Start getting stronger this September with this starter workout program. This program, designed to build muscle, is perfect for anyone at any experience level.
Workout Summary
  • Main Goal
    Build Muscle
  • Workout Type
  • Training Level
  • Program Duration4 weeks
  • Days Per Week
  • Time Per Workout60-75 minutes
  • Equipment Required
    Barbell, Bodyweight, Cables, Dumbbells, Machines, Other
  • Target Gender Male & Female
  • Recommended Supps
  • Workout PDF Download Workout

Workout Description

I’d say the majority of people who are performing a workout on Muscle & Strength are somewhat of a beginner.

They’re either a true beginner. Or they’re someone who is defined as an intermediate-beginner as they’ve been training somewhat aimlessly in the gym for a period of time.

Either way, the following program is a solid routine for anyone looking to make gains this September.

Why start a new fitness program in September? Well, it’s as good of a time as any in the year to get started.

If you’re in your late teens/early 20’s you might be have just got back to school for fall semester and need something to help get you motivated to be successful in your school year.

If you’re a recent grad, it could be exactly what you need to fill a missing void in your life (ok, I’m clearly missing college right now... even though I'm 6 years removed at this point).

And if you’re just a regular person, you’ve got holiday season on the horizon and why not put yourself in a better position to not put on any unwanted additional weight before your New Year’s Resolution comes and goes in its continuous fleeting nature?

Editor's Note: Make sure you’re doing all the right things you need to be doing to build lean muscle mass. For those looking for a more in-depth resource to teach them how to build muscle, we’ve created a FREE 5 day Muscle Building Email Course.

The course will teach you how your body builds muscle, how to utilize workout plans on our website to maximize muscle growth, how to eat to build muscle, how to supplement to build muscle and how to track your progress.

Sign up below today to learn and ensure you get the most out of this workout program.

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September Starter Beginner Workout

The exercise selection and total number of sets are designed with a beginner in mind. However, the split can be used by practically anyone – simply adjust the volume to better fit your own individual needs.

Since it is meant for a beginner, the set ranges will be on the lower end of the range needed to grow muscle mass, with the majority of your body parts being targeted either directly or indirectly a minimum of 10 sets per week.

All of your main lifts will also be variations of big compound movements that put you in the most favorable lifting position possible to promote a cleaner movement pattern and help you avoid injury early on in your lifting career.

The goal of this program is going to be almost purely muscle building, although, with any resistance training program some strength gains will be noticeable as well.

The initial goal would be to perform this routine throughout September, but it doesn’t have to stop there. This workout routine can be performed for as long as you’d like – so long as you are continuing to see improvements in your physique or your strength gains.

If you wish to utilize this routine for the long-haul, I’d recommend utilizing increases in the weight used as the primary form of progression. Once you hit a plateau in weight progression, take a week to deload. After your deload, you can attempt to continue progressing.

If you’re still plateauing with weight once you deload, you may want to play around with increasing your total number of sets per body part – of course, you might have to manipulate the weight used when doing this as well.

At the end of the day, so long as you’re progressing the total amount of weight you’re using over time, you’ll see results in your physique.

For weight selection, aim to perform each lift with an RPE of 7-9. If there are three sets, you may want to do one set with an RPE of 7, one set with an RPE of 8, and one set of an RPE of 9. RPE stands for rate of perceived exertion. Essentially, you want to finish each set feeling as though you have 1-3 reps still left in the tank.

Lastly, when it comes to rest periods – these can be highly individualized. I’d recommend resting for 90 seconds on your bigger compound lifts. Rest 60ish seconds for your secondary and/or accessory movements. And rest 45 seconds for any pure isolation or detail lifts.

Workout 1: Push Workout

Exercise Sets Reps
Dumbbell Bench Press 3 6-8
Incline Bench Press 3 8-10
Seated Dumbbell Press 3 6-8
Leg Press 3 8-12
Goblet Squat 3 8-12
Rope Tricep Extension 3 12-15

Workout 2: Pull Workout

Exercise Sets Reps
Trap Bar Deadlift 3 6-8
Hamstring Curl 3 8-12
Barbell Row 3 6-8
Lat Pull Down 3 8-12
Reverse Dumbbell Fly 3 12-15
Calf Raise 4 15-20

Workout 3: Push Workout

Exercise Sets Reps
Machine Shoulder Press 4 8-12
Machine Fly 4 12-15
Barbell Squat 4 6-8
Tricep Dips 3 6-8
Skullcrusher 4 8-12

Workout 4: Pull Workout

Exercise Sets Reps
Dumbbell RDL 4 8-12
Glute Hyperextensions 3 12-15
Cable Row 4 8-10
EZ Bar Curl 4 8-12
Calf Raise 4 15-20

The workout listed above hits most of your muscle groups with 10 sets, some slightly more through indirect volume. This amount of volume is perfect for someone starting out in the gym to optimize lean muscle growth.

Over time, you’ll want to achieve progressive overload through increasing the total weight used from workout session to workout session.

Some may be slightly confused as to why the program is set up in a push/pull split, as certain muscle groups will be hit on two consecutive days. However, given your strength as a beginner, this shouldn’t affect your ability to grow. In fact, the increased training frequency might help you build faster than if you were to split your volume up by body part.

As mentioned, the September Starter program can be used for however long you wish. And…. It doesn’t even have to be September to begin working on your goals.

Posted on: Fri, 08/25/2023 - 09:28

Any stretches I should be doing before beginning the workout?
I notice many weight lifters skipping stretching. Is it ok to skip stretching?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Sat, 08/26/2023 - 21:27

Don't stretch cold muscles. Do some light cardio and full body activity before stretching. If you decide to do it, this may help.

Posted on: Wed, 10/07/2020 - 17:36

What is dumbbell RDL in workout 4?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Thu, 10/08/2020 - 09:04

Hey Grant - it's a dumbbell Romanian deadlift. We don't have a video of the movement with dumbbells, but we do have one with a barbell. It'll be the same setup and movement pattern but you'll use dumbbells instead of a barbell. Check out the video here:

Posted on: Tue, 06/16/2020 - 22:36

Loving the plan! Quick question though at my body weight doing dips are very difficult for me at this moment. What can I substitute in its place?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Tue, 09/01/2020 - 15:17

Hey Brian - you can replace with bench dips. Do them with feet on the floor to make them easier:

Posted on: Mon, 06/01/2020 - 09:53

Can you give some weekly routine for skinny guys?

Posted on: Thu, 05/14/2020 - 12:01

Hi! This is good workout but i have a question i think thers not lower chest workout+ can i lose fat with this workout?

Posted on: Fri, 09/20/2019 - 07:58

Thnx for this...just wanted to ask this doesn't have anything for abs tho...any recommendation for that....and also traps, got some injuries from jiu jitsu!!

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Fri, 09/20/2019 - 15:20

Hi Hesham,

Your abdominals are mostly genetic and will be revealed based on your body fat percentage. Trap get trained indirectly through a number of the lifts and aren't really necessary to hit directly, although you can if you want to.

Posted on: Wed, 09/11/2019 - 05:36

Thanks for your workout plan. I have a question about how many days should I rest between the workouts? Thanks again!

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Wed, 09/11/2019 - 15:15

Hi Eddie,

That is up to you. So long as you fit all 4 workouts into your weekly routine, it's all good. I'd recommend resting on Wed and the weekends tho.