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Beginners Muscle Building Workout using Gym Machines

Type: Muscle Building Workout
Are you new to weight training? Then this beginner’s muscle building workout using gym machines is ideal for you. It’s designed to hit the whole body in one compact easy to follow workout. You’ll be splitting shirt sleeves before you know it.

Laying the Foundations to a Better Body

As a beginner it's important to start with right routine so you can learn the basics of weight training. This routine will lay the foundation for you to build an impressive physique.  It focuses around developing correct technique and preparing your muscles and tendons for more challenging free weights workouts.

Overview Show All | Hide All

 Goal - Muscle Toning

The main goal of this workout is to develop a foundation to prepare you for the move on to free weights where you can really start to work on increasing your strength and muscle mass. It works the whole body in one single workout.

Training for muscular endurance at this stage helps to condition the muscles and tendons ready for the next stage.

 Level - Rookie

This workout is aimed at complete beginners to weight training who wish to achieve an increase in strength and muscle tone. This is Workout Level Rookie or above.

 Exercises

1 - Full Body Workout using Machine Based Exercises

The exercises in this workout have been placed in a specific order so that it works the larger muscle groups with complex movements first with the smaller muscle groups and abdominals at the end of the workout. The reason for this is that the smaller muscles and your core abdominals are already worked to a degree by assisting the larger muscle groups at the start of the workout. You would tire much quicker and get less from your workout if you worked the smaller muscles first. Sticking with the order of exercises will allow you to achieve more rapid gains.

2 - Why Machines

Gym machines help the absolute beginner to get a feel for weight training in a safe controlled environment. They do have their limitations and if you want to progress then you will need to move on to free weights at some stage. Training with free weights requires a certain amount of core strength, coordination and balance which may not be possessed by a beginner. This is where fixed path gym machines come into their own by helping to develop initial strength, posture and technique which is vital before moving on to free weights.

3 - Start with Muscular Endurance

Muscular endurance sets the foundation for a strong toned physique. This workout is the first stage on the progressive journey to increases in strength and muscle size.

4 - Minimum of 12 to a maximum of 20 Reps

Weight should be added each week systematically to get stronger and build more muscle. This is easier when doing 5 reps. The increases in weight should be kept small and the focus on maintaining good technique.

5 - 30 to 60 Seconds Rest

Because the workout intensity is relatively low and the focus is on endurance, then the types of muscle fibres used for this workout will recover relatively quickly. A short recovery period of between 30 and 60 seconds should be taken between each set of exercises. Progression in muscular fitness can be made by gradually reducing the rest time between sets from 60 seconds to 30 seconds. A quicker recovery time indicates an increase in overall fitness.

 Schedule - At least twice a week

Do this workout at least 2 times per week up to a maximum of 4 times per week. Allow at least 1 full day's rest between each workout for adequate recovery.

It is suggested to continue with this workout program for a period of 6 to 8 weeks. By the end of this initial period the exerciser should be better prepared to progress on to a free weights program.

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Day 2
Day 3
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Day 5
Day 6
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Muscle Toning Gym Machine Workout
Instructions:
  • Total body routine to be repeated at least 2 times per week up to a maximum of 4 times per week.
  • Aim to complete 2 sets of 12 reps for each exercise. As you get stronger, gradually increase the number of reps up
  • If you can’t manage 2 sets then start with 1 and build up to 2 and then a maximum of 3.
  • Rest for 1 to 2 minutes between each exercise.
  • An appropriate weight should be selected for each exercise based on performing the number of reps and sets required with good technique.
Exercises: Show All | Hide All
1 Leg Press Machine
2 sets 
12 reps 
 
Targets: 
Muscle Groups:
Buttocks
Calves
Hamstrings
Thighs
 
Description: The leg press machine is a great way to enable beginners or even more experienced exercisers to develop strong, powerful muscles in the legs and buttocks. It's a good alternative to the more advanced free weight standing squa ...

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2 Chest Press, Seated, Machine
2 sets 
12 reps 
 
Targets: 
Muscle Groups:
Chest
Triceps
 
Description: The seated chest press is a safe exercise for beginners who want to tone, increase strength and endurance in the chest muscles. It mainly focuses on the chest muscles and also works the triceps in the same movement. When usin ...

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3 Seated Row Machine
2 sets 
12 reps 
 
Targets: 
Muscle Groups:
Lats
Biceps
Rear Shoulders
Upper Back
 
Description: The seated row machine is ideal for beginners to weight training who are looking to develop a strong muscular back. It will help develop your back and get it used to lifting weights and is a great stepping stone to more advan ...

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4 Shoulder Press Machine
2 sets 
12 reps 
 
Targets: 
Muscle Groups:
Front Shoulders
Mid Shoulders
Triceps
 
Description: The shoulder press machine is a great way for beginners to start developing a strong, powerful set of shoulders. A broad set of shoulders are the pinnacle of toned muscular body and using a seated shoulder press machine will ...

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5 Lat Pulldown, Cable, Wide Grip
2 sets 
12 reps 
 
Targets: 
Muscle Groups:
Lats
Biceps
Mid Back
Upper Shoulders
 
Description: The lat pulldown works the major muscles in the back and also the biceps in the arms. It's a good exercise to progress up to doing pull ups as it develops strength in the back and arms, so its ideal for beginners.

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6 Leg Curls, Seated
2 sets 
12 reps 
 
Targets: 
Muscle Groups:
Hamstrings
None
 
Description: The seated leg curl machine is the alternative to the more popular lying leg curl machine which you tend to see in most gyms. They both work the hamstring muscles intensely and also calves to a lesser degree. The body positio ...

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7 Leg Extension
2 sets 
12 reps 
 
Targets: 
Muscle Groups:
Thighs
None
 
Description: The leg extension exercise is usually performed using a specific gym machine. However it can be performed with free weights or cables if a machine is not available. The advantage of doing leg extensions is that they target th ...

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8 Chest Flyes, Pec Deck, Machine
2 sets 
12 reps 
 
Targets: 
Muscle Groups:
Chest
None
 
Description: The chest flye machine or pec deck machine as it's sometimes known is a great way to isolate and stretch the chest muscles. It's a good way for beginners to work their chest and gain sufficient strength before moving on to mo ...

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9 Tricep Pushdowns, Straight Bar
2 sets 
12 reps 
 
Targets: 
Muscle Groups:
Triceps
Forearms
 
Description: Tricep pushdowns isolate the tricep muscles and are usually done at the tail end of a workout to give the triceps a real pump. It's a very easy exercise to perform and is ideal for beginners to weight training.

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10 Bicep Curl Machine
2 sets 
12 reps 
 
Targets: 
Muscle Groups:
Biceps
None
 
Description: The bicep curl machine is one of the best exercises to help beginners understand the action of the bicep muscle. Using an arm curl machine ensures that your biceps get an intense workout. There are many different makes and mo ...

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11 Ab Crunch Machine
2 sets 
15 reps 
 
Targets: 
Muscle Groups:
Abdominals
Obliques
 
Description: The ab crunch machine is a unique way of exercising the abdominal muscles and is good for beginners because it works the stomach muscles whilst in a seated position. If you are not used to performing ab crunches then using a ...

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Print Workout 

 Intensity Levels

Level Intensity (Int) Goal Examples & Guide Lines
5 Low N/A Daily activities. Normal Breathing, Talking (>2 hrs)
6 Low Moderate N/A Brisk Walk, Slow Jog, Normal Breathing & Talking (1 - 2 hrs)
7 Moderate CV: Endurance Jogging - Fast breathing. Talk just okay (> 20 min)
8 High Moderate CV: Race pace Fast Jog - Heavy breathing, Talk broken (>10 min)
9 High CV: Sports Hard run - Breathing heavy. Talking hard. (1-3 min)
10 Maximum CV: Speed Sprint - V. hard breathing. Talk impossible. (5 -8 sec)

 Workout Saftey

All exercises should be completed with proper technique maintaining good posture throughout. Use technique and posture failure as an indicator as to how challenging you find the resistance or exercise position. Optimize the resistance and exercise type according to your own ability.

It is important to incorporate exercises that cover all major muscle groups into your main workout to ensure a balanced program. Focusing too much on one muscle group can cause muscular imbalances.

Taking these guidelines into consideration means that you will get far more from your workouts, advance quicker and help reduce the risk of exercise related injury.

Always seek professional advice from a qualified fitness instructor before attempting any exercise or workout.

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