I'm setting up a routine but I have some help needed figuring out whether my routine covers all the muscles to avoid imbalances since this is the first time I do such a thing on my own. My goals are:

  • gain muscle
  • get stronger

  • lower fat percentage

I have tracked down all the muscles that will be worked out following this routine and put the info in a pdf (it's a bit further in this post).

I would appreciate it a lot of you could take a look at it and tell me what you think or if there are imbalances or muscles that I should be working out more/less.

I'm thinking to add some isolation exercises for my arms and abs as I love some big arms and visible abs.

As for the reps, it's 3 X 10 for the ones that have nothing written next to them. For weight, I usually go for things that I can barely do three sets of, so not too easy but not too hard as well.

Concerning cardio, I always begin my training session with 10 of cardio and a bit of stretching. Other than that, my cardio is done mostly outside the gym on daily basis activities like biking to work/school, walking every day, taking the stairs...etc. I also sometimes do mostly running or the stairs machine.


pdf version

Textual version:

Day 1:

  • Barbell bench press

  • Bent over barbell row with supinated grip

  • Barbell squat

  • Incline barbell bench press

  • Wide-grip lat pulldown

  • Hip thrusts

  • overhead press

  • Dumbbell Shrugs

Day 2:

  • Dumbbell bench press

  • Long bar rows with V-bar.

  • Front squat

  • Incline Dumbbell Press

  • Close-grip lat pulldown

  • Straight leg deadlift

  • Core circuit rollouts, weighted plank, Russian twists

Day 3:

  • Deadlift

  • Pushups AMRAP/set

  • Pullups AMRAP/set

  • Walking lunges 1 minute/set

  • Dips AMRAP/set

  • Chin-ups AMRAP/set

  • Box jumps 1 minute/set

2 Answers 2


Have you considered the Starting Strength protocol by Mark Rippetoe or StongLifts 5x5 (more or less the same thing as Starting Strength, but with more volume)? It meets your requirements and I've seen people get stupid, ridiculous strong on it.

I dig how you delineated your program, but it's not necessary for all those exercises if you're wanting to increase maximal strength, add muscle, and lose body fat. I could see adding a few exercises after you reached a intermediate to advanced lifter status (6 months to two years of consistent lifting).

The program you've outlined is more complex than needed and too much daily workout volume. You will certainly have to eat like a horse to maintain that volume if your intensity is high (technical failure at the end of every set). Also, your workouts are most likely going to go over 90 minutes, which is a general cutoff for intense exercise. Otherwise, your hormones will fight against you and become counterproductive. If you decide to work this program, and work it at high intensity, consider drinking something with carbs (and maybe BCAAs or protein) during your workout.

Losing body fat is going to start with your diet being in a caloric deficit relative to your daily energy expenditure. If you're rather untrained or a beginner at lifting from a physiological perspective, it is quite possible to add lean body mass while in a caloric deficit; assuming you have proper programming in your lifting regimen. Obviously, you macronutrient balance would have to be on point as well.

The elegance of the SS and SL 5x5 is their simplicity, the A and B work out modality. You alternate between these workouts until program's end. Then there are other programs you can graduate to after 6 months, plus or minus, of working one of these aforementioned programs.

Starting Strength 3x5

Strong Lifts 5x5

I'm not affiliated with either organization. I know these programs work, I've seen time and time again with myself and other clients. Give the above links a read and time to digest.

Best of luck of to you!

  • To add to this, getting big muscles comes from lifting big weights. These beginner programs add a lot of strength fast; it's a tried and true method. Going to failure is also counter productive at this stage as you want to focus on form and be able to recover in time for your next workout to be able to do more volume and add weight to the bar.
    – Yousend
    Jan 10, 2019 at 12:07

if you are just starting out don't worry about isolating muscles and fancy exercises, just stick to the basics for power and size and then when you have the size and strength you can concentrate on the isolating. day 1 chest -Barbell bench press and Incline barbell bench press and a days rest

day 2 back- Dead-lift and Close-grip lat pull-downs and a days rest

day3 legs just do squats and a days rest and start again

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