Health

The 3-day gym split for beginners.

With it being January our fitness guru has put together some useful information if you are looking for a routine to get you started.

So, is this routine suitable for me?

This 3-day split is aimed at beginners, both male and female, those returning to the gym after an absence from training or looking to bring some structure to their existing gym routine. Being just 3 days of the week, it is very manageable, and you will have sufficient recovery time.

What does the schedule include?

You will workout Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The weekend and days in between you’ll rest. By rest if possible try and get some exercise in, just not a gym workout. Go for a walk with the dog, a cycle, play some sports, eat well (plenty of protein-based foods) and drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.

This gym routine should last you for 8 weeks or so before switching things up.

On Monday you will workout:
Back and Biceps.

On Wednesday you will workout:
Chest and Triceps.

On Friday you will workout:
Legs and Shoulders.

What are the exercises I’ll be doing on these days and how should I do them correctly avoiding injury?

Firstly, our focus is on the technique, not the weight on the bar or machine we’re using. Proper technique is EVERYTHING. If you are serious about building some muscle or getting definition, proper technique will prevent injury and get the best results.

Remember to warm up by doing some light cardio. Stretch before and after each workout and rest for apx 40 seconds between sets.

Back and Biceps:
Wide Grip Pull Up – 3 Sets, 8-10 reps.
The deadlift – 3 Sets, 8-10 reps.
Seated Row – 3 Sets, 8-10 reps.
Barbell Curl (Standing) – 3 Sets, 10 reps.
Hammer Curl (Dumbbell) 3 Sets, 10 reps.

Chest and Triceps:
Barbell Bench Press – 3 Sets, 6-8 reps.
Incline Dumbbell Press – 3 Sets, 10 reps.
Dumbell Flys – 3 Sets, 6-8 reps.
*Skull Crushers (EZ-bar) – 2 Sets, 6 reps.
Barbell tricep extension – 3 Sets, 6-8 reps.

*Please use no weights on the bar if trying for the first time…”skull crushers”.

Legs and Shoulders:
45 Degree Leg Press – 3 Sets, 10 reps.
Barbell Squats 3 Sets, 6-8 reps.
Leg Curl – 3 Sets, 10 reps.
Barbell Military Press 3 Sets, 6-8 reps.
Dumbbell Lateral Raise – 3 Sets, 8-10 reps.

For those that don’t live near a gym, or would prefer to workout at home keep an eye out for our upcoming article on a comprehensive home workout with no free weight requirements.

Guidance and form advice. Source -Thanks To Bodybuilding.com

If you are unsure about any aspect of these exercise then consider asking the personal trainer n your local gym for advice. YouTube also has some great tips, advice and form instructions so simply just search YouTube for the particular exercise you want help with.

Back and Biceps:

  • Wide Grip Pull Up

Take a wide grip on a pull-up bar, hanging freely with your arms extended. This will be your starting position.Pull yourself up by flexing the elbows and adducting the glenohumeral joint. Do not swing or use momentum to complete the movement. Attempt to get your chin above your hands.
Pause at the top of the motion before lowering yourself to the starting position.
Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

 

 

  • The deadlift

Approach the bar so that it is centered over your feet. Your feet should be about hip-width apart. Bend at the hip to grip the bar at shoulder-width allowing your shoulder blades to protract. Typically, you would use an alternating grip.
With your feet and your grip set, take a big breath and then lower your hips and flex the knees until your shins contact the bar. Look forward with your head. Keep your chest up and your back arched, and begin driving through the heels to move the weight upward.
After the bar passes the knees aggressively pull the bar back, pulling your shoulder blades together as you drive your hips forward into the bar.
Lower the bar by bending at the hips and guiding it to the floor.#

 

  • Seated Row

For this exercise you will need access to a low pulley row machine with a V-bar. Note: The V-bar will enable you to have a neutral grip where the palms of your hands face each other. To get into the starting position, first sit down on the machine and place your feet on the front platform or crossbar provided making sure that your knees are slightly bent and not locked.
Lean over as you keep the natural alignment of your back and grab the V-bar handles.
With your arms extended pull back until your torso is at a 90-degree angle from your legs. Your back should be slightly arched and your chest should be sticking out. You should be feeling a nice stretch on your lats as you hold the bar in front of you. This is the starting position of the exercise.
Keeping the torso stationary, pull the handles back towards your torso while keeping the arms close to it until you touch the abdominals. Breathe out as you perform that movement. At that point you should be squeezing your back muscles hard. Hold that contraction for a second and slowly go back to the original position while breathing in.
Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

  • Barbell Curl (Standing)

Stand up with your torso upright while holding a barbell at a shoulder-width grip. The palm of your hands should be facing forward and the elbows should be close to the torso. This will be your starting position.
While holding the upper arms stationary, curl the weights forward while contracting the biceps as you breathe out. Tip: Only the forearms should move.
Continue the movement until your biceps are fully contracted and the bar is at shoulder level. Hold the contracted position for a second and squeeze the biceps hard.
Slowly begin to bring the bar back to starting position as your breathe in.
Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

 

  • Hammer Curl (Dumbbell)

Stand up with your torso upright and a dumbbell on each hand being held at arms length. The elbows should be close to the torso.
The palms of the hands should be facing your torso. This will be your starting position.
Now, while holding your upper arm stationary, exhale and curl the weight forward while contracting the biceps. Continue to raise the weight until the biceps are fully contracted and the dumbbell is at shoulder level. Hold the contracted position for a brief moment as you squeeze the biceps. Tip: Focus on keeping the elbow stationary and only moving your forearm.
After the brief pause, inhale and slowly begin the lower the dumbbells back down to the starting position.
Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Chest and Triceps:

  • Barbell Bench Press

Lie back on a flat bench. Using a medium width grip (a grip that creates a 90-degree angle in the middle of the movement between the forearms and the upper arms), lift the bar from the rack and hold it straight over you with your arms locked. This will be your starting position.
From the starting position, breathe in and begin coming down slowly until the bar touches your middle chest.
After a brief pause, push the bar back to the starting position as you breathe out. Focus on pushing the bar using your chest muscles. Lock your arms and squeeze your chest in the contracted position at the top of the motion, hold for a second and then start coming down slowly again. Tip: Ideally, lowering the weight should take about twice as long as raising it.

 

  • Incline Dumbbell Press

Lie back on an incline bench with a dumbbell in each hand atop your thighs. The palms of your hands will be facing each other.
Then, using your thighs to help push the dumbbells up, lift the dumbbells one at a time so that you can hold them at shoulder width.
Once you have the dumbbells raised to shoulder width, rotate your wrists forward so that the palms of your hands are facing away from you. This will be your starting position.
Be sure to keep full control of the dumbbells at all times. Then breathe out and push the dumbbells up with your chest.
Lock your arms at the top, hold for a second, and then start slowly lowering the weight. Tip Ideally, lowering the weights should take about twice as long as raising them.
Repeat the movement for the prescribed amount of repetitions.
When you are done, place the dumbbells back on your thighs and then on the floor. This is the safest manner to release the dumbbells.

  • Dumbbell Flyes

Lie down on a flat bench with a dumbbell on each hand resting on top of your thighs. The palms of your hand will be facing each other.
Then using your thighs to help raise the dumbbells, lift the dumbbells one at a time so you can hold them in front of you at shoulder width with the palms of your hands facing each other. Raise the dumbbells up like you’re pressing them, but stop and hold just before you lock out. This will be your starting position.
With a slight bend on your elbows in order to prevent stress at the biceps tendon, lower your arms out at both sides in a wide arc until you feel a stretch on your chest. Breathe in as you perform this portion of the movement. Tip: Keep in mind that throughout the movement, the arms should remain stationary; the movement should only occur at the shoulder joint.
Return your arms back to the starting position as you squeeze your chest muscles and breathe out. Tip: Make sure to use the same arc of motion used to lower the weights.
Hold for a second at the contracted position and repeat the movement for the prescribed amount of repetitions.

  • Skull Crushers

Using a close grip, lift the EZ bar and hold it with your elbows in as you lie on the bench. Your arms should be perpendicular to the floor. This will be your starting position.
Keeping the upper arms stationary, lower the bar by allowing the elbows to flex. Inhale as you perform this portion of the movement. Pause once the bar is directly above the forehead.
Lift the bar back to the starting position by extending the elbow and exhaling.
Repeat.

 

 

  • Barbell tricep extension

To begin, stand up holding a barbell or e-z bar using a pronated grip (palms facing forward) with your hands closer than shoulder width apart from each other. Your feet should be about shoulder width apart.
Now elevate the barbell above your head until your arms are fully extended. Keep your elbows in. This will be your starting position.
Keeping your upper arms close to your head and elbows in, perpendicular to the floor, lower the resistance in a semicircular motion behind your head until your forearms touch your biceps. Tip: The upper arms should remain stationary and only the forearms should move. Breathe in as you perform this step.
Go back to the starting position by using the triceps to raise the barbell. Breathe out as you perform this step.
Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Legs and Shoulders:

  • 45 Degree Leg Press

Using a leg press machine, sit down on the machine and place your legs on the platform directly in front of you at a medium (shoulder width) foot stance. (Note: For the purposes of this discussion we will use the medium stance described above which targets overall development; however you can choose any of the three stances described in the foot positioning section).
Lower the safety bars holding the weighted platform in place and press the platform all the way up until your legs are fully extended in front of you. Tip: Make sure that you do not lock your knees. Your torso and the legs should make a perfect 90-degree angle. This will be your starting position.
As you inhale, slowly lower the platform until your upper and lower legs make a 90-degree angle.
Pushing mainly with the heels of your feet and using the quadriceps go back to the starting position as you exhale.
Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions and ensure to lock the safety pins properly once you are done. You do not want that platform falling on you fully loaded.

  • Barbell Squats

Begin with the barbell supported on top of the traps. The chest should be up and the head facing forward. Adopt a hip-width stance with the feet turned out as needed.
Descend by flexing the knees, refraining from moving the hips back as much as possible. This requires that the knees travel forward. Ensure that they stay align with the feet. The goal is to keep the torso as upright as possible.
Continue all the way down, keeping the weight on the front of the heel. At the moment the upper legs contact the lower legs reverse the motion, driving the weight upward.

 

 

  • Leg Curl

Adjust the machine lever to fit your height and sit on the machine with your back against the back support pad.
Place the back of lower leg on top of padded lever (just a few inches under the calves) and secure the lap pad against your thighs, just above the knees. Then grasp the side handles on the machine as you point your toes straight (or you can also use any of the other two stances) and ensure that the legs are fully straight right in front of you. This will be your starting position.
As you exhale, pull the machine lever as far as possible to the back of your thighs by flexing at the knees. Keep your torso stationary at all times. Hold the contracted position for a second.
Slowly return to the starting position as you breathe in.
Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

 

  • Barbell Military Press

Start by placing a barbell that is about chest high on a squat rack. Once you have selected the weights, grab the barbell using a pronated (palms facing forward) grip. Make sure to grip the bar wider than shoulder width apart from each other.
Slightly bend the knees and place the barbell on your collar bone. Lift the barbell up keeping it lying on your chest. Take a step back and position your feet shoulder width apart from each other.
Once you pick up the barbell with the correct grip length, lift the bar up over your head by locking your arms. Hold at about shoulder level and slightly in front of your head. This is your starting position.Lower the bar down to the collarbone slowly as you inhale.
Lift the bar back up to the starting position as you exhale.
Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

  • Dumbbell Lateral Raise

Pick a couple of dumbbells and stand with a straight torso and the dumbbells by your side at arms length with the palms of the hand facing you. This will be your starting position.
While maintaining the torso in a stationary position (no swinging), lift the dumbbells to your side with a slight bend on the elbow and the hands slightly tilted forward as if pouring water in a glass. Continue to go up until you arms are parallel to the floor. Exhale as you execute this movement and pause for a second at the top.
Lower the dumbbells back down slowly to the starting position as you inhale.
Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

 

 

For those that don’t live near a gym, or would prefer to workout at home keep an eye out for our upcoming article on a comprehensive home workout with no free weight requirements.

We hope that this article will help you reach your gym goals. Drop us an email and let us know what you think.

About the author

John

John is a long time fan of all things apple, coffee and life.

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