Muscle Building Program for Beginners

If you’ve been going to the gym for a few months and you aren’t noticing any difference in your physique, this 3 day muscle building program for beginners is for you.

Muscle building isn’t a science; lift weights, eat, sleep, and repeat.

There is no magical program to add slabs of man meat to your biceps, but there is one thing you should focus on.

Progressive overloading makes your body stronger, builds muscle, and helps you reach your goals.

Goal Of This Workout

This program is designed for beginners who have a grasp on how to complete most exercises and wants to maximize muscle gains.

This program consists of mainly barbell and dumbbell movements which give you the best “bang for your buck” in results.

Diet and Nutrition Tips

Protein – Get plenty of protein into your diet. Whether you use whey protein, meat, or other sources, protein is an essential to building muscle.

Clean up your diet – There’s nothing wrong with eating some Taco Bell every once in a while, but cleaning up your diet is a must. If you cook 80% of your meals at home and enjoy the other 20% out eating, you are going to notice one hell of a jump in your performance and gains.

If you are having a hard time gaining weight and unable to eat more, try adding fats to your meals. Butter, sour cream, cheese, olive oil, coconut oil, heavy whipping cream, and fatty meats will add calories without adding much volume to your diet.

If you are overweight, strive to cut carbs. If you regularly drink regular soda, not drinking it will make you shed pounds fast.

Recommended Supplements

Here are a few supplements I would recommend taking while on this program.

Note: You cannot out-train a shit diet. Get your food intake straight before you start adding supplements.


MTS Nutrition Clash

I personally like apple mango, but all flavors are good.

This is a great blend without too many stimulants.


MTS Machine Whey Protein: 5lbs

This is in my opinion the best tasting protein on the market. Period.

Great blend with no secrets, no amino spiking, and it is some of the best in the industry.

So far I’ve had Red Velvet and Cookies and Cream. Both are A+.


MTS Nutrition Machine Fuel

Marc Lobliner has his sweetening on point with these supplements.

I’ve used mixed berry and grape and I love them both.


Optimum Nutrition Opti-Men

Once you get your diet on point, taking a multi-vitamin is important as a strength athlete.

Get the most of your gains and life with this multi-vitamin.

Cardio and Conditioning Schedule

Cardio and conditioning is important for a healthy lifestyle.

This routine works best with some low intensity steady state training.

Think: walking on a treadmill or riding a bike.

Complete 15-30 minutes of cardio post-workout every time you go to the gym.

This will help with your quality of life and help improve your athleticism.

Cardio and Conditioning Tips

  • Completing a 5-10 minute pre-workout cardio session is great for getting your body primed for exercise.
  • Make cardio fun and go outside and walk around or just get up and move.
  • The more activity you do, the more food you can eat.

Workout Schedule

Here is a sample workout schedule:

  • Monday – Day 1
  • Tuesday – Off
  • Wednesday – Day 2
  • Thursday – Off
  • Friday – Day 3
  • Saturday – Off
  • Sunday – Off

The actual days you go do not matter, but I recommend having 1 day of rest between the next day and then a 2 day rest period.

Muscle Building Program for Beginners

Day 1
Bench Press48
Barbell Row312
Pull Ups312
Tricep Extensions415


Day 2
Military Press48
Face Pulls415
Seated Rows412


Day 3
Goblet Squats415
Machine Bench Press415
Seated Overhead Press48
Lat Pull Downs412
Skull Crushers58

Workout Tips

Progressive Overload – It is important that you strive to add 5 pounds to the bar each week.

Click here for a free Excel document laid out with the 12 week program. Print out for a paper log or use on the computer.


Leave any comments or questions below.

21 thoughts on “Muscle Building Program for Beginners”

  1. Hi,

    his is Bhavin and I am 25 years old. I am very irregular in the gym.. I personally believe that I need a Trainer to motivate me or a perfect Workout plan for my Body and a perfect diet plan too.

    I am not all that rich to spend money on expensive gym or Protein powder..
    Please help me get a perfect Work out plan.. Pleaseeeeee!

    1. Rest only as long as you need to. I usually go anywhere from 1 minute to 5 minutes for big compound lifts, and 30-45 seconds between isolation workouts. Just push yourself, but no need to go before your nervous system is recovered.

  2. Would you recomend this rputine for someone just getting back into training after a very extended (years) break in training? If it matters I just tirned 40, used to train religiously, life happened and the mext thing I knew I haddnt hit the iron in years. Any thoughs or advice?

    1. Any program is going to work well and help you get into shape. Choose one that you can follow and that will fit in your schedule and just work your hardest at it. Work on eating healthier, quality exercise, etc to help get you going. I wouldn’t start out with high volume, lower volume and lighter weights until you get your form back and able to get your conditioning up.

      Other than that, just ease back into it and feel out how well you recover so you know what you need to adjust. Let me know if you need help I will do my best to get you back training again!


  3. Hi..what about the lifts on Wednesday that you do once a week for 8 reps. Should I also add 5 pounds the next week? I’m assuming that’s the only way I can progressively overload or is there any other way? Thanks

    1. Yes with all exercises, if you do the prescribed amount of reps per set, next week add 5 pounds to the bar. Work until you hit the prescribed sets and reps and add another 5. The goal is to do just a little bit better than last workout, which turns into a really strong and muscular body over the years.

    1. I am having people run this until they stop seeing progress and they are very happy with their results. I would not recommend anything less than 12 weeks though.


  4. Okay two more questions: 1) is it okay to run this workout as a circuit for the 1st 3 compound lifts if time is a factor? 2)What is the advantage of 3×6 compared to 4×6?

    1. Run it as a circuit if you are running low on time, just make sure it’s quality work. The advantage to doing less sets is being able to add more weight to the bar. As a beginner your body adapts quickly and you are going to notice some really nice strength gains. With weight training more volume isn’t always better.


  5. Hi pal just stumbled across this and have completed my first session! Was just wondering do I do any cardio in with this at all? And is there anything I could replace the barbell row with? I just can’t get the technique right!

    1. Phil,

      Congrats on starting the routine. Cardio can be done whenever you have time. There’s a couple articles I’ve written about cardio and doing it post-workout is great for active recovery. Cardio is great on off-days as well for recovery and just staying active is key.

      It took me a long time to figure out the barbell row technique, but if you are having trouble might I suggest either a 1 arm dumbbell row or some lat pulldowns or pull ups. Pick something that works best for you and run with it!

      Any more questions just ask!


  6. Cheers for the reply cutty! I’ll try the one armed rows and some cardio also mate! Also I’ll post some pictures
    Up of my progression


    1. Definitely man, if you want to start a log on my friend’s forum, Muscle and Brawn I am there all of the time and we can help motivate and give you tips on how to make the best of your training. If you join, write in the “Introduce yourself” forum and let me know you came over from my site I’ll make sure to subscribe to your posts.

      Good luck,


  7. Is it ok to replace some excersies with dumbbells,like on the bench press is ok for me to use dumbbell press instead?

    1. I prefer people work with barbells, but if you feel comfortable with dumbbells or prefer them, then by all means use them!


  8. Why am I only deadlifting once a week according to this program? Why not deadlift twice a week like I would be doing with the bench press and the squat?

    1. Beginners can progress rapidly off of this routine. If you were to add in more taxing work on the nervous system, you are going to start getting burned out before you make many gains because your body isn’t used to strenuous nervous system work.


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