3 Day Full Body Workout Routine for Beginners

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This full body workout routine for beginners involves training the entire body during each workout session, 3 days per week.

Full body training is the safest and most effective type of weight lifting routine for beginners. Here's why:

  • High Frequency Training. As a beginner, you should train each muscle group (using major compound exercises) as frequently as possible, while allowing for sufficient recovery. This means you only train each muscle just enough to stimulate growth, no more. You do not want demolish one muscle group per session by training to failure on every set and using super high volume (which is the case with the popular, yet less effective body part splits).
  • Building a Base of Strength. You should be gaining strength in just about every workout as beginner. Most of your newfound strength is from neural adaptation, or your nerves "learning" how send signals more efficiently. And so, the more often you can do squats and deadlifts, the more often you can improve your strength on those lifts.
  • Learning Proper Technique. I often stress the importance of learning how to use good form if you want long term progress and health. Full body routines are superior in this aspect since frequent practice of correct technique means that the movement will quickly become second nature to you.

Related: If you're past the beginner stage, but still want to do full body training, take a look at my Intermediate and Advanced Full Body Workout Routine.

Full Body Workout Routine for Beginners – Template

Week 1Workout AWorkout BWorkout A
Week 2Workout BWorkout AWorkout B

Workout AWorkout B
Squat - 3 x 5Deadlift - 2 x 8
Bench Press - 3 x 5Overhead Press - 3 x 5
Bent Over Row - 3 x 5(Weighted or Assisted) Pull Up - 3 x 5

Related: See similar full body workout routines for beginners: MYx8 Routine and Rippetoe's Starting Strength Program.

Beginner Full Body Workout Routine – Guidelines

Here are some important training guidelines you must follow to get the most out of this routine:

Warm Up

Always warm up before working out. Use this warm up routine to get ready.

Rest Time Between Sets

Aim for 2-3 minutes of recovery time between sets. You should feel ready to go again for your next set.

Weight & Progression

Use the same weight for each work set. The last set should be very difficult to complete, and it's okay to fail.

Add as much weight as you can per workout as possible, while still maintaining acceptable form. Beginners should be able to add weight nearly every workout session.

To wrap up, I want to to stress the importance of full body training for beginners. If you're new to lifting, I urge you to use this or a similar full body workout routine for beginners. Avoid body part splits like the plague. You can give those a try once you've got a solid year or two of training under your belt.

9 thoughts on “3 Day Full Body Workout Routine for Beginners”

  1. Hey bro! Cool tips and routine. By the way, can you also add abs workout, especially obliques? Thanks.

  2. Hi there,

    Great website. I’m in my mid-40’s and haven’t lifted weights in God knows how long. I’m 100% beginner. Would you recommend going with the workout outlined in this article or your Myx8 Routine?


    1. Both will work just fine. I’d recommend going with the MYx8 routine just because it has a little bit more variety in terms of exercises (i.e. it’s a bit more fun and will keep you more engaged with your training–and therefore more likely to build the activity of weight traing into a long-term habit). Good luck!

  3. Hello, thanks for this article. I’m looking for something like this that is compound exercises, basically to keep the amount of actually weight training down because it suuuuuucckkkkks (but I want to be bigger!). I have two questions, if you have the time to answer them; Would there be any detriment to doing sets of 8 instead of 5? With only 4 exercises per session, each with 3 sets, I could definitely manage sets of 8 reps instead of 5 if it would be beneficial.
    My other questions is if I wanted to throw in abs to one of the workout days (probably with a roller frame thing), how many sets/reps would you recommend?
    Kind regards, Steve.

    1. Both of those are reasonable changes–especially if it’ll help you stay on the routine long-term.

      For abs, start with 3-4 sets of 10-20 reps.

      Happy lifting,

    1. Sure, you could substitute them for bent over rows on workout A. I would change them to 5 sets of 3 reps, though, because power cleans are generally best done for lower reps.

  4. 4 day full body version? what do you think?
    Exercise Sets x Reps
    Squat 3 x 5 – 8
    Bench Press 3 x 5
    Bent Over Row 3 x 5
    Close grip bench press 3 x 8 – 12
    Barbell curl 3 x 8 – 12
    Lateral raises/Facepulls 4 x 12-15
    Exercise Sets x Reps
    Romanian Deadlift 3 x 5- 8
    Overhead Press 3 x 5
    Pull Up/Chin ups 3 x 5
    Incline BP 3×8-12
    T-Bar rows 3×8-12
    Dumbell curl 3×8-15
    Skullcrushers 3×8-15
    Exercise Sets x Reps
    Squat 3 x 5 – 8
    Bench Press 3 x 5
    Bent Over Row 3 x 5
    Close grip bench press 3 x 8 – 12
    Barbell curl 3 x 8 – 12
    Facepulls 4 x 15-20
    Exercise Sets x Reps
    Romanian Deadlift 3 x 5- 8
    Overhead Press 3 x 5
    Chin ups 3 x 5
    Incline BP 3×8-12
    DMB Rows 3×8-12
    Dumbell curl 3×8-15
    Skullcrushers 3×8-15

    1. That’s quite a bit of volume especially when training full body 4x/week. Definitely not for beginners. Even if you’re more advanced, I’d reduce the volume somewhat, unless you’re used to that much volume.

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