How to shape your body male at home

When it comes to achieving your best physique, a proper strength training program is essential.

Whether youre looking to transform your body or just kick your training up a notch, its important to add training volume (in the form of reps, sets, and weight) to stimulate new muscle growth as you progress.

In general, most beginners have been lifting for less than a year, intermediates for at least 1 year, and advanced trainees for at least 2 years. Keep in mind that advanced workouts should not be attempted unless you have appropriate strength training experience.

This article reviews several high-quality exercise regimens for men of all experience levels to maximize muscle and strength gains while ensuring adequate recovery.

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At-home workout routine

Whether youre a seasoned expert or new to strength training, working out at home is a great option when you cant get to the gym or need a change of pace.

The at-home workouts below require a limited amount of equipment. Plus, some of the movements can be substituted for bodyweight exercises in which you use your bodys own weight as resistance.

These exercises can serve as a weeklong beginners routine or cycled to provide several sessions per week for advanced trainees.

If your goal is weight loss, you can add a form of cardio, such as running or cycling, between sessions.

Equipment required: flat-weight bench, appropriate adjustable dumbbells based on your level of experience

If youre just starting out you may want to get expert advice at a specialty store to select the right equipment, but if you know what youre looking for, you can also purchase adjustable dumbbells online.

Rest intervals: 6090 seconds

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Pushups (from Day 2: chest and back workout below)

Day 1: legs, shoulders, and abs

  • Legs: dumbbell squats 3 sets of 68 reps
  • Shoulders: standing shoulder press 3 sets of 68 reps
  • Legs: dumbbell lunge 2 sets of 810 reps per leg
  • Shoulders: dumbbell upright rows 2 sets of 810 reps
  • Hamstrings: Romanian dumbbell deadlift 2 sets of 68 reps
  • Shoulders: lateral raises 3 sets of 810 reps
  • Calves: seated calf raises 4 sets of 1012 reps
  • Abs: crunches with legs elevated 3 sets of 1012 reps

Day 2: chest and back

  • Chest: dumbbell bench press or floor press 3 sets of 68 reps
  • Back: dumbbell bent over rows 3 sets of 68 reps
  • Chest: dumbbell fly 3 sets of 810 reps
  • Back: one-arm dumbbell rows 3 sets of 68 reps
  • Chest: pushups 3 sets of 1012 reps
  • Back/chest: dumbbell pullovers 3 sets of 1012 reps

Day 3: arms and abs

  • Biceps: alternating bicep curls 3 sets of 810 reps per arm
  • Triceps: overhead tricep extensions 3 sets of 810 reps
  • Biceps: seated dumbbell curls 2 sets of 1012 reps per arm
  • Triceps: bench dips 2 sets of 1012 reps
  • Biceps: concentration curls 3 sets of 1012 reps
  • Triceps: dumbbell kickbacks 3 sets of 810 reps per arm
  • Abs: planks 3 sets of 30-second holds
Summary

This home workout routine includes all the exercises you need to make sizeable muscle and strength gains with minimal equipment.

Beginners workout routine

Share on PinterestLateral raises (from Day 1: full body workout below)

Starting out in the gym can seem intimidating, but with proper guidance the process becomes more approachable and even invigorating.

As a beginner, you can progress very quickly because almost any exercise promotes muscle and strength gains. Still, its important to avoid overexertion, which can lead to injuries or decreased performance.

This workout routine has you in the gym 3 days per week (such as Monday, Wednesday, and Friday), with full-body sessions completed each day. This allows you to get used to new movements, focus on proper form, and take time to recover.

You can add reps and sets as needed as you progress.

The beginner phase should last as long as you continue to improve. Some people may plateau at around 6 months, whereas others may continue to see results for over a year.

Equipment required: fully-equipped gym

Rest periods: 90180 seconds for main movements, 6090 seconds for accessories

Intensity: Select a weight that allows you to complete the prescribed reps while leaving about two solid reps in the tank.

Day 1: full body

  • Legs: barbell back squats 5 sets of 5 reps
  • Chest: flat barbell bench press 5 set of 5 reps
  • Back: seated cable rows 4 sets of 68 reps
  • Shoulders: seated dumbbell shoulder press 4 sets of 68 reps
  • Triceps: cable rope tricep pushdowns 3 sets of 810 reps
  • Shoulders: lateral raises 3 sets of 1012 reps
  • Calves: seated calf raises 3 sets of 1012 reps
  • Abs: planks 3 sets of 30 second holds

Day 2: full body

  • Back/hamstrings: barbell or trap bar deadlifts 5 sets of 5 reps
  • Back: pullups or lat pulldowns 4 sets of 68 reps
  • Chest: barbell or dumbbell incline press 4 sets of 68 reps
  • Shoulders: machine shoulder press 4 sets of 68 reps
  • Biceps: barbell or dumbbell bicep curls 3 sets of 810 reps
  • Shoulders: reverse machine fly 3 sets of 1012 reps
  • Calves: standing calf raises 3 sets of 1012 reps

Day 3: full body

  • Legs: leg press 5 sets of 5 reps
  • Back: T-bar rows 3 sets of 68 reps
  • Chest: machine or dumbbell chest fly 3 sets of 68 reps
  • Shoulders: one-arm dumbbell shoulder press 3 sets of 68 reps
  • Triceps: dumbbell or machine tricep extensions 3 sets of 810 reps
  • Shoulders: cable or dumbbell front raises 3 sets of 1012 reps
  • Calves: seated calf raises 3 sets of 1012 reps
  • Abs: decline crunches 3 sets of 1012 reps
Summary

This 3-day beginner program provides the full-body stimulus you need to gain muscle while allowing adequate recovery between sessions.

Intermediate workout routine

Share on PinterestOverhead press (from Day 3: upper body workout below)

After working hard in the gym for several months, its time to step your training up a notch to keep your gains coming.

At this point, you should have good exercise technique and be able to handle more weight on the bar.

This 4-day-per-week intermediate program increases reps and sets to stimulate new muscle growth. When they become too easy, you can gradually add more weight or more reps/sets.

If done right, you can follow this routine for several years until you reach an advanced level. It may be helpful to switch up your exercises on occasion to keep yourself engaged and prevent burnout.

Remember that soreness is not always an indicator of muscle growth. Now that you have some training experience, you may not get sore after every workout.

Equipment required: fully-equipped gym

Rest intervals: 90180 seconds for main movements, 6090 seconds for accessories

Intensity: Select a weight that allows you to complete the prescribed reps while leaving about two solid reps in the tank. To increase intensity, go to your limit on the last set.

Day 1: upper body

  • Chest: flat barbell bench press 4 sets of 68 reps
  • Back: bent over barbell rows 3 sets of 68 reps
  • Shoulders: seated dumbbell press 3 sets of 810 reps
  • Chest/triceps: dips 3 sets of 810 reps
  • Back: pullups or lat pulldowns 3 sets of 810 reps
  • Triceps/chest: lying dumbbell tricep extensions 3 sets of 1012 reps
  • Biceps: incline dumbbell curls 3 sets of 1012 reps

Day 2: lower body

  • Legs: barbell back squats 4 sets of 68 reps
  • Legs: leg press 3 sets of 810 reps
  • Quadriceps: seated leg extensions 3 sets of 10-12 reps
  • Quadriceps: dumbbell or barbell walking lunges 3 sets of 1012 reps (no videos)
  • Calves: calf press on leg press 4 sets of 1215 reps
  • Abs: decline crunches 4 sets of 1215 reps

Day 3: upper body

  • Shoulders: overhead press 4 sets of 68 reps
  • Chest: incline dumbbell bench press 3 sets of 810 reps
  • Back: one-arm cable rows 3 sets of 1012 reps
  • Shoulders: cable lateral raises 3 sets of 1012 reps
  • Rear deltoids/traps: face pulls 3 sets of 1012 reps
  • Traps: dumbbell shrugs 3 sets of 1012 reps
  • Triceps: seated overhead tricep extensions 3 sets of 1012 reps
  • Biceps: machine preacher curls 3 sets of 1215 reps

Day 4: lower body

  • Back/hamstrings: barbell deadlift 4 sets of 6 reps
  • Glutes: barbell hip thrusts 3 sets of 8-10 reps
  • Hamstrings: Romanian dumbbell deadlifts 3 sets of 1012 reps
  • Hamstrings: lying leg curls 3 sets of 10-12 reps
  • Calves: seated calf raises 4 sets of 1215 reps
  • Abs: leg raises on Roman chair 4 sets of 1215 reps
Summary

This 4-day, intermediate program adds additional sets and reps, as well as more complex exercises, to jumpstart new muscle growth.

Advanced workout routine

Share on PinterestHanging leg raises (from Legs B workout below)

Additional volume (sets and reps) and intensity (weight on the bar) is essential for advanced gym-goers to keep gaining muscle. Keep in mind that this routine should not be attempted unless youve been training consistently for 2 or more years.

While the muscle gains wont come as fast as they did when you were a beginner, theres still room for significant progress at this stage.

This gruelling workout routine has you in the gym 6 days per week with 1 rest day in between. It follows a pull-push-legs pattern, hitting each muscle group twice per week, with supersets incorporated for maximum hypertrophy (muscle growth).

Again, you can increase weight on the bar, as well as sets and reps, from week to week to ensure continued progress while following this program.

Equipment required: fully-equipped gym

Rest periods: 90180 seconds for main movements, 6090 seconds for accessories

Intensity: Select a weight that allows you to complete the prescribed reps while leaving about 2 solid reps in the tank. To increase intensity, go to failure on the last set.

Supersets: Complete the initial set of the first movement immediately followed by the second movement. Repeat until all designated reps and sets are complete.

Pull A

  • Back/hamstrings: barbell deadlift 5 sets of 5 reps
  • Back: pullups or lat pulldowns 3 sets of 1012 reps
  • Back: T-bar rows or seated cable rows 3 sets of 1012 reps
  • Rear deltoids/traps: face pulls 4 sets of 1215 reps
  • Biceps: hammer curls 4 sets of 10-12 reps supersetted with dumbbell shrugs 4 sets of 1012 reps
  • Biceps: standing cable curls 4 sets of 1012 reps

Push A

  • Chest: flat barbell bench press 5 set of 5 reps
  • Shoulders: seated dumbbell press 3 sets of 68 reps
  • Chest: incline dumbbell bench press 3 sets of 1012 reps
  • Triceps/shoulders: tricep pushdowns 4 sets of 1012 reps supersetted with lateral raises 4 sets of 1012 reps
  • Chest: cable crossovers 4 sets of 1012 reps

Legs A

  • Legs: barbell back squats 5 sets of 5 reps
  • Hamstrings: Romanian dumbbell deadlifts 3 sets of 68 reps
  • Legs: leg press 3 sets of 810 reps
  • Hamstrings: lying leg curls 4 sets of 1012 reps
  • Calves: seated calf raises 4 sets of 1215 reps
  • Abs: decline crunches 4 sets of 1215 reps

Pull B

  • Back: bent over barbell rows 3 sets of 68 reps
  • Back: pull-ups (weighted if needed) 3 sets of 810 reps
  • Back: one-arm rows 3 sets of 810 reps
  • Lower back: hyperextensions 4 sets of 1012 reps supersetted with machine preacher curls 4 sets of 1012 reps
  • Traps: barbell shrugs 4 sets of 1012 reps
  • Biceps: standing dumbbell curls 4 sets of 1012 reps

Push B

  • Shoulders: overhead press 5 sets of 5 reps
  • Chest: dumbbell bench press (incline or flat) 3 sets of 810 reps
  • Chest/triceps: dips (weighted if needed) 4 sets of 1012 reps
  • Shoulders: single arm cable lateral raises 4 sets of 1012 reps
  • Chest: machine fly 4 sets of 1012 reps
  • Triceps: overhead extensions with rope 4 sets of 1012 reps

Legs B

  • Legs: barbell front squats 5 sets of 5 reps
  • Hamstrings: glute ham raises 3 sets of 810 reps
  • Legs: walking dumbbell lunges 3 sets of 1012 reps per leg
  • Quadriceps: seated leg extensions 4 sets of 1012 reps supersetted with standing calf raises 4 sets of 1215 reps
  • Abs: hanging leg raises 4 sets of 1215 reps
Summary

This advanced program is incredibly intense and follows a push-pull-legs pattern for 6 days per week. Only attempt this program if you have several years of training under your belt.

Considerations for lifters over 40

As you age, muscle and bone mass decreases at a gradual rate. Nonetheless, you can counteract this loss by following a resistance training program to stimulate muscle and bone growth (1, 2).

The exercise routines outlined above still apply to people aged 40 and older, though some of the exercises may need to be replaced with more joint-friendly options especially if you have any pre-existing injuries.

For example, you can do goblet squats instead of back squats or tricep pushdowns instead of dips.

Regardless of your age, its best to start with the beginner program and work your way up.

Its also important not to work out too strenuously, as theres an increased risk of injury as you age. You may likewise need to extend recovery times to 2 days between workouts instead of 1, as your body takes more time to recuperate (3).

While exercise presents some obstacles for older adults, maintaining a proper resistance training program can provide endless benefits and keep you consistently in shape.

Summary

Trainees above the age of 40 may have to adjust their workout routine to account for injuries or slower recovery times. While muscle and bone mass decline as you age, you can combat this with proper exercise.

Dont forget nutrition

While working out in the gym provides the stimulus for muscle and strength gains, nutrition plays a major role in recovery and exercise optimization.

Thus, its important to ensure that your food intake is adequate to meet the demands of your training.

This can be done by ensuring sufficient calorie, protein, carb, and fat intake based on your training intensity and physique goals. You can use a calorie counter to calculate your needs.

In order to gain muscle, its best to be in a calorie surplus, or eat more than your body needs to sustain itself. A surplus of 1020% over your baseline calorie needs should be sufficient to promote muscle gains (4).

If youre trying to lose body fat instead, maintaining your baseline or adopting a slight calorie deficit is generally recommended (4).

Nutrient timing, which involves eating at specific times to yield results, may also be vital to maximize muscle gains. For example, many experts recommend eating a well-balanced meal or snack within 2 hours of a workout, ideally both before and after (5, 6).

If you want to ensure proper dietary intake or create an individualized plan to help you meet your goals, consider consulting a registered dietitian.

Summary

Proper nutrition is vital to exercise, as it provides your body with the necessary building blocks for gaining muscle and strength.

The bottom line

Whether youre a new or seasoned gym-goer, workout routines catered to your experience level can help you progress towards your muscle and strength goals.

Over time, you may find that your body responds better to certain movements over others, allowing you to adapt your training accordingly.

A proper exercise regimen and good nutrition habits are the first steps to getting in the best shape of your life, no matter your level of experience.

If you have an underlying health condition, its always best to check with your healthcare provider before starting any exercise program.