Gym Workout Plan for Men

Author: Lee Bell

March 2nd 2018

Whether you’re here because you want to build muscle, gain brute strength or shred to single digit body fat, we’ve got you covered with a gym workout plan series for men.

In this detailed we guide we take you through every gym workout plan you need to change the way you look.

From muscle mass and fat loss, to strength and conditioning, we’ve included it all.

Our expert panel of trainers and coaches have spent hours devising the most effective, efficient workouts just for you.

If your goal is to improve your fitness for sport, or you want to spend time getting jacked and strong just to look better, we’ve got the tools right here.

All you have to do is pick which plan best suits your goal.

You just need to bring the motivation and commitment,,, and the results are guaranteed.

What does this program cover?

Goal:Muscle building, strength, fat loss
Aimed at:Beginners to advanced level men
Program duration:4-12 weeks
Workout duration:20-60 minutes
Equipment needed:Barbell, dumbbell, resistance machines

Skinny Cure: Muscle Building Gym Workout Plan for Beginners

This first gym workout plan is based at beginners who want to kick start their strength and start to build noticeable amounts of muscle.

If you’re naturally weak and skinny you shouldn’t give up all hope – this program is the cure you need.

Even if you’ve tried to bulk up before and not achieved the lean mass you’re after you should never give up.

Now here’s the thing.

Get stronger and you’ll grow muscle. Boost muscle and you’ll enhance your strength.

While the two are not directly related, it’s difficult to achieve one without the other.

This plan is designed to take you from zero to hero in as little as 8 weeks.

Be consistent – build positive habits and don’t skip workouts

Okay, this might be the sexiest aspect of muscle building. But it’s certainly the most important.

The first part of any successful body transformation plan is to make sure you hit the gym on a regular basis.

Even with the best tools, a lack of consistency, adherence and effort will leave you feeling demotivated.

Good habits are key.

Build gym sessions around your life until they become part of your daily routine. Don’t set unreachable goals such as going to the gym at 5 am each morning if you’ll suit evening workouts better.

Plan sessions like you’d plan meetings or appointments.

And stick to them.

Positive lifestyle habits are important.

Before you know it you’ll have gone from “Can I fit the gym in today?”, to “I’m off to the gym, everything else can wait”.

And the rest will become so much easier once those habits are in place.

Use full-body workouts

Forget what your buddy Chad is doing in his workout. If he’s been training consistently for months and follows a split routine over 5 workouts a week that’s great for him.

But not for you.

As a beginner, it’s not advised to train with weights more frequently than 3 sessions per week – certainly for the first couple of months anyway.

You have to balance the stimulus of weight training against your ability to recover. and as a beginner, the latter takes a while.

Full-body workouts are great for building muscle mass, and in some studies have even been shown to be better than split training for building muscle in beginners [1].

You’ll train each of your major muscles in every workout, meaning your overall weekly volume is high. You get minimal residual fatigue so you can lift heavy and productively in every set too.

Lift big and use progressive overload

If there’s one single element of training that either makes or breaks your ability to build huge muscle mass it’s progressive overload.

As one of the main principles of resistance training, it simply means gradually increasing the intensity of your workouts to challenge your body.

If you don’t provide a stimulus your muscles won’t grow. But by gradually upping the weights you lift, the number of reps or reducing your rest times you use, you’ll keep forcing your body to protect itself.

…by developing slabs of muscle mass [2].

Focus on the big lifts

When it comes to maximizing ‘bang for your buck’ exercises that use more muscle, the bigger lifts always come out on top.

Referred to as compound lifts, exercises such as squats, presses and pulls work more muscle than a calf raise or an adductor machine for example.

And the research is pretty conclusive that these multi-muscle resistance exercises build more lean muscle mass, functional capacity and even greater strength too [3].

Does that mean that isolation exercises are useless?

No, not at all.

They’re just not as efficient as multi-muscle lifts for building strength or muscle.

You can include bicep curls, leg curls and triceps extensions into a beginner gym workout plan if you want. To an extent they help you reach progressive overload.

But in the early days, compound has to be your priority.

Number ExerciseRepsSetsRest Time
1DB bench press8-1532-3 minutes
2DB Deadlift8-1532-3 minutes
3Wide grip lat pulldown8-1532-3 minutes
4DB (or BB) overhead press8-1532-3 minutes
5DB Static lunge8-1532-3 minutes
6Wide grip seated row8-1532-3 minutes
7Leg press8-1532-3 minutes

Choose weights that are challenging for 8 reps. For progressive overload, aim to work from 8 reps upwards in each session, and once you can do 15 reps, increase the weight.

Follow this workout 3 times per week for 8 weeks before progressing to a more intermediate level plan.

Lean and muscular bodybuilder in blue shorts performing bench press in the gym

Advanced Muscle Building Workout Plan

If you’ve graduated from beginner training and you’ve already started to see some improvements in strength and lean mass, you’re ready for a new challenge.

Let’s ramp it up!

The aim here is to smash through your strength barriers and add lumps of lean muscle to your already athletic frame.

While full-body workouts are still effective at any level, you’ll have started to build a ‘resistance’ to the same kind of stimulus.

So in this gym workout plan you’ll be chopping and changing your approach to slap your muscles around the face and force them to grow even more.

It will get you out of your plateau, and boost your motivation with some fresh, new ideas.

This intermediate-advanced level program should be run for 8-12 weeks before you take a week of to rest completely.

Note: This gym workout plan is not for beginners. It is designed for those with at least a year of lifting experience.

It’s a tough plan, so if you can’t make it to 8 weeks without a break that’s fine. Add in a week off when your body needs it.

Using a more advanced split to boost muscle mass

In this 4-day gym workout plan you’ll be performing the following split:

  • Upper body push
  • Legs
  • Upper body pull
  • Legs

At this stage you’ve got enough endurance, recovery capability and resilience to start to pile on the training volume. This means you’ll not only be focusing on compound exercises, but also some muscle-enhancing isolation lifts too.

The name of the game here is to squeeze as much from your muscles as possible.

And to take things one step further, you’ll also be adding in pyramid training to some of the more complex lifts.

This challenging method of training sees you using different rep ranges to target strength, muscle mass and endurance [3].

NumberPush Legs APull Legs B
1*BB bench press*Hack squatBB Bent over row*BB Squat
2DB Incline pressBB Good morning*Wide grip pulldown*DB Romanian deadlift
3DB Flyes Leg extensionDB rear flyesLeg press
4*BB Overhead press*BB hip thrust Rope cable facepullLying leg curl
5DB lateral raiseSeated leg curl*DB shrugReverse hyperextension
6DB Decline skullcrusherDB Alternate lungeEZ bar bicep curlStanding calf raise
7Rope cable extensionHanging leg raiseIncline hammer curlSeated calf raise

For the bigger lifts marked (*) you should follow a 6/10/15 rep pyramid. You also need to allow 3-5 minutes rest between sets. For all other lifts, aim for 3 x 10-15 reps and limit your rest to 1-2 minutes between sets.

Gym Workout Plan for Weight Loss

Before we get into the meat of this program it’s worth noting that no program will shred body fat without the right dietary support.

At risk of using the annoying saying – “abs are made in the kitchen”, diet does become your priority when trying to lose body fat, because calories make or break a fat loss program.

But if you combine a calorie deficit (taking in less energy than you burn off each day) with this calorie-scorching gym workout plan, you’ll be hitting single digit body fat in no time at all.

Using a circuit-style approach called high-intensity resistance training, you’ll be using compound exercises strategically ordered to maximize heart rate, body temperature and fat oxidation.

It’s your time to get lean and muscular all at the same time.

Fat shredding HIRT session 1:

NumberExercise Reps
A1Dumbbell Incline bench press6-10
A2DB Front squat6-10
A4DB Romanian deadlift6-10
A5DB Standing military press6-10

Calorie melting HIRT session 2:

NumberExercise Reps
B1BB Clean and Press6-10
B2BB back squat6-10
B3DB Renegade row6-10
B4DB lunges6-10
B5DB bent over row6-10

Fitness and fat loss HIRT session 3:

NumberExercise Reps
C1Double kettlebell swing6-10
C2Double kettlebell snatch6-10
C3Alternate kettlebell row6-10
C4Kettlebell push-up6-10
C5Double kettlebell squat (rack position)6-10

In the first of these 3 mini-circuits you have 10 minutes to complete as many reps as possible. Choose heavy weights and plan your strategy in advance. Move from one exercise to the next as quick as you can and record your total reps. Rest 3-5 minutes and do the same with mini-circuit 2. and than 3. The idea is to beat your total rep count the next time you try the workout.

  1. Schoenfeld, BJ et al. Influence of Resistance Training Frequency on Muscular Adaptations in Well-Trained Men. J Strength Cond Res. 2015; 29(7): 1821-9
  2. Peterson, MD et al. Progression of volume load and muscular adaptation during resistance exercise. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2011; 111(6): 1063-1071
  3.  Ribeiro, AS et al. Effects of Traditional and Pyramidal Resistance Training Systems on Muscular Strength, Muscle Mass, and Hormonal Responses in Older Women: A Randomized Crossover Trial. J Strength Cond Res. 2017; 31(7): 1888-1896

Comments are closed