Ultimate 3 Day Gym Workout Plan for Beginners

You may find it challenging to work out during the initial days of your gym training because of the unorganized program. But don’t worry, I’ve created an easy to follow 3 Day gym workout plan for beginners. This workout schedule helps you build strength, mass and improve body composition over time.

But before you lift weights in the gym, I suggest you do bodyweight exercises. Bodyweight workouts will help you enhance your stability and balance and scale you up for the gym training.

Once you’re ready to lift weights and build mass, you can start this beginner’s 3 day workout plan at the gym.


Program Duration4-8 Weeks
Primary GoalBuilding Strength and Lean Mass
Suitable ForMale and Female
Duration of One Session45-60 minutes
Recommended SupplementWhey Protein Isolate
Where to Download PDFAt the bottom
Summary of 3 Day gym workout plan for beginners

Type of Exercises You’ll Do

I’ve included mostly compound exercises and a few isolation workouts in this beginner 3 Day gym workout split.

Compound exercises are excellent for increasing strength and hypertrophy as they strengthen multiple muscles simultaneously. And isolation exercises allow to build up specific muscles at a time. I hope the combination of these exercises will help you achieve your fitness goal.

Optimum Tempo

Tempo is the rate of speed at which you complete a rep. It includes four phases: eccentric, pause, concentric, and pause, and each phase counts in duration, typically from zero to five seconds.

Since you’re a beginner, I recommend you perform each rep in a controlled manner without concerning about optimum tempo.

A study demonstrated that neither slow nor fast movement tempos are more effective for muscle hypertrophy.1 Wilk M, Zajac A, Tufano JJ. The Influence of Movement Tempo During Resistance Training on Muscular Strength and Hypertrophy Responses: A Review. Sports Med. 2021;51(8):1629-1650. doi:10.1007/s40279-021-01465-2 So, it would be best to focus on good muscle contraction during each repetition to achieve the maximum results.

Rest Days

You can take a rest on alternate days, depending on your lifestyle. But avoid working out three days in a row as it can cause muscle fatigue and exhaust you.

Warm-up Exercises

You can do a couple of exercises, such as bodyweight squats, pushups, jumping jacks, and squat jumps, to pump your heart and increase blood flow before lifting the pounds.

Suitable time to workout

You can work out at any time of the day that suits you the most. However, you shouldn’t work out on an empty stomach.

You can take pre-workout on an empty stomach if you train in the morning. (Also check out: What’s The Best Time To Workout?)

Core Workout

I’ve not included any specific core exercises in this workout plan. However, if you want to bolster your core, you can check out some of the best isometric abs workouts.

Okay! Let’s uncover the plan.

3 Day Gym Workout Plan for Beginners

beginners 3 day workout plan at gym
  • Day 1: Chest and Triceps
  • Day 2: Back and Biceps
  • Day 3: Legs and Shoulder

Day 1: Chest and Triceps

WorkoutReps x SetsRest Between Sets
Smith Machine Flat Bench Press8-12 x 31-3 min
Incline Dumbbell Bench Press8-12 x 31-3 min
Pec Deck Fly8-12 x 21-2 min
Narrow Pushups on Knees8-12 x 21-2 min
Triceps Rope Pushdown8-12 x 31-2 min
Single-arm Overhead Tricep Extension8-12 x 31-2 min

You can replace some of the exercises from this routine in the upcoming weeks. For example, you can do an incline smith machine bench press, flat dumbbell bench press, assisted dips, cable flyes, dumbbell pullover for your chest and narrow grip bench press, skull crusher, and tricep kickbacks for triceps.

However, as a beginner, you should primarily focus on compound exercises for the chest and triceps, such as presses, dips, and pushups for gaining strength and mass.

  • Increase the load in every set of each workout if possible. But make sure you perform each rep with good form.

Day 2: Back and Biceps

WorkoutReps x SetsRest
Pullups/Deadlift2-6 x 31-3 min
Wide Grip Lat Pulldown8-12 x 41-3 min
Bent-over Barbell Row8-12 x 31-2 min
Seated Cable Rowing8-12 x 31-2 min
Barbell Biceps Curl8-12 x 31-2 min
Cable Biceps Curl8-12 x 31-2 min

You can do various other exercises to build a bigger and wider back, such as single-arm dumbbell row, inverted row, chest supported row, T-bar row, and V-grip lat pulldown.

And for building brawny biceps, you can incorporate incline dumbbell curl, preacher curl, hammer curl, and concentration curl in the 3 Day gym workout routine.

  • Increase the weight you lift in each succeeding set of a exercise but make sure you maintain good form.

Day 3: Legs and Shoulder

WorkoutReps x SetsRest
Smith Machine Back Squat10-15 x 31-3 min
Dumbbell Forward Lunges8-12 x 21-2 min
Machine Leg Curl8-12 x 31-2 min
Smith Machine Overhead Press8-12 x 31-3 min
Dumbbell Lateral Raises8-12 x 31-2 min
Dumbbell Rear Delt Fly8-12 x 31-2 min
Cable Upright Row8-12 x 21-2 min

Since you’re a beginner, you should focus more on machines workout for legs, such as leg press, hack squat, leg extension, and calf raises. You can do these exercises on alternate leg days for efficient results.

And to build rounded delts and muscular shoulders, you can include more shoulder workouts, such as dumbbell overhead press, dumbbell front raises, and dumbbell shrugs in this beginners 3 Day gym workout plan.

Beginners 3 Day Workout Plan at Gym PDF

You can download this pdf file to use it offline.

Alternate Gym Workout Plans For Beginners

Final Words

You need to lift weights and eat enough protein to build a strong body and muscular physique. For lifting weights, you can join the gym. The gym is the best place where you can work on your muscle to grow.

You’ll get myriad equipment in the gym, such as barbells, dumbbells, and machines to perform various exercises for each muscle group.

However, you need a proper workout plan to build muscles doesn’t matter whether you work out at home or the gym.

That’s why I’ve decided to hand out an easy but highly effective 3 Day gym workout routine for beginners to help you achieve their desired fitness goal.

And once you decide to increase training frequency per week, here are some follow-up programs for you:

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is a 3 day split good for beginners?

Working out three days a week is enough for a beginner to gain substantial strength. However, during the initial gym training days, you should focus on quality training instead of quantity of training.

A study also concluded that resistance training frequency does not significantly or meaningfully impact muscle hypertrophy when the volume is equated. Schoenfeld BJ, Grgic J, Krieger J. How many times per week should a muscle be trained to maximize muscle hypertrophy? A systematic review and meta-analysis of studies examining the effects of resistance training frequency. J Sports Sci. 2019 Jun;37(11):1286-1295. doi: 10.1080/02640414.2018.1555906. Epub 2018 Dec 17. PMID: 30558493. So until you train each muscle efficiently in three days, you don’t need to increase the frequency.

Can I do follow this routine to lose weight?

Yes, you can also follow this 3 Day gym workout schedule for weight. However, you also need to combine high-intensity interval training (HIIT) in your workout regime. HIIT helps you burn significant calories, and weight lifting builds lean mass.
However, if you want a specific weight loss workout plan, you can follow this schedule.

How long will it take to see noticeable results?

Results are the outcome of the process. If you maintain everything from proper diet to consistent workout, you’ll start seeing results in a couple of months, but you’ll have to keep working out with patience for substantial change.
To learn more about how long it takes to build muscles, I suggest you explore this article.


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Murshid Akram
I'm an online personal trainer, fitness blogger, and fitness enthusiast. I love researching and writing about exercise and nutrition. I share science-based, practical, and logical information that can help you achieve your desired fitness goal.
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