A beginner workout needs to be basic. Along with exercises that are easy to learn you need a schedule that provides proper rest and that can be adjusted to fit an already busy schedule. Also each workout needs to be brief enough that it can be completed in 45 minutes to ensure maximum benefit of hormonal growth and recovery.
A 3-day split is a great starting point because the schedule fits nicely into a regular week for most people. Plus the muscles are grouped in a rather straightforward manner. Ideally you can do this split on a Monday, Wednesday, Friday schedule with rest days on Tuesday, Thursday, and the weekend. You need to take at least one day off between workouts. A lot of people new to working out like this schedule because it provides a lot of freedom.
Make sure to warm up your body with 10-15 minutes on the treadmill or Elliptical trainer. Take a minimal amount of rest between sets and exercises of 30 to 60 seconds. Increase the weight on each set with a goal of hitting your last set as an all-out effort to hit the prescribed number of reps. Push that last set to failure even if that goes beyond the rep range.
- Smith Machine Squats – 4 sets of 6 to 8 reps (The smith machine helps with form and safety which can be difficult for beginners)
- Hammer Strength Bench Press – 4 sets of 6 to 8 reps (The Hammer machine helps with form which can be difficult for beginners)
- Pull-ups (or pulldowns) – 4 sets of 8 to 10 reps (you can also use an assisted lift pull-up machine)
- Dumbbell Shoulder Press – 3 sets of 8 to 12 reps
- Barbell Curls – 3 sets of 8 to 12 reps
- Rope Triceps Extensions – 3 sets of 8 to 12 reps
- Machine Ab Crunches – 2 sets of 30+ reps
- Deadlifts – 5 sets of 6 to 8 reps
- Standing Calf Raises – 3 sets of 8 to 12 reps
- Barbell Rows – 4 sets of 6 to 8 reps
- Incline Dumbbell Bench Press – 4 sets of 6 to 8 reps
- Dumbbell Side Lateral Raises – 3 sets of 8 to 12 reps
- Hammer Curls – 3 sets of 8 to 12 reps (hold the dumbbells with thumbs up)
- Lying Barbell Triceps Extensions – 3 sets of 8 to 12 reps
- Dumbbell Lunges – 3 sets of 10 to 15 reps
- Barbell Front Rows – 3 sets of 8 to 12 reps
- Cable Rows – 3 sets of 8 to 12 reps
- Bench Press – 4 sets of 8 to 12 reps
- Dumbbell Curls – 3 sets of 8 to 12 reps
- Dips – 3 sets of 8 to 12 reps
- Jackknife Crunches – 2 sets of 30+ reps
Reps should be done slowly. Form is more crucial than weight lifted. In the beginning phases it is important to master form versus satisfying your ego with weight lifted.