Workout Tips

Lift Doctor: Best Amount of Exercises Per Muscle Group

The doc's workout prescription for improving training performance and results.

Lift Doctor: Best Amount of Exercises Per Muscle Group


“How many different exercises is optimal for each muscle group per workout for beginners vs. veterans?” - Edvinas Milašius

Great question. First, let’s change our mindset a little bit. Beginners should shift their approach away from “training muscles” and more towards developing better movement. Their goal should be to develop better form with the fundamental movement patterns - push, pull, hip-hinge, squat, lunge, and rotation – which will help them gain more control and stability of their body.

Also, the main upper and lower body compound exercises should form the foundation of their full body workouts.  In my experience, full body workouts – where you train both upper and lower body exercises in the same workout – are best for beginners because they need this variety and “full body focus” to develop and overcome their weaknesses globally. 

A beginner full body workout should include 2-3 upper body exercises and 2-3 lower body exercises. They should start the workout with a good warm-up and finish with a core exercise and a metabolic finisher. 

Sample Beginner Full Body Workout

1A) Squats, 3 sets x 10 reps

1B) Pull-ups, 3 sets x 8 reps

2A)  Push-ups, 4 sets x 20 reps

2B)  Dumbbell RDL’s, 4 sets x 8 reps

3A)  Lunge, 3 sets x 6 reps each leg

3B)  Face Pulls, 3 sets x 20 reps

4)  Planks, 3 sets x ALAP