This free Gym Workout Plan for Beginners (PDF with Pictures) includes the 51 most effective strength and mobility training exercises for your legs, back, core, triceps, shoulders, chest, and biceps.

If you want to get in shape at the gym, look no further than this complete gym schedule for beginners. With these beginner exercises, instructions, pictures, and a printable workout calendar, you will get results and you won’t suffer from aches and pains.

This gym workout routine is designed for everyone, with either weight loss or muscle gain as their goals. Even though it’s a beginner’s program, you’ll learn to navigate the gym like a pro!

Our workout programs have been downloaded by over 15,000 people and this 12-Week Gym Workout Plan for Beginners is our most comprehensive yet. In this post, we’ll share the free gym workout plan for beginners PDF and the proven plan to get results.

I hope you’re pumped up!

Gym Workout Plan for Beginners PDF Ryan and Alex Duo Life

Gym workout plan for beginners PDF (Free Download with Pictures)

You have access to a gym and you’re committed to showing up to reach your goals. Congrats!

But, your standard gym membership doesn’t come with a plan or a personal trainer. Especially as a beginner, this can be intimidating. To succeed at the gym, you need a plan to follow. You need a system.

You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems. – James Clear

By committing to this plan, you’re following a proven system. You get a 12-week workout calendar with built-in variety and periodization weekly, a printable weight tracking sheet to ensure progress, pictures of each exercise so you can head to the gym with confidence, and more.

This plan puts you leaps and bounds ahead of the average gym goer. We’re excited to hear about your results!

If you’re short on time and just want to download the printable gym workout plan for beginners PDF with pictures, here you go!

Otherwise, for details on the training program and tips on how to best utilize this tool, keep reading.

Gym Workout Plan for Beginners PDF with Pictures

Download The Gym Workout Plan for Beginners PDF

This free PDF is a 12-week gym workout routine with 51 of the most effective, beginner-friendly exercises. Print the calendar, weight tracker sheet, and pictures to follow along at the gym with confidence. We're just an email away for support!

Why Is This the Best Gym Workout Plan for Beginners

We were excited to create this program for many reasons. But mostly, because we couldn’t find anything comparable and free on the internet. You are already paying for the gym membership, you shouldn’t have to pay for an upgraded workout plan too. 

While some of the plans available for free online are effective and helpful, we thought they were lacking some key components that make them useful and user-friendly for beginners. 

There are 7 reasons why this is the best gym workout plan for beginners, both men and women. Consider this your DIY gym beginners guide. 

1. It’s a full-body gym workout plan for weight loss and muscle gain.
2. A 12-week workout calendar and weight tracker sheet are included.
3. The plan includes pictures of each exercise.
4. Periodization and variety are built in to prevent boredom and plateau.
5. Each exercise is safe for beginners. 
6. But each exercise is still incredibly effective. 
7. You get bonus content to help you monitor progress.

In the next section, we’ll dive into each of those to explain what sets our plan apart.

Lastly, if you don’t already go to the gym, you can use this gym workout plan at home as long as you have a few dumbbells and resistance bands.

1. It’s a Full-Body Routine for Weight Loss and Strength

Have you heard the phrase “muscle burns fat?” Well, it’s true. Muscle is also important for metabolic health, especially as we age. Whether your goals are to lose weight, tone up, or gain muscle, this plan covers all the bases.  

The full body strength routine targets the following:

  • Upper body: biceps, triceps, shoulders, upper back muscles, and chest muscles.
  • Core: abs, obliques, and lower back.
  • Lower body: glutes, quads, hamstrings, adductors and abductors, and calves. 

But this isn’t just for your muscles. Since you’ll move from one exercise to the next as quickly as possible (no more than 10-20 seconds, please) you’ll strengthen your lungs as well!

Get your heart rate up and enjoy the cardio benefit of this gym workout plan for weight loss!

2. Workout Calendar and Weight Tracker Included

We’ve paid for dozens of professional workout programs and every one includes a printable calendar and weight tracking sheet. That’s because it’s essential for maximizing results. 

First, the printable calendar/exercise chart shows you what to do, when to do it, and for how long. Not following a plan like this is a bad idea. Our brains are designed to conserve energy and take it easy during exercise.

Following the gym workout plan for beginners (printable PDF) will push you out of your comfort zone and toward serious progress.

Second, using the weight tracker sheet, you record the weight you lifted for each exercise.

How can you progress if you don’t know what weights you lifted last week and whether or not it was easy or difficult? Especially for a gym workout plan, this is critical since you’ll be lifting dumbbells and using the cable machine or resistance bands.

gym workout plan for beginners pdf calendar and weight tracking sheet

3. It’s a Plan With Pictures of Each Exercise

This free routine is the total gym workout routine for beginners. You’re already setting aside time for workouts and managing to show up each day. That’s hard enough. Therefore, the actual workout plan needs to be crystal clear and simple to follow. 

For beginners (and even for people like us who have been in the fitness industry for over a decade), pictures of each exercise are always appreciated.

We’ve created downloadable and printable sheets that you can bring with you to the gym. Below is a preview of the pictures included. 

gym workout plan for beginners with pictures of each exercise

4. The 12-week Plan Has Built-in Periodization and Variety

Results take time. Not days or weeks, but months. A 7-day plan or even a 30-day training program won’t suffice. To get results that will make you proud and provide momentum to continue, you need a multi-month plan. 

The periodization, meaning the workouts get progressively more difficult over time, and variety help prevent boredom, injury, and plateau.  

5. All Exercises Are Safe for Beginners

The exercises in the Gym Workout Plan for Beginners PDF are all low risk. To us, this means the following. 

  • The exercises are low-impact and easy on the knees.
  • Each rep is to be done slowly to limit momentum.
  • All push-up or plank exercises are excluded to reduce wrist, elbow, and back pain.
  • The plan incorporates functional fitness movements using bands or the cable machine to help you perform better in the real world such as playing softball, hiking, or chasing your kids.

Later in this article, we’ll share more tips on completing each exercise safely and with proper form. 

6. The Exercises Are Safe but Still Incredibly Effective

By following this free gym workout routine for beginners, you’ll learn to navigate the gym like a pro. The most effective exercises are not done on a machine.

Your body is the most high-tech machine in the gym, so put it to work! When you move weight that isn’t attached to a gliding track, you engage stability muscles that are critical for mobility, range of motion, and injury prevention.

Our plan only uses dumbbells, resistance bands, a cable machine, and a bench. When you use this equipment in a slow and controlled manner, you get a more effective full-body workout.  

7. You Get Bonus Content

How will you know that these workouts are working if you don’t track your progress? Included with the Gym Workout Plan for Beginners PDF is our Body Measurement Chart and instructions on how to measure your body.

When you download the 12-Week Gym Workout Plan, you’ll have instant access to the calendar, pictures, and weight tracking sheet. Also, we will get in touch with you shortly after you sign up, and we will always be available for support.

When you download the program, we’ll be sure to share future updates with you and new offerings that relate to weight training workouts. If you only want the gym training program for beginners and you don’t want to hear from us again, please click “unsubscribe” once you have everything you need.

Also, if you’re not yet familiar with Ryan and Alex Duo Life, we apply our engineering and health backgrounds to help couples improve their health, lifestyle, and relationship.

Gym Workout Plan Disclaimer:

We are engineers by trade and, although we’re highly knowledgeable about fitness, we are not certified personal trainers.

Therefore, these exercises and the downloadable plan have been reviewed by multiple fitness professionals with a combined 45 years of experience as certified personal trainers. 

With their help, our written instruction ensures proper form. Proceed at your own risk! If you have injuries or other concerns, discuss them with your physician before attempting these exercises.

Gym Workout Plan for Beginners PDF with Pictures

Download The Gym Workout Plan for Beginners PDF

This free PDF is a 12-week gym workout routine with 51 of the most effective, beginner-friendly exercises. Print the calendar, weight tracker sheet, and pictures to follow along at the gym with confidence. We're just an email away for support!

How to start the gym workout plan for beginners and Succeed

With these tips, pictures, and written instructions, you’re ready to get started with the gym workout plan. Of course, you also need to download and print the free Gym Workout Plan for Beginners PDF.

Whether your goal is become a better runner, lose weight, gain muscle or just feel stronger, with all of this, you’re set up for success. However, if you have any questions or feedback, please share in the comments section of this post.

Next, we’ll cover the workout program details, notes on proper form, and some common questions.

Gym Workout Training Program Details

This weekly gym workout plan for beginners is a 12-week program with 4 days of exercise per week. Here is a rough schedule.

Weeks 1-6 Training Plan:
  • Day 1: Legs
  • Day 2: Chest, Triceps, and Core
  • Rest day
  • Day 3: Back, Biceps, and Core
  • Day 4: Shoulders and Core

Most people start the plan on a Monday, but whatever fits your schedule best is ideal. There are 14-17 exercises per day. You complete 12 reps of each exercise and two sets, all with limited rest.

Therefore, it’s estimated that each workout is between 28 and 34 minutes. To keep your body confused and to add variety, everything changes during weeks 7-12.

Weeks 7-12 Training Program:
  • Day 1: Chest, Back, and Core
  • Day 2: Legs
  • Rest day
  • Day 3: Shoulders and Arms
  • Day 4: Total body

There are 14-24 exercises per day (the number of reps and sets remains the same). Therefore, each workout is between 28 and 48 minutes.

Tips for Better Form and Results

Each exercise requires proper form to prevent injury and maximize results. Therefore, please review the written instructions below and follow the links for more guidance (and video) for each exercise.

Lower Body Exercises

Proper form during these exercises is essential because you’ll be lifting heavier weights. When doing squats, only sink as low as you can without rounding your lower back. Another helpful reminder for lunges and squats: when you go to the floor, flex your core, and keep your back straight.

Below are pictures of the lower body exercises in the Gym Workout Plan for Beginners PDF. You’ll find more instructions on proper form for these lower body exercises here and here.

Gym workout plan for beginners pdf with pictures lower body exercises
Core Exercises

Make sure your abs are controlling your movements, not the momentum from the dumbbell. You should never arch your lower back or feel pain there. During back extensions, make sure you engage your quads, glutes, and abs.

Below are pictures of the core exercises in the Gym Workout Plan for Beginners PDF. Again, you’ll find more instructions on the proper form for these core exercises here and here.

Gym workout plan for beginners core exercises
Bicep Exercises

Keep your upper body and elbows stationary during the exercise. Do not thrust your torso backward. That is cheating. It’s also important to engage your core and keep your spine straight during these bicep exercises.

If swinging the dumbbells seem to cause your body to sway, you can always “kickstand” one foot behind you to keep your body straight and stationary.

Gym workout schedule free PDF bicep exercises
Tricep Exercises

To be extra safe, you don’t have to go past a 90° bend in your elbows if that’s a problem area for you. Stop if you feel pain during these exercises. During the tricep exercises, focus on squeezing your elbows together, keeping them shoulder-distance apart.

To isolate your tricep muscles and protect your joints, don’t let your elbows flair out. Again, your body and elbows should remain stationary.

12-week gym workout plan for weight loss tricep exercises
Chest Exercises

During these chest exercises, whether you’re doing them on the ground or a bench, it’s critical to engage your core and not round your lower back. You’ll probably be lifting heavier weights, so be sure to move slowly and in a controlled manner. 

gym workout plan for beginners women and men chest exercises
Back Exercises

Keep your spine in line, don’t arch your back, and engage your core during all of these exercises. Also, squeeze your shoulder blades together and maintain perfect posture.

12-week gym workout plan for beginners pdf with pictures back exercises
Shoulder Exercises

Go slow and maintain control. It’s easy to let momentum make these exercises easier, but that’s risky and not effective. Only your arms should move, so engage your core and focus on not thrusting your hips forward. 

Also, for raises and upright rows, you should never lift the weights above your shoulders. Enjoy the burn!

Gym workout routine for beginners PDF shoulder exercises

Closing THoughts on The Printable Resistance Band Exercise PDF 

With these tips, the downloadable gym workout plan, and printable pictures of each exercise, we hope you have the best success yet at the gym.

Based on what we’ve seen, this is the best gym workout plan for beginners that’s available for free on the internet. But we’re always looking to improve, so if you have any questions or feedback please ask in the comments. 

Cheers to your transformation! For more helpful resources, such as our Bodyweight Workout Plan or the Dumbbell Workout Plan for beginners, head over to our Work Out At Home page. All free!

Gym Workout Plan for Beginners PDF with Pictures

Download The Gym Workout Plan for Beginners PDF

This free PDF is a 12-week gym workout routine with 51 of the most effective, beginner-friendly exercises. Print the calendar, weight tracker sheet, and pictures to follow along at the gym with confidence. We're just an email away for support!

As Seen In Feature Bar Ryan and Alex Duo Life

Hey we're Ryan and Alex

A husband-wife duo, two engineers, and the creators of Ryan and Alex Duo Life. 

After eight years working in the corporate world as engineers, we left our to tackle our true passion:

Helping highly motivated couples optimize their relationship and health by cutting through the muck and sharing what the research says works.

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