5 Day Strength Training Workout Routine for Beginners

5 Day Strength Training Workout Routine for Beginners

Strength training can be difficult to grasp to a beginner.

They see guys in the gym benching 225 and deadlifting 405 and get overwhelmed by how hard it must be to get there. To tell you the truth, it’s not really that difficult.

This workout routine is designed to build strength and utilizes exercises and rep schemes that work well for beginners. That means there are no crazy calculations you need to use and you don’t have to worry about what percentage of your 1 rep max this lift is… you just go lift.

What does the workout routine schedule look like?

This 5 day strength training routine allows you to train specific exercises each day so that you can effectively target all of your weaknesses.

  • Day 1: Workout A
  • Day 2: Workout B
  • Day 3: OFF
  • Day 4: Workout C
  • Day 5: Workout D
  • Day 6: Workout E
  • Day 7: OFF

While you don’t have to follow this specific schedule, I do not recommend going more than 3 days without a break. Doing so is not beneficial to your nervous system and you will affect your progress.

Do you have any nutrition suggestions?

I’ve written a few articles on nutrition that I think you should check out – but here are a few take home tips to get the most from this workout routine.

  • Aim for 150-225 grams of protein each day.
  • Aim for 250 calories above your maintenance levels.
  • 20%-25% of your calories should come from quality fat sources such as avocados, olive oil, peanuts, fish, etc.
  • Strive to cook and prepare as many meals as you can – limiting your fast food intake will increase your performance, make you feel better overall, and can help with body recomposition.

Do you have any supplement suggestions?

I would rather someone spend their money on healthy and nutritious food sources over going out and buying supplements but here are 3 supplement suggestions that I personally recommend.

Pre-WorkoutMTS Nutrition Clash

Pre-workouts can be a great source of energy if you purchase one with stimulants in them (like the one pictured to the right) and can really enhance performance in the gym.

I’ve tried quite a few pre-workouts in my time and I have to say that overall I like MTS Nutrition’s Clash the best.

I used to like Jack3d until the DMAA made them illegal and they had to reformulate – but Clash is my newest favorite. It tastes great, mixes easily, and doesn’t make me too jittery.

BCAARich Piana 5% AllDayYouMay

BCAAs help with recovery by giving your body a great source of muscle-building amino acids.

I enjoy sipping on BCAAs throughout the day, while I’m training, or just before I go to sleep.

I’ve had quite a few different BCAAs and I would have to say that my favorite right now is Rich Piana’s 5% AllDayYouMay. It tastes great, has a great amino loadout and overall it’s my favorite.

Note, I’ve also had some that were better tasting that had proprietary blends that I don’t trust.

Overall, this takes the cake.

Multi-VitaminOptimum Nutrition Opti-Men

Multi-vitamins help round-off any nutrients you may not have received that day through your diet.

There are a lot of great multi-vitamins out there but I have always liked Optimum Nutrition’s Opti-Men.

It’s a brand that has been around a long time and I know their products are quality.

Whether you eat a well-rounded diet or not, multis won’t create a miracle but they will help.


Sticking to a workout routine and striving to add weight and doing better than last week is the goal here.

Every time you walk into the gym, record your workouts in a log and start being mindful of how you feel during these reps.

If you complete every rep of every set, great job. Next week add 5 pounds (or the next increment you can).

If the next workout you do not complete all reps in every set, the week after that keep the same weight and attempt to complete all sets and reps.

Many beginners see a failed set as a loss – regardless of how many reps they may have done before.

If you fail 2 weeks in a row, knock the weight back 10 pounds, ensure your form is good, and keep going.

Note: If you stick with this routine for 12 weeks, you could essentially add 60 pounds to your squat, 60 pounds to your bench press, and 60 pounds to your deadlift. That doesn’t sound too shabby, does it?

5 Day Strength Training Workout Routine for Beginners

Below you will find the exercises, sets, and reps for each exercise.

The exercises that are linked have tips on proper form for that exercise.

Workout A – Legs and Abs
Leg Press48
Goblet Squat312
Walking Lunges220
Leg Extensions315
Side Planks2ALAP


Workout B – Back
Bent Over Barbell Rows55
Lat Pull Downs412
Close Grip Seated Row315
1 Arm Dumbbell Rows38
Face Pulls320
Barbell Shrugs2AMAP


Workout C – Chest and Triceps
Incline Dumbbell Bench312
Pec Dec320
Low Cable Cross315
Close Grip Bench2AMAP
Skull Crushers2AMAP


Workout D – Legs and Abs
Romanian Deadlifts312
Leg Curls415
Reverse Hypers48
Weighted Decline Sit Ups4AMAP


Workout E – Shoulders and Biceps
Seated Barbell Overhead Press412
Arnold Press38
Shoulder Press Machine415
Face Pulls320
Dumbbell Shrugs3AMAP
EZ Curl Preacher Curls310
Cross Body Hammer Curls412


  • AMAP – As Many As Possible – Be able to finish your last rep just barely.
  • ALAP – As Long As Possible
  • Sticking to the routine for a full 12 weeks will yield impressive results.
  • Cook as many meals as you can for yourself.
  • Use correct form – developing bad habits will be hard to break later on.
  • Strive for progression.


If you have any comments or questions, leave them below!

39 thoughts on “5 Day Strength Training Workout Routine for Beginners”

  1. Hi Cutty:

    Thanks so much for this detailed routine and advice. I am a beginner and these really help!

    I have a question on warm up sets. Do the reps in the routine already include warm ups? And should I keep the weight constant for all reps and only add more next week even if I can finish the reps easily?

    Thanks again for the sharing Cutty.


    1. Thank you for the kind words. Your warmups shouldn’t tax your body, doing the movements and getting your body primed is all you need to do. I would work up to your work weight and keep that weight through all reps and sets. This is a different approach to something like a pyramid where you go up each time… but I’ve found it to work better mentally and physically.

    1. Calorie intake is dependent on if you’re looking to lose weight or build muscle. If you are underweight or are okay with packing on a little fat with a lot of muscle, aim to eat 200 to 300 calories more than you burn per day.

      The more whole, nutritious foods you eat, the better.

    1. Learn to cook and start cooking your own meals (at least cutting out most processed junk) along with lifting weights will drastically change your physique. You don’t need to worry about anything else other than eating more nutritious foods and lifting.

      Get the cardio in to keep the heart healthy and make some gains.

    1. That depends on how much you can safely lift. The goal is to get stronger, so start at just the bar and keep progressing until you are benching 225 or however much you want.

  2. how do i involve cardio with this routine, like before or after, how long. and what if I dont feel like ive done enough in my workout amd want to go more

    1. If you finish a workout and you’re wanting more, you didn’t lift heavy enough.

      I usually do 10 or 15 minutes before I workout and if I have time I’ll do some afterwards. You can also do something outside the gym as well.

    1. I generally do around 30 seconds for small accessory work and 1-5 minutes for the big compound lifts. Sorry for the delay!

  3. Haven’t lifted weights in 20 years , gonna try this program to start, how much weight should I begin with?

    1. You can start with the smallest amount you can and work your way up. It’s easier to learn new good habits instead of just throwing weights up and having to fix bad habits.

  4. CUTTY,
    Do you recommend doing the 4 day beginner for 12 weeks and then upgrading to this workout to change up?

    1. I’d only recommend changing up if after 12 weeks you’re stalling. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Consistency is what matters in fitness. If there’s a lagging body part or a weakness in your lifts, address that instead of completely changing the routine. But if you ran it for 12 weeks and jumped into this one, it wouldn’t hurt.

    1. Yes, there’s hardly any gains you are going to “burn up” from doing cardio. Get in shape and your body will be more efficient and healthier. Find something fun and active to do like shoot hoops or go for hikes. It doesn’t have to be slogging along on a treadmill in a gym :)

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