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The Beginners Hypertrophy Program

Let's Get You On Track To Building Some Muscle!

Posted by Daniel_Meyer - June 9th, 2014

The Beginners Hypertrophy Program, as the name suggests, is aimed at people who are new to resistance training and are in need of a workout structure that optimizes all elements of resistance training. Note, however, that this split will work for anyone who participates in resistance training, not just beginners and can be an effective routine change if you’ve hit a plateau in your training.

This program is a simple but effective split designed around grouping muscles depending on their function. It is based around 3 sessions: push, pull and legs.

During each of these sessions you will hit all major muscle groups with a variety of compound and isolation exercises.

To make this program effective I advocate 3 rest days a week which would make an example of how to utilize this program look like this:

As you can see once you’ve completed weeks 1 - 3 you then just repeat the cycle. Repetition of the program for around 6 - 8 weeks allows you to keep progressing in terms of size and strength without hitting a plateau.

Throughout this program you should record the weight and reps you lift for each exercise, this is paramount to progressing and setting targets.

Understanding the program:

  • Rest – This is simply the time taken in between sets.
  • Tempo – this is the speed (in seconds) at which you perform the exercise.
  • For example: 31X0
    • 3 - eccentric (negative or stretch portion)
    • 1 - pause at the bottom
    • X - explosive concentric (positive or contract portion)
    • 0 - pause at top
  • The same principle applies to all the other tempos in terms of order. It is always eccentric, bottom pause, concentric, top pause
  • Asterisk Symbol (*) – When this is seen next to a letter it means this exercise is a progression lift which means you must progress each time you perform this exercise. A progression could mean you lift more weight or it could mean you perform more reps within the rep scheme.
  • AMRAP – As Many Reps As Possible

I would highly recommend you look over Scott’s YouTube channel to see proper execution of each exercise before you start this program. The use of proper form with these exercises allows for better muscular stimulation which will encourage more growth.

For nutritional advice I recommend you check out Scott’s website for his meal planner and video on how to calculate your required nutritional intake.

If you are still confused, head over to the FORUMS where other Hermanites and I will help you get on track.

With regards to your log book use it to your advantage. Before you go into the gym read through the program, look at the exercises you will perform, look at your previous weights and reps and know what you have to do to beat these.

You must go into the gym ready to break personal bests and give all you can in order to earn the physique you desire.

Put the effort in Nation and the results will follow!! #SHFAthlete #HTH

If this article helped you and you'd like to learn more ways to maximize your results, SIGN-UP for the Platinum Membership today!

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How To: Barbell Bicep Curl

Today we’re going to be going over proper form for a barbell biceps curl. Before we get into the 3 golden rules, I just want to do...

Would you recommend incorporating 1 or 2 days of 30-45 min cardio into this on your rest days to stay lean? The reason I ask is I will be on a mass gainer while doing this and want to gain a good bit of weight, but keep the weight I gain to lean weight. 


Great routine man! I've started using this and the pump is awesome. 
I've got 2 questions:
1. Can I expect any hypertrophy when I'm on a cut?
2. Can I add in another bicep workout on Pull day?

Thanks for the great routine again! :)

Scott_Herman Edit Delete Close

if you are carb cycling you can expect gains and another bicep workout or 1 exercise?

energon19 Edit Delete Close

my bad! I meant 1 exercise. :D
Carb cycling ftw!


Excellent article for beginners and intermediates, it really lists everything perfect and explains all the terminology in a clear cut manner. A buddy of mine is going to be getting back to the gym after a bit of a layoff and was asking me to help devise him a routine... now I don't have to, I'm sending him the link here. Thanks :)


This article has proven to be amazing. I have linked it dozens of times on facebook, and on the new FAQs

Scott_Herman Edit Delete Close

yeah @whisper, I just shared it again on facebook.  @daniel_meyer did a kick ass job!


Do you have some mods on this routine for a gym that has only dumbells and a few machines? I don't have barbells or cable machines or a pull up bar in my gym (just a small apartment gym).

Whisper Edit Delete Close

If you want to be serious about your training, you need to have barbells. If anything, sell every dumbell and machine and buy some barbells and a pull up bar. We know that machines are quite useless especially for beginners. Dumbells are nice, but they are usually used for accessory work after you re done with the barbells and the bodyweight stuff.

mdavidovich Edit Delete Close

@scott_herman - Hi Scott! I have dumbells up to from 5 to 50 lbs each, a bench, a dip station, and some kind of all in one fitness machine that lets you do leg presses, lat pull downs, rows, bench presses, leg extensions . . . it's pretty old and clumsey machine with no clear instructions, so I like to avoid it. When I do use it though I use it for leg presses, rows and sometimes bench press (when the dumbells are in in use). I hate lat pulldowns, so I don't really use it for that. I have a door frame pull up bar in my aparment, but there's nowhere to bring it to the gym downstairs and latch it up. There's an exercise ball in there too, but it's usually flat. Otherwise some cardio machines.


Would love to try a routine like this one in the artcile, or for that matter a lot of your other ones on YouTube, but I always seem to lack a few machines or pieces of equipment and I don't quite have the knowledge to adapt to another exercise.


Looking forward to hearing back!


The routine schedule in that article is the one that you gave me Daniel... and I'm glad I take your advice. Actually it is best for a Beginner. =) I used that for 1 year and 9 months... never change since then. Ohhh It really transformed me to something I didn't expect. Thank you for such wonderful advice.. and also thanks to Captain, Kostas,Mervin, Nathan, and John for their great tips and advice.


I'm going to share this to my friends too. =)

Scott_Herman Edit Delete Close

Best supportive community around @mcmike, you know it!!!

Daniel_Meyer Edit Delete Close

Thanks mate! This a slightly improved version to the program I gave you so get on this one!


Amazing article!! im sharing this!!


Scott_Herman Edit Delete Close

I am going to post this for the Nation on Saturday morning on Facebook.. I bet it will help a lot of people!


This looks like a great workout, one I'll have to try out soon! I'm a little confused on the 21X0 part though... I just don't know what the 2 stands for, or the point of it -I'm not being offensive, just naiive :)

Scott_Herman Edit Delete Close

Hey man! No worries, just read the part above the workout that says TEMPO, it explains all the numbers @esipe24


sound's really really really good! it's perfect that you've mentioned the TUT for every exercise.

I will definitely give it a try!

Daniel_Meyer Edit Delete Close

Go for it! Its been tried and tested and I have put A LOT of thought into the order of each exercise and trying to get the most out of each session, so you should get good results!

Scott_Herman Edit Delete Close

Nice @rabbit2805! Let us know how you like it once you give it a try! #HTH


Great article as usual Daniel. I am doing a 4-day Push/Pull routine that allows 3 days rest (Wed,Sat,Sun). I do one superset exercise per body part and do 4 supersets total for each muscle (not counting warm-up sets) - for instance I will superset ATG squats with 45 degree leg press or DB bench press with pull-overs or plate press. I keep the reps in the 10-12 range and the weight moderate and pyramided. I find that doing it this way supplies enough volume and intensity and gets me done in about 60 - 70 minutes. So far size and strength have increased slightly as can be expected for my age and body fat has gone down :-)

Daniel_Meyer Edit Delete Close

Thanks John! Your workout sounds intense, I'll have to give it a go sometime.

Scott_Herman Edit Delete Close

I agree @jmboiardi, this was a great article for sure and is going to help a lot of people! Especially in the @forums!