Compound Exercises Only Workout

This workout uses only compound exercises. Compound exercises are movements that require more than 1 joint and more than 1 muscle group.

Workout Summary

Build Muscle
Split
Intermediate
4
Barbell, Bodyweight, Cables, Dumbbells
Male & Female

Workout Description

Add a bit of variety into your workout routine by just using the big compound movements. This workout using compound exercises only. Compound exercises are movements that require more than 1 joint and more than 1 muscle group.

Compound exercises are the biggest muscle builders. Cycle this workout into your normal routine to add some variety. There are also a more compounds that I didn't add, so swap things up!

Daily Workout Schedule:

Monday - Chest and Triceps
Chest
Exercise Sets Reps
Barbell Bench Press 4 12
Incline Dumbbell Bench Press 4 10
Triceps
Exercise Sets Reps
Close Grip Bench Press 4 8
Dips 4 MAX
Tuesday - Legs and Abs
Legs
Exercise Sets Reps
Deep Squats 4 12,10,8,6
Stiff Legged Deadlifts 4 12,10,8,6
Dumbbell Lunges 4 8 each leg
Abs
Exercise Sets Reps
Lying Floor Leg Raise With Crunch 5 20
Notes
Increase weight on each set of squats and deadlifts
Crunch: Lay on the floor, holding a small weight above your head. Bring your legs and arms up until they almost touch. Slowly lower down to 1 inch of the floor

Wednesday: Rest Day

Thursday - Back and Biceps
Back
Exercise Sets Reps
Wide Grip Pullup 4 12
Chin Ups 4 10
Bent Over Barbell Rows 4 12
Cable row 4 10
Notes
If you can't complete all the reps for pullups, complete the set with negatives (jump up and lower yourself down slowly). If you can not do pullups, use lat pull down. All these exercises work the biceps and back.
Friday - Shoulders, Traps and Abs
Shoulders
Exercise Sets Reps
Military Press 4 12,10,8,6
Alternate Arm Seated Dumbbell Press 4 10
Shrugs 4 8
Upright rows 4 12
Abs
Exercise Sets Reps
Bicycle Floor Ab Crunch 5 20

Saturday and Sunday: Rest Days

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About The Author
M&S writers is a collection of all the other writers that have published content on Muscle and Strength.

266 Comments+ Post Comment

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Posted Thu, 04/09/2015 - 05:20
Rafael

Would you recommend cardio after this routine, to increase fat loss?

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Posted Sun, 03/08/2015 - 16:28
Sam

Hey Steven Im a 19 year old guy who's looking to put on a good amount of muscle and i have tried a few other workout routines that haven't worked for me. I haven't had a balanced workout program so my chest has been a lot stronger than back and has caused me to have back problems. This looks like a very balanced routine but I am a little worried about working each muscle only once per week. I have read articles that say i should train each group twice a week. Is it still possible to put on a good amount of muscle when only working each muscle group once per week?

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Posted Mon, 03/02/2015 - 14:38
Theresa

Hi Steve,

Would you recommend this program for weight loss, and for women?

Thanks!

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Posted Sat, 02/28/2015 - 10:54
LOVIE

How long will it take to build stomach core, so that I cn see flat stomach results

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Posted Mon, 02/09/2015 - 22:56
diego

Hi , ive been using this workouts like 3 weeks, i want to know if i just need to use this compound excercises, or should i do this excercises plus more isolated escercises, im a skinny guy haha. ive been doing just this excercises

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Posted Sun, 10/19/2014 - 02:50
Roumi

hi Steve, I am 53 yrs old, I started working out 6 months ago, I gained 4 kg, I was 56 kg and now I am 60 kg, but I just can't add more weight, can you advice me what to do, to gain more muscles, thank you.

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Posted Thu, 10/16/2014 - 02:56
Nick

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Posted Tue, 09/02/2014 - 03:24
Yogesh kumar

Hi Steve i want to know how to gain big muscles but i am not interested in body weight gain so please tell me which is the best protein

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Posted Wed, 06/25/2014 - 21:36
josh

ive been working out for about 5 months now, you say to push for more reps but i was told sometimes going to failure isnt necessarily the best method. what would you suggest , right now all i really want is to gain the mass, i dont want to do any cutting because i am not at the size i want to be. any information would help. do i stick to heavy compound only or do i isolate as well?

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Posted Thu, 05/22/2014 - 20:03
IwannaKnow

I go to high school and summer break is coming up. I want to build the most muscle I can during the summer until school starts again. I think the 3-day split is great, but I want to build as much muscle as possible can I workout 6 days a week with 1 day of rest?

I will be working out Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and taking a rest on Thursday. Then I continue Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and take a rest on Monday. I would continue this method until school starts again.

Would this be fine, or is it not recommend.

P.S. I have experience in weight-lifting and I'm a hard worker. So the "tired" feeling wont be a problem for me b/c I'm stubborn when it comes to building muscle.

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Posted Thu, 02/06/2014 - 10:58
Derek

On Tuesday when it says 4 sets at 12,10,8,6, do you do individual sets consisting of 12,10,8,6, or one set of twelve, second set of 10, etc. ? Because I did my workout Tuesday of Four sets of 12, 10, 8, 6 adding up to a total of 144 squats. These legs hurt.

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Posted Sun, 01/26/2014 - 00:39
Nathan

Is it not counter productive to be doing more bicep and back excersises on the day after the back and bicep day? (shoulder day)

Should I make Wednesday my back and bicep day and Thursday my rest day to atleast give my biceps and back an extra days rest for the friday?

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Posted Sat, 01/25/2014 - 22:56
Cathy

Ok, so I'm going to start this after a small break from when I finish the program I'm doing. I have a quick question as newbie. Using day 1 as an example, would I do all four sets of the bench press and then 4 sets of the incline dumbbell press or do I alternate them? And from what I understand from another users question, rest time between sets is 2 minutes? Thank you, this program looks like a great interlude before I start my next program.

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Posted Mon, 01/13/2014 - 13:10
Joe Cruz

Would I be able to use this as my only routine or would that not be smart??

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Posted Wed, 01/01/2014 - 05:59
Gab

When you say "cycle this into your normal routine" are you saying do this on top of what my normal routine is? Or instead of my normal routine?

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Posted Sun, 12/22/2013 - 21:53
Harrison

Hi Steve
I've been looking around for a decent, and legit, workout routine for a while and I'm get some mass gains, seeing as I'm a bit of a skinny guy. Would this be a good workout for getting some lean gains? And also thanks some much for answering everyone's questions.

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Posted Sun, 12/15/2013 - 13:42
Alex

Hello, would you recommend this workout or the 5x5 for a person that has lifted weights for 2-3 months, assuming one is eating diet? (For mass gain primarly, but strength gains too)

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Posted Fri, 12/06/2013 - 13:21
kris

Some articles I've read says working out each body part once a week is not enough, what is your opinion if your doing reps 3-5??

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Posted Thu, 12/05/2013 - 19:22
Marc

Hi Steve,
Idk if this article is still getting responded too I was just wondering if I could replace the pull up with the deadlift and the curl up with standing bar curl or ez bar curl. Also isn't the military press the same thing as the one arm dumbbell press ?

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Posted Tue, 09/24/2013 - 09:08
Mike

My goal is to big bigger and to see a lot of muscle

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Posted Sun, 09/08/2013 - 15:42
Paul

This workout is the best I have come across. It is not complicated and easy to get on with. Is there an equally simplistic and user friendly workout to cycle it with, in order to see results in definition?

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Posted Tue, 08/27/2013 - 04:41
Edgar915

Hey Steve I was wondering if I should start with more weight in the first set then lessen weight after each weight?

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Posted Sun, 08/18/2013 - 06:47
Baljinder

Hey Steve,
I am 20yrs old guy.... height 176cm and weight 59kg. Doing Gym 6days a week to increase my body weight. But its not effecting much.
Can u please suggest me some diet plan for weight gain?

Thanx.

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Posted Tue, 07/30/2013 - 13:00
Joshua

Hi Steve,
I was wondering if it would be okay to add decline dumbbell press into the chest workout? And for triceps would it be okay to do weighted diamond push ups instead of dips?
(keeping to the compound-exercise-only aspect of the workout)

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Posted Sat, 06/29/2013 - 19:10
corey

IF YOUR WORKOUT PLATEUS MAKE SURE TO ADD WEIGHT TO THE PULL UPS, DIPS, CHINUPS. YOU WILL GET SO FRIGGIN HUGE. SHOOT FOR +45 and your body weight. see huge huge gains

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Posted Sun, 06/09/2013 - 20:44
Mason

How would this workout go bulking wise?

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Posted Thu, 05/30/2013 - 22:56
James

hey steve,
Do u go to failure on every set because i heard if you go to failure everytime, your muscle dont recover fast enough to do the same amount of reps again. So what should i do?

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Posted Mon, 05/27/2013 - 10:43
richie

Hey Im trying to put on some weight and bulk up, ive started eating alot for more calories, but also srarted to develop a bit of a belly in the process. I dont realky do any cardio because i dont want to loose any size, and i aint that fit. I am 79 kgs and 184cm i have a little bit of shape but want to get bigger. Can anyone recommend a good cardio exersise to burn the belly fat or a certain diet or lifting regime??

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Posted Tue, 05/14/2013 - 13:07
aflannery

So for a women who wants to weight train and not only use 5 lbs weight but do real training is the compound good? Honestly I don't think it will make a difference. Opinions.

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Posted Sun, 05/12/2013 - 15:45
sudar

Hi,
Help pls...
I am doing workouts for a while now. The problem i am facing is my chest. I got a good side chest but unable to build the center line. What should i do that?

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Posted Sun, 04/28/2013 - 16:28
Andrew

What about arms?

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Posted Tue, 04/23/2013 - 06:49
Cal

Hey Steve, is this a good workout for me? Im 16 and weigh 150, im an ectomorph or whatever they call it and I've been trying to gain muscle for about a month now and nothing significantly has changed.

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Posted Tue, 04/23/2013 - 00:15
Guy

Hey,

I wanted to ask you if this workout is good if one wants to loose a lot of fat in combination with a good dietplan?

thanks!

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Posted Tue, 04/23/2013 - 00:14
hello

Hey steve,

Will this workout help me to loose fat aswell?

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Posted Sun, 04/21/2013 - 16:34
Harsh

Why are DEAD-LIFTS not included in the back workout ?

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Posted Fri, 04/05/2013 - 09:47
Kunal

Hi Steve! am 38 years of age now..Gymming for the last two years. didn't hit the gym ever before that. have largely been doing isolation exercises with one set of muscle a day with two rest days in the week. have hit a plateau for the last 4 months or so. its getting really frustrating! kindly guide me on the kind of workout i should be doing for gains. want to add muscle mass and reduce fat percentage. my body weight is 71 kg and height 5'8".

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Posted Wed, 04/03/2013 - 22:10
Alex

Would it be ok if i do 5 sets on chest day?
Thanks

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Posted Wed, 04/03/2013 - 08:48
Koorosh Roodbaraky

Steve, surely this volume is way too low to do much good. Is there a more advanced version?

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Posted Tue, 03/26/2013 - 22:46
eliasmaus

Hey Steve,
Is this workout routine meant to be done in the order provided or can I go chest and traps to back and biceps the next day. Thanks in advance!

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Posted Sat, 03/23/2013 - 11:59
Robert Gulley

It's a shame most of the "writers" here can't put complete sentences together...

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Posted Fri, 03/22/2013 - 08:16
jay

Man i cant believe the results im seeing by your compound routine its almost like i just started all over again feeling muscles i never felt before..the way the exercises run into one another really leaves you knowing you worked out today. THANKS for all the work you guys put into this web site glad I came accross it.

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Posted Fri, 03/15/2013 - 18:46
ez

so using just these exercises in the program and htis program and obv adding cardio on some days after weights as long as i eat right then this program above will work well?

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Posted Wed, 03/13/2013 - 17:23
ez

do you just do this program as shown and change some excercises round to different compound exercises if you want or, do you fit this into yr normal program for example normal legs session with these exercises added in?

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Posted Mon, 03/11/2013 - 12:02
Billy

Hi steve
I was just wondering if i could swap out cable rows with something? due to the fact that i don't have the facilities to do this exercise.

Thanks Adam

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Posted Sun, 03/10/2013 - 19:37
KK

I'm kinda confused on which workout to choose, may I have like some guide or sth for that? Like for now, I think I might wanna choose the Ex-Hardgainer workout plan coz I think I'm a hard gainer. But at the same time, there are so many other interesting workouts for beginners and intermediates. May I know what workout/how do I choose my workout? Thank you

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Posted Fri, 03/15/2013 - 18:33
mnsjason

It's really up to you. Choose a workout that works with your schedule. If the Ex-Hardgainer routine looks appealing, then feel free to choose it. Compound exercises are also great for adding mass, so you can't go wrong either way. The key is to make sure that your diet can support your goals.

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Posted Sun, 02/24/2013 - 16:27
jaylauz

Could you do this as a routine or would you have to add sone isolation sets aswell. Trying to pack on muscle mass got the eat big thing down intaking almost 6000cals a day with 6 meals and a gallon of whole milk a day. Just need the right workout routine.

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Posted Fri, 02/22/2013 - 13:05
Frank

Also free weights help more with mass gain in my experience than machines. Only time I use machines is on certain lifts that I need a spotter and don't have one.

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Posted Fri, 02/22/2013 - 13:03
Frank

It all depends on what body type you are. I am a hard gainer. For me to put on muscle I have to take in somewhere around 4000 to 5000 calories a day. 372g of protein a day, 492g of good carbs a day, and a 168g of fat a day. This is for me to gain 25 lbs in 16 weeks. I started 2 weeks ago and have gained about 6.5 lbs of lean muscle so far. This diet is based on 6 meals a day. I supplement 2 meals a day with 2 shakes of high calorie, high protein, and high carb, mass builder. I also use the purist form of creatine I could find. I am doing this with an 8 week regime of compound only workouts 5 days a week. On my off days I do light cardio of 30 to 45 min. on either heavy-bag, grappling dummy, headache bag and or jump rope/ wall jumps. I plan on doing the same workout in the last eight weeks but add a few isolation exercises in with the compound to change things up. It has worked really good for me so far. Max's are up on an average of 35 lbs. and weight is coming up at a decent rate. Like i said before though, everything depends on what body type you have. Even for hard gainers some things may not work for others that did me or john doe. One thing for sure. To put on mass, heavy weight ( I use 85% of max then add 5 lbs for each set, sometimes 10 lbs depending on exercise), reps between 6-12 depending on workout. Anything above that starts using more of a Metabolic effect, which won't help in weight gain.

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Posted Tue, 02/19/2013 - 09:12
Rocky

hey, any good substitute for dips? i have all the other pieces of equipment needed at home and don't really want to go to the gym just to do my dips, oh and i don't have a cable machine either, thanks