Starting Strong: The Ultimate 8 Week Workout for Beginners

Starting Strong: The Ultimate 8 Week Workout for Beginners
Are you a beginner looking to get big and strong? This 8 week workout program for beginners covers all of the basics needed to build lean muscle mass!

Workout Summary

Build Muscle
Full Body
Beginner
8 weeks
3
30-45 minutes
Barbell, Bodyweight, Dumbbells, Machines
Male & Female
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Workout Description

Building your desired physique isn’t all that complicated. But simple doesn’t mean easy.

This is all too evident with the beginner. Many newbies want to skip over the time-tested trench training and go straight to advanced techniques, marathon workouts, and stockpile a king’s collection of supplements.

But the opposite has never been truer. You can’t carve a pebble; you need to build a foundation of granite before you get mucked up in all the details of advanced lifters.

You need a solid, basic workout program to help you build muscle. Period.

Below is such a program. Try this 8 week workout for beginners to kick start your muscle building quest, and with a little patience and a huge serving of hard work, you’ll say goodbye to the beginner moniker and be on the road to your ideal physique.

The Ultimate 8 Week Workout for Beginners

Perform the following program on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

You can also shift to Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays as long as you have a day of rest between workouts.

Rest for 30-60 seconds in between each set and exercise.

Monday
Exercise Warm Up Sets Working Sets
1. Barbell Bench Press 1 x 12 3 x 6-12
2. Pull Ups 1 x 12 on pull down 3 x failure
3. Back Squat 1 x 12 3 x 6-12
4. Lying Leg Curl - 3 x 6-12
5. Standing Dumbbell Shoulder Press - 3 x 6-12
6. Floor Crunch - 3 x 20
Wednesday
Exercise Warm Up Sets Working Sets
1. Incline Dumbbell Bench Press 1 x 12 3 x 6-12
2. Barbell Deadlift 1 x 12 3 x 6-12
3. Weighted Dip 1 x 12 3 x 6-12
4. Barbell Curl 1 x 12 3 x 6-12
5. Barbell Romanian Deadlift 1 x 12 3 x 6-12
6. Standing Calf Raise 1 x 12 3 x 6-12
7. Lying Leg Lift - 3 x 20
Friday
Exercise Warm Up Sets Working Sets
1. Dumbbell Bench Press 1 x 12 3 x 6-12
2. Bent-over Barbell Row 1 x 12 3 x 6-12
3. Standing Barbell Press 1 x 12 3 x 6-12
4. Front Squat 1 x 12 3 x 6-12
5. Dumbbell Lunge - 3 x 6-12
6. Seated Calf Raise 1 x 12 3 x 6-12
7. Bicycle Crunch - 3 x 20

77 Comments+ Post Comment

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Posted Fri, 11/16/2018 - 16:20
Mohammed Ibrahim

Hi.

I have a question regarding the supplements, when should I use each one?

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Posted Thu, 10/18/2018 - 12:33
Jake

Yo,
How light or heavy should I go when it comes to the weighted exercises? I've only been to the gym a couple times in my whole life so wanted to be sure before I went in head first.

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Posted Wed, 12/12/2018 - 13:30
Kelly

That’s different for everyone and you’ll learn it very quickly. Basically the amount that allows you to do the consistent amount of reps with resistance for each set. If you do 8 reps with 30lb, but feel that you can do 15, then you need to increase the weight so you can only do 8. But also with enough comfortability to be able to do 8 for two more sets.

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Posted Wed, 10/17/2018 - 11:10
Kareem

Hi,
I've completed this 8 week work out and am very satisfied. Which routine would you suggest after completing this one?

Thanks

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Thu, 10/18/2018 - 09:11
JoshEngland

Hi Kareem,

This is the next workout in this particular series: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/growing-strong-8-week-workout...

Hope this helps!

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Posted Sun, 10/14/2018 - 23:21
Marcus

Hello,
Just want to say thank you for sharing these programs & love the video demostrations.What is the difference between this plan & the 5 week begginer phase 1 plane ? Thanks

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Posted Fri, 10/12/2018 - 21:09
Chad

Can I substitute Rack Pulls for the Barbell Deadlift and Barbell Romanian Deadlift?
Also, why two different deadlifts in one workout?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 10/15/2018 - 14:05
JoshEngland

Hi Chad,

Sure, you can do that. The RDL isolates the hamstrings a lil more, while conventional requires more work from the quads and back.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Fri, 10/12/2018 - 02:13
Shreyanshu

I am about 154lbs and have a height of 179cms and I am about to start gym from the next week. Is this program beneficial for me?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Fri, 10/12/2018 - 10:53
JoshEngland

Hi Shrenyanshu,

This program is great for any beginner.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Fri, 09/14/2018 - 09:56
David

Quick question!

When clicking on the video for the exercise: Standing Barbell Row (Friday) the video guide for "Military Press opens, is this the right exercise ?

Cheers!

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Posted Tue, 09/11/2018 - 17:55
Jonathan Williams

Question for the weighted dips...

Is this triceps bench dips or chest/tricep dips with a dip station? It makes sense if it's the tricep variation because chest has already been hit at the beginning of the workout....

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Posted Tue, 09/11/2018 - 05:18
Danny

Does this give you enough time to recover for muscle growth?

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Posted Wed, 07/25/2018 - 20:59
Travis

I am about 70 lbs overweight. Ive been going to the gym off and on for the last couple of weeks and Ive lost a couple of lbs but I can't seem to find a plan that works for me. Is this something I can do and start, combined with HIIT cardio and a good diet that'll help me loose weight?

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Posted Mon, 07/09/2018 - 09:40
Eric

i dont feel comfortable doing bench press and is some other exercise I can do?

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Posted Sun, 06/03/2018 - 12:46
Waqas

How many pounds of muscle can a 25 year old guy that hasn't lifted in about 2 years expect to gain during this 8 week program? Considering he gets good rest and follows it up with a good diet.

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 06/04/2018 - 08:43
JoshEngland

Hi Waqas,

There's really no way to predict that. Everyone will experience different results due to a number of factors. If you're interested in the program, give it a go, enjoy the process, and reap the benefits long term.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Sat, 05/26/2018 - 18:51
Rob G

Hi Pat,

I’m headed into my 4th week of this program and I’m definitely noticing an increase in strength! The workout suggest using optional creatine and protein power, currently I’m taking Cellucor Alpha Anino Ultimate, Energy & Metabolism Multi & Fish Oil. I was wondering how much more beneficial is it to switch to the protein powder & creatine? Is it safe to mix the two? Should I drop the Amino altogether?

Thank You.

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Posted Fri, 05/18/2018 - 00:54
Pat

Hi, I see a lot of those plans contain deadlifts the problem is that I have back problems that prohibit me from doing excersises like this I need replacement for the deadlifts and the bend-over rows.

Thank you

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Fri, 05/18/2018 - 08:48
JoshEngland

Hi Pat,

If you have serious back problems that prohibit you from performing the deadlift, I'd recommend seeking the advice of a personal trainer in person. Reason being, people over the internet won't know the extent to which your back problems prohibit your movement patterns. Blind recommendations may result in injury, which isn't fair for anyone :)

Hope this helps!

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Posted Wed, 05/16/2018 - 18:07
Jack

I went to gym for 7-8 months,but then I left,I haven't been to gym for 2 months,so should I do beginner workout or intermediate workout?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Thu, 05/17/2018 - 08:46
JoshEngland

Hi Jack,

You'd probably benefit from using a beginner workout.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Wed, 04/25/2018 - 16:04
Orville Morales

What comes after this? My cousin and I did these workouts for 8 weeks (more like 10 weeks since we fell off here and there). But we def. See the difference and wonder what is next for us?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Wed, 04/25/2018 - 16:31
JoshEngland

Hi Orville,

This is the next workout program in this series: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/growing-strong-8-week-workout...

Hope this helps!

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Posted Sun, 04/15/2018 - 14:06
Moe

I'm on my 3rd week and enjoying the program. I can see/feel muscle imbalance on my left side (arm/pec) is it ok to lean more to the left on all barbell lifts and to add 2 extra reps on the dumbbell lifts left side only? Any recommendations? Thanks in advance!

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 04/16/2018 - 09:11
JoshEngland

Hi Moe,

How significant is the muscle imbalance? It's natural to have some degree of muscle imbalance. Run the program as is and if it's still significantly noticeable, then look to add extra volume via unilateral exercises.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Wed, 04/11/2018 - 12:00
Ross

What does it mean by warmup sets and working sets? What’s the difference?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Wed, 04/11/2018 - 12:05
JoshEngland

Hi Ross,

Warm up sets are usually performed with 50-60% of the weight you'd use for your working set. Warm up sets do not count towards your working sets as they don't place as much strain on the muscle groups being worked.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Thu, 04/12/2018 - 18:56
Mitch

For a beginner with this plan how do u know how much carbs protine cals to In take a day to build I’m 510 190plbs 28

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Fri, 04/13/2018 - 08:55
JoshEngland

Hi Mitch,

It's difficult to make dietary recommendations as everyone's nutritional needs will be different. I'd recommend starting off by finding your caloric needs here: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/tools/bmr-calculator

Subtract 250-500 calories if your goal is fat loss. Add 250-500 cals if your goal is to build lean muscle.

Then go here to find your macros: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/articles/how-to-calculate-perfect-macros

Then finish up here for an idea of what kinds of foods you should be eating: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/articles/how-to-create-a-bodybuilding-...

Hope this helps!

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Posted Mon, 03/26/2018 - 23:42
Moe

Hi,

I workout at home, so is it ok to replace the Lying Leg Curl with Good Mornings, or not as it comes right after back squats?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Tue, 03/27/2018 - 08:41
JoshEngland

Hi Moe,

Yes, absolutely. Feel free to modify the program to meet what equipment you have available to use.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Sun, 02/25/2018 - 23:26
Michael

Hi,
When the working sets say 3 x 6-12 reps, what does that mean exactly. How many reps should we exactly be doing?
Thanks

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 02/26/2018 - 09:30
JoshEngland

Hi Michael,

Perform between 6-12 reps. Pick a weight in which you'll fail in that rep range with. Once you're able to hit all 12 reps, move up in weight.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Mon, 02/19/2018 - 08:01
Mr.Don

Hi,
I want to ask if this workout is good for people wanting to lose a lot of weight (obese), ofcourse this workout in combination with cardio (maybe during resting days?) and diet plan.

Thanks in advance for your reply!

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 02/19/2018 - 08:53
JoshEngland

Hi Don,

I'd recommend working with a professional (who specializes in weight loss for obese clients) in person when first starting out. They'll be able to teach you appropriate exercise selection for your current capabilities and give you solid tips on how to begin with your nutrition plan.

It's difficult to recommend workouts and exercises blindly over the internet in this instance, as when one reaches obesity they've usually experienced a great deal of muscle deconditioning as well as muscle imbalances from movement compensations when performing daily functions and activities.

You'll reach your goals. Just make sure you get the right help in your corner and take it day by day.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Sun, 02/18/2018 - 17:25
Gerardo Godoy

Hi
I´ll like to know if I have to increase weight for each set of the exercise or just keep the same weight for all the sets.
Thank you!

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 02/19/2018 - 08:54
JoshEngland

Hi Gerardo,

You can do either or. So long as you're increasing the weight you use over time, you'll see results.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Tue, 02/13/2018 - 15:38
Marshall

Stupid question but I only have access to a real gym Mon, Tues and Thurs. Any way this program can be done safely two days in a row?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Tue, 02/13/2018 - 16:14
JoshEngland

Hi Marshall,

You could perform the workouts on Mondays and Thursdays, rotating out the 3 workouts each time, and still see great results.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Mon, 02/12/2018 - 02:22
Hamid

Hi..how can I access to diet plan on this website?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 02/12/2018 - 08:43
JoshEngland

Hi Hamid,

They're currently a work in progress. That being said, the final product with be highly generalized. For diet plans to meet your individual specific needs, it is always best to meet with a practicing dietitian.

Cheers!

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Posted Mon, 02/05/2018 - 16:51
Reign Supreme

Are the exercises in this program in a specific order for a reason or its just randomly placed? Also why are there no tricep exercises?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 02/05/2018 - 16:53
JoshEngland

Hi Reign,

Exercises are listed in the order they should be performed.

Triceps are worked indirectly through various lifts, however, feel free to add in additional tricep work if you wish.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Mon, 02/05/2018 - 15:10
Robert

I plan on starting this today. My goal is to gain lean muscle, while also loosing about 25 pound of pure fat over the long haul. With that in mind, is there anything else I should keep in mind, other than diet, which I have started. Any particular cardio exercises? Any particular supplements?

Thanks,

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 02/05/2018 - 16:07
JoshEngland

Hi Robert,

Be consistent. It's going to take time. Don't give up. You'll accomplish those goals if you're consistent with what you've mentioned you've already taken on.

Give this a read for some extra motivation when you have a chance:

https://www.muscleandstrength.com/articles/7-habits-highly-motivated-and...

Good luck!

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Posted Fri, 02/02/2018 - 16:22
Danny

Hi I'm on week 4 of this training programme and I'm still getting my form right and working out weights. Shall I extend this for a few more weeks? And should my weights be all over the place like I'm benching 15 but I'm curling 20 and I'm deadlifting 25 and Romanian deadlifting 20. I'm paranoid I will go a funny shape

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 02/05/2018 - 09:32
JoshEngland

Hi Danny,

Feel free to stick to this program for however long it takes for you to feel like you're ready to progress to the next phase.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Tue, 01/23/2018 - 11:50
Keith Santos

Quick question I love this program (Thanks for sharing), but I know it is a 8 week program. I only see workouts for Mon, Wed & Fri does this mean I just repeat the same excercises over and over again for the next 8 weeks? Just want to make sure I have this right.

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Tue, 01/23/2018 - 12:01
JoshEngland

Hi Keith,

That is correct, perform the same workouts and track your numbers. Your goal should be to increase the weight you used for the exercises between week 1 and week 8.

Hope this helps!