- Main GoalBuild Muscle
- Workout TypeSplit
- Training LevelBeginner
- Program Duration10 weeks
- Days Per Week3
- Time Per Workout30 minutes
- Equipment RequiredBarbell, Bodyweight, Cables, Dumbbells, Machines
- Target Gender Male & Female
- Recommended Supps
- Workout PDF Download Workout
New to weight training? This workout is for you. Designed to hit each muscle group with the big compound exercises once per week. Each workout day has 3-5 exercises.
Recommended: Need help building muscle? Take our Free Muscle Building Course
With this workout you focus should be on your technique not the weight you're lifting. Get the technique right in this workout then move on to a more advanced workout (Like this 4 day split) after 8-10 weeks.
The workout hits each muscle group once per week. Abs and lower back should be worked after each workout with 2 exercises (see ab exercises).
- Monday - Chest and Triceps
- Tuesday - Rest
- Wednesday - Back and Biceps
- Thursday - Rest
- Friday - Legs and Shoulders
- Saturday - Rest
- Sunday - Rest
3 Day Muscle Building Workout
Before you begin each workout, start with a 10 minute warm up to prime your nervous system and get you ready to hit your workouts. Use this time as a beginner to establish quality habits. Take your time with each exercise and focus on proper form and developing that mind-muscle connection. You'll thank yourself later.
Monday - Chest and Triceps
|Dumbbell Bench Press||4||12,10,10,10|
|Incline Bench Press||2||10|
|Lying Tricep Extension||3||10|
- Have your bench at a 30 degree angle for incline bench press.
- Make sure you lean forward to focus the work on your lower chest. Use assisted dip machine if you cannot do bodyweight.
- Light weights only for skullcrushers, focus on form.
Wednesday - Back and Biceps
|Wide Grip Pull Up||4||10|
|One Arm Dumbbell Row||3||10|
|Standing Barbell Curl||3||8-10|
- Focus on form.
- Use lat pull downs if you can not do pull ups.
- Can use EZ bar for barbell curls.
Friday - Legs and Shoulders
|45 Degree Leg Press||4||12,10,10,10|
|Dumbbell Lateral Raise||3||10|
- 45 deg leg press, start with 75% of your max and add weight on each set.
- Lateral raises - focus on form using light weights
I started this program yesterday but I don’t fully understand the sets and reps, do I repeat 12-10-10-10 times on each set ?? Or 12 is considered a set and 10 is a set and so on ??
Also, should I finish all sets for one exercise to move to the next ?
12 is one set, 10 is another, and so on. And yes, finish all sets of one before moving on. Hope this helps!
Would this be suitable for gaining weight? Or would that really be dependent on also having a good diet?
It is completely dependent on the diet. Regardless of what the goal is, training is great but your diet ultimately determines your success.
I am 30 years old and am just getting back into the gym. I used to be a gym rat but its been several years since then. Is this a good workout for me. I want to bulk up. Or would is there another workout you would suggest instead thanks. PS I cannot lift as much as I used too lol
Take this one, Jacob, and let us know how it goes. I think you can see good benefits from this one.
Hi Roger, I have around 15 pounds to loose but I also want to build muscle. Is this a good workout plan for doing the same?
My suggestion would be to focus on the fat loss first, Archan. As long as your diet supports that cause, then yes this workout can help you. You may notice a slight positive change in muscle, but doing both at the same time is very difficult.
I am currently starting this workout. First week in the books!
What is my next step after the ten weeks recommended for this workout?
Get through the ten weeks and re-evaluate your goals before trying to find a new program. Keep focused on the one you're doing for now.
Could you recommend a nutrition plan for this workout.
What is your short-term goal?
What nutrition plan would you suggest for this workout.
I'm 183cm, 100kg, 40 years old. I would like to loose 10-15kg
This should help you.
This should help you.
On Monday,I dont have access to incline bench.
I cannot get the form right with tricep dips too.
Any alternative to both these exercises? (I have a normal flat bench)
You can set up one side of the flat bench on a higher surface that is stable and do incline that way. If that isn't possible, simply do more flat work.
Why can't you get the form on triceps? Past injury, or just don't have the equipment to. I want to make the best alternative.
Sorry for replying so late and so long message,I had a wrist Injury few weeks ago.Although it has healed noe I still cant get the form right.For some reason I feel soreness and burn in my shoulders instead of my triceps.Also after my bench press,my entire chest except my lower chest is sore.I don't seem to be hitting lower chest.One last thing I would like to add is my left shoulder is bigger than my right shoulder even though I train them equally.Thank you for reading this.
For the triceps, as long as the wrist is healed, go with close grip pushups instead. Don't go all the way down at the bottom to keep tension on the triceps.
It's very difficult to isolate the lower pecs. Flyes are about the closest you're going to get to them if you can't do dips. Just lift them over your lower chest to help target that area. Even then, it won't be optimal unless you have a way to do decline work.
Many people one side slightly bigger than the other on groups such as shoulders, arms, etc. Do two extra sets on the right side and slow down the movements so you keep more tension on the muscle. That may help.
Thank you ill try it
Hi, I am just about to complete your 10 week 3 day course for beginners which is great. I am looking for something new to move up a level but I will still be restricted to 3 days per week. Can you recommend anything? Thanks, Martin
Try this one, Martin.
I would like to know, how many pounds should I carry while following this program?
Not sure I understand your question, Michael. Carry as in work with for each exercise, or carry additional weight while training?
First of all, thanks for a simple yet effective workout program. I haven't done consistent weight training for over a decade, and hoping this would help me form a regular habit. I have a couple of questions -
1. What time of the day would you recommend for this routine? (morning vs evening)
2. Is it ok if I do 30 mins runs/walks or other cardio on the rest days?
Thank you for reading M&S and the questions.
1. That is up to you, but if you train in the morning, make sure you eat at least one full meal before you train. Don't train with weights fasted.
2. You can do cardio on some rest days, but make sure you give yourself at least one complete rest day each week to help with your recovery.
I train boxing twice a week for an intense and non stop hour which includes thirty minutes of heavy bag work.
Would this be a good routine to use for strength and muscle building while not interfering with my recovery?
As long as you eat enough to support that recovery, you will be fine, Jerry!
Hi. I had 2 Hernia operations this year where I was cut the full length of my stomach. During the recovery time I picked up a lot of weight. What exercises would you recommend to get my abs strong again and to get my stomach flat again? Also, can I do build my upper body while trying to get my stomach flat?
Hey JJ, you should talk to your doctor or surgeon about what you can do for your midsection. You can build your upper body up, but machines and barbells in rack positions are your best choices for exercises. No picking up dumbbells or weights up off the floor until you get clearance from the doc.
Hi, excuse my lack of knowledge, it’s been 14 years since I was last weight training. Is there a specific reason why biceps and triceps are trained on different days please and not together?
Some authors prefer to separate them with some programs. Biceps are involved when you train back, and triceps join the party on chest day. Might as well give them a pump since they're already active. I've trained them together and apart. If this doesn't work for you after a few weeks, feel free to find an arm program. We have plenty here!
Thank you for your reply. As you say I’ll see how I go and check
back in your articles.
Hi, can any kind soul advise me on which off day (Tues, Thurs, Sat, or Sun?) within this plan is best for doing a 30 mins treadmill and 30 mins swimming?
Hi, Josiah. I'll take a crack at it. If you're going to do both on the same day, do it on Tuesday. If you want to do them on separate days, do the treadmill on Tuesday and swim on Thursday. Hope this helps!
Hey I want increase body weight and also tone my body and recommendations?
Hi, BJ. The best bet between the two is to reduce bodyfat and develop the tone look first. Then, try to increase your body weight.
On the rep amount for the tricep dip column under monday it says “failure”. What does that mean and if it’s a typo how many reps should I do?
Hi, Riley. That means to do as many reps as you possibly can with proper form. When you're unable to do a rep with good form, then you've reached failure. That could be 10, 15, 20 reps, maybe more. Hope this helps.
Hey its good workout. I am 38 yrs male n want shape my Chest, Butt, Legs n arm i dont want 6 pack or skinny body. any suggestion for that.
Hey Jackay - check out this one: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/phul-workout
After finishing this what would you recommend next?
Hey Jason - how many days per week are you wanting to hit the gym?
I just finished week 4 and I feel really good. I am feeling a bit weaker in my left arm, is there anything I can do to balance myself out?
Hey Matt - Glad you're liking the program! It's normal to have one side that's slightly weaker than the other. When doing unilateral movements, I always start with my weaker side and really focus on mind-muscle connection.
What ab exercises can I add, or will it suffice as is to trim a 44 year old female’s spare tire? Add- 10 years out of the gym, 5’6, 145#.
Hey McInbutler - check out this one: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/core-destroyer-8-week-home-ab...
Can I replace the leg press with squats and add a deadlift to day 2?
Hey Matthew - yes, you can do that.
How much time you're supposed to rest between reps ?