What is the best beginner workout program?

By Bryan Alger on July 11, 2016

One of the most popular workout programs overall, and my personal favorite beginner workout recommendation is the Starting Strength Linear Progression routine. The program, developed by strength training legend Mark Rippetoe is specifically designed to get novice lifters into the gym, familiar with perhaps the most important barbell lifts, and give them that "starting strength" foundation required to ultimately move on to more advanced training principles. In Mark's book of the same name, he goes over in detail not only the program and methodology, but also includes deep analysis of the program's five primary lifts: Squat, Press, Deadlift, Bench Press and the Power Clean.

Barbell on the ground
Starting Strength is the quickest path from noob to barbell flinging machine.

The Program

In part due to it's simplicity and also because of it's focus on quickly building a working level of strength, this is a great beginner workout. The program it's self is structured into an A/B split performed three days a week (Monday, Wednesday and Friday for example). Starting strength relies on linear progression principles, meaning your goal each week is to add weight to your lifts so that you are constantly getting stronger and motivated for the next workout. The program starts with phase A which consists of the following workouts:

Workout AWorkout B

* The full program includes three phases and the last lift changes as you progress through the program. You can find much more information on Mark's website.

You alternate the two workouts above three days a week with at least one day break between workouts and continue until progress stalls and you are no longer adding weight each week. A healthy, reasonably young male can expect to add 50-70 pounds to their deadlift, 40-50 pounds to their squat and 15-20 pounds on to their bench press by the end of Phase 1. From there, the program progresses to two additional phases as you become stronger and more advanced. Other key concepts of the program are the importance of rest, nutrition, proper form and weight progression. There is a lot more to it than I described above and I recommend you purchase the book if you're interested in learning more.


If you're looking for a great beginner workout, you can't go wrong with Starting Strength. After you have been on the program for a while, you'll be ready for more advanced routines that incorporate different exercises and training methodologies, but this routine will give you a solid foundation from which to build the rest of your training on top of. Be sure to take advantage of Gravitus' workout templates feature so that you can plan these workouts one time in the app, then quickly track your progress over time.

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Bryan is the Co-Founder of Gravitus and also a Marine Corps veteran and seasoned engineer. The only thing Bryan likes more than hacking code is pumping iron.