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.
Workout Summary
  • Main Goal
    Build Muscle
  • Workout Type
  • Training Level
  • Program Duration10 weeks
  • Days Per Week
  • Time Per Workout30 minutes
  • Equipment Required
    Barbell, Bodyweight, Cables, Dumbbells, Machines
  • Target Gender Male & Female
  • Recommended Supps
  • Workout PDF Download Workout

Workout Description

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.

Workout Schedule

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

Exercise Sets Reps
Dumbbell Bench Press 4 12,10,10,10
Incline Bench Press 2 10
Tricep Dip 3 Failure
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

Exercise Sets Reps
Wide Grip Pull Up 4 10
Seated Row 3 12
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

Exercise Sets Reps
45 Degree Leg Press 4 12,10,10,10
Leg Extension 3 12
Leg Curl 3 12
Military Press 4 8-10
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
Posted on: Thu, 02/15/2024 - 15:28

What's your recommendation on rest times between sets and exercises?

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Posted on: Wed, 02/21/2024 - 09:11

Hey Matt, if you need to be done in 30 minutes, then 30 seconds max on rest time for sets and exercises.

If you can commit more time in the gym, then go for 60 between sets and 90 between exercises. Hope this helps!

Oliver Chow
Posted on: Mon, 01/15/2024 - 05:04

I’m currently going to boarding school and only have about 45 minutes each day at the gym since that’s the max ammount of time i have, is there a way i can make these exercises shorter but still achieve the same outcome? If not should i switch workouts during my rest?

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Posted on: Tue, 01/23/2024 - 10:57

Hello, Oliver. You can cut a couple of reps out of each set and minimize your rest between sets. Pairing them up in supersets is also a suggestion, but I don't know how busy your gym is. If that can be done, do it. I think you can still yield positive results from these adjustments.

Posted on: Sun, 01/07/2024 - 10:32

This Split can be as intense as you want it. Less is more this reminds me off mike menzter

Posted on: Sat, 12/09/2023 - 13:16

Hello, this is a realy good program, it helps me a lot in the past. I was just wondering why are the numbers of sets different for exercises? And should I maybe skip the two day rest time and make it only one day rest period?

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Posted on: Wed, 12/27/2023 - 20:40

The exercises with more sets are going to include a warm-up set or the team felt those muscle groups needed the extra volume.

Posted on: Fri, 10/13/2023 - 12:29

Is this a good routine for someone practicing intense martial arts sessions of 60 minutes each twice weekly?

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Posted on: Sun, 10/22/2023 - 11:25

Hi Josh! I would suggest training on this program on different days than the martial arts, but it can work well together. Let us know how you like it!

Posted on: Thu, 08/17/2023 - 19:27

Great site! I am new to lifting. Please advise how to calculate what weight to begin with for each exercise?

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Posted on: Sat, 08/26/2023 - 21:59

That is up to you, I'm afraid. You should be able to do the first two or three sets with one or two reps left in you. The final set can be taken to failure with proper form. As for calculating the weight to use, that is going to take trial and error until you find the weights that work for you.

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Posted on: Mon, 09/25/2023 - 20:56

This program can help you, but we also have a beginner program that could be of service to you.

Posted on: Mon, 09/11/2023 - 21:01

Hi, I'm an absolute beginner to the gym. My goal is to increase muscle mass and strength. What should I start first for workout routine?

Posted on: Thu, 08/10/2023 - 06:18

Have to say that I love this program! I altered 2 moves, but otherwise very nice. Have been enjoying it. 6th week ongoing and legday is tomorrow!

Just noticed that this program mentions... Abs and lower back should be worked after each workout with 2 exercises (see ab exercises).

I haven't done those at all, 'cause I missed this line(s). :D

Posted on: Wed, 06/28/2023 - 05:54

How or can I work ab/core workouts into this 3 Day split?

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Posted on: Wed, 06/28/2023 - 07:58

You can train abs at the beginning or end of any workout on the schedule. We have plenty of ab workouts to choose from here.

Posted on: Tue, 05/02/2023 - 10:57

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 ?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Mon, 05/08/2023 - 07:00

12 is one set, 10 is another, and so on. And yes, finish all sets of one before moving on. Hope this helps!

Posted on: Fri, 04/21/2023 - 09:37

Would this be suitable for gaining weight? Or would that really be dependent on also having a good diet?

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Posted on: Mon, 05/01/2023 - 13:15

It is completely dependent on the diet. Regardless of what the goal is, training is great but your diet ultimately determines your success.

Jacob Hoffman
Posted on: Wed, 04/19/2023 - 18:00

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

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Posted on: Sun, 04/30/2023 - 15:04

Take this one, Jacob, and let us know how it goes. I think you can see good benefits from this one.

Posted on: Thu, 03/30/2023 - 15:54

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?

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Posted on: Tue, 04/04/2023 - 11:20

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.

Posted on: Sat, 03/25/2023 - 10:01

I am currently starting this workout. First week in the books!
What is my next step after the ten weeks recommended for this workout?

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Posted on: Thu, 03/30/2023 - 15:37

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.

Posted on: Fri, 03/03/2023 - 02:54

Could you recommend a nutrition plan for this workout.

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Posted on: Mon, 03/13/2023 - 09:44

What is your short-term goal?

Posted on: Wed, 03/01/2023 - 02:21

What nutrition plan would you suggest for this workout.
I'm 183cm, 100kg, 40 years old. I would like to loose 10-15kg

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Posted on: Thu, 03/09/2023 - 15:29
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Posted on: Thu, 03/09/2023 - 15:29
Posted on: Thu, 01/05/2023 - 05:16

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)

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Posted on: Tue, 01/17/2023 - 13:46

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.

Posted on: Sat, 01/21/2023 - 05:18

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.

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Wed, 01/25/2023 - 08:42

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.

Posted on: Thu, 01/26/2023 - 00:41

Thank you ill try it

Martin Farrell
Posted on: Thu, 12/08/2022 - 16:54

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

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Posted on: Fri, 12/09/2022 - 21:36
Michael Labib
Posted on: Fri, 11/25/2022 - 11:08

I would like to know, how many pounds should I carry while following this program?

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Posted on: Sat, 11/26/2022 - 12:56

Not sure I understand your question, Michael. Carry as in work with for each exercise, or carry additional weight while training?

Posted on: Sun, 11/13/2022 - 19:11

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?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Sat, 11/19/2022 - 09:26

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.

Posted on: Sun, 11/13/2022 - 15:24

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?

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Posted on: Sat, 11/19/2022 - 09:20

As long as you eat enough to support that recovery, you will be fine, Jerry!

Posted on: Sun, 09/11/2022 - 12:51

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?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Sun, 09/18/2022 - 10:56

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.

Posted on: Mon, 08/15/2022 - 12:04

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?

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Posted on: Tue, 08/16/2022 - 10:14

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!

Posted on: Tue, 08/16/2022 - 10:39

Thank you for your reply. As you say I’ll see how I go and check
back in your articles.

Posted on: Tue, 07/26/2022 - 21:03

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?