If you have been looking for a good sample weekly workout schedule, you have come to right place. When creating your personal training schedule, it’s important to keep in mind your personal schedule so you can take rest days when you need them.
With this schedule, it’s flexible enough that you can take the two rest days literally any day throughout the week. And you can cover the various muscle groups in any order you want.
If there’s an area that you’re focusing on, then it’s best to schedule it after a rest day. That way, you will have the most energy to be able to tackle that particular area.
It’s also important to note that the smaller muscle groups that recover quickly (abs and calves) are not given days. But can be tagged onto several workouts throughout the week.
Sample Weekly Workout Plan
Here’s a weekly workout plan that details which muscles you have to workout each day. Even though this is sample, it is well designed to get you started.
Day 1: Arms
On this day, you’ll be focusing on your biceps and triceps. Your bicep and triceps muscles are responsible for allowing you to lift things. And are often what many people focus on when muscle building. This is because your arms are typically the most visible part of your body. So, it’s the first part of you that people will notice after you’ve been doing plenty of muscle building.
Best biceps exercises:
- Barbell curl
- Standing biceps cable curl
- Incline dumbbell curl
- Concentration curl
- Reverse-grip bent-over row
Best triceps exercises:
- Upright dip
- Triceps push-down
- Close-grip bench press
- Bench dip
- Dumbbell overhead triceps press
Day 2: Legs
This day focuses primarily on the quadriceps and hamstrings, and would be a good day to add in calf muscle exercises to cover the entire leg. While many people tend to avoid these difficult exercises, it’s important to make sure you’re exercising your legs as much as the rest of your body so that you can have an overall great look rather than looking like Buzz Lightyear.
Best legs exercises:
- Barbell back squat
- Barbell front squat
- Hack squat sled
- Seated leg press
- Barbell lunge
Best calf exercises:
- Seated calf raise
- Donkey calf raise
- Leg press machine toe press
- Standing calf raise
- Standing reverse calf raise
Day 3: Shoulders
On this day, you’ll focus on building up your shoulder muscles as well as your upper trapezius muscles, which are along your upper back and neck area. These are another important area so make sure that you have an overall great look after muscle building. If you don’t do plenty of shoulder and trap exercises, then your bulky arms will look out of place.
Best Shoulder Exercises:
- Seated military press
- Standing military press
- Dumbbell front raise
- Dumbbell rear lateral raise
- Dumbbell side lateral raise
Best Trapezius Exercises:
- Leverage shrug
- Smith machine shrug
- Dumbbell shrug
- Barbell Shrug
- Kettlebell sumo high pull
Day 4: Chest
This day is all about building up those chest muscles, and is also a great day to throw in some extra ab muscle workouts. Chest exercises will sculpt your chest muscles and will help you really round out your muscular look, especially when you’re getting plenty of abdominal workouts in as well. Women, too, should make sure they’re doing chest exercises.
Best Chest Exercises:
- Flat bench dumbbell press
- Barbell bench press
- Low-incline barbell bench press
- Seated machine chest press
- Incline bench cable fly
Best Abdominal Exercises:
- Machine crunch
- Hanging leg raise
- Kneeling cable crunch
- Knee raise
Day 5: Back
On this day, you’ll work out your back muscles which can help improve your posture. Having strong back muscles may also help to relieve back pain. But it’s important to make sure you’re balancing them out with abdominal exercises since these two groups work together to support your whole upper body. And, of course, back exercises will help you look great by sculpting your back.
Best Back Exercises:
- Bent-over barbell deadlift
- Barbell deadlift
- Standing T-bar row
- Wide-grip pull-up
- Close-grip pull-down
Days 6 and 7: Rest
Taking these two days out of your week to rest are vital for your success as they give your body time to recover and build up your muscle. If you’re worried about losing momentum or falling out of the habit of exercising by taking days off. You can schedule in some light or medium-intensity cardio during those days, which won’t strain your muscles.
In the next part we will delve deeper into rest & recovery which is one of the most important parts of a successful muscle building program.
Rest & Recovery
Rest and recovery are as necessary for muscle-building as exercise. This is because of the way muscle building actually works. During exercise, muscles are strained and tiny tears occur in the muscle fibers. Then, while you’re resting, your body fixes the tears and builds the muscles up more than before in order to ensure they can handle the strain that you put on them.
Because rest and recovery are so important, there is a right and wrong way to do it. If you’re not focusing on recovery and just doing nothing but exercising for muscle-building. Then there’s a good chance that you’re not going to see the results that you want. Recovery starts the moment you finish your final set, and ends the next time you start exercising.
Here’s what you need to do to recover immediately following an exercise routine:
As soon as you finish your last set, you need to cool your muscles down. After all, they’ve been worked hard and will need some encouragement to get back to their normal state. Just as you should have warmed up your muscles before you started with some light exercise, it’s important to cool down with some light exercise as well.
Simply walking for a little while and moving the muscles you exercised should be enough to help your muscles relax and begin the recovery process. This light cardio will also get blood flowing through your body which should help with the removal of toxins that are released during exercise. Most of the time, you’ll only need a 5- to 10-minute cooldown after strength training.
Stretching does a lot more than make you more flexible. It’s actually a vital part of recovery from muscle-building exercises. Most of the time, you should expect to commit to stretching for at least half the amount of time you were exercising for. This is because you will need to stretch every muscle that you used for at least one minute.
When you do strength training, your muscle gets contracted repeatedly. If you return to your business without stretching it out, it will get cramped up and have a hard time returning to normal. By stretching it out, it gives the muscle fibers time to return to their normal length. This prevents a lot of the soreness that comes following a workout.
While you should be getting plenty of carbs before your workout, you’ll want to make sure you start eating protein within half an hour of your workout. This helps your muscles to start rebuilding themselves.
You may also need to include some carbs with your post-workout snack to replenish your supply. But be careful not to over-do it and wind up taking in more calories than necessary (use our calorie calculator to monitor your daily intake)
Get Potassium and Calcium
Both potassium and calcium are important for the rebuilding process of muscles, so you’ll want to make sure that you’re getting plenty of both. While you could certainly take a supplement, it’s easier, cheaper, and better for you to simply eat a banana shortly after working out. If you are getting your post-workout protein in shake form, be sure to toss in a banana or two!
Although you should already be getting plenty of water throughout the day to keep yourself hydrated and healthy, it’s especially important to drink water following a workout. The primary reason for this is that your body needs water to rebuild muscle. Equally important is the fact that water helps remove toxins from your body which you created during your workout.
Here’s what you need to be doing throughout the rest of the day to recover:
Sleep 7 – 9 Hours Every Night
Your body does the most recovery and repair of cells while you are asleep. So, it should be no surprise that you need to get plenty of good quality sleep if you want to get the most out of your muscle-building routines. While some people can get away with 7 hours every night, some athletes and those who are naturally more active will require 9 hours every night. Find what works for you.
More important than just the number of hours you get is the quality of sleep. Even if you’re getting in the right number of hours, if you’re getting poor sleep, then you’ll still wake up feeling exhausted and your body won’t recover. Take steps like turning off all electronics at least an hour before bed, and avoiding all caffeine after noon so that you can get a great night of sleep.
We’ve gone over it in details before. But it’s so important that we’re going to mention it again here. You need to make sure you’re getting the right balance of macronutrients and sourcing them from whole foods every day. Keep in mind that not every meal should be perfectly balanced, since you’ll likely need more carbs in the morning to get you going and then more protein in the evening to wind you down.
The physical stress that you put on your body during exercise is what allows you to build muscle. However, if you have chronic stress from your work or personal life, then this can do some serious damage to your body. When you throw intense strength workouts on top of an already exhausted body, it greatly increases your risk that disease or injury will occur
Now that we’ve learned how to eat, train and recover, it’s time to talk about some of the more common beginner mistakes and how you can avoid them like a pro, ensuring you meet the goals we set earlier.
Beginner Mistakes To Avoid
There are so many mistakes that beginners make when they start bodybuilding, and there are some very good reasons to avoid them. The obvious one is that some of these could cause you to injure yourself, which is something you will certainly want to avoid.
Another big danger, however, is that you will learn bad habit in the beginning which will keep you from reaching your goals.
Here are several beginner mistakes to avoid when you begin muscle building:
Pushing Yourself Too Hard
The idea of “no pain, no gain” is a false one, and the sooner you get it out of your head, the better off you’ll be. People that push themselves until they hurt themselves will find that pain is just pain. And if you push yourself to the point of injury, then you end up losing out on valuable training time as you wait for the muscle to recover.
If your muscle hurts for days following a workout, you went too far. You only need to push yourself slightly beyond your limit until you activate your muscle fibers. Pushing yourself beyond this could cause tearing and muscle damage which then takes a long time to repair. For some people, getting injured early in their muscle-building journey could turn them off from it permanently.
Not Having a Schedule
One of the most important things you can do for yourself is to create a schedule that you can stick with. It will help you know exactly when you’re doing what. It can also keep you from making excuses about not having the time to work out. Making a schedule is a process with several steps that you should follow if you want the best chance at avoiding this beginner mistake.
Step 1: Set a Time
The most important part of making a schedule for your workouts – you can use the sample weekly workout schedule we already showed you – is to set a time. You need to pick a time that you know you’ll be able to work out for the length of time that you need to. The ideal time will be different for every person, so there’s no right or wrong time to workout. What matters is that it’s set in stone and you don’t skip it.
Step 2: Plan Your Routine
You can follow our sample weekly workout schedule that’s outlined in the begining, find somebody else’s muscle-building schedule to follow, or create your own after doing some research. Be sure that you’re not exercising the same muscles too close together, and that you’re taking at least one full day off from muscle-building to rest and recover between workout days.
Step 3: Write it in Your Calendar
Whether that means scribbling it in purple marker on your dry erase board or setting an alarm in your phone labeled “exercise time,” you need to make sure your weekly workout schedule is somewhere that you will see it. As we’ll discuss in more details later, you need to prioritize muscle-building, so be sure you’ve got it written down so you’ll always be reminded of your commitment.
The two things that come together to allow you to build muscle are workout routines and diet. If you focus on one but neglect the other, your body will suffer for it. You need to make sure that you’re doing both if you really want to get results. You need to be taking the time to exercise to work your muscles and making sure you’re eating a good, healthy, muscle-building diet.
If you want to waste a lot of time to slowly damage yourself and not gain an ounce of muscle, then have bad form. Good form is important for avoiding injury, particularly on the joints, and for helping you actually gain muscle. This is where having professional, personalized help comes in handy. A personal trainer will be able to ensure that you have perfect form.
The most common day that people tend to skip is leg day. There’s a variety of reasons for it, but the results are the same: you look amazingly muscular from the waist up only, and it makes you look incredibly strange. Never skip a day in your routine. If something does come up and you absolutely can’t work out on a certain day, modify your schedule for that week to make sure you get it in.
Going it Alone
If you want professional muscle-building results, that means you need professional muscle-building help. Rather than picking your own exercises and wasting time trying to figure everything out on your own, you need to either follow a professional program or, better yet, hire a personal trainer. Either way, you’ll be starting off on the right foot and saving yourself tons of trouble and injury.
For those who absolutely can’t afford a personal trainer, try to get an experienced muscle-builder to help you out. Even if someone isn’t a certified trainer, if they’ve been working out for a number of years, then they can probably provide the help you need to get started and make sure you’re using proper form and following a good training regime.
Very well, now that you have our sample weekly workout schedule, just apply it. Or, as we said, create your own with the help of a personal training. The important thing is that you get moving and start your training.
David is a writer and graduate professor. He writes for different websites. With 7+ years of experience in writing and education, David has combined his expertise in teaching with his passion for physical and mental wellness. He researches and writes to bring you valuable information about weight loss, nutrition, fitness, community, society and more.