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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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Pull-Ups vs Chin-Ups

If you asked any intelligent trainer or strength coach to list the top 5 exercises the majority of the population should be doing,...

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! :)

energon19  Edit  Delete  Close

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

Scott_Herman  Edit  Delete  Close

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


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).

Scott_Herman  Edit  Delete  Close

Nice! thanks man!Cable Flys = Dumbbell flys on flat bench

Rack Pull = does this machine you have, have a bottom pulley you can atach a bar to and simulate the rack pull

Hanging Knee Raise = Reverse Crunch

Pull-Ups = Lat pulldown machine that you hate.. or install a bar

Barbell Back Squat = Dumbbell Squat

Glute Ham Raise = Dumbbell leg curl (basically you hold the dumbbell with your feet, you can get it on your own or have a partner place it between your feet for you)Hope this helps... I suggest jumping in the @forums as well for more help!

mdavidovich  Edit  Delete  Close



Thank you! I went through the list and here are the ones I'm pretty sure I can't do in the gym downstairs. I would add the barbell presses, rows and deadlifts, but I think I'm ok to do them with dumbells, yes? However, I can't get terribly heavy with dumbells since they only go up to 50 lbs . . . so 100 lbs total.


Cable Flys

Rack Pulls

Hanging Knee Raise

Pullups (No where to latch on my doorframe pullup bar)

Barbell Back Squat

Glute Ham Raise


Hope you can offer suggestions.





Scott_Herman  Edit  Delete  Close

Oh.. wel the easiest way would be to just tell us what you "can't" do and we can offer suggestions to replace that exercise with the list of equipment you have above


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. =)

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!

Scott_Herman  Edit  Delete  Close

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

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!


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 :-)

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!

Daniel_Meyer  Edit  Delete  Close

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