Gaining Muscle – An Example Workout Schedule for Beginners

In order to get to any destination, you need to know where you are and where you are going. If you hope to increase muscle size, you can’t just start haphazardly throwing weights around in hopes of making gains. You need a plan when you start lifting weights in order to stay on track and make gains in muscle mass. There are tons of programs to choose from when you start working out, but you have to be careful which one you choose. If you try to mimic the routine that a professional bodybuilder or NFL linebacker uses, you might find that you are working yourself way too hard. Aim to start off slow, using good form, if you plan on making gains in muscle mass over the long haul.

Here is a sample routine that will help any beginner increase muscle growth.

On this routine you will be working out with weights on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. After you do this routine for a month, add a fourth day onto the program by adding new exercises that you have not tried yet. On all of these exercises, use a weight that you can comfortably do about 15 repetitions with. The idea is not to jump into using heavy weights, but on developing a regular system and using proper form on every exercise.

Monday – Chest, Shoulders & Triceps

Bench Press: 2-3 sets of 8-12 repetitions

Dumbbell Flyes: 2 sets of 10-14 repetitions

Triceps Extensions: 3 sets of 8-112 repetitions

Bench Dips: 2 sets of 10-14 repetitions

Dumbbell Overhead Presses: 2-3 sets of 8-12 repetitions

Wednesday – Legs

Squats: 2-3 sets of 8-12 repetitions

Hamstring curls: 2 sets of 10-14 repetitions

Leg Extensions: 3 sets of 8-12 repetitions

Calf Raises: 2-4 sets of 10-14 repetitions

Friday – Back and Biceps

Pull-Ups: 2 sets of 5-12 repetitions

Bent Rows: 2-3 sets of 8-12 repetitions

EZ Bar Curls: 2-3 sets of 8-14 repetitions

Dumbbell Curls: 2 sets of 8-14 repetitions

Stick with this routine for a month or two in order to have a solid foundation of resistance training. If you are not comfortable with a particular exercise, substitute a similar exercise for that body part that does not cause you pain or discomfort. Make sure that you stress strict, correct form on every repetition. If you find yourself straining to maintain form, you are better off lowering the weight than struggling through using bad form. Setting a strong foundation founded on good exercise form in the very beginning will make it much easier for you to consistently increase muscle size.

Written by Cody Figgins of Ultimate Fitness Gear, your best source for the Shaun T Insanity Workout.


  1. Very useful information. Nutrition is also one of the key success factors. While I try to get most of nutrients from food, I still take additional supplements. The one which works best for me is Navy Seal Formula. This dietary supplement is manufactured by Military Grade Nutritionals and has a unique formula that delivers lots of energy, making my workouts more hard and intense. My strength is increasing and I am putting on muscles much faster.

  2. Allan, thanks for sharing your success here. It's great to know that you have found what worked best for you. Cheers.