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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.

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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.

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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 1 Full Body Exercise
Day Exercise Equipment Sets Reps Rest
1, 3, 5 Dumbbell Bench Press Bench, Dumbbells 3 8,10,12
Lat Pulldown Adjustable Cable Machine, Lat Pulldown Bar 3 8,10,12
Overhead Dumbbell Press Dumbbells 3 8,10,12
Leg Press 3 8,10,12
Lying Leg Curl 3 8,10,12
Rope Pressdown Adjustable Cable Machine, Rope Attachment 3 8,10,12
Barbell Biceps Curl Barbell 3 8,10,12
Standing Calf Raise Box 3 8,10,12
Crunch 3 15
2,4,6,7 REST

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 1 Upper Body Exercise
Day Exercise Equipment Sets Reps Rest
1, 4 Barbell Bench Press Bar Bell, Bench 3 10,12,15
Dumbbell Flye  Bench, Dumbbells 3 10,12,15
Barbell Bent-Over Row Barbell 3 10,12,15
Lat Pulldown Adjustable Cable Machine, Lat Pulldown Bar 3 10,12,15
Overhead Dumbbell Press Dumbbells 3 10,12,15
Dumbbell Lateral Raise Dumbbells  3 10,12,15
Barbell Biceps Curl Barbell 3 10,12,15
Preacher Curl With Cable Adjustable Cable Machine, Ez-Bar, Preacher Bench 3 10,12,15
Lying Ez-Bar Triceps Extension Bench, Ez-Bar  3 10,12,15
Rope Pressdown Rope Attachment 3 10,12,15
Crunch 3 15-20
Week 2 Lower Body Exercise
Day Exercise Equipment Sets Reps Rest
2,5 Leg Press  3 10,12,15
Seated Leg Curl 3 10,12,15
Lying Leg Curl 3 10,12,15
Standing Calf Raise Bench 3 15-20
Crunch Box 3 15-20
3,6,7 REST

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 3 Pushing Body Exercise
Day Exercise Equipment Sets Reps Rest
1,4 Incline Barbell Bench Press Barbell, Bench 4 10,10,12,15 
Dumbbell Flye Bench, Dumbbells 4 10,10,12,15 
Overhead Dumbbell Press Dumbbells 4 10,10,12,15 
Smith Machine Upright Row Smith Machine 4 8, 8, 10, 12
Lying Ez-Bar Triceps Extension Bench, Ez-Bar 3 10,12,15
Dumbbell Kickback Dumbbells  3 10,12,15
Week 3 Pulling Body Exercise
Day Exercise Equipment Sets Reps Rest
2,5 Barbell Upright Row Barbell  4 10,10,12,15 
Single-Arm Neutral-Grip Dumbbell Row Dumbbells 4 10,10,12,15 
Incline Dumbbell Biceps Curl  Bench, Dumbbells 4 10,10,12,15 
Preacher Curl With Cable Adjustable Cable Machine, Ez-Bar, Preacher BenchIncline 4 8, 8, 10, 12
Barbell Bench Press Overhead Dumbbell Press 4 8, 8, 10, 12
Reverse Crunch —  3 15-20
Crunch 3 15-20
Week 3 Lower Body Exercise
Day Exercise Equipment Sets Reps Rest
3,6 Back Squat Barbell, Squat Rack 4 10,10,12,15 
Leg Press 4 10,10,12,15 
Seated Leg Curl  4 10,10,12,15 
Romanian Deadlift Barbell 4 8, 8, 10, 12
Seated Calf Raise Bench 3 25
Standing Calf Raise Box  3 25
7 REST

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 4 Chest, Triceps, Calves Exercise
Day Exercise Equipment Sets Reps Rest
1 Incline Barbell Bench Press  Barbell, Bench  5 10,10,10,10,10 
Dumbbell Bench Press   Bench, Dumbbells 5 8,8,10,10,12 
Dumbbell Flye  Bench, Dumbbells 5 8,8,10,10,12 
Rope Pressdown Adjustable Cable Machine, Rope Attachment 4 10,10,12,12 
Dumbbell Kickback Dumbbells 4 10,10,12,12 
Lying Ez-Bar Triceps Extension Bench, Ez-Bar  4 10,10,10,10
Standing Calf Raise Box 3 25
Seated Calf Raise Bench   25
Week 4 Chest, Triceps, Calves Exercise
Day Exercise Equipment Sets Reps Rest
1 Incline Barbell Bench Press  Barbell, Bench  5 10,10,10,10,10 
Dumbbell Bench Press   Bench, Dumbbells 5 8,8,10,10,12 
Dumbbell Flye  Bench, Dumbbells 5 8,8,10,10,12 
Rope Pressdown Adjustable Cable Machine, Rope Attachment 4 10,10,12,12 
Dumbbell Kickback Dumbbells 4 10,10,12,12 
Lying Ez-Bar Triceps Extension Bench, Ez-Bar  4 10,10,10,10
Standing Calf Raise Box 3 25
Seated Calf Raise Bench   25
Week 4 Chest, Triceps, Calves Exercise
Day Exercise Equipment Sets Reps Rest
1 Incline Barbell Bench Press  Barbell, Bench  5 10,10,10,10,10 
Dumbbell Bench Press   Bench, Dumbbells 5 8,8,10,10,12 
Dumbbell Flye  Bench, Dumbbells 5 8,8,10,10,12 
Rope Pressdown Adjustable Cable Machine, Rope Attachment 4 10,10,12,12 
Dumbbell Kickback Dumbbells 4 10,10,12,12 
Lying Ez-Bar Triceps Extension Bench, Ez-Bar  4 10,10,10,10
Standing Calf Raise Box 3 25
Seated Calf Raise Bench   25
Week 4 Legs and Abs Exercise
Day Exercise Equipment Sets Reps Rest
2 Back Squat Barbell, Squat Rack 5 10,10,10,10,10 
Leg Press  5 8,8,10,10,12 
Lying Leg Curl 3 8,10,12 
Romanian Deadlift Barbell  3 8,10,10 
Reverse Crunch 2 20 
Crunch  Bench, Ez-Bar  2 20
Week 4 Chest, Triceps, Calves Exercise
Day Exercise Equipment Sets Reps Rest
4 Overhead Dumbbell Press  Dumbbells 4 12 
Smith Machine Upright Row  Smith Machine  3 8, 10,12 
Dumbbell Lateral Raise  Dumbbells 3 10 
Seated Calf Raise Bench 10 10 
Week 4 Back, Bicep, Abs
Day Exercise Equipment Sets Reps Rest
5 Barbell Bent-Over Row Barbell  5 12 
Lat Pulldown Adjustable Cable Machine, Lat Pulldown Bar  5 8, 8, 10,12 
Single-Arm Neutral-Grip Dumbbell Row Dumbbells 5 8,8,8,10,10 
Seated Calf Raise Bench 10 10 
Barbell Biceps Curl  Barbell  4 10,10,12
Incline Dumbbell Biceps Curl  Bench, Dumbbells  3 10
Preacher Curl With Cable Adjustable Cable Machine, Ez-Bar, Preacher Bench  3 10
6,7 REST

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