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The Best Workout Routines for Men

Daniël August 18, 20227 mins read
The best workout routines for men

It is necessary to have a strength training program when you want to build a good physique.

Training volume is really important. You have to track repetitions, sets and used weight.

A beginner works out less than 1 year, an intermediate 1-2 years and an advanced trainee more than 2 years.

Workout routine at-home

A home workout is great for beginners and advanced people.

Some at-home workouts require equipment, however, this is limited. 

If you don’t have the equipment, you can replace it for exercises with your bodyweight.

Required equipment: flat weight bench and dumbbells.

For getting the right equipment, it is a good idea to visit a store for expert advice. 

If you already know what you are looking for, you can invest in adjustable dumbbells here.

Rest periods: 60 to 90 seconds

Day 1: Shoulders, abs and legs

  • Dumbbell squats - perform 3 sets with 6 to 8 repetitions
  • Shoulder press - perform 3 sets with 6 to 8 repetitions
  • Dumbbell lunge - perform 3 sets with 8 to 10 repetitions per leg
  • Dumbbell upright row - perform 2 sets with 8 to 10 repetitions
  • Romanian deadlift - perform 2 sets with 6 to 8 repetitions
  • Lateral raises - perform 3 sets with 8 to 10 repetitions
  • Calf raises - perform 4 sets with 10 to 12 repetitions
  • Elevated legs crunches - perform 3 sets with 10 to 12 repetitions

Day 2: Back and chest

  • Floor press or bench press - perform 3 sets with 6 to 8 repetitions
  • Bent-over row - perform 3 sets with 6 to 8 repetitions
  • Dumbbell fly - perform 3 sets with 8 to 10 repetitions
  • Dumbbell row - perform 3 sets with 6 to 8 repetitions
  • Push up - perform 3 sets with 10 to 12 repetitions
  • Dumbbell pullovers - perform 3 sets with 10 to 12 repetitions

Day 3: Abs and arms

  • Bicep curls - perform 3 sets with 8 to 10 repetitions per arm
  • Tricep extensions - perform 3 sets with 8 to 10 repetitions
  • Dumbbell curls - perform 2 sets with 10 to 12 repetitions per arm
  • Bench dips - perform 2 sets with 10 to 12 repetitions
  • Concentration curls - perform 3 sets with 10 to 12 repetitions
  • Dumbbell kickbacks - perform 3 sets with 8 to 10 repetitions per arm
  • Planks - perform 3 sets and hold for 30 seconds

Best workout routine for beginners

Beginners see a lot of progress when they start going to the gym. 

It is important for everyone, but especially for beginners, to avoid that you train too much.

The best workout routine for beginners is a 3-day full-body program (Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday for example).

The beginner phase stops when you stop improving. You may reach this point in half a year, however, some people reach it after 1 year or more.

Required equipment: A lot, you should go to the (local) gym!

Rest periods: 60 to 90 seconds

Intensity: Use weight that allows you to do the full body workouts. It should be challenging but doable.

Day 1: Full body workout

  • Back squats - perform 3 sets with 5 repetitions
  • Bench press - perform 3 sets with 5 repetitions
  • Cable rows - perform 3 sets with 6 to 8 repetitions
  • Shoulder press - perform 3 sets with 6 to 8 repetitions
  • Tricep pushdowns - perform 3 sets with 8 to 10 repetitions
  • Lateral raises - perform 3 sets with 10 to 12 repetitions
  • Calf raises - perform 3 sets with 10 to 12 repetitions
  • Planks - perform 3 sets and hold for 30 seconds

Day 2: Full body workout

  • Deadlift - perform 3 sets with 5 repetitions
  • Lat pulldown - perform 3 sets with 6 to 8 repetitions
  • Incline bench press - perform 3 sets with 6 to 8 repetitions
  • Shoulder press - perform 3 sets with 6 to 8 repetitions
  • Bicep curls - perform 3 sets with 8 to 10 repetitions
  • Machine fly reversed - perform 3 sets with 10 to 12 repetitions
  • Calf raises - perform 3 sets with 10 to 12 repetitions

Day 3: Full body workout

  • Leg press - perform 3 sets with 5 repetitions
  • T-bar row - perform 3 sets with 6 to 8 repetitions
  • Dumbbell fly - perform 3 sets with 6 to 8 repetitions
  • Shoulder press - perform 3 sets with 6 to 8 repetitions
  • Tricep extensions - perform 3 sets with 8 to 10 repetitions
  • Front raises - perform 3 sets with 10 to 12 repetitions
  • Calf raises - perform 3 sets with 10 to 12 repetitions
  • Decline crunches - perform 3 sets with 10 to 12 repetitions

Best workout routine for intermediates

Intermediates can move to a 4-day-per-week program. This program will stimulate new muscle growth.

Soreness is not always the case after a workout. Because you are an intermediate, you aren’t always sore after weight training.

Required equipment: A lot, you should go to the (local) gym!

Rest periods: 60 to 90 seconds

Intensity: Use weight that allows you to do the full body workouts. It should be challenging but doable. On the last set, perform the movement until you fail.

Day 1: Upper body 

  • Bench press - perform 4 sets with 6 to 8 repetitions
  • Bent-over rows - perform 3 sets with 6 to 8 repetitions
  • Shoulder press - perform 3 sets with 8 to 10 repetitions
  • Dips - perform 3 sets with 8 to 10 repetitions
  • Lat pulldown or pullup - perform 3 sets with 8 to 10 repetitions
  • Tricep extensions - perform 3 sets with 10 to 12 repetitions
  • Bicep curl - perform 3 sets with 10 to 12 repetitions

Day 2: Lower body

  • Squats - perform 4 sets with 6 to 8 repetitions
  • Leg press - perform 3 sets with 8 to 10 repetitions
  • Leg extensions - perform 3 sets with 10 to 12 repetitions
  • Lunges - perform 3 sets with 10 to 12 repetitions
  • Calf raises - perform 4 sets with 12 to 15 repetitions
  • Decline crunches - perform 4 sets with 12 to 15 repetitions

Day 3: Upper body

  • Overhead press - perform 4 sets with 6 to 8 repetitions
  • Incline bench press - perform 3 sets with 8 to 10 repetitions
  • Cable rows - perform 3 sets with 10 to 12 repetitions
  • Lateral raises - perform 3 sets with 10 to 12 repetitions
  • Face pulls - perform 3 sets with 10 to 12 repetitions
  • Shrugs - perform 3 sets with 10 to 12 repetitions
  • Tricep extensions - perform 3 sets with 10 to 12 repetitions
  • Concentration curls - perform 3 sets with 12 to 15 repetitions

Day 4: Lower body

  • Deadlift - perform 4 sets with 6 repetitions
  • Hip thrusts - perform 3 sets with 8 to 10 repetitions
  • Romanian deadlift - perform 3 sets with 10 to 12 repetitions
  • Leg curls - perform 3 sets with 10 to 12 repetitions
  • Calf raises - perform 4 sets with 12 to 15 repetitions
  • Leg raises - perform 4 sets with 12 to 15 repetitions

Best workout routine for advanced people

If you train consistently for at least 2 years, you can use this routine. 

In this program, you have to go to the gym 6 days a week. It is a push-pull-legs program and  you will hit every muscle group 2 times every week.

Required equipment: A lot, you should go to the (local) gym!

Rest periods: 60 to 90 seconds

Intensity: Use weight that allows you to do the full body workouts. It should be challenging but doable. On the last set, perform the movement until you fail.

Pull 1

  • Deadlift - perform 5 sets with 5 repetitions
  • Lat pulldown or pullup - perform 3 sets with 10 to 12 repetitions
  • Cable rows - perform 3 sets with 10 to 12 repetitions
  • Face pulls - perform 4 sets with 12 to 15 repetitions
  • Hammer curls - perform 4 sets with 10 to 12 repetitions
  • Shrugs - perform 4 sets with 10 to 12 repetitions
  • Bicep curls - perform 4 sets of 10 to 12 repetitions

Push 1 

  • Bench press - perform 5 sets with 5 repetitions
  • Shoulder press - perform 3 sets with 6 to 8 repetitions
  • Incline bench press - perform 3 sets with 10 to 12 repetitions
  • Tricep pushdowns - perform 4 sets with 10 to 12 repetitions 
  • Lateral raises - perform 4 sets with 10 to 12 repetitions
  • Cable crossovers - perform 4 sets with 10 to 12 repetitions

Legs 1

  • Squats - perform 5 sets with 5 repetitions
  • Romanian deadlift - perform 3 sets with 6 to 8 repetitions
  • Leg press - perform 3 sets with 8 to 10 repetitions
  • Leg curls - perform 4 sets with 10 to 12 repetitions
  • Calf raises - perform 4 sets with 12 to 15 repetitions
  • Decline crunches - perform 4 sets with 12 to 15 repetitions

Pull 2

  • Bent-over rows - perform 3 sets with 6 to 8 repetitions
  • Pull-ups - perform 3 sets with 8 to 10 repetitions
  • One-arm rows - perform 3 sets with 8 to 10 repetitions
  • Hyperextensions - perform 4 sets with 10 to 12 repetitions
  • Preacher curls - perform 4 sets with 10 to 12 repetitions
  • Shrugs - perform 4 sets with 10 to 12 repetitions
  • Dumbbell curls - perform 4 sets with 10 to 12 repetitions

Push 2

  • Overhead press - perform 5 sets with 5 repetitions
  • Bench press - perform 3 sets with 8 to 10 repetitions
  • Dips - perform 4 sets with 10 to 12 repetitions
  • Lateral raises - perform 4 sets with 10 to 12 repetitions
  • Cable fly - perform 4 sets with 10 to 12 repetitions
  • Overhead extensions - perform 4 sets with 10 to 12 repetitions

Legs 2

  • Squats - perform 5 sets with 5 repetitions
  • Glute-ham raises - perform 3 sets with 8 to 10 repetitions
  • Lunges - perform 3 sets with 10 to 12 repetitions per leg
  • Leg extensions - perform 4 sets with 10 to 12 repetitions
  • Calf raises - perform 4 sets with 12 to 15 repetitions
  • Leg raises - perform 4 sets with 12 to 15 repetitions

Program for lifters older than 40

You have to be careful when you are 40 or older, because injuries appear a lot faster.

You can follow the programs mentioned above, but you may want to substitute some exercises. 

For example dips, they are not really joint-friendly. Replace the dips for tricep pushdowns.

It is also a good idea to take 2 rest days, instead of 1. 

Nutrition

Your nutrition is really important if you want to build muscle and recover after a workout. 

Your main focus should be on your daily calories and your daily protein intake. 

If you want to build muscle, you should eat 200/300 kcal more than your maintenance caloric level. 

If you want to lose fat, you should eat 200/300 kcal less than your maintenance caloric level.

You can use apps like MyFitnessPal, which makes it really easy.


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