Muscle & Strength Full Body Workout Routine

This M&S mass building routine is perfect for lifters who want to give full body workouts a try. All major muscle groups are trained, and the program includes a 20 rep set of squats.

Workout Summary

Build Muscle
Full Body
Beginner
3
Barbell, Bodyweight, Dumbbells
Male & Female

Workout Description

This is a muscle and strength building program for beginner and early intermediate lifters. It is designed to target all major and minor muscle groups, allowing you to maximize hypertrophy (the muscle building process) through the use of progressive resistance.

You will be training 3 days per week, resting at least one day in between sessions. Here is a sample schedule:

  • Monday - Workout A
  • Wednesday - Workout B
  • Friday - Workout C

Bicep Curls

Workout Notes

How to work ramped 5x5 sets

The first 2 sets are "working warm up" sets. The weight you use for your warm up sets will be based upon the resistance used during your 3 working sets. Here is the set up:

  • Set 1 - 60% x 5 reps
  • Set 2 - 80% x 5 reps
  • Sets 3-5 - 100% (working weight) x 5 reps

So if you are using 200 pounds as your working weight for sets 3, 4 and 5, your workout would look like this:

  • Set 1 - 120 pounds (60%) x 5 reps
  • Set 2 - 160 pounds (80%) x 5 reps
  • Sets 3-5 - 200 pounds (working weight) x 5 reps
Ramped 3x5 sets for deadlifts

This is performed in the same way you worked your 5x5 ramped sets, but with only one working set:

  • Set 1 - 60% x 5 reps
  • Set 2 - 80% x 5 reps
  • Sets 3 - 100% (working weight) x 5 reps
Workout C - Ramped 3x5 squats

If your squat sets during Workout A felt manageable, try to add 5 pounds to your working set during Workout C. Here's how your Workout C squatting would look like:

  • Set 1 - 60% x 5 reps
  • Set 2 - 80% x 5 reps
  • Sets 3 - Workout A's working weight + 5 pounds x 5 reps
How much weight to use per set

For a given exercise, use the same weight for each set. When this amount of resistance feels manageable, add another 5-10 pounds to the bar. You want to focus on progression at all times, so when you are able to, load the bar.

Progression of weight drives gains. It is essential, and this program will not yield gains without it.

Rest between sets

For major lifts like squats, deadlifts, bench press, overhead press and barbell rows, rest about 2 minutes in between sets. You can use 60 to 90 seconds rest between sets for all other movements.

Workout A
Fullbody Workout
Exercise Sets Reps
Squats (Ramped) 5 5
Bench Press (Ramped) 5 5
Barbell Row (Ramped) 5 5
Upright Row 3 10
Skullcrushers 3 10
Dumbbell Curls 3 10
Leg Curls 3 12-15
Ab Wheel Roll Out 3 10-15
Workout B
Fullbody Workout
Exercise Sets Reps
Deadlifts (Ramped) 3 5
Romanian Deadlift 2 8-12
Seated Overhead Press 3 8-10
Pull Ups or Inverted Rows 3 10-15
Dips 3 10-20
Barbell Shrugs 3 10
Standing or Seated Calf Raise 3 12-15
Plank 3 60 seconds
Workout C
Fullbody Workout
Exercise Sets Reps
Squats (Ramped) 3 5
Squats 1 20
Incline Dumbbell Bench Press 3 10
One Arm Dumbbell Row 3 10-15
Seated Arnold Press 3 10-15
Cable Tricep Extensions 3 10
Barbell Curls 3 10
Leg Curls 3 12-15
Ab Wheel Roll Out 3 10-15
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About The Author
Muscle & Strength's Content Team is a group of fitness industry experts dedicated to publishing the highest quality articles, workouts and guides on the M&S Website.

54 Comments+ Post Comment

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Posted Thu, 05/21/2015 - 18:39
Peter chesney

This is an old thread i know, ive done this routine for 4 weeks now and i love it, defo seeing gains in strength and size. I have a question, it wouldn't do any harm doing cardio and extra ab work on the days off would it?

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Posted Fri, 05/22/2015 - 09:52
Matt

I have been on this workout with awesome results for the past 7 weeks and have been adding HIIT cardio and abs on off days. As long as you keep your calories up you shouldn't notice any less gains.

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Posted Fri, 05/22/2015 - 12:14
Peter chesney

Nice! Thanks man.

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Posted Fri, 05/22/2015 - 12:32
May Palmer

Hi Peter! To answer your question, there wouldn't be any hard in adding a session or two of cardio or abs (which can be trained everyday by the way, just watch your volume and no needed additional weights to your ab training is necessary, it's all about getting maximum tension/contraction) to your strength training regimen at all. But, you've got to ask yourself WHY would you want to add CARDIO if you're increasing in strength and gains?? I'm a big believer in doing the most only what is necessary to get the most optimal results. Here's the short version of the story: Cardio for FAT LOSS (if this is your goal) is good to have, BUT, NOT NECESSARY! I weighed 265lbs seven years ago and dropped the fat, put on lots of muscle by just DIET & STRENGTH TRAINING ALONE. NO CARDIO NEEDED!

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Posted Sat, 05/23/2015 - 11:39
May Palmer

Hey Peter, I thought you should know that I am not a man, I am a woman who is a Body Builder. I hope you won't take offense that I am a female giving you some information I thought you might appreciate/use. Take good care my friend....

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Posted Sat, 05/23/2015 - 13:58
Peter chesney

Hi May, I guess the idea of me doing cardio is for general stamina, although saying that I am quite a lean guy (6'4" and 92kgs) so I won't be doing too much cardio because I wanna get my size up.

Thanks for your advice and no, it doesn't bother me at all that your female :-)

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Posted Tue, 07/29/2014 - 09:53
DamienH

Hi. I'm looking to build muscle and get my chest bigger, if anyone has a workout plan please let me know of any good ones that work

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Posted Mon, 07/21/2014 - 13:16
Donovan Khamphasong

You got this!!!!

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Posted Mon, 06/02/2014 - 10:43
Chris

Hey Steve I been working out for about six months with some weeks off in between. I been doing back, chest and legs by itself then I do arms in one day. I am barely seeing results in size and gains on the bench. When I workout back muscles I also do deadlift. I would like to try this exercise but I'm concerned about not gaining muscles in NY arms since this workout doesn't contain much arm workout. Can I also do exercises like close grip bench press, tricep pulldowns, forearms and other bicep exercises with this workout? If possible maybe duo these on a fourth day?

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Posted Mon, 05/19/2014 - 11:54
Ricardo Reigns

Is this a good workout for Mass? And for teenagers?

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Posted Wed, 03/26/2014 - 13:36
Matt

Had to stop working out for a few months and just getting back into it. I'd like to start this routine. My question is, should I "lightly" workout for a week or two and then determine what my working weight is? Or maybe a better question is what is the best way to determine your working weight?

My goal is not to hurt myself by doing too much. Thanks in advance to any replies!

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Posted Fri, 02/14/2014 - 12:16
tobias

How many weeks should i be doing this for?

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Posted Sun, 02/02/2014 - 22:48
roy

I would like to add Hip Thrusters to this routine. I would like some advise please. Where should I add them, and should I use them as a substitute for something else?

Thanks For the help
Roy

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Posted Sun, 02/02/2014 - 16:39
Coleman bullington

Does anyone that has done this program have any pictures of their results

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Posted Sun, 02/02/2014 - 16:08
Coleman bullington

Has anyone tried this and have good results? If so do you have pictures of your results?

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Posted Sun, 02/02/2014 - 12:47
rexhino

Question to Steve:How long dose this program run ? And after this program with wich program shoud i go on

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Posted Mon, 01/27/2014 - 17:14
asher

Would it be bad to do this routine and go on runs on my off days

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Posted Sat, 01/25/2014 - 21:17
Jonathan

Nothing for chest on workout B?

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Posted Mon, 01/26/2015 - 12:24
Vincent

The dips are chest dips (links to Chest Dips page).

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Posted Wed, 01/15/2014 - 20:23
Steve E

Can we split the workout for 5 days instead?

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Posted Tue, 01/14/2014 - 19:08
Jakeem

Thanks a lot! These are some great tips.

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Posted Mon, 01/13/2014 - 07:56
Marcus

At 48 can I still get a big muscle mass?

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Posted Wed, 01/08/2014 - 10:17
Richard

You mention 'working weight', what percentage of 1RM is that and are the none ramped exercises all at working weight?

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Posted Thu, 01/02/2014 - 23:33
Julyisto

Where does it say how much wieght we should be using?

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Posted Thu, 01/02/2014 - 02:58
Fumm

Hi i would like to know if you can add a 4th day to this routine

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Posted Wed, 01/01/2014 - 17:58
augusto

Question for Steve,

How would you mix in HIIT and LISS into this workout?

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Posted Sun, 12/29/2013 - 00:15
Dogan

I want to ask you something Steve. On Workout C, is the weight for 3-rep Squat going to be the same with 20-rep Squat? I am really curious about it.

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Posted Fri, 12/27/2013 - 09:34
augusto

with dips exercise has you working your chest, with the inverter rows you work the bicep.

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Posted Thu, 12/26/2013 - 17:36
Henri

Hi! I was wondering a couple of things about the workout B. Why is there no chest or bicep work and why is there two different shoulder exercises?

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Posted Sun, 12/22/2013 - 19:12
May Palmer

Wow, this is GREAT, Steve! Finally, something for us 'newbies' just getting into the Strength/Body Building Game! I like the 3 Day, Total Body Split myself and have been at it for a month now but, really didn't know how to put a routine together that was safe/sensible. I appreciate you taking the time to craft & publish this routine. God Willing, I plan on starting this routine on Monday. Thanks so much, Steve! YOU RAWK!!

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Posted Sun, 12/22/2013 - 17:34
David

Question for Steve,

How would you mix in HIIT and LISS into this workout?

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Posted Sat, 12/21/2013 - 16:25
Romeo

Hi Steve. Thanks for the all great workout you posting. I am 35 years old 163 lbs. I play baseball and need to gain strength and muscle. Looking for 3-4 days workout to build strength, muscle and flexibility. What workout would you suggest?

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Posted Fri, 12/20/2013 - 11:30
Jacob

Ah, makes sense. I'm moving to a full body again because I'm limited on days I have free and this looks to have the right amount of everything I need. Much obliged.

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Posted Thu, 12/19/2013 - 10:28
Jacob

Steve, In your newer article about back training you mention only doing one back movement per workout day if you do a full body but I noticed you added pull ups on deadlift day. Is that an exception to what you stated in your back training article?

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Posted Thu, 12/19/2013 - 23:04
Steven

Sorry for the confusion, The back workout was merely a a good general example. A solid one.

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Posted Wed, 12/18/2013 - 19:32
Tom

Will this put on size v's gaining workout thanks

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Posted Wed, 12/18/2013 - 07:51
Bdub

This full body routine is solid just started this week and know I'm going to love it!

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Posted Wed, 12/18/2013 - 11:46
Steven

Good luck!

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Posted Tue, 12/17/2013 - 11:19
Raymond

Starting this today, love 20 rep squats!

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Posted Mon, 12/16/2013 - 11:47
Declan

In my workouts I do squats 3x5 and 1x20 but on different days. To do 1x20 straight after 3x5 would most certainly sort out the men from the boys! I don't do it but if I did I think I'd cry!!!

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Posted Sun, 12/15/2013 - 02:47
Phatan

Hi Maritn, You can do following dumbbell only workout
https://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/dumbbell-only-home-or-gym-ful...

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Posted Mon, 12/16/2013 - 13:18
martin

thanx i will try this workout to start with

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Posted Sat, 12/14/2013 - 15:48
jason

Nice......my new year workout

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Posted Mon, 12/16/2013 - 13:25
martin

thanx jason will look at this and give it a go

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Posted Sat, 12/14/2013 - 05:40
martin

im intrested in a programe to do over the year im starting from scratch i have dumbells bench and leg and pull down and row attatchment can you give me a advice on a good routine and when to do strenth training and a good compete suppliment to use

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Posted Sat, 12/14/2013 - 01:27
Phatan

I always like 3 day fullbody workouts. Your body is taxed enoug in miminum total time. Plus we get chance to workout every body part three times a week. Best approach for beginners and guys intrested general strength & muscles. I am doing 3 day routine for last 8 months in & out but still able to gain about 14lbs for weight.

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Posted Fri, 12/13/2013 - 10:41
adam

Looks great! What can I substitute for dips? As my gym doesn't have a dipping station, cheers.

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Posted Sat, 12/14/2013 - 15:41
Dre

If you have a flat bench you can do dips that way.

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Posted Sat, 12/14/2013 - 15:46
AbbzFit

If you dont have any form of two parallel bars to do dips on, just try bench dips with weights on your lap

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Posted Sat, 12/14/2013 - 16:22
Kevin R.

Bench dips work well also.