So, are you finally ready to get serious about fitness?
You’re tired of looking out of shape and want to really cut some fat, trim-up, and ultimately transform your body into something better.
Inevitably, every guy at this point asks the same questions: What’s The Best Workout Regimen for Men? How often do I lift? How long should my workout be? Should I alternate weight lifting plans? And so on.
Well, hold tight, we’re going to boil this all down to a science.
But before we do, entertain this:
Our ancient ancestors lifted heavy animal carcasses through rough terrain, scaled mountain sides, sprinted, climbed, and did a multitude of other physically demanding tasks. As a result, our bodies still anticipate this lifestyle.
Our heart, lungs and other organs are not yet evolved for a nine-hour Netflix binge followed by a high-sugar, high-sodium processed meal.
Those who think they have no time for bodily exercise will sooner or later have to find time for illness.
It’s no secret that most people live sedentary lives today. Because of this, the importance of a gym training plan happens to be at an all-time high.
So without further delay, let’s begin to break this down.
How Many Days a Week Should I Workout?
The best weekly workout routine is one that provides your muscles adequate rest, is easy to commit to, and works the whole body.
With that said, the best gym program, in my opinion, is the trusty old “3-day split,” as it adheres to the above three points perfectly.
My family has been in the health and fitness industry for nearly 100 years. We’ve trained everyone from the average joe to Olympic gold medalists.
The vast majority of these athletes built the bulk of their physic, at least initially, around a 3-day gym exercise schedule.
When taking into consideration things like recovery time, age, lifestyle, and genetics, this is a training frequency that just seems to work well for most people.
Some lifting routines require six or even seven days a week, so in contrast, three days seems very easy to keep up with. If you want to be successful over the long term, it’s best to keep your schedule simple and manageable.
Here is an example of a popular 3-day split schedule:
Day 1 (Monday) – Chest, triceps, deltoids
Day 2 (Wednesday) – Legs, abs.
Day 3 (Friday) – Back, biceps, forearms
In this example, you have a lower body workout on Wednesday to break up the upper body workouts you will be performing on Monday and Friday.
Even though both upper body exercises specifically target different muscle groups, the three-day rest period ensures a comfortable upper body recovery.
Lastly, for you 9-5pm, Monday-Friday people, you have the weekend totally free for rest and relaxation.
How Long Should My Workout Be?
Should I spend 90 minutes in the gym? 45 minutes? One hour?!
Most so-called “ideal” workout durations, including the trendy 45-minute session, have been frequently refuted by science.
I can go into this at length, but let’s just keep things simple. Here are the top three most crucial things you should be fixed on during your routine:
Maintain proper form, even if it requires slow movements.
Keep your workout flow moving by timing your resting periods (1 to 2 minutes) between sets.
Work a muscle group to failure on the last set of a given exercise. (Ex: If you do four sets of bicep curls, on set four, lift until your biceps can no longer perform the curl anymore.)
At first, a good rule of thumb is to give yourself at least an hour per gym session. But ultimately, the above three points will determine your typical workout duration.
Without the Right Diet You Won’t Gain Muscle or Lose Fat!
Ah, what to eat… This may be the most confusing topic of all! Fortunately, I’ve been studying natural nutrition most of my life. This is a topic I can clear up for you real quick!
One diet remains KING for overall health and that is the whole foods diet. What this means is that you eat foods that grow naturally and are unprocessed (vegetables, nuts, seeds, lean meats, and fruits).
These compounds are the building blocks that will help you reach really fast results in the gym!
[Related Article: Warning: “Healthy” Is Not Healthy]
Remember, even if you put on 20 pounds of muscle, it won’t do you justice under a heavy layer of fat. Trust me, stick to whole foods and your life will totally change.
But what about protein shakes?!
Okay, so yes, you do need protein. To be more specific, it’s recommended that you have one gram of protein per pound of bodyweight per day. This has been the standard metric in weightlifting/bodybuilding for decades.
Whole foods are best, but what if you don’t have time to prepare a meal and need something quick?
In this scenario, protein shakes seems like a fine idea. However, upon further investigation of the top-selling protein supplements, you may think twice about making a purchase.
After reviewing Amazon’s top 10 best selling protein powders, I found that many had anywhere from 10 or 30 additional ingredients besides protein isolate! So what is all this other stuff?
Well, among many popular brands I found many questionable ingredients such as aspartame, sucralose, hydrolyzed protein, MSG, and even propylene glycol!
These chemicals should be avoided and are completely unnecessary. If you do purchase protein isolate, look at the label and only choose one that contains minimal ingredients.
Remember this: your body is your slave; it works for you.
So you now understand when to workout, how often, for how long, and some nutritional basics. Now let’s look at the specific exercises that coincide with the 3-day split example I outlined earlier.
Day 1 (Monday) – Chest, Triceps, Deltoids
[CHEST] Flat Bench Dumbbell Fly – 3 sets x 6-10 reps
[CHEST] Incline Dumbbell Press – 3 sets x 6-10 reps
[TRICEPS] Dips – 3 sets x 6-10 reps
[TRICEPS] EZ Curl Skullcrushers – 3 sets x 6-10 reps
[DELTOIDS] Seated Shoulder Dumbbell Press – 3 sets x 6-10 reps
[DELTOIDS] Seated Lateral Raise – 3 sets x 6-10 reps
[CARDIO] 20 minutes (your choice, though we highly recommend rebounding)
Day 2 (Wednesday) – Legs, Abs.
[LEGS] Barbell Front Squats – 3 sets x 4-6 reps
[LEGS] Dumbbell Lunges – 3 sets x 6-10 reps
[LEGS] Barbell Standing Calf Raises – 3 sets x 6-10 reps
[ABDOMINALS] Crunches – 3 sets x 20 reps
[CARDIO] 20 minutes (your choice, though we highly recommend rebounding)
Day 3 (Friday) – Back, Biceps, Forearms
[BACK] Wide-Grip Pullup – 3 sets x 6-12 reps (Use a chair to assist if you need to)
[BACK] Barbell Row – 3 sets x 5-7 reps
[BICEPS] Dumbbell Curls – 3 sets x 6-10 reps
[BICEPS & FOREARMS] Dumbbell Hammer Curls – 3 sets x 6-10 reps
[CARDIO] 20 minutes (Your choice, though we highly recommend rebounding.)
How Long Should I Maintain This Routine Before Making Changes?
Scientific research has shown that it takes 66 days, on average, to fully establish a new habit.
If you’re not already working out consistently, I would recommend performing this routine long enough to make exercise a habit.
Once fitness has become a staple, you can begin to make changes to your routine without it jeopardizing your overall commitment.
Although this plan may not work for everyone, it is effective much more often than not. If you need to make adjustments, make them.
For instance, some people prefer the leg press machine over traditional squats or some would rather do dumbbell flys lying on the ground instead of a bench.
If these are the changes you have to make to feel comfortable, so be it! The important thing is that you actually make it to the gym. If you just walk through those doors three days a week, you’re going to win. On that topic, I would like to leave you with the following quote:
A “bad” workout done consistently is better than the “best” workout that you constantly skip.
Best of luck to you & thanks for reading!
*DISCLAIMER: Always consult a medical professional before applying the advice given throughout this website. While the articles on HMM are thoroughly researched, it is important to speak with your medical provider before starting a new exercise routine or introducing something new to your diet. We ourselves are NOT doctors, so the information we feature should not be used to replace any of your medications or lifestyle choices that have been recommended by your doctor. Read at your own risk and read our full disclaimer here.*