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The Comprehensive 4-Week Beginner’s Fitness Program

beginner’s workout plan

Gaining muscle is hard, especially if you are stepping into the gym for the first time. It usually takes 8 to 12 weeks for your body to respond to workouts effectively. With that being said, you don’t have to spend several months in the gym to start seeing results. You can expect to see results after four weeks.

Well, you won’t get ripped like Chris Hemsworth in just four weeks. But it will be enough to get your feet wet in the gym. Getting through our comprehensive 4-week beginner’s workout program will be a perfect start to your journey of muscle gain.

Let it begin!

Week 1: Full-Body Training

The program begins with one week of full body training. This means you have to work on all major body parts in every workout. In the first three days, focus on performing one exercise targeting one body part per session.

With that being said, make sure that you rest for one day after each session, so your body gets some time to recover. Assigning training days can help you organize your workout effectively. For instance, you can dedicate Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday to training. So, you can rest on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

The exercises you perform in the first week are basic. You will only be doing machine exercises along with a few free-weight exercises. These basic exercises provide you with a strong long-term foundation.

As you continue, they will help you gain muscular strength in the future. However, we advise you to carefully read the descriptions before attempting them yourself.

In the first week, you must perform 3 sets of every exercise. Ultimately, this will add up to 9 sets for every body part, providing you with an excellent foundation.

Aside from crunches for abs, all of the following exercises will require 8 to 12 reps for every set. Dividing these exercises into 3 sets of reps is ideal for maximizing the benefits of your workout. So don’t exhaust yourself trying to do 24 reps in a single set.

Week 1Full Body Exercise
DayExerciseEquipmentSetsRepsRest
1, 3, 5Dumbbell Bench PressBench, Dumbbells38,10,12
Lat PulldownAdjustable Cable Machine, Lat Pulldown Bar38,10,12
Overhead Dumbbell PressDumbbells38,10,12
Leg Press38,10,12
Lying Leg Curl38,10,12
Rope PressdownAdjustable Cable Machine, Rope Attachment38,10,12
Barbell Biceps CurlBarbell38,10,12
Standing Calf RaiseBox38,10,12
Crunch315
2,4,6,7REST

Do you see that all these exercises start with 8 reps, then increase to 10 reps, and end with 12reps for the last set? This technique is known as the reverse pyramid. For beginners, it’s ideal to begin with a higher weight and then decrease the weight as you target higher reps.

Week 2: Upper Body/Lower Body

Once you have spent a week, your body becomes a little familiar with weights. So, it’s ideal to start training for different body parts on different days. It would be best if you observe a two-day training split. In other words, you will target a different segment of the body each day, unlike what you did in the first week.

In the second week, you start working out for four days. This means you will dedicate two days to your upper body and two days to the lower body. Take one day of rest once you complete a full-body exercise cycle.

For instance, if you performed upper body exercises on Monday, then Tuesday will be reserved for the lower body, and Wednesday will be your resting day. Likewise, for the second cycle, you will perform upper body exercises on Thursday and lower body exercises on Friday, whereas Saturday and Sunday will be reserved for rest.

Don’t forget the reverse pyramid scheme in your second week. However, this time, make sure you increase the number of reps in the 3rd set of each exercise. Although 15 reps are a little higher than the ideal range, they will help improve endurance, giving you a great platform to build muscle in the future.

Week 1Upper Body Exercise
DayExerciseEquipmentSetsRepsRest
1, 4Barbell Bench PressBar Bell, Bench310,12,15
Dumbbell Flye Bench, Dumbbells310,12,15
Barbell Bent-Over RowBarbell310,12,15
Lat PulldownAdjustable Cable Machine, Lat Pulldown Bar310,12,15
Overhead Dumbbell PressDumbbells310,12,15
Dumbbell Lateral RaiseDumbbells 310,12,15
Barbell Biceps CurlBarbell310,12,15
Preacher Curl With CableAdjustable Cable Machine, Ez-Bar, Preacher Bench310,12,15
Lying Ez-Bar Triceps ExtensionBench, Ez-Bar 310,12,15
Rope PressdownRope Attachment310,12,15
Crunch315-20
Week 2Lower Body Exercise
DayExerciseEquipmentSetsRepsRest
2,5Leg Press 310,12,15
Seated Leg Curl310,12,15
Lying Leg Curl310,12,15
Standing Calf RaiseBench315-20
CrunchBox315-20
3,6,7REST

Week 3: Push/Pull/Legs

In Week 3, we will divide the training exercises between pushing body parts, pulling body parts, and your lower body. Pushing body parts are shoulders, triceps, and chest, whereas pulling body parts are biceps and back. However, you can also work on your abs on the same day.  

  • On Day 1, perform all exercises related to your pushing parts.
  • On Day 2, perform pulling exercises.
  • On Day 3, work on your lower body (hamstrings, calves, quads, glutes).
Week 3Pushing Body Exercise
DayExerciseEquipmentSetsRepsRest
1,4Incline Barbell Bench PressBarbell, Bench410,10,12,15 
Dumbbell FlyeBench, Dumbbells410,10,12,15 
Overhead Dumbbell PressDumbbells410,10,12,15 
Smith Machine Upright RowSmith Machine48, 8, 10, 12
Lying Ez-Bar Triceps ExtensionBench, Ez-Bar310,12,15
Dumbbell KickbackDumbbells 310,12,15
Week 3Pulling Body Exercise
DayExerciseEquipmentSetsRepsRest
2,5Barbell Upright RowBarbell 410,10,12,15 
Single-Arm Neutral-Grip Dumbbell RowDumbbells410,10,12,15 
Incline Dumbbell Biceps Curl Bench, Dumbbells410,10,12,15 
Preacher Curl With CableAdjustable Cable Machine, Ez-Bar, Preacher BenchIncline48, 8, 10, 12
Barbell Bench Press OverheadDumbbell Press48, 8, 10, 12
Reverse Crunch— 315-20
Crunch315-20
Week 3Lower Body Exercise
DayExerciseEquipmentSetsRepsRest
3,6Back SquatBarbell, Squat Rack410,10,12,15 
Leg Press410,10,12,15 
Seated Leg Curl 410,10,12,15 
Romanian DeadliftBarbell48, 8, 10, 12
Seated Calf RaiseBench325
Standing Calf RaiseBox 325
7REST

Week 4: Full Body

In Week 4, you will train four days a week, targeting every body part one by one. You need to pair your chest and triceps. Likewise, muscles such as quads are paired with hamstring, and your biceps are paired with your back.

Week 4Chest, Triceps, Calves Exercise
DayExerciseEquipmentSetsRepsRest
1Incline Barbell Bench Press Barbell, Bench 510,10,10,10,10 
Dumbbell Bench Press  Bench, Dumbbells58,8,10,10,12 
Dumbbell Flye Bench, Dumbbells58,8,10,10,12 
Rope PressdownAdjustable Cable Machine, Rope Attachment410,10,12,12 
Dumbbell KickbackDumbbells410,10,12,12 
Lying Ez-Bar Triceps ExtensionBench, Ez-Bar 410,10,10,10
Standing Calf RaiseBox325
Seated Calf RaiseBench 25
Week 4Chest, Triceps, Calves Exercise
DayExerciseEquipmentSetsRepsRest
1Incline Barbell Bench Press Barbell, Bench 510,10,10,10,10 
Dumbbell Bench Press  Bench, Dumbbells58,8,10,10,12 
Dumbbell Flye Bench, Dumbbells58,8,10,10,12 
Rope PressdownAdjustable Cable Machine, Rope Attachment410,10,12,12 
Dumbbell KickbackDumbbells410,10,12,12 
Lying Ez-Bar Triceps ExtensionBench, Ez-Bar 410,10,10,10
Standing Calf RaiseBox325
Seated Calf RaiseBench 25
Week 4Chest, Triceps, Calves Exercise
DayExerciseEquipmentSetsRepsRest
1Incline Barbell Bench Press Barbell, Bench 510,10,10,10,10 
Dumbbell Bench Press  Bench, Dumbbells58,8,10,10,12 
Dumbbell Flye Bench, Dumbbells58,8,10,10,12 
Rope PressdownAdjustable Cable Machine, Rope Attachment410,10,12,12 
Dumbbell KickbackDumbbells410,10,12,12 
Lying Ez-Bar Triceps ExtensionBench, Ez-Bar 410,10,10,10
Standing Calf RaiseBox325
Seated Calf RaiseBench 25
Week 4Legs and Abs Exercise
DayExerciseEquipmentSetsRepsRest
2Back SquatBarbell, Squat Rack510,10,10,10,10 
Leg Press 58,8,10,10,12 
Lying Leg Curl38,10,12 
Romanian DeadliftBarbell 38,10,10 
Reverse Crunch220 
Crunch Bench, Ez-Bar 220
Week 4Chest, Triceps, Calves Exercise
DayExerciseEquipmentSetsRepsRest
4Overhead Dumbbell Press Dumbbells412 
Smith Machine Upright Row Smith Machine 38, 10,12 
Dumbbell Lateral Raise Dumbbells310 
Seated Calf RaiseBench1010 
Week 4Back, Bicep, Abs
DayExerciseEquipmentSetsRepsRest
5Barbell Bent-Over RowBarbell 512 
Lat PulldownAdjustable Cable Machine, Lat Pulldown Bar 58, 8, 10,12 
Single-Arm Neutral-Grip Dumbbell RowDumbbells58,8,8,10,10 
Seated Calf RaiseBench1010 
Barbell Biceps Curl Barbell 410,10,12
Incline Dumbbell Biceps Curl Bench, Dumbbells 310
Preacher Curl With CableAdjustable Cable Machine, Ez-Bar, Preacher Bench 310
6,7REST

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