Josh Sway
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/ The Josh Sway Beginner’s Workout

A workout routine from Josh Sway for beginning bodybuilders


An easy workout routine for beginners

I get it, sometimes, we all just don’t want to think. We don’t want to read research. We don’t want to get a trainer. We don’t want to over complicate things. We just want to be told exactly what to do in a simple, easy manner. Well, I’m going to give that to you here. With the Josh Sway Bodybuilding Workout For Beginners. (Note, check out our Bodybuilding Guide if you want more information on how to look good).

This workout is for beginners looking to increase their overall muscle mass and strength. It is intended for those who can make it to a gym with weights 3-4x a week. It is an ‘upper/lower’ body split type workout which means 1 day is all upper body, and another day is all lower body. As always, consult with a physician before starting any exercise program. JoshSway.com is not responsible for any injuries (or worse) as a result of this workout!

To interpret the workout, it is Sets x Reps. For example, 3×5 means 3 sets, and performing 5 repetitions of the exercise in each set. In terms of rest, I like to rest for at least a minute, if not 1.5 minutes between each set, and a 2-3 minutes between different exercises. If you are unsure what an exercise is, google it for a description. I have added detailed instructions regarding how much weight (resistance) should be used for each exercises.

Day 1: Upper Body

Barbell Bench Press

warm-up (1×8 with a weight that 8 reps is easy)
3×8 (with a weight that 8 reps is difficult, if you cannot do a full 8 reps on the 2nd,3rd set, do as many as you can with that same weight)

Lat Pull downs

warm-up
3×8
Follow the same weight guidelines as barbell bench press

Dumbbell shoulder press

warm-up
3×8
Follow the same weight guidelines as barbell bench press

Tricep extensions (either free weight over head or on machine)

3×10 (use a weight that you are likely to complete most or all of the reps in every set but with difficulty)

Dumbbell Curls

3×10 (use a weight that you are likely to complete most or all of the reps in every set but with difficulty)

Day 2: Rest

Day 3: Lower Body

Barbell Squats

warm-up (1×8 with a weight that 8 reps is easy)
3×10 Initially (and while learning squat form) where you are likely to complete most or all of the reps in every set but with difficulty). When you are confident in your form:

4×6 (with a weight that 6 reps is difficult, if you cannot do full reps in the future sets, do as many as you can)

Stiff-leg Deadlifts

warm-up (1×8 with a weight that 8 reps is easy)
4×6 (use a weight that you are likely to complete most or all of the reps in every set but with difficulty)*

Calf Raises

3×10 (use a weight that you are likely to complete most or all of the reps in every set but with difficulty)

Dip machine Leg Raises

3×10 (hold a dumbbell in between your legs to add resistance if 3×10 is too easy, if 3×10 is too difficult, do knee raises instead of leg raises with the legs straight)

Day 4: Rest or repeat Day 1

Repeat. On the exercises with 3×8/4×6 sets that follow the barbell bench press weight routine, increase the resistance as soon as you feel you can do 9/7 reps on the first of the 3 (or 4) sets. On the other exercises, as soon as you feel you can do more than the required number of reps on the last set, increase the weight. When increasing weight, I like to err on the side of failing to do all the required weight (i.e. increasing a bit too early) as opposed to increasing weight conservatively.

*NOTE THE CHANGE IN WEIGHT RECOMMENDATION FOR STIFF LEG DEADLIFTS.

This workout may not seem so simple, but that is because I have included all the information about weight selection. Here is the workout in a condensed form so you can see the simplicity:

Upper Day

Bench press: warm-up, 3×8
Lat Pull down: warm-up, 3×8
Shoulder Press: warm-up, 3×8
Tricep Extension: 3×10
Curls: 3×10

Lower Day

Squat: warm-up, 4×6
Stiff Leg Deadlifts: warm-up, 4×6
Calf Raises: 3×10
Dip machine leg raises: 3×10

Rest a day between each workout.

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