Machine Only Workout: A 3 Day Workout Split

Machine Only Workout: A 3 Day Workout Split
So many commercial gyms out there are only investing in machine equipment. If you go to one of these gyms, this might be the perfect workout for you!

Workout Summary

Build Muscle
Split
Beginner
6 weeks
3
30-45 minutes
Machines
Male & Female
download pdfDownload Workout

Workout Description

Some of the most popular commercial gyms these days are geared towards the beginner crowd.

For this reason, they’ve adopted an old school mentality that suggests beginners should start on and stick to machine training.

We could debate that for days, but if all you have available to use is machines, you can still have a great workout.

The workout below is one route you could take. It targets all of your major muscle groups in a traditional 3 day push, pull, legs split.

When performing the exercises, you’ll want to utilize a weight that will fall into the 70-85% range of your 1 rep max.

In between each set, utilize a 45-90 second rest period. Rest periods can be highly individualized, so if you need more or less rest, do whatever best suits you.

If you would like to perform core exercises to target your abdominal muscles, I would recommend sticking to bodyweight exercises such as the plank variations, ab wheels, and hanging leg raises. Feel free to perform one of those exercise utilizing a similar rep/set scheme at the end of your workout.

Day 1 – Chest, Shoulders, Tris
Exercise Sets Reps
1. Hammer Strength Machine Bench Press 4 10
2. Machine Incline Press 3 12-15
3. Pec Deck Fly 3 12-15
4. Machine Shoulder Press 4 10
5. Machine Lateral Raise 3 12-15
6. Tricep Rope Pushdown 3 12-15
Day 2 – Back, Biceps
Exercise Sets Reps
1. Lat Pulldown 4 10
2. Cable Row 4 10
3. Machine Pullover 3 10-12
4. Machine Preacher Curl 3 10-12
5. Cable Hammer Curls 3 10-12
Day 3 – Legs
Exercise Sets Reps
1. Hack Squat 4 10
2. Leg Press 4 10
3. Leg Curl 3 10-12
4. Leg Extension 3 10-12
5. Machine Glute Kickbacks 3 10-12
6. Calf Raises 3 15

To ensure you are progressing, aim to increase the weight you use for each exercise either every week or every other week.

Alternatively, if you get to the point where you’d like to increase your training frequency, you could test out a 4 and eventually a 5 day split.

If you happen to gain access to more equipment, it may be worth testing out a routine that incorporates more of a variety of movements. The major downside to machine only training is that machines involve a fixed ranged of motion. This decreases the need for your stabilizers to do their job.

But, if all your membership gives you access to is machine equipment, it isn’t the end of the world and you should still be able to see some solid muscle development over time.

If you have any questions regarding the workout, feel free to leave us a comment in the comments section below!

19 Comments+ Post Comment

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Posted Thu, 09/13/2018 - 19:05
Simon

Hi, I'm looking to try a machine only plan for a change from the usual compound included workouts. Can you do straight arm pulldown as a replacement for the machine pullover ?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Fri, 09/14/2018 - 09:12
JoshEngland

Hi Simon,

Sure, you can make that substitution.

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Posted Mon, 09/03/2018 - 14:56
Jess

Can't a 2-3 day full body workout using machines going from one station to the other using heavy weights produce good results?
And you would be done in 20-30 minutes.
Thanks for feedback.

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Posted Sun, 08/26/2018 - 17:11
Jeff

Dumb question...how do I know when I’ve hit the upper limit of how much weight I’m increasing to each week? I don’t want to get to a position where I’m accidentally overdoing it. Thanks!

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 08/27/2018 - 08:49
JoshEngland

Hi Jeff,

I'd stick to 5lbs increases when possible. Track your workouts - if you fail at a weight one week, don't move up the following week. Only move up when you're able to get the reps for each set with a weight.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Tue, 08/14/2018 - 07:45
Dave

Is this strictly for muscle building? or will same workout help weight loss? I'm overweight and looking for workout combined with cardio. Also trying for first time

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Tue, 08/14/2018 - 15:05
JoshEngland

Hi Dave,

It can be used for fat loss as well.

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Posted Mon, 08/06/2018 - 08:31
Tony

Question about the glute kickback machine? You suggest 10-12 reps for each set. Do I do 5-6 reps on one leg then work on the other leg to finish the set?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 08/06/2018 - 09:00
JoshEngland

Hi Tony,

It's 10-12 each leg.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Sun, 07/01/2018 - 14:51
Nobia

l am just getting started but so far this workout seems to be exactly what I need. Would a good routine be Monday day 1 workout, Tuesday cardio, Wednesday day 2 workout, Thursday cardio, Friday day 3 workout, Saturday cardio, Sunday rest? My goal is to burn fat while gaining muscle.

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 07/02/2018 - 09:18
JoshEngland

Hi Nobia,

Yes, that would be the perfect way to set up your week with this program.

Hope this helps!

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Thu, 07/05/2018 - 08:45
JoshEngland

Hi Nobia,

Yes, that is completely fine to do.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Wed, 07/04/2018 - 13:19
Nobia

Would it also be ok to do cardio on the same day as the workout? Is 30 mins a good cardio workout?

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Posted Mon, 04/09/2018 - 17:46
James

I am almost finished with the 6 week program. What is a good machine focused workout I can transition to next?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Tue, 04/10/2018 - 08:56
JoshEngland

Hi James,

You can continue this program if you're still enjoying it and seeing results.

Looks like we may have to add some more machine only splits to our database :) Stay tuned!

Hope this helps!

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Posted Thu, 04/05/2018 - 14:04
Edward

Should I leave one day of rest between each split. For example Day 1 on Monday, Day 2 on Wednesday, Day 3 on Friday.

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Thu, 04/05/2018 - 15:19
JoshEngland

Hi Edward,

Yes, that would be a solid way to approach this workout program.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Wed, 09/27/2017 - 11:38
Heather/Arnita ...

Do you keep the same weight for each set?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Wed, 09/27/2017 - 13:44
JoshEngland

Hi Heather,

You can or you can try to increase the weight each set. It really comes down to personal preference. The important thing is that you do increase the weight you use (regardless of the method) over time. This will ensure long-term results.

Hope this helps!