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Home Barbell Workout

Get bigger and more defined in the comfort of your home with these barbell-only routines.

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  • 5 days

  • 33

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Home Barbell Workout
Home Barbell Workout

There are several devices – dumbbells, benches, a power rack, cable machines, selectorized machines, a Smith machine, a locker room – that are nice to have access to when you’re looking to reshape your physique into a body that’s bigger, stronger and more defined.

But at the same time, these implements, while very helpful, aren’t absolutely required. You see, with only the bare minimum – a barbell and weight plates – you can train your entire body with basic exercises, moves that are among the best at building muscle mass, strength and power. Such little equipment is inexpensive (you can find a 300-pound Olympic barbell set for $200-$300 online or at a sporting goods store) and compact, easily fitting in a home basement, spare bedroom or garage.

That’s the basis of our latest installment of at-home training. These workouts train the entire body with good old-fashioned free-weight moves that are guaranteed to pack muscle onto your frame. And it doesn’t take a $75 monthly gym membership: A bar, some plates and a modest amount of floor space is all you need.

SEE ALSO: Quick Workouts for Maximum Muscle

Home Cookin’

As you can imagine, a workout that exclusively involves a barbell might employ compound exercises to hit each muscle group. With the exception of some isolation work for smaller bodyparts like biceps, for example, compound exercises are exactly what this at-home program entails. One benefit of utilizing only a barbell is you’re less dependent on stabilizing muscles to assist in the movement, unlike with dumbbell exercises, in which you use smaller muscles to help you balance each dumbbell. This means you use more power during barbell exercises and will, therefore, get stronger. Over time, your ability to lift more weight will help you gain more mass.

Barbells are also great for power moves, many of which can be done in an open space such as a garage or large basement. Developing explosive power allows you to gain mass because power training recruits a higher percentage of fast-twitch muscle fibers, which have a greater potential for growth, compared to slow-twitch fibers.

SEE ALSO: Three 15-Minute Muscle-Building Workouts

The Program

The following program consists of four days of training per week: Day 1 is an upper-body push workout (chest, shoulders, triceps); Day 2 is a lower-body session (quads, glutes, hamstrings, calves); Day 3 is upper-body pull (back, traps, biceps, forearms); and Day 4 is a power-training day that focuses on full-body movements. (We suggest taking a rest day between training Days 3 and 4 to ensure that your body is sufficiently rested for the taxing full-body power day.)

On Days 1-3, there are two rep ranges for each exercise: one for building strength and one for mass. Select your rep range based on your goal, or use a combination of strength and mass rep ranges to subject your muscles to varying resistances for gains in both areas. During power workouts, use relatively light weight (about 30%-50% of your 1RM), and keep reps between 3-5. Don’t take any sets to failure because you want every rep to be your maximum effort and performed as explosively as possible to develop muscular power. Getting overly fatigued doesn’t help you develop power and can actually contribute to injury.

SEE ALSO: 30-Minute Full-Body Workout

The Exercises

The exercises in this program are, for the most part, basic moves that you’re probably familiar with. However, in the absence of some basic equipment (specifically, a bench), we had to get creative. For example, we included a floor bench press, which mimics a standard bench press in form, but you might not be able to lower the bar all the way to your chest. You might think this limits the effectiveness of the exercise, but, in fact, it will serve as a nice break from traditional barbell and dumbbell bench presses.

Another twist on a classic exercise is an overhead press from a standing position. At first, you may be forced to use a lighter weight than you’d use for seated overhead presses because when seated you’re using the seat back for support and as leverage to help you lift the weight. However, after doing the standing version for a while – and once your lower back is strengthened through adaptation – you’ll be able to lift as much, if not more, weight standing as seated. Not to mention, the core strength you’ll develop as a result of not having support structures like a low-back bench will benefit you in not only overall body strength in the gym but in regular activities as well.

The workouts that follow can be used in a number of ways. They can constitute your entire lifting program if you choose to train only at home with a barbell and plates (that is, until you add onto your home gym), or they can supplement the training you do at the gym. If, for example, you don’t feel like driving to the gym for a chest/shoulders/triceps workout, simply do Workout 1. Or if you want a break from the leg machines (leg press, hack squat machine, Smith machine), Workout 2 will provide a good shock to your legs.

Either way, our at-home workouts show that it doesn’t take fancy machines, decked-out locker rooms or even dumbbells to pack on mass and get more defined. Sometimes, going back to the basics – and into the friendly confines of your basement or garage – is just what you need.

Routine

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Day 1

Upper Body Push (Chest, Shoulders, Triceps, Abs)

Exercise
Equipment
Sets
Reps
Rest
Exercise 1 of 33

Floor Bench Press

Equipment
Sets
4
Reps
8-12
Rest
--
How to
Don’t take sets to failure on floor bench press. At the end of each set, carefully release the bar above your head to the floor.
Exercise 2 of 33

EZ-bar Pullover

Equipment
Bench, EZ-Bar
Sets
3
Reps
8-12
Rest
--
Exercise 3 of 33

Underhand Press Raise

Equipment
Sets
3
Reps
8-12
Rest
--
Exercise 4 of 33

Barbell Shoulder Press

Equipment
Barbell
Sets
4
Reps
8-12
Rest
--
Exercise 5 of 33

Barbell Upright Row

Equipment
Barbell
Sets
3
Reps
8-12
Rest
--
Equipment
Bench, EZ-Bar
Sets
4
Reps
8-12
Rest
--
Exercise 9 of 33

Barbell Crunch

Equipment
Sets
4
Reps
20
Rest
--

Day 2

Lower Body (Quads, Glutes, Hamstrings, Calves, Abs)

Exercise
Equipment
Sets
Reps
Rest
Exercise 10 of 33

Barbell Front Squat

Equipment
Barbell, Squat Rack
Sets
4
Reps
--
Rest
--
Exercise 11 of 33

Barbell Hack Squat

Equipment
Barbell
Sets
3
Reps
--
Rest
--
Exercise 12 of 33

Barbell Lunge

Equipment
Barbell
Sets
3
Reps
8-12
Rest
--
Exercise 14 of 33

Romanian Deadlift

Equipment
Barbell
Sets
4
Reps
8-12
Rest
--
Exercise 15 of 33

Lying Leg Curl

Equipment
Sets
3
Reps
8-12
Rest
--
Exercise 16 of 33

Standing Calf Raise

Equipment
Box
Sets
4
Reps
10-30
Rest
--
Exercise 17 of 33

Barbell Crunch

Equipment
Sets
4
Reps
20
Rest
--

Day 3

Upper-Body (Back, Traps, Biceps, Forearms, Abs)

Exercise
Equipment
Sets
Reps
Rest
Exercise 18 of 33

Barbell Deadlift

Equipment
Barbell
Sets
4
Reps
8-12
Rest
--
Exercise 19 of 33

Barbell Bent-Over Row

Equipment
Barbell
Sets
3
Reps
8-12
Rest
--
Exercise 20 of 33

One-Arm Bent-Over Row

Equipment
Dumbbells
Sets
3
Reps
8-12
Rest
--
Exercise 22 of 33

Barbell Shrug

Equipment
Barbell
Sets
3
Reps
--
Rest
--
Equipment
Smith Machine
Sets
3
Reps
--
Rest
--
Exercise 24 of 33

Barbell Biceps Curl

Equipment
Barbell
Sets
3
Reps
--
Rest
--
Exercise 25 of 33

Reverse Curl-Up

Equipment
No Equipment
Sets
4
Reps
--
Rest
--
Equipment
Barbell
Sets
3
Reps
--
Rest
--
Exercise 27 of 33

Barbell Crunch

Equipment
Sets
4
Reps
--
Rest
--

Day 5

Full-Body

Exercise
Equipment
Sets
Reps
Rest
Exercise 28 of 33

Barbell Jump Shrug

Equipment
Barbell
Sets
4
Reps
3-5
Rest
--
For all exercises, use a weight that’s approximately 30%-50% of your 1RM.
Exercise 29 of 33

Hang Clean

Equipment
Barbell
Sets
3
Reps
3-5
Rest
--
For all exercises, use a weight that’s approximately 30%-50% of your 1RM.
Exercise 30 of 33

Barbell High Pull

Equipment
Barbell
Sets
4
Reps
3-5
Rest
--
For all exercises, use a weight that’s approximately 30%-50% of your 1RM.
Exercise 31 of 33

Barbell Hang Pull

Equipment
Barbell
Sets
3
Reps
3-5
Rest
--
For all exercises, use a weight that’s approximately 30%-50% of your 1RM.
Exercise 32 of 33

Barbell Push Press

Equipment
Barbell
Sets
3
Reps
3-5
Rest
--
For all exercises, use a weight that’s approximately 30%-50% of your 1RM.
Exercise 33 of 33

Overhead Barbell Squat

Equipment
Barbell
Sets
4
Reps
3-5
Rest
--
For all exercises, use a weight that’s approximately 30%-50% of your 1RM.
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