be A1, B1, C1 worked in a triset is best. However that logic doesn’t translate on the arms day? It has u working the same muscle 3-exercises which would be a compound set?

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Roger
Posted on: Sun, 08/20/2023 - 21:22

The quads, hamstrings, and calves can withstand more volume, which is why those are paired up together. Hope that clears up the confusion. If you try the trisets and they work for you, let us know. Your experience may help someone else here, and I'm always up for hearing feedback. Thanks for reading M&S!

Ryan
Posted on: Wed, 06/14/2023 - 19:10

Hey would I be okay to implement some core training either in the morning or on my days off will this have a negative effect on desired results. Also do you have any recommendations for a diet plan to follow with this program

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Roger
Posted on: Thu, 06/15/2023 - 06:41

Yeah, Ryan. Core training is a good idea, and we have plenty of workouts to choose from. We also have this fat loss guide if you're looking to get leaner, check them both out below.

https://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/abs

https://www.muscleandstrength.com/expert-guides/fat-loss

Ryan
Posted on: Thu, 06/15/2023 - 20:20

Thank you would you recommend a fat loss with this program or some form of bulk or anything in between

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Roger
Posted on: Fri, 06/16/2023 - 07:27

That depends on where you are. If you feel you need to drop weight, then fat loss is the way to go. If you feel you're already somewhat lean but want to get jacked, then the mass plan would be best.

Brendon
Posted on: Fri, 05/12/2023 - 21:46

Hi. Does it matter what type of cardio we do or can we just bounce between bike, elliptical, rower, etc? I'm about to start this program. Thanks.

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Roger
Posted on: Mon, 05/15/2023 - 15:57

Do more than one type, Brendon. That keeps the routine interesting and forces your body to get better in more than one way. Make a schedule of different options or simply go random. Do what you find keeps you consistent? Make sense?

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?