5 Workouts for Every Type of Guy, From Beginner to Expert

Man exercising in gym
Man exercising in gymJavier Snchez Mingorance / EyeEm / Getty Images

Old or young, what every man needs is a workout plan tailored to their abilities. Over time, with the right program, you’ll begin to master every move and notice that abdominal V pop.

Whether you’re looking to burn fat, build muscle, or start a new regimen—simply begin by disciplining your mind, because we’ve compiled a list of workout plans for every man. From the beginner to the devoted gym rat, follow this guide designed to build your best body.

1. The best workout for absolute beginners

Whether you’re new to the gym scene or ditched your old fitness regimen—welcome to the level where it all begins. It’s either intimidating or tempting to start training, but remember­ you can’t shed 50 pounds in a week.

Lifting lighter weights doesn’t make anyone a ‘weakling,’ so ignore any naysayers because building muscle takes time, and it’s important to stick to the routine your body can handle. Set a realistic goal and ease into this beginner workout routine, which will allow your muscles to grow and your body to progress in no time.

How to do it: Cameron McGarr C.S.C.S., suggests performing only one set for each of the below exercises on your first day of training. After that he says, “Perform the workout three days a week for four weeks, resting at least one day between each session. On the weight exercises, choose a load that allows you to complete a few more reps than the prescribed number (you may need to adjust this load between sets as you discover your strength levels). For instance, if an exercise calls for 12 reps, choose a load that you estimate you can perform 15 reps with before having to stop (but complete only 12).”

1. Front squat
Sets: 2-3
Reps: 8
Rest: 60 seco.

2. Three-point dumbell row
Sets: 2
Reps: 12 (each arm)
Rest: 30 sec.

3. Pushup
Sets: 2
Reps: 12-15
Rest: 30 sec.

4. Single-leg bridge
Sets: 2
Reps: 12
Rest: 30 sec.

5. Dumbbell pullover
Sets: 2
Reps: 12
Rest: 30 sec.

6. Plank
Sets: 1-2
Reps: Hold for 60 seconds
Rest: 60 sec.

2. The top at-home routine for broke guys

Trying to pack on muscle, but tight on cash? No worries. Put the same amount of work you put in at home as you would at the gym, and the results will show. Working out in your own terrain gives you the freedom of space with privacy to start pumping iron. No gym hour restrictions, no waiting for a machine, and you can even check yourself out in the mirror for as long as you want—or you know, perfect your form.

How to do it: Perform exercises labeled “A” then exercise labeled as “B,” rest, then repeat for prescribed sets/reps. These are designed as supersets.

1A. Dumbbell lunge
1B. Pushup
3 sets, 8-12 reps each, 90 sec. rest between supersets

2A. Dumbbell Romanian deadlift
2B. Ab-wheel rollout

3 sets, 6-8 reps each, 90 sec. rest between supersets

3A. Dumbbell curl
3b. Dumbbell shoulder press

3 sets, 12-15 reps each, 2 min. rest between supersets

4A. Plank
4B. Dip (can be done on a chair)
3 sets, as many reps as possible (60-plus seconds for plank), 90 sec. rest between supersets

3. The greatest workout for die-hard gym rats

As a serious lifter, you jerk around weights for a living and probably follow a routine you’ve developed over time. You’re also seasoned in heavy lifting, have a Costco-sized supply of protein, and spend more time with your fellow gym goers than your actual family. But there’s no denying the basics work; here, the 15 most important exercises you need in your regimen.

How to do it: Complete as straight sets, but adjust the reps, sets, rest, and weight accordingly.

1. Deadlift
2. Back squat
3. Bench press
4. Dumbbell Romanian deadlift
5. Kettlebell swing
6. Suspended pushup
7. Pullup
8. Medicine ball slam
9. Swiss ball rollout
10. Banded good morning
11. Farmer’s walk
12. Hamstring curl
13. Suspended inverted row
14. Barbell overhead press
15. Barbell hip thrust

4. The best workout for busy guys

Another late night at the office? Getting fit can be done in minutes (or tens of minutes), and incorporating short workouts over time is just as efficient as a power-hour session in the gym. In fact, breaking up your exercise into three 10-minute sessions is just as effective at lowering blood pressure than working out straight through, according to a study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. “Not enough time in the day” is no longer an excuse.

Duration: 20 minutes

How to do it: Perform each pair of exercises (marked A and B) as supersets, resting 45 to 60 seconds after exercise B. (So you’ll do one set of A, then immediately do one set of B, and then rest.) Follow the same procedure for the remaining two exercise pairs before repeating the first pair. Repeat the process until you’ve completed three sets for each pair.

1A. Pushup on chairs
1B. Hands-overhead Bulgarian split squat

3 sets, 15-20 reps, 45-60 sec. between supersets

2A. Triceps extension on floor
2B. Dumbbell stepup

3 sets, 15-20 reps, 45-60 sec. between supersets

3A. Isometric row on chairs
3B. Horizontal overhead press

3 sets, 15-20 reps (complete isometric row for as long as possible), 45-60 sec. rest between supersets

5. The ultimate routine for guys making a comeback in the gym

Life can—and will—disrupt your gym routine, regardless of what age you are. But it’s never too late to conquer old grounds. Rather than reminiscing on the glory days, follow this workout by Joe Kenn C.S.C.S, aimed to build back your frame.

1. Deadlift
Sets: 5
Reps: 5
Intensity: Heavy, 85%

2. Front squat
Sets: 5
Reps: 5
Intensity: Heavy, 85%

3a. Chinup
3b. Overhead press
Sets: 5
Reps: 5
Intensity: Heavy, 85%

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