Beginners Routine Split


The focus for a beginner should be to learn proper technique and form, therefore all sets should be stopped 1-2 reps shy of true failure (whereby another rep could not be completed without comprising form) unless stated. 

The beginner is also only training 3 days a week, with at least a day’s rest after each session. This is to promote recovery between workouts as a beginner’s recovery capabilities will be much less than those of a more experienced gym-goer. 

Training days: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

Monday: Pull

Exercises Sets & Reps
Deadlifts 3 x 5-8 reps
Close Grip Chin-ups 3 (Bodyweight > failure)
Bent Over Rows 2 x 8-12 reps
Wide-Grip Cable Row 2 x 10-12 reps
Barbell Curls 2 x 12-15 reps

Wednesday: Push

Exercises Sets & Reps
Flat Barbell Bench Press 3 x 8-12 reps
Incline Dumbbell Press 2 x 10-12 reps
Standing Military Press 3 x 6-8 reps
Wide-Grip Upright Rows 2 x 12-15 reps
Narrow Grip Dips 3 Bodyweight > failure
Cable Pushdowns 2 x 12-15 reps

Friday: Legs

Exercises Sets & Reps
Squats 2 x 10-12 reps
Leg Press 3 x 6-8 reps
DBell Stiff-legged deadlift 2 x 12-15 reps
Leg Extensions 2 x 15-20 reps

As you can see, in the beginner program, there are very few isolation exercises. The program focuses on the old-school basic mass movements such as deadlifts, squats and standing military press. This is for two reasons: 

  • It gives beginners a great foundation of strength and teaches basic lifting techniques rather than relying on machines.
  • It works a large number of muscle groups at once including the all-important core muscles, which are often neglected by beginners and are very important to handle heavier weights as the beginner progresses.