Weight Lifting Routines: Find the Best Workout Routine for You

Use this page to find weight lifting routines that work for you. I have compiled the top workout routines for building muscle and strength.

I made this section because I fully understand the frustration of searching for reliable weight lifting routines…

Unfortunately, the Internet is chock full of crap-grade workout programs. It seems like you have to jump backwards through hoops of fire just to find a decent training regimen online.

My goal is to make it simple for you to find the right weight lifting routine. I post only high quality programs and the accompanying details, all in one place. Check them out, below:

The Best Weight Lifting Routines

MYx8 – King of the Gym’s Official Workout Routine
Experience level: Beginner
Days per week: 3
Workout Type: Full Body
Workout Summary: This routine utilizes a full body weight training approach, effective for beginning strength athletes and bodybuilders alike. It is designed to increase strength and size while building and maintaining proper exercise technique. The program implements lower volume and high frequency, which allows you to quickly build a powerful foundation.

Starting Strength
Experience level: Beginner
Days per week: 3
Workout Type: Full Body
Workout Summary: Starting Strength is a classic beginner weight training program designed by world renowned trainer Mark Rippetoe. It gives the novice trainee a solid foundation to build upon. The program focuses on training the entire body by focusing on just a few compound lifts – no bells and whistles. Rippetoe’s weight lifting routine is a time-tested approach that efficiently maximizes strength, muscle growth, and technique.

Westside for Skinny Bastards (coming soon)
Experience level: “Advanced-Beginner,” Intermediate
Days per week: 3-4
Workout Type: Upper Body/Lower Body Split
Workout Summary: Westside for Skinny Bastards is a popular program designed by strength coach Joe DeFranco. It gets its name because it utilizes some of the Westside Barbell Club’s powerlifting principles. This program includes the max effort technique for maximizing strength, but also implements higher rep ranges for targeting growth. I like this workout routine because it effectively uses all rep ranges, while keep your body in balance with unilateral and core exercises.

Lyle McDonald’s Generic Bulking Routine (coming soon)
Experience Level: Intermediate
Days Per Week: 4
Workout Type: Upper Body/Lower Body Split
Workout Summary: Lyle McDonald is a leader when it comes to stamping out the BS in the fitness industry. His weight lifting routine is done in 6-8 week cycles. One cycle entails several weeks of heavy lifting followed by a 1-2 week deload. This maximizes progress by providing necessary rest before jumping into the next cycle. The workouts use moderate repetitions (6-8) for the major exercises and higher repetitions for the secondary exercises (10-12 or 12-15) for targeting size. However, you can tailor the cycles to emphasize strength.

Max-OT Routine
Experience level: Intermediate, Advanced
Days per week: 5
Workout Type: Body-Part Split
Workout Summary: Short for ‘maximum overload training,’ MAX-OT is designed to maximize muscle stimulation by using high intensity weight and going to failure on each set (4-6 reps). You train each body part just once a week using mainly compound exercises. Overall, MAX-OT yields impressive size and strength results. My only qualm is that the low frequency training detracts somewhat from strength gains.

Generic Weight Lifting Routines – Sample Templates

Full Body Workout Routine
Experience level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
Days per week: 3
Workout Type: Full Body
Workout Summary: Full body routines involve high-frequency training, meaning that you train each major muscle group very often – during each workout session (3x/week in this case). High-frequency training limits the total volume (reps x sets) you can perform per muscle group per workout; but this enables you to recover faster so that you can train more often. A full body workout routine is the best option for completely new trainees because it is the most efficient method for gaining strength and learning proper technique.

Upper Body/Lower Body Split Routine
Experience level: “Advanced-Beginner,” Intermediate, Advanced
Days per week: 3-4
Workout Type: Upper/Lower Body Split
Workout Summary: In contrast to full body workouts, these upper body/lower body split routines let you hit the upper or lower body muscles with more volume and/or intensity during a single workout session. You can use more volume and intensity due to a decrease in training frequency, although frequency can still be relatively high (1-2x per week per muscle group); thus you can still realize efficient progress in muscle size and strength. I tend not to recommend this type of program to complete beginners because full body routines do a better job of teaching proper technique and building foundational strength.

Push/Pull/Legs Routine
Experience level: “Advanced-Beginner,” Intermediate, Advanced
Days per week: 3
Workout Type: Push/Pull/Legs Split
Workout Summary: This type of workout routine is unique because its structure lets you to attack the goals of simultaneous strength and muscle gain with relative efficacy. Put differently: Push/pull/legs routines such as this one allow you to utilize the big compound exercises during each workout session (good for overall strength); but it also gives you the ability to “specialize” to a certain extent due to the nature of the split (good for muscle building – you can dedicate full sessions to upper body pushing muscles, upper body pulling muscles as well as legs).

Know Your Experience Level

Before you go off and start your new routine, do a critical reality check to ensure that the routine you’ve chosen will be effective for your true level of experience. Are you a beginner, intermediate, or advanced lifter? You won’t make impressive gains if you can’t answer this correctly, so be brutally honest with yourself…

Beginner Lifters. If you’re new to lifting (e.g. less than 12 months of quality strength progress), check out the beginner weight lifting routines, specifically designed for the novice weight trainee. It’s common to see beginners doing advanced routines when starting out (I did). Unfortunately, doing so only leads to sub-optimal results and an increased likelihood of injury – you have to crawl before you walk.

Be happy if you’re in the beginner stage so you can fully exploit your potential for rapid and obvious progress, known as “newbie gains.”

Intermediate & Advanced Lifters. Once you’ve been in the iron game long enough – and have the muscle and/or strength to prove it – you have some different options. Take a look at the intermediate or advanced workout routines. Or if you’re feeling creative, you can make your own weight training program.

Check Back for More Workouts

Hopefully you found a routine that will work great for you. I add new weight lifting routines to this page periodically. So bookmark this page and check back for updates of more workout routines that’ll get you bigger and stronger.

About the Author Alex

Hey! My name is Alex, and I'm the owner and author of King of the Gym. I started this website back in late 2009 during college, and it has been my pet project ever since. My goal is to help you learn proper weight training and nutrition principles so that you can get strong and build the physique of your dreams!

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Leave a Comment:

1 comment
James says April 26, 2016

Hello Alex,

I am looking for a new routine to build size and strength. I have been on a strength program for 1-1/2 years which have a squat 1.8xBW, 2xDL, 1.3xB. But in this time not gained much mass.

What program do you recommend as I have some strength but not the size.


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