Resistance training is essential when it comes to building muscle and developing an aesthetic physique.
There are numerous gym exercises you can do to increase strength and size. However, you need a well-designed workout routine, especially if you’re starting a physique development journey.
A workout program allows you to train in an organized fashion and help you achieve your best physique.
That’s why I’ve designed a weekly 1 hour gym workout for beginners to build muscle and strength.
This routine is suitable for all genders, whether male or female. So give it a try if you want to scale your fitness to the next level.
Should Beginners Do One Hour Workout at the Gym?
Three to four sessions of 45-60 minute workouts are optimal for beginners.
You’ll be able to train your two muscle groups in one hour at low to moderate intensity.
I also used to work out for 45 minutes to 1 hour for the first 6 months of my muscle-building journey. It helped me gain decent strength and improved my shape.
Training less than 45 minutes will take more time to build muscles than one hour.
One hour gym workout can be challenging for beginners but will help them achieve better results over time.
1 Hour Gym Workout Routine for Beginners to Build Muscle
- Weekly Workout Frequency: 4 days a week
- Suggested Program Duration: 12-16 Weeks
- Duration/Session: 60-minute
- Routine Type: Compound Split
- Workout Level: Beginner
- Program Goal: Build Strength and Lean Mass
- Target Gender: Males and Females
- Monday: Pecs, Deltoids, and Triceps
- Wednesday: Back and Biceps
- Thursday: Quads and Deltoids
- Saturday: Hamstrings, Glutes, Calves, and Core
Note: Warm up for 5 minutes before weight training. You can jog, lift light weights, or perform cardio to increase your heart rate and blood flow and get your muscles ready to lift weights.
Monday – Pecs, Deltoids, and Triceps
|Flat Bench Press||12-15||4||2-3 mins|
|Incline DB Bench Press||12-15||3||2-3 mins|
|Pec Deck Fly||10-12||3||1-2 mins|
|Lateral Delt Raises||10-12||4||2-3 mins|
|Rope Pushdown||10-12||3||1-2 mins|
Wednesday: Back and Biceps
|Front Lat Pulldown||12-15||4||2-3 mins|
|Seated Cable Rowing||12-15||4||2-3 mins|
|One-arm DB Rowing||8-10/side||3||2-3 mins|
|Barbell Curl||10-12||3||2-3 mins|
Thursday: Quads and Deltoids
|Dumbbell Squat||12-15||3||2-3 mins|
|Machine Leg Press||10-12||3||2-3 mins|
|Front Overhead Press||10-12||3||2-3 mins|
|Reverse Pec Deck Fly||10-12||3||1-3 mins|
|Shoulder Shrug||10-12||3||1-3 mins|
Saturday: Hamstrings, Glutes, Calves, and Core
|Reverse Lunges||10/side||2||2-3 mins|
|Machine Leg Curl||12-15||3||2-3 mins|
|Glutes Bridge||10-12||3||2-3 mins|
|Calf Raises||12-15||3||2-3 mins|
You can add, replace, or change some exercises in the coming weeks from the exercises below:
Full Body 1 Hour Gym Workout Plan for Beginners
You can also do a one hour total body workout three times a week to build muscle, strength, and endurance. It allows you to train almost every muscle group in one single session.
The Total body workout is as effective as a split workout routine for developing strength and size, a study published by the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research suggested.1 Bartolomei, Sandro et al. “A Comparison Between Total Body and Split Routine Resistance Training Programs in Trained Men.” Journal of strength and conditioning research vol. 35,6 (2021): 1520-1526. doi:10.1519/JSC.0000000000003573
Here’s an example of one hour full body gym workout program:
- Dumbbell Squat: 12 x 3
- Incline Bench Press: 12 x 3
- Dumbbell Overhead Press: 12 x 3
- Seated Cable Rowing: 12 x 3
- Machine Leg Curl: 12 x 3
- Chin-ups: 6-8 x 3
- Lat Pulldown: 12 x 3
- Lateral Raises: 12 x 3
- Pec Deck Fly: 12 x 3
- Front Lunges: 10/side x 3
- Push-ups: 10 x 3
- Unilateral DB Row: 10/side x 3
- Reverse Pec Deck Fly: 12 x 3
- Rope Pushdown: 12 x 3
- Front Plank: 30-sec x 2
- Lateral Plank: 15-sec/side
You can make some changes depending on your fitness level and goal.
Try one of the two routines I shared above. I hope it will help you build muscle and improve overall fitness.
Is 1 hour Gym Workout Enough to Build Muscle?
A study has shown that eight weeks of resistance training (45-60 minutes a day, three times a week) resulted in increases in lean mass and strength.2 Seynnes OR, de Boer M, Narici MV. Early skeletal muscle hypertrophy and architectural changes in response to high-intensity resistance training. J Appl Physiol (1985). 2007;102(1):368-373. doi:10.1152/japplphysiol.00789.20063
It indicates that one hour of workout a day for four days a week is enough for a beginner to build strength and mass.
You don’t need to do several exercises, you don’t need to spend time on high reps isolation workouts.
One hour workout a day is considerable time to achieve the best results if you take care of the following things:
- Compound exercises
- Progressive Overload
Compound exercises: A compound exercise works on several muscles, such as the deadlift. The deadlift bolsters the quadriceps, hamstrings, back, core, and shoulder simultaneously and helps beef up mass. That’s why I’ve incorporated mostly compound exercises in the one-hour gym workout routine.
Progressive Overload: It is a method of gradually increasing load, reps, or sets to promote hypertrophy over time.
Protein: Muscles grow outside the gym when you feed your muscle the required amount of protein, carbs, and fats.
Usually, 1.6–2.2 g/kg/day protein is recommended for a better physique 4Nutrition Recommendations for Bodybuilders in the Off-Season: A Narrative Review – National Institute of Health Database. For example, if you’re 60 kg, you’ll need to consume 120g of protein. You can take this quantity into different meals throughout the day (3–6 meals), including pre and post-workout meals. (See: high protein foods)
On the other hand, 3–5 g/kg/day of carbs and 0.5–1.5 g/kg/day of fats are recommended.
Recovery: Once you’ve trained your muscle and consumed essential nutrients, it’s time for recovery. Let your trained muscles recover for at least 48 hours. And get some quality sleep.
Continue this routine for 3 months to see noticeable results. And after that, follow this five-day gym workout schedule.
- 1Bartolomei, Sandro et al. “A Comparison Between Total Body and Split Routine Resistance Training Programs in Trained Men.” Journal of strength and conditioning research vol. 35,6 (2021): 1520-1526. doi:10.1519/JSC.0000000000003573
- 4Nutrition Recommendations for Bodybuilders in the Off-Season: A Narrative Review – National Institute of Health Database