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.

Progression

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
Exercise Sets Reps
Squat 5 5
Leg Press 4 8
Goblet Squat 3 12
Walking Lunges 2 20
Leg Extensions 3 15
Side Planks 2 ALAP

 

Workout B – Back
Exercise Sets Reps
Bent Over Barbell Rows 5 5
Lat Pull Downs 4 12
Close Grip Seated Row 3 15
1 Arm Dumbbell Rows 3 8
Face Pulls 3 20
Barbell Shrugs 2 AMAP

 

Workout C – Chest and Triceps
Exercise Sets Reps
Bench 5 5
Incline Dumbbell Bench 3 12
Pec Dec 3 20
Low Cable Cross 3 15
Close Grip Bench 2 AMAP
Skull Crushers 2 AMAP

 

Workout D – Legs and Abs
Exercise Sets Reps
Deadlifts 5 5
Romanian Deadlifts 3 12
Leg Curls 4 15
Reverse Hypers 4 8
Weighted Decline Sit Ups 4 AMAP
Planks 3 ALAP

 

Workout E – Shoulders and Biceps
Exercise Sets Reps
Seated Barbell Overhead Press 4 12
Arnold Press 3 8
Shoulder Press Machine 4 15
Face Pulls 3 20
Dumbbell Shrugs 3 AMAP
EZ Curl Preacher Curls 3 10
Cross Body Hammer Curls 4 12

Conclusion

  • 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!