Maybe you’ve wanted to start working out for a long time now, but there’s always something in your way.
In the realm of fitness, three-month workout programs is very normal. But we’re going to let you in on an interesting secret: It doesn’t necessarily take 8 or 12 weeks to get your feet wet in the gym. Not that you’ll be a seasoned vet after four weeks, but if you can just get that first month under your belt, you’ll get yourself over the proverbial hump, where so many fail and give up, and set the stage for a lifetime of muscle gains.
BEGINNER'S WORKOUT AT A GLANCE
Week 1: Full-body split
Week 2: Two-day split: Upper body/Lower body
Week 3: Three-day split: Push/Pull/Legs
Week 4: Four-day split: Full body
1.WEEK 1: WHOLE IN ONE
You’ll begin the program with a full-body training split, meaning you’ll train all major bodyparts in each workout (as opposed to “splitting up” your training). Train 3 days this first week, performing just one exercise per bodypart in each session. It’s important that you have a day of rest between each workout to allow your body to recover.
The exercises listed in Week 1 are a collection of basic moves that, while also used by advanced lifters, we feel are suitable for the beginner as well. In Week 1 you’ll perform three sets of every exercise per workout, which over the course of the week adds up to nine sets total for each bodypart, a good starting volume for your purposes. With the exception of crunches for abs, you’ll do 8–12 reps per set. This rep scheme is commonly employed by amateur and pro bodybuilders alike.
Notice in the workouts that your first set calls for eight reps, your second set 10 reps and your third set 12. This is referred to in bodybuilding circles as a “reverse pyramid” (a standard pyramid goes from higher to lower reps), where you decrease the weight each set to complete the higher rep count.
2.WEEK 2: SPLIT DECISION
You’re only a week into the program, yet you’ll begin to train different bodyparts on different days with a two-day training split. You’ll train a total of four days this week; the split includes two upper-body days and two lower-body days , and each bodypart is trained twice. Other 3 days will be your recovery days. Several exercises from Week 1 are carried over to Week 2, but one move is added to each bodypart routine—with the exception of abs—so you can train all muscle groups more completely from multiple angles. Chest, for example, includes two exercises: One is a compound movement that involves multiple joints to work the largest amount of muscle possible, and the other is an isolation exercise that involves only one joint and targets the pecs to a greater extent.
You’ll again employ a reverse pyramid scheme of reps, though in Week 2 you’ll go slightly higher in reps (15) on your third set of each exercise. Fifteen reps may be just outside the ideal muscle-building range, but these sets will help you increase muscular endurance to provide a solid foundation on which to build size and strength going forward.
3.WEEK 3: THREE ON THREE
In the third week of the program we step it up to a three-day training split: Train all “pushing” bodyparts (chest, shoulders, triceps) on Day 1; hit the “pulling” bodyparts (back, biceps) and abs on Day 2; and work your lower body (quads, glutes, hamstrings, calves) on Day 3. As in Week 2, you train each bodypart twice a week, so you’ll hit the gym six days this week.
One new exercise is added to each bodypart routine to provide even more angles from which to train your target muscles to promote complete development. You’ll hit each muscle group with two exercises of 3–4 sets each: four sets for large bodyparts (chest, back, shoulders, quads, hamstrings) and three sets for smaller bodyparts (biceps, triceps, abs, calves).
4.WEEK 4: TURNING UP THE VOLUME
In the fourth and final week of the program, you’ll train four days in a four-way split that hits each bodypart just once (except for calves and abs, which are each trained twice). As you’ll see, chest and triceps are paired up, as are back with biceps and quads with hamstrings, each a very common pairing among novice and advanced bodybuilders. Shoulders are trained more or less on their own, and you’ll alternate hitting calves and abs—which respond well to being trained multiple times per week—every other workout. No new exercises are introduced in Week 4 so that you can focus on intensity in your workouts instead of learning new movements.
PS: If you don't want to go to gym, you also can do home workout
Here’s why the following home workout plan is a great first step toward getting in shape and losing weight:
No equipment required
Simple exercises even total beginners can do
Short, under 15-minute workouts
Only 3 exercises per workout – easy to remember
Only 3 workouts per week
Time-based workouts – adjust intensity to your level 4 weeks duration is ideal to create a habit