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Start from Scratch Series: Phase 3 of the Complete Beginner’s Program

New to the gym scene? This third part of the Start from Scratch program can be used as a road map to help you learn how to build muscle the right way.

Workout Summary

Build Muscle

Split

Beginner
6 weeks

3
45-60 minutes

Barbell, Bodyweight, Cables, Dumbbells, Machines
Male & Female

Workout Description

You’ve gone through Phase 1 and Phase 2 of our Start from Scratch Series, so it’s time you graduate to Phase 3.

After this phase of the Complete Beginner’s Program, you’ll no longer be able to consider yourself a beginner.

You already set your foundation with Phase 1 and started the serious muscle building with Phase 2. Now it’s time to take your efforts to the next level.

You should be fully in tune with the mind-muscle connection at this point, and you’ve probably noticed impressive gains in muscle and strength.

Persistence is the key, but you also want to avoid hitting a plateau by staying on the same routine for too long. Now’s the time for change…

Beginner’s Bodybuilding – Phase 3 Routine Prep

Even if you’re amped up to attack this next phase with everything you’ve got, it’s a good idea to tone down the intensity for a week between phase-training routines. Your nervous system will thank you.

This doesn’t mean to take the week off, but rather you should use the medium-intensity week as a way to familiarize yourself with the new routine. Do the full routine as listed, and just cut yourself short by a rep or two when you feel you’re about to reach failure.

Complete Line of SAN Supplements

Doing this will give you some active recovery time from the last phase, and it will allow you to get accustomed to the new work load and sort out how much weight you’ll need on any new exercises. As with Phase 2, this will be a 3-day training split but with a different combination of body parts and with more volume and intensity.

Workout 1
Exercise Sets Reps
1. Incline Bench Press 3 15, 12, 10
2. Dumbbell Bench Press 3 15, 12, 10
3. Dumbbell Fly 3 15, 12, 10
4. Dips 3 10-12
5. Pull Downs 3 15, 12, 10
6. Pullovers 3 10-12
7. Bent Over Rows 3 15, 12, 10
8. Rear Delt Lateral Raise 3 10-12
9. Dumbbell Shrugs 2 12-15
10. Hanging Leg Raises 3 15, 12, 10
11. Ab Crunch 3 15, 12, 10
12. Plank 2 60 seconds
Workout 2
Exercise Sets Reps
1. Squats 3 15, 12, 10
2. Sissy Squats 3 10-12
3. Leg Extensions 3 10-12
4. Reverse Lunges 3 10-12 (per leg)
5. Stiff-Legged Deadlift 3 15, 12, 10
6. Leg Curls 3 10-12
7. Leg Press Calf Raise 3 15
8. Standing Calf Raise 3 12-15
9. Seated Calf Raise 3 12-15
Workout 3
Exercise Sets Reps
1. Shoulder Presses 3 15, 12, 10
2. Upright Row 3 12-15
3. Lateral Raises 3 12-15
4. Bent Over Lateral Raise 3 10-12
5. Close Grip Bench Press 3 15, 12, 10
6. Overhead Extensions 3 10-12
7. Rope Pushdown 3 10-12
8. EZ Bar Curls 3 15, 12, 10
9. Incline Curls 3 10-12
10. Spider Curls 3 10-12
11. Hammer Curls 3 10-12
12. Wrist Curls 2 10-12
13. Reverse Wrist Curls 2 10-12

Phase 3 Routine Notes

If you went through Phase 1 and 2, you’re likely used to a bit less volume, and you may notice there’s no notes about warmups. You can still warm up if desired, but the higher reps on the first exercises should suffice.

You’ve probably been brainwashed to believe that heavy weights and low reps are the way to gain muscle. That is one way, but it’s not the only way, and it’s not necessarily the most efficient way. This routine is set to give you a balance of longer tension times and heavy-ish weights to get more muscle fiber types in on the action.

Complete Line of SAN Supplements

NOTE: As with any routine, the rep range listed is a guide. If you reach the intended reps and can do more, do more! Increase weight as needed so that you can just barely get the goal rep count with all-out effort.

Below are optional ways to utilize the three-day training split:

Standard M-W-F Split – Maximum Recovery

Monday: Workout 1
Tuesday: Off
Wednesday: Workout 2
Thursday: Off
Friday: Workout 3
Saturday: Off
Sunday: Off

Every-other-day Split

Monday: Workout 1
Tuesday: Off
Wednesday: Workout 2
Thursday: Off
Friday: Workout 3
Saturday: Off
Sunday: Workout 1
(Continue with Workout 2 on Tuesday, off Wednesday, Workout 3 on Thursday, etc.)

3-on/1-off Split

Monday: Workout 1
Tuesday: Workout 2
Wednesday: Workout 3
Thursday: Off
Friday: Workout 1
Saturday: Workout 2
Sunday: Workout 3
(Continue with Monday off then restarting the 3-day sequence on Tuesday)

2-on/1-off Split

Monday: Workout 1
Tuesday: Workout 2
Wednesday: Off
Thursday: Workout 3
Friday: Workout 1
Saturday: Off
Sunday: Workout 1
(Continue with Workout 2 on Monday and take Tuesday off, then Workouts 3 and 1 on Wednesday and Thursday, etc.)

Beginning Bodybuilding – Phase 3 Summary

The longer you’ve been training, the less you can trust mirrors and scales, so remember to take photos or video and use a tape measure to track your progress. There are some tips in Phase 2 to help with planning your progress photos.

There is no one-size-fits all training routine, so don’t be afraid to use substitute exercises or vary the rep ranges as needed, but try to stick to the listed recommendations as closely as possible. You might be surprised at the results you see from extended tension times.

Good luck, and let us know about your results.

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