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
6 weeks
30-45 minutes
Barbell, Bodyweight, Cables, Dumbbells
Male & Female
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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

Exercise Sets Reps
Barbell Bench Press 4 12
Incline Dumbbell Bench Press 4 10
Close Grip Bench Press 4 8
Dips 4 MAX

Tuesday - Legs and Abs

Exercise Sets Reps
Deep Squats 4 12,10,8,6
Stiff Legged Deadlifts 4 12,10,8,6
Dumbbell Lunges 4 8 each leg
Lying Floor Leg Raise With Crunch 5 20


  • 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

Thursday - Back and Biceps

Exercise Sets Reps
Wide Grip Pullup 4 12
Chin Ups 4 10
Bent Over Barbell Rows 4 12
Cable row 4 10


  • 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

Exercise Sets Reps
Military Press 4 12,10,8,6
Alternate Arm Seated Dumbbell Press 4 10
Shrugs 4 8
Upright rows 4 12
Bicycle Floor Ab Crunch 5 20


273 Comments+ Post Comment

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Posted Sun, 02/21/2021 - 12:17

Answer to half these comments on here is......u need to eat

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Posted Thu, 02/02/2017 - 17:24

Aren't shrugs isolation exercise?...

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Posted Mon, 01/16/2017 - 08:26

Compound Excercise Only Workout, and then you leave out deadlift lulz

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Posted Thu, 06/09/2016 - 16:15

you forgot the biceps part

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Posted Sun, 01/10/2016 - 19:38

what would you recommend to workout for Wednesday?

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Posted Mon, 01/25/2016 - 14:30

I would say cardio 30-60 mins.

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

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

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

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

Hi Steve,

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


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

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

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Posted Thu, 11/03/2016 - 10:48

Abs are made in the Kitchen not the gym!!

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

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

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


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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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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?


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

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


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

How would this workout go bulking wise?

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

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

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

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

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

What about arms?

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

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


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?


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

Hey steve,

Will this workout help me to loose fat aswell?

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

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

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

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

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

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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

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

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

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

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?