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Many people on New Year’s Eve take the pledge of hitting the gym as part of their new year resolution. They’re all pumped up, raring to go, and cannot wait for the Monday morning when they plan to get up early and lift some weight. Most of them have one thing in common. And that is, they don’t have a routine plan. They might have a random, sketchy, rough plan in their head, but it’s not a real plan. And that’s also one of the reasons why most people quit within the first few weeks.

The ones that persevere are the ones with a detailed gymming routine that they follow religiously. And as any professional trainer or sinewy guy will tell you, this is the key to success. So how do you go about creating a routine plan? That’s what this article-cum-guide is all about. Learn step-by-step on how to set up a gymming routine as a beginner.

Factors To Consider When Creating a Gym Routine

To make your routine ideation and creation process easier, there are factors that you must incorporate. This is a good place to start for beginners.

The factors to consider are:

  • Goals
  • Workdays and rest days
  • Workout rotation to prevent injury
  • Intensity
  • Progress tracking



The first factor you need to consider is your goals. Goal setting is vital before you even think about creating a routine. So are you looking to lose some weight? Then you’d create a routine accordingly. Are you looking to bulk up like a pro wrestler? Then that demands a different routine plan. Some folks also join the gym to enhance their athletic performance or complete their first 5k marathon event.

Whatever it might be, you need to zero in on your goals. Your goals will define the things you need to do. And that’s how you get started with creating a routine plan.

Workdays and rest days

The next factor you need to consider is your working days and rest days. Since you’re just starting out, you shouldn’t be training every day. You’d have to select a few days where you’ll be working out and other days where you’ll be resting.

In this step, you’d also consider your work and lifestyle. When does your work schedule allow you to work out? When do you have ample time to work out for longer hours? You should ideally have those days as your workdays. And on days where you’ll remain busy with your work or want to spend more time with your family, those can be your rest days.

Workout Rotation

Most beginners make the mistake of including too many workouts into their routines that are similar in nature. In other words, they involve the same group of muscles and excluding the others. But this makes you prone to injuries. Working out the same muscles every day will not allow them to heal. So they may tear or swell after continuous use.

That’s why workout rotation is important. You need to have variety, rep schemes, loads, and rest intervals in place. But the most important one is the variety, of course.

As you’ll see later, you need to incorporate different types of workouts. So one day, you’ll be focused on upper body workout. The following day, you’ll be doing a lower body workout. In this manner, the muscles in your upper body get ample time to recover.


The next important factor to consider is workout intensity. To succeed and reach your goals, you’d need to increase the intensity over time. But as a beginner, you must go slow.

When creating a routine, your workout should have fewer repetitions with a good amount of rest intervals in between. It’s recommended that you stay at the intensity level for four to six weeks before adjusting the intensity. By then, your muscles would have adapted to the stress conditions.

After six weeks, it becomes necessary to increase the intensity. The reason being since your muscles have already adapted to the workouts, they’ll no longer grow.

When increasing the intensity, you should be making the workouts too intense. Add 5-10 repetitions while reducing 5-10 seconds of recovery time.

Progress Tracking

The last component of a workout routine is to track your progress. This is where you’d measure your success and confirm if you’re on the right path if you need to make changes to your workout or to your schedule, and so on.

Tracking progress can be both objective and subjective. For objective metrics, you have metrics like weight load, time, reps, mileage, etc. Subjective metrics include how your body feels, how’s your recovery level, and what’s your mental state.

Based on these metrics, you’ll be either sticking to it or making changes. You should ideally stick to the routine for three to four weeks unless you face significant problems like a sprain or pulled muscles.

Based on the above five factors, you can create a routine plan with which you can follow through.

Complete Week-long Gymming Routine For Beginners

If you’re looking for a complete week-long, Monday-to-Friday, gym routine that you can follow, then below is a detailed plan. It incorporates the above factors and is designed for beginners who are just starting out with gym activities. You’ll start off with Monday and end the routine on Sunday. Then you repeat the process for three to six weeks before you make modifications.


Monday – Upper Body Workout

To start off the week, you should perform some upper body workouts. The main reason being your upper body muscles like biceps, triceps, rhomboids, trapezium can handle the intense activity. So you should start off by working these muscles at the gym.

For building mass strength, training is critical. But it’s equally important for losing weight since they enhance metabolism. This allows the body to burn more calories, thus reducing the fat layer.

The upper body workout should focus on muscles in your neck, shoulder, upper and mid-back, core, biceps, triceps, arms, and wrists.

You’d obviously be beginning all the sessions with stretching and warming up. So stretch your upper body and lower body for 5-10 minutes.

Then perform the following exercises:

  • Traditional push up (10 X 3) (10 reps and 5 sets)
  • Chest flies (10 X 3)
  • Lat Pulls with band (15 X 3 for each side)
  • Back extension (5 X 3)
  • Bicep curls of 8-10 pounds (15 X 4)
  • Overhead press of 5-10 pounds (15 X 4)
  • Triceps kickback of 5-8 pounds (10 X 4)

These exercises, on the whole, will target all of your upper body muscles. The repetition and sets are standardized ones. So you must talk with your trainer to get the exact sets and reps for your case.

The session should last between 45 to 60 minutes.


Tuesday – Lower Body Workout

On Tuesday, you’ll be focusing on the lower part of your body. The upper part is worked up, and it’ll need at least 48 hours to recover. Similarly, you’d have to set aside at least 48 hours for the lower body muscles to heal and recover.

In the lower body, you’ll have to focus on your hip, quads, glutes, hamstrings, and calves primarily. So the workouts you include should involve all of the muscles.

Here’s a list of exercises to perform on your second day (after stretching and flexing, obviously):

  • Barbell back squats of 30-40 pounds (5 X 4)
  • Romanian deadlift of 60-70 pounds (5 X 4)
  • Bulgarian split squats with 5-10 lb (7 X 3)
  • Glute ham raise (10 X 3)

These four workouts should be enough to evenly work your lower leg muscles. You might feel more drained than day 1, but it suggests that you’ve worked out just fine.

The session should last 45 to 60 minutes, including rest intervals.


Wednesday – Active Recovery

On Wednesday, you’ll dedicate the day to let muscles relax. Inactive recovery, you’re not actually resting but performing some light exercises. They do not even have to be physical exercises. You can engage in yoga and meditation too.

But it’s recommended that you go for a jog or walk. Like every day, you should start the session with stretching and warming up. You can actually extend the stretching activities by 10 minutes or more. This will help your muscles heal better.

Once that’s out of the way, you can jog for about 15 minutes at a slow pace. Else, you can walk for 20-30 minutes at a slightly faster pace. It doesn’t matter if you’re jogging on a track or treadmill as long as you’re jogging.

So the session for the third day should last 30-40 minutes. It’s important that you do not skip this session. These light activities will increase blood circulation that would make the worked-out muscles heal faster.


Thursday – HIIT Workout

On the fourth day, you wouldn’t be lifting weights either, but performing another demanding exercise, which is HIIT. HIIT stands for High-Intensity Interval Training.

Since it’s going to be performed at high intensity, the time duration will be shorter. Aim for 15-20 minutes at max.

The HIIT workout mentioned below is beginner-friendly and simple. It doesn’t put much stress on your body either.

  • Push up (10 X 3)
  • Sit-up (10 X 3)
  • Planks (10 nos. of 15 seconds)
  • Squat (10 X 3)
  • Lunges (10 X 3)
  • Sprinting for 50-70 meters (10 cycles)

The main focus of the session is to completely exhaust yourself within a short period of time. Therefore, keep the recovery time to the minimum. This will burn a lot of amount of calories that will aid fat loss.


Friday – Full Body Strength Training

The fifth day of your routine will be a complete full-body workout. So you basically combine the first and second day of your workout session into one.

The muscles had at least 48 hours of time to recover. So you should be able to perform at peak performance.

You’ll be focusing on both the upper body and lower body muscles. The workouts to include will vary greatly. But here’s the most comprehensive one:

  • Traditional push up (10 X 3) (10 reps and 5 sets)
  • Chest flies (5 X 3)
  • Lat Pulls with band (7 X 3 for each side)
  • Back extension (5 X 3)
  • Bicep curls of 8-10 pounds (15 X 4)
  • Overhead press of 5-10 pounds (15 X 4)
  • Barbell back squats of 30-40 pounds (5 X 3)
  • Romanian deadlift of 60-70 pounds (5 X 3)
  • Bulgarian split squats with 5-10 lb (5 X 3)
  • Glute ham raise (5 X 3)

This is going perhaps going to be the longest session in your workout routine. It’s important to take an adequate amount of rest in between sets. Expect to spend 60-90 minutes at the gym.

Since you’re a beginner, you may reduce the sets. But perform all the exercises to complete a full-body workout.


Saturday – Steady State Cardio

When people think of cardio, HIIT is all they visualize. But steady-state cardio is equally important. In steady-state cardio, you perform a specific cardio activity like running, cycling, or swimming for as long as you feel comfortable.

So there’s no time requirement involved. You just have to be comfortable. This will both burn calories and tone your muscles. Like most cardio workout sessions, the aim is to increase the heartbeat.

Sunday – Active Recovery with plenty of Rest

To end the gym routine, you engage in an active recovery session. So you go for a jog, walk, cycling, or swimming. Stretch like you always do and follow it up with the exercise. Perform no more than 15-20 minutes. The aim is to increase the blood circulation throughout the muscles and get ready for next week.

So here’s what your gymming routine will look like as a beginner:

  • Monday – Upper body workout for 45-60 minutes
  • Tuesday – Lower body workout for 45-60 minutes
  • Wednesday – Active recovery for 30-40 minutes
  • Thursday – HIIT for 15-20 minutes
  • Friday – Full body workout for 60-90 minutes
  • Saturday – Steady-state cardio with no time duration
  • Sunday – Active recovery for 10-15 minutes


You will definitely tweak the above routine based on your goal and current state. The routine is just a standardized one that any beginner can follow.

For measuring, you can take a picture of yourself from the day you start training. It’s ideal if you can keep the surroundings and pose similar to all the pictures. You can compare photos of at least 2-3 months difference between them. This will show you the transformation you’ve been through. But measuring time, loads, and subjective metrics are equally important.


To Sum up

Creating a gym routine may seem dull and tedious and even skippable. But it’s of utmost importance like any trainer will tell you. Refer to the above routine as a reference and prepare one for yourself that aligns with your goals and lifestyle.

Supplement your workout sessions with nutritious food, excessive water, and sufficient sleep. All of these are just as important as workout out regularly. Your muscles would need to heal, and they’d need the above three. Once you’re comfortable, you can level up and increase the loads and time duration.