Full-Body Workout Split for Beginners with Examples

Before one gets started with Bodybuilding, or can follow any sort of Regimented Fitness Routine, you must First find your Way around the Gym and learn how to Connect with each Muscle & Body Part Individually. In this Article I’ll describe how to Beginners can get Started and make the most Progress possible, before they Transition into a Push-Pull-Legs or Several Day Training Split.

You can read more about other Training Splits & Progressive Overload in these Articles below:
Progressive Overload Principles, Intensity Techniques & Structuring a Deload with Examples
How to Design your own Upper / Lower Body Program with Examples
How to Design your own Push-Pull-Legs Training Program with Examples
How to Design your own 4, 5 & 6 Day Training Program with Examples

3 Day Full-Body Routine

The First Time you Entered a Gym, you probably had no Idea what to do, which Machines to use and you certainly didn’t know the Correct Order of Exercises for Maximum Hyper-Trophy Stimulation. And that’s totally fine because most People have to learn how to ride a Bicycle, how to Swim or play any sort of Team Sports as well. So let’s start with the Basics and allow your own Body to tell YOU, how the Exercises need to be Programmed!

Since you’ll be doing a Full Body Routine, at least 3 Times per Week, it’s better to start with a Budget of 15 Exercises and choose which Exercises you want to do, in whatever Order or whatever Day you prefer to do them on. This allows you to slowly change Exercises around, based on how Sore you are, how much Overlap one Exercise exerts over another Exercise, later in the Workout and if certain Exercises reduce Performance on other Exercises, Performed later in the Week.

Full-Body Exercise Budget

• Dumbbell Bench Press
• Cable Crossover
• Dips
• Cable Pull Downs
• T-Bar Rows
• Dumbbell Rear Delt Flyes
• Standing Barbell Press
• Dumbbell Lateral Raises
• EZ Bar Curls
• EZ Bar Skull Crushers
• Squats
• Leg Press
• Barbell Stiff Legged Dead Lifts
• Walking Lunges
• Seated Calf Raises

Once you’ve made your Selection of Exercises for that Particular Workout, you won’t be able to Perform them again in the same Week. Every Week your Exercises Budget Resets and you want Pick & Choose from your List of Exercises, in any Order or Perform them on any Day you prefer.

You will Perform each Exercise with 4 Sets of 15-12-10-8 Reps Respectively. In order to Warm-Up before you start your Workout, you can either choose to do 10 Minutes of Moderate Intensity Cardio on the Elliptical or Stair Master, or do 3 Sets of 20 Reps on the First Exercise you chose to do, before increasing Weight in order to get 4 Sets of 8-15 Reps.

The Aim is not to go to Failure on any of the Sets as you’ll be Training that Muscle again 2 Days later. Your Goal is to improve your Mind-Muscle Connection with each Exercise and learn how to properly Contract your Muscles against Resistance. Once you’ve learned to Master that, you can progress into an Upper-Lower or Push-Pull-Legs Routine!

With this Exercise Budget, you can Split it up in the following Fashion:
• Monday; Dumbbell Bench Press, Cable Pull Downs, Standing Barbell Press, Squats & Seated Calf Raises.
• Wednesday; Cable Crossover, T-Bar Rows, Dumbbell Lateral Raises, EZ Bar Skull Crushers & Leg Press.
• Friday; Dips, Dumbbell Rear Delt Flyes, EZ Bar Curls, Barbell Stiff Legged Dead Lifts & Walking Lunges.
NOTE: Including Warmups, each Exercise Consists of a Total of 23 Sets over 5 Exercises, which Recruit most Body Parts!

Once you’re a little bit more Advanced in your Full Body Routine, you might choose to Group certain Exercises and Split your Budget as followed:
• Monday; Dumbbell Bench Press, Cable Crossover, Standing Barbell Press, Dumbbell Lateral Raises & Squats.
• Wednesday; Cable Pull Downs, T-Bar Rows, Dumbbell Rear Delt Flyes, Barbell Stiff Legged Dead Lifts & Seated Calf Raises.
• Friday; EZ Bar Curls, EZ Bar Skull Crushers, Dips, Leg Press & Walking Lunges.
NOTE: Including Warmups, each Exercise Consists of a Total of 23 Sets over 5 Exercises, which Recruit most Body Parts!

Expect to Follow this Program for about 3-6 Months, at which Point you should have Solid Understanding of how to Perform these Exercises, Correct Form and the Succession of Exercise Selection. Whenever you Complete 4 Sets of a certain Exercise, there’s an Ideal Exercise that could Follow due to it’s Complimentary Overlap. You can follow a Chest Exercise with a Tricep Exercise, a Back Exercise with a Bicep Exercise, a Quad Exercise with a Hamstring or Calf Exercise. An Exercise that Recruits one Body Part, often Stimulates another and Primes it for a Follow-up Exercise.

Over the Course of 3-6 Months, which has about 13-26 Exercise Budget Rotations and 39-78 Workouts in Total, you should be able to Design a Personalized, 3 Day per Week, Full Body Routine for yourself!

5 Day Full-Body Routine

Once you’ve got some Experience with a 3 Day per Week Full Body Routine and if you feel you can Recover from more Workout Volume, you can increase your Exercise Budget to 30 Exercises and Perform them over 5 Workouts every Week. Ideally you follow the 15 Exercises Budget over 3 Days per Week for Several Weeks or Months before you increase for a bit more Volume.

That way you’ll learn how to Perform the Most Basic Exercises which will often Remain a Staple in your Fitness or Body Building Routine for Years to follow. Once you’ve got some Experience with those Exercises and know how to Perform them Correctly, you can add another 15 Exercises to your Exercise Budget.

Extended Full-Body Exercise Budget

• Dumbbell Flyes
• Barbell Bench Press
• Dumbbell Rows
• Barbell or Trap Bar / Hex Bar Dead Lifts
• EZ Bar Front Raises
• Seated Dumbbell Press
• Dumbbell Hammer Curls
• Cable Triceps Push Downs
• Leg Extensions
• Sissy Squats
• Lying Hamstring Curl
• Seated Hamstring Curl
• Standing Calf Raises
• Donkey Calf Raises
• Lying Crunches

With this Exercise Budget of 30 Exercises, you can Split it up in the following Fashion:
• Monday; Dumbbell Bench Press, EZ Bar Front Raises, Cable Pull Downs, Cable Triceps Push Downs, Squats & Donkey Calf Raises.
• Tuesday; Seated Dumbbell Press, Dumbbell Flyes, Leg Extensions, Barbell Stiff Legged Dead Lifts, EZ Bar Curls & Lying Crunches.
• Wednesday; Barbell Bench Press, Dumbbell Lateral Raises, EZ Bar Skull Crushers, T-Bar Rows, Leg Press & Walking Lunges.
• Friday; Dumbbell Rows, Dips, Cable Crossover, Lying Hamstring Curl, Sissy Squats & Seated Calf Raises.
• Saturday; Standing Barbell Press, Dumbbell Rear Delt Flyes, Barbell Dead Lifts, Dumbbell Hammer Curls, Seated Hamstring Curl & Standing Calf Raises.
NOTE: Including Warmups, each Exercise Consists of a Total of 27 Sets over 6 Exercises, which Recruit most Body Parts!

On this Routine Recovery & Auto-Regulation becomes more Important as you’re Training the same Body Parts, 2-3 Days in a Row. This makes it increasingly Hard to Program the Workouts based on your Exercise Budget, as you can’t really Predict the Rate of Recovery, unless you also adjust your Nutrition, Stress Levels, Sleep Patterns and Activity Levels outside of the Gym.

Adjustments & Variations for Additional Progress

Ofcourse there are many more Exercises to choose from Compared to these 15-30 Exercises mentioned above, they are what we consider the Bread & Butter of Building a Physique. As yours Develops, you might have to Rotate certain Exercises out for an Alternative, targeting the same Muscle Group. Or remove an Exercise for a Specific Body Part, that grows Faster than the other Body Parts. You might choose to replace Stiff Legged Deadlifts with Romanian Deadlifts for more Hamstring Development, or replace Dips with Close Grip Bench Press for more Triceps Development. You’ll have to decide which Exercises have to be Exchanged for others in order to keep each Body Part Developing at an equal rate.

Exercise Budget Alternatives

• Hammer Strength or Machine Chest Press
• Dumbbell or Kettlebell Hex Press
• Close Grip Diamond Pushups
• Hammer Strength or Machine Shoulder Press
• Cable Lateral Raises
• Close Grip Barbell Bench Press
• Tate Press
• Overhead Dumbbell Triceps Extensions
• Body Weight or Weighted Pullups
• EZ Bar Underhand or Barbell Rows
• Hammer Strength or Machine Pulldowns
• Dumbbell or Cable Pullovers
• Dumbbell or Barbell Shrugs
• Barbell Rack Pulls
• Cable or Dumbbell Front Raises
• Cable or Machine Rear Delts
• Barbell Pendlay Rows
• Cable Face Pulls
• Alternating Dumbbell Curls
• EZ Bar Preacher Curls
• Overhead Cable Curls
• Hack Squats / V-Squats / Pendulum Squats
• Bulgarian Split Squats
• Dumbbell Sumo Squats
• Barbell Hip Thrust
• Glute/Ham Raise
• Smith Machine Swing Curl
• Reverse Hyper Extensions / Hyper Extensions
• Hanging Leg Raises
• Cable Crunches

With this wide Selection of Exercises in your Weekly Budget, you could simply close your eyes, point at an Exercise that you haven’t done yet that Week and perform it. When you Train 5 Days per Week on; Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday & Saturday for example, it’s very important to keep track of which Exercises give you Soreness and hinder you to perform other Exercises later in the Week.

Beginners will always change the order of the Exercises and start Grouping them together, often resulting in a Typical 5 Day Bro Split. Again, this is totally fine as it shows that the Beginner understands that it’s better to perform certain Exercises for specific Body Parts in Succession during one Workout, and other Exercises for other Body Parts during a Workout later in the Week.

In the meantime the Beginner should slowly start to focus on their Nutrition, make sure they get Adequate Protein, Healthy Fats & Micro-Nutrients from their Diet to provide Recovery from the Workouts, while Carbs can slowly be increased to increase Energy Levels in the Gym and slowly progress up in Weight on each of the 4 Sets Performed for each Exercise in their Budget.

This is the Fastest Way to learn your own Body & Auto-Regulation!

Training Intuitively by Feel

Enthusiastic Beginners that like a Challenge and want to improve their Shape & Athletic Performance, will Max out on a Full Body Routine within a Year and progress into an Upper/Lower or Push-Pull-Legs Routine, Focusing on Progressive Overload. They will then follow a PPL Routine for Several Years until they can no longer make noticeable Progress as they’re not recovering with their Limited Hormone Production, even though Calories are as high as they can Stomach them!

Once you’re able to go by Feel, you don’t really need an Exercise Budget anymore. You should already have a Fundamental Understanding of how to Perform the Majority of the 30 Exercises mention above, as well as every other Exercise you can do at your Gym. This means a Mental Portfolio of 50 Exercise or more, which allows you to Select Exercises as you go Along.

As you Train one Body Part, another might get Stimulated and Primed for another Exercise. Based on your Level of Soreness & Energy Levels of that Particular Body Part, you can Pick & Chose a Corresponding Exercise from your Mental Portfolio or Exercise Budget List and Proceed with your Workout. At this Point you’re no Longer a Beginner, but well versed in Gym Etiquette, Exercise Execution & How your Body Responds to the Exercises you like to Perform during your Workout!

Training by Feel is perhaps the most Important Aspect of your Fitness or Body Building Journey, as even the most Planned Out Exercise Program, needs Room for Flexibility, when certain Pieces of Equipment in your Program, might be in use by other Gym Members.

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