Strength Training Routines

Woman lifting weights

Looking for a few good strength training routines that don't require access to a state-of-art health club? These back-to-basics kind of routines will help you get on track whether you're a novice or veteran.

Beginner Strength Training Routines

These routines assume that you're not an absolute beginner; you probably have a month or two of regular workouts under your belt and feel like you're starting to get the hang of the basics. You have a clue of how to perform a variety of exercises, and you've recently moved to the point where you want to do a two-day split of your body so as to train each muscle group a little harder.

Day 1: Upper Body

Chest: 3 sets of dumbbell chest presses on flat bench

Chest: 3 sets of regular push ups, to failure

Chest/shoulders: 3 sets of seated barbell military presses

Biceps: 3 sets of standing barbell bicep curls

Biceps/forearms: 3 sets of standing dumbbell hammer curls

Triceps: 3 sets of dips (assisted or in machine, if needed)

Triceps: 2 sets of French presses (aka. skullcrushers or EZ curls)

Back: 3 sets of front lat pulls

Back: 3 sets of seated rows

Shoulders: 3 sets of standing dumbbell lateral raises

Abs: 3 sets abdominal crunches, to failure

Day 2: Lower Body

Quads: 3 sets of leg presses

Quads: 3 sets of classic squats

Quads: 2 sets of seated leg extensions

Hamstrings: 3 sets of seated hamstring curls

Hamstrings: 2 sets of light good mornings

Calves: 3 sets of standing calf presses

Calfs: 3 sets of seated calf presses

Abs: 3 sets abdominal crunches, to failure

Advanced Strength Training Routines

After a year or two, you're ready to move up to the next level. This is a three-day split, but there are other strength training routines with four- or even five-day splits, allowing you to put your entire focus on just one or two muscle groups. That may be slight overkill at this point, however; you'll know when it's time to step things up even further.

Day 1: Chest and Triceps

Chest: 3 sets of dumbbell chest presses on flat bench

Chest: 2 sets of dumbbell chest presses on incline bench

Chest: 3 sets of regular push ups, to failure

Chest: 2 sets of cable crossover pulls

Triceps: 3 sets of dips (assisted or in machine, if needed)

Triceps: 3 sets of standing tricep pressdowns

Triceps: 2 sets of French presses (aka. skullcrushers or EZ curls)

Abs: 3 sets abdominal crunches, to failure

Day 2: Back, Biceps and Shoulders

Back: 3 sets of classic deadlifts

Back: 3 sets of front lat pulls

Back: 3 sets of one-hand dumbbell rows (supported against bench)

Back: 2 sets of dumbbell shrugs

Biceps: 3 sets of standing barbell bicep curls

Biceps: 3 sets of seated dumbbell concentration curls

Biceps/forearms: 3 sets of standing dumbbell hammer curls

Forearms: 2 sets reverse-grip barbell bicep curls

Shoulders: 3 sets of standing dumbbell lateral raises

Shoulders: 3 sets of shoulder machine of choice

Abs: 3 sets abdominal crunches, to failure

Day 3: Legs and Abs

Abs: 3 sets abdominal crunches (on ab-board, if available)

Abs: 3 sets twisting abdominal crunches (on ab-board, if available)

Abs: 3 sets of kneeling cable crunches

Quads: 3 sets of leg presses

Quads: 3 sets of classic squats

Quads: 2 sets of seated leg extensions

Quads/hamstrings: 3 sets lunges (holding dumbbells or barbell)

Hamstrings: 3 sets of seated hamstring curls

Hamstrings: 3 sets of lying-down hamstring curls

Hamstrings: 2 sets of light good mornings

Calfs: 3 sets of donkey presses (machine or training partner)

Calfs: 3 sets of standing calf presses

Calfs: 3 sets of seated calf presses

Strength Training Routines