Workout Plans
  • Goal: Hypertrophy, Burn Fat, Increase Strength
  • Skill level: Beginner
  • Duration: 6 Weeks
  • Days per week: 4-6
  • Type: Strength Training
The 2016 Starter's Guide Workout Program thumbnail

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

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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 5x5 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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Week 1

Week 2

  • Day 8 Workout A Start
  • Day 9 Workout B Start
  • Day 10 Rest or Cardio Start
  • Day 11 Workout C Start
  • Day 12 Workout D Start
  • Day 13 Rest or Cardio Start
  • Day 14 Rest or Cardio Start

Week 3

  • Day 15 Workout A Start
  • Day 16 Workout B Start
  • Day 17 Rest or Cardio Start
  • Day 18 Workout C Start
  • Day 19 Workout D Start
  • Day 20 Rest or Cardio Start
  • Day 21 Rest or Cardio Start

Week 4

  • Day 22 Workout A Start
  • Day 23 Workout B Start
  • Day 24 Rest or Cardio Start
  • Day 25 Workout C Start
  • Day 26 Workout D Start
  • Day 27 Rest or Cardio Start
  • Day 28 Rest or Cardio Start

Week 5

  • Day 29 Workout A Start
  • Day 30 Workout B Start
  • Day 31 Rest or Cardio Start
  • Day 32 Workout C Start
  • Day 33 Workout D Start
  • Day 34 Rest or Cardio Start
  • Day 35 Rest or Cardio Start

Week 6

  • Day 36 Workout A Start
  • Day 37 Workout B Start
  • Day 38 Rest or Cardio Start
  • Day 39 Workout C Start
  • Day 40 Workout D Start
  • Day 41 Rest or Cardio Start
  • Day 42 Rest or Cardio Start