The 2016 Starter’s Guide Workout Program

Start working toward the body you’ve always wanted with this comprehensive six-week program.

The 2016 Starter's Guide Workout Program

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  • Goal

    Hypertrophy, Burn Fat, Increase Strength

  • Skill level

    Beginner

  • Duration

    6 Weeks

  • Days per week

    4-6

  • Type

    Strength Training

  • Goal

    Hypertrophy, Burn Fat, Increase Strength

  • Skill level

    Beginner

  • Duration

    6 Weeks

  • Days per week

    4-6

  • Type

    Strength Training

Training Overview

The M&F Starter’s Guide is built around basic, foundational exercises because, well, that’s what works. Multijoint (compound) movements performed with free weights are what the biggest, strongest men in the world rely upon in their training, and these are the staples that any beginner should learn as well. Fundamental movements are best taught with body weight, barbells, and dumbbells, and results will come quicker with these tools.

As you progress, you can introduce machines to further isolate and overload the muscles and even to work around any nagging injuries you may have. But for now, stick with what’s written here. “When starting a new workout program, focusing on the fundamentals is key,” says Grinnell. “Pushing, pulling, and squatting heavy weight is what it’s all about. Throw in some arms, calves, and abdominal work with the right amount of cardio and you have a solid workout plan.”

Grinnell implements a four-days-a-week lifting schedule that utilizes an upper body/lower body split. For example:

  • Monday: Upper Body (Workout A)
  • Tuesday: Lower Body, Abs (Workout B)
  • Thursday: Upper Body (Workout C)
  • Friday: Lower Body, Abs (Workout D)

This design, he says, provides the perfect dose of training stress to promote muscle growth and strength without hindering recovery. Training volume (total number of sets) is somewhat modest on this program to keep the beginner from overdoing it.

To promote cardiovascular conditioning and fat burning, cardio workouts are prescribed three days a week. These can be done on non-lifting days or after lifting sessions. Get the cardio workouts here.

As mentioned, the exercise selection is supremely straightforward on purpose. Likewise, the set and rep schemes Grinnell prescribes are equally tried and true. You’ll get a heavy dose of strength training via the classic 5×5 protocol (five sets of five reps) balanced out with sets in the hypertrophy sweet spot of eight to 12 reps (and up to 20-plus reps on certain movements). This approach will have you experiencing noticeable gains in both muscle size and strength, provided proper nutrition is adhered to.

Dynamic Warmup

Perform these exercises in a circuit fashion for a total of two rounds.

  • Spiderman with Rotation – 5 each side
  • Bodyweight Squat – 10
  • Pushup – 10
  • Lateral Lunge – 5 each side
  • Jump Rope – 1 min

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The Plan

  • Goal

    Hypertrophy, Burn Fat, Increase Strength

  • Skill level

    Beginner

  • Duration

    6 Weeks

  • Days per week

    4-6

  • Type

    Strength Training

Week 1
  • Day 1

    Workout A

    60 min

    6

    Yes

    Workout A

    <p>For each A and B exercise pairing, go back and forth between the two moves one set at a time—similar to a superset, only with full rest between exercises.</p><p>Optional: Complete one of the three weekly cardio workouts; Click <a href="/workouts/workout-routines/videos/2016-starters-guide-cardio" target="_blank">here</a> for details.</p>

  • Day 2

    Workout B

    60 min

    6

    Yes

    Workout B

    <p>For each A and B exercise pairing, go back and forth between the two moves one set at a time—similar to a superset, only with full rest between exercises.</p><p>Optional: Complete one of the three weekly cardio workouts; Click <a href="/workouts/workout-routines/videos/2016-starters-guide-cardio" target="_blank">here</a> for details.</p>

  • Day 3

    Rest or Cardio

    --

    --

    No

    Rest or Cardio

    Optional: Complete one of the three weekly cardio workouts; Click <a href="/workouts/workout-routines/videos/2016-starters-guide-cardio" target="_blank">here</a> for details.</p>

  • Day 4

    Workout C

    60 min

    6

    Yes

    Workout C

    <p>For each A and B exercise pairing, go back and forth between the two moves one set at a time—similar to a superset, only with full rest between exercises.</p><p>On the last set of each exercise, perform two rest pauses. For example, on barbell overhead presses, rack the weight after your fourth set and rest 15 to 20 seconds, then perform as many reps as possible with that same weight. Repeat this one more time for a total of two rest-pause sets.</p><p> Optional: Complete one of the three weekly cardio workouts; Click <a href="/workouts/workout-routines/videos/2016-starters-guide-cardio" target="_blank">here</a> for details.</p>

  • Day 5

    Workout D

    60 min

    5

    Yes

    Workout D

    <p>For each A and B exercise pairing, go back and forth between the two moves one set at a time—similar to a superset, only with full rest between exercises.</p><p>Optional: Complete one of the three weekly cardio workouts; Click <a href="/workouts/workout-routines/videos/2016-starters-guide-cardio" target="_blank">here</a> for details.</p>

  • Day 6

    Rest or Cardio

    --

    --

    No

    Rest or Cardio

    Optional: Complete one of the three weekly cardio workouts; Click <a href="/workouts/workout-routines/videos/2016-starters-guide-cardio" target="_blank">here</a> for details.</p>

  • Day 7

    Rest or Cardio

    --

    --

    No

    Rest or Cardio

    Optional: Complete one of the three weekly cardio workouts; Click <a href="/workouts/workout-routines/videos/2016-starters-guide-cardio" target="_blank">here</a> for details.</p>

Week 2
  • Day 1

    Workout A

    60 min

    6

    Yes

    Workout A

    <p>For each A and B exercise pairing, go back and forth between the two moves one set at a time—similar to a superset, only with full rest between exercises.</p><p>Optional: Complete one of the three weekly cardio workouts; Click <a href="/workouts/workout-routines/videos/2016-starters-guide-cardio" target="_blank">here</a> for details.</p>

  • Day 2

    Workout B

    60 min

    6

    Yes

    Workout B

    <p>For each A and B exercise pairing, go back and forth between the two moves one set at a time—similar to a superset, only with full rest between exercises.</p><p>Optional: Complete one of the three weekly cardio workouts; Click <a href="/workouts/workout-routines/videos/2016-starters-guide-cardio" target="_blank">here</a> for details.</p>

  • Day 3

    Rest or Cardio

    --

    --

    No

    Rest or Cardio

    Optional: Complete one of the three weekly cardio workouts; Click <a href="/workouts/workout-routines/videos/2016-starters-guide-cardio" target="_blank">here</a> for details.</p>

  • Day 4

    Workout C

    60 min

    6

    Yes

    Workout C

    <p>For each A and B exercise pairing, go back and forth between the two moves one set at a time—similar to a superset, only with full rest between exercises.</p><p>On the last set of each exercise, perform two rest pauses. For example, on barbell overhead presses, rack the weight after your fourth set and rest 15 to 20 seconds, then perform as many reps as possible with that same weight. Repeat this one more time for a total of two rest-pause sets.</p><p> Optional: Complete one of the three weekly cardio workouts; Click <a href="/workouts/workout-routines/videos/2016-starters-guide-cardio" target="_blank">here</a> for details.</p>

  • Day 5

    Workout D

    60 min

    5

    Yes

    Workout D

    <p>For each A and B exercise pairing, go back and forth between the two moves one set at a time—similar to a superset, only with full rest between exercises.</p><p>Optional: Complete one of the three weekly cardio workouts; Click <a href="/workouts/workout-routines/videos/2016-starters-guide-cardio" target="_blank">here</a> for details.</p>

  • Day 6

    Rest or Cardio

    --

    --

    No

    Rest or Cardio

    Optional: Complete one of the three weekly cardio workouts; Click <a href="/workouts/workout-routines/videos/2016-starters-guide-cardio" target="_blank">here</a> for details.</p>

  • Day 7

    Rest or Cardio

    --

    --

    No

    Rest or Cardio

    Optional: Complete one of the three weekly cardio workouts; Click <a href="/workouts/workout-routines/videos/2016-starters-guide-cardio" target="_blank">here</a> for details.</p>

Week 3
  • Day 1

    Workout A

    60

    6

    Yes

    Workout A

    <p>For each A and B exercise pairing, go back and forth between the two moves one set at a time—similar to a superset, only with full rest between exercises.</p><p>Optional: Complete one of the three weekly cardio workouts; Click <a href="/workouts/workout-routines/videos/2016-starters-guide-cardio" target="_blank">here</a> for details.</p>

  • Day 2

    Workout B

    60 min

    6

    Yes

    Workout B

    <p>For each A and B exercise pairing, go back and forth between the two moves one set at a time—similar to a superset, only with full rest between exercises.</p><p>Optional: Complete one of the three weekly cardio workouts; Click <a href="/workouts/workout-routines/videos/2016-starters-guide-cardio" target="_blank">here</a> for details.</p>

  • Day 3

    Rest or Cardio

    --

    --

    No

    Rest or Cardio

    Optional: Complete one of the three weekly cardio workouts; Click <a href="/workouts/workout-routines/videos/2016-starters-guide-cardio" target="_blank">here</a> for details.</p>

  • Day 4

    Workout C

    60 min

    6

    Yes

    Workout C

    <p>For each A and B exercise pairing, go back and forth between the two moves one set at a time—similar to a superset, only with full rest between exercises.</p><p>On the last set of each exercise, perform two rest pauses. For example, on barbell overhead presses, rack the weight after your fourth set and rest 15 to 20 seconds, then perform as many reps as possible with that same weight. Repeat this one more time for a total of two rest-pause sets.</p><p> Optional: Complete one of the three weekly cardio workouts; Click <a href="/workouts/workout-routines/videos/2016-starters-guide-cardio" target="_blank">here</a> for details.</p>

  • Day 5

    Workout D

    60 min

    5

    Yes

    Workout D

    <p>For each A and B exercise pairing, go back and forth between the two moves one set at a time—similar to a superset, only with full rest between exercises.</p><p>Optional: Complete one of the three weekly cardio workouts; Click <a href="/workouts/workout-routines/videos/2016-starters-guide-cardio" target="_blank">here</a> for details.</p>

  • Day 6

    Rest or Cardio

    --

    --

    No

    Rest or Cardio

    Optional: Complete one of the three weekly cardio workouts; Click <a href="/workouts/workout-routines/videos/2016-starters-guide-cardio" target="_blank">here</a> for details.</p>

  • Day 7

    Rest or Cardio

    --

    --

    No

    Rest or Cardio

    Optional: Complete one of the three weekly cardio workouts; Click <a href="/workouts/workout-routines/videos/2016-starters-guide-cardio" target="_blank">here</a> for details.</p>

Week 4
  • Day 1

    Workout A

    60

    6

    Yes

    Workout A

    <p>For each A and B exercise pairing, go back and forth between the two moves one set at a time—similar to a superset, only with full rest between exercises.</p><p>Optional: Complete one of the three weekly cardio workouts; Click <a href="/workouts/workout-routines/videos/2016-starters-guide-cardio" target="_blank">here</a> for details.</p>

  • Day 2

    Workout B

    60 min

    6

    Yes

    Workout B

    <p>For each A and B exercise pairing, go back and forth between the two moves one set at a time—similar to a superset, only with full rest between exercises.</p><p>Optional: Complete one of the three weekly cardio workouts; Click <a href="/workouts/workout-routines/videos/2016-starters-guide-cardio" target="_blank">here</a> for details.</p>

  • Day 3

    Rest or Cardio

    --

    --

    No

    Rest or Cardio

    Optional: Complete one of the three weekly cardio workouts; Click <a href="/workouts/workout-routines/videos/2016-starters-guide-cardio" target="_blank">here</a> for details.</p>

  • Day 4

    Workout C

    60 min

    6

    Yes

    Workout C

    <p>For each A and B exercise pairing, go back and forth between the two moves one set at a time—similar to a superset, only with full rest between exercises.</p><p>On the last set of each exercise, perform two rest pauses. For example, on barbell overhead presses, rack the weight after your fourth set and rest 15 to 20 seconds, then perform as many reps as possible with that same weight. Repeat this one more time for a total of two rest-pause sets.</p><p> Optional: Complete one of the three weekly cardio workouts; Click <a href="/workouts/workout-routines/videos/2016-starters-guide-cardio" target="_blank">here</a> for details.</p>

  • Day 5

    Workout D

    60 min

    5

    Yes

    Workout D

    <p>For each A and B exercise pairing, go back and forth between the two moves one set at a time—similar to a superset, only with full rest between exercises.</p><p>Optional: Complete one of the three weekly cardio workouts; Click <a href="/workouts/workout-routines/videos/2016-starters-guide-cardio" target="_blank">here</a> for details.</p>

  • Day 6

    Rest or Cardio

    --

    --

    No

    Rest or Cardio

    Optional: Complete one of the three weekly cardio workouts; Click <a href="/workouts/workout-routines/videos/2016-starters-guide-cardio" target="_blank">here</a> for details.</p>

  • Day 7

    Rest or Cardio

    --

    --

    No

    Rest or Cardio

    Optional: Complete one of the three weekly cardio workouts; Click <a href="/workouts/workout-routines/videos/2016-starters-guide-cardio" target="_blank">here</a> for details.</p>

Week 5
  • Day 1

    Workout A

    60 min

    6

    Yes

    Workout A

    <p>For each A and B exercise pairing, go back and forth between the two moves one set at a time—similar to a superset, only with full rest between exercises.</p><p>Optional: Complete one of the three weekly cardio workouts; Click <a href="/workouts/workout-routines/videos/2016-starters-guide-cardio" target="_blank">here</a> for details.</p>

  • Day 2

    Workout B

    60 min

    6

    Yes

    Workout B

    <p>For each A and B exercise pairing, go back and forth between the two moves one set at a time—similar to a superset, only with full rest between exercises.</p><p>Optional: Complete one of the three weekly cardio workouts; Click <a href="/workouts/workout-routines/videos/2016-starters-guide-cardio" target="_blank">here</a> for details.</p>

  • Day 3

    Rest or Cardio

    --

    --

    No

    Rest or Cardio

    Optional: Complete one of the three weekly cardio workouts; Click <a href="/workouts/workout-routines/videos/2016-starters-guide-cardio" target="_blank">here</a> for details.</p>

  • Day 4

    Workout C

    60 min

    6

    Yes

    Workout C

    <p>For each A and B exercise pairing, go back and forth between the two moves one set at a time—similar to a superset, only with full rest between exercises.</p><p>On the last set of each exercise, perform two rest pauses. For example, on barbell overhead presses, rack the weight after your fourth set and rest 15 to 20 seconds, then perform as many reps as possible with that same weight. Repeat this one more time for a total of two rest-pause sets.</p><p> Optional: Complete one of the three weekly cardio workouts; Click <a href="/workouts/workout-routines/videos/2016-starters-guide-cardio" target="_blank">here</a> for details.</p>

  • Day 5

    Workout D

    60 min

    5

    Yes

    Workout D

    <p>For each A and B exercise pairing, go back and forth between the two moves one set at a time—similar to a superset, only with full rest between exercises.</p><p>Optional: Complete one of the three weekly cardio workouts; Click <a href="/workouts/workout-routines/videos/2016-starters-guide-cardio" target="_blank">here</a> for details.</p>

  • Day 6

    Rest or Cardio

    --

    --

    No

    Rest or Cardio

    Optional: Complete one of the three weekly cardio workouts; Click <a href="/workouts/workout-routines/videos/2016-starters-guide-cardio" target="_blank">here</a> for details.</p>

  • Day 7

    Rest or Cardio

    --

    --

    No

    Rest or Cardio

    Optional: Complete one of the three weekly cardio workouts; Click <a href="/workouts/workout-routines/videos/2016-starters-guide-cardio" target="_blank">here</a> for details.</p>

Week 6
  • Day 1

    Workout A

    60 min

    6

    Yes

    Workout A

    <p>For each A and B exercise pairing, go back and forth between the two moves one set at a time—similar to a superset, only with full rest between exercises.</p><p>Optional: Complete one of the three weekly cardio workouts; Click <a href="/workouts/workout-routines/videos/2016-starters-guide-cardio" target="_blank">here</a> for details.</p>

  • Day 2

    Workout B

    60 min

    6

    Yes

    Workout B

    <p>For each A and B exercise pairing, go back and forth between the two moves one set at a time—similar to a superset, only with full rest between exercises.</p><p>Optional: Complete one of the three weekly cardio workouts; Click <a href="/workouts/workout-routines/videos/2016-starters-guide-cardio" target="_blank">here</a> for details.</p>

  • Day 3

    Rest or Cardio

    --

    --

    No

    Rest or Cardio

    Optional: Complete one of the three weekly cardio workouts; Click <a href="/workouts/workout-routines/videos/2016-starters-guide-cardio" target="_blank">here</a> for details.</p>

  • Day 4

    Workout C

    60 min

    6

    Yes

    Workout C

    <p>For each A and B exercise pairing, go back and forth between the two moves one set at a time—similar to a superset, only with full rest between exercises.</p><p>On the last set of each exercise, perform two rest pauses. For example, on barbell overhead presses, rack the weight after your fourth set and rest 15 to 20 seconds, then perform as many reps as possible with that same weight. Repeat this one more time for a total of two rest-pause sets.</p><p> Optional: Complete one of the three weekly cardio workouts; Click <a href="/workouts/workout-routines/videos/2016-starters-guide-cardio" target="_blank">here</a> for details.</p>

  • Day 5

    Workout D

    60 min

    5

    Yes

    Workout D

    <p>For each A and B exercise pairing, go back and forth between the two moves one set at a time—similar to a superset, only with full rest between exercises.</p><p>Optional: Complete one of the three weekly cardio workouts; Click <a href="/workouts/workout-routines/videos/2016-starters-guide-cardio" target="_blank">here</a> for details.</p>

  • Day 6

    Rest or Cardio

    --

    --

    No

    Rest or Cardio

    Optional: Complete one of the three weekly cardio workouts; Click <a href="/workouts/workout-routines/videos/2016-starters-guide-cardio" target="_blank">here</a> for details.</p>

  • Day 7

    Rest or Cardio

    --

    --

    No

    Rest or Cardio

    Optional: Complete one of the three weekly cardio workouts; Click <a href="/workouts/workout-routines/videos/2016-starters-guide-cardio" target="_blank">here</a> for details.</p>