Are you a recently enrolled college freshman or simply an upperclassman looking to shed some weight s/he has picked up over the years? Check out this workout!
Workout Summary
  • Main Goal
    Build Muscle
  • Workout Type
    Split
  • Training Level
    Beginner
  • Program Duration12 weeks
  • Days Per Week
    4
  • Time Per Workout45-60 minutes
  • Equipment Required
    Barbell, Bodyweight, Dumbbells, Machines
  • Target Gender Male & Female
  • Workout PDF Download Workout

Workout Description

It’s a new semester and as a newly crowned college freshman your definition of the freshman 15 is a quite different than the average student’s.

With the aforementioned weight gain traditionally referring to fat instead of muscle, you want to ensure you gain more muscle than fat to start off your collegiate career.

With new obligations, new found freedom and access to university facilities, namely your university's student gym, you’ll have many choices that lay ahead.

Whether it’s making all your workouts, eating the right kinds of foods, and getting in the right amount of rest, recovery, and stress relief, you’ll have to possess the discipline to achieve your goals.

Within your masterplan lies your training program. With countless resources to draw upon regarding the latest and best program you can easily get confused, frustrated, and ready to just do anything your buddy next to you is doing.

Below is a freshman program built on a solid foundation of training principles designed to get results without the fluff. It’s a four day per week plan.

Monday
Exercise Warm Up Sets Working Sets
1. Barbell Bench Press 2 x 12 4 x 8-10
2. Incline Dumbbell Bench Press - 4 x 8-10
3. Medium Grip Chin Up 2 x 12 (on pull down) 4 x failure
4. Bent Over Barbell Row 1 x 12 4 x 8-10
5. Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press 1 x 12 3 x 8-12
6. Standing Dumbbell Lateral Raise - 3 x 8-12
7. Decline Sit Up - 3 x 20
Tuesday
Exercise Warm Up Sets Working Sets
1. Barbell Curl 1 x 12 4 x 8-10
2. Weighted Dip 1 x 12 4 x 8-10
3. Standing Calf Raise 1 x 12 4 x 8-12
4. Barbell Back Squat 2 x 12 4 x 8-12
5. Forward Lunge - 4 x 10-12
6. Lying Hamstring Curl 1 x 12 4 x 10-12
7. Hanging Leg Raise - 3 x 20
Thursday
Exercise Warm Up Sets Working Sets
1. Incline Bench Press 2 x 12 4 x 8-10
2. Dumbbell Bench Press - 4 x 8-10
3. Wide Grip Pull Up 2 x 12 (on pull downs) 4 x failure
4. Bent Over T Bar Row 1 x 12 4 x 8-10
5. Standing Dumbbell Upright Row 1 x 12 3 x 8-12
6. Standing Barbell Overhead Press - 3 x 8-12
7. Sit Up - 3 x 20
Friday
Exercise Warm Up Sets Working Sets
1. Incline Dumbbell Curl 1 x 12 4 x 8-10
2. Decline Close Grip Bench Press 1 x 12 4 x 8-10
3. Seated Calf Raise 1 x 12 4 x 8-12
4. Leg Press 2 x 12 4 x 8-12
5. Split Squat - 4 x 8-12
6. Romanian Deadlift 1 x 12 4 x 8-12
7. Lying Leg Raise - 3 x 20

Perform this program for your first semester at school and you should have no problem turning that freshman 15 into 15lbs of solid muscle.

If you have any questions regarding the program, please leave a comment below!

11 Comments
Himanshu
Posted on: Sun, 12/30/2018 - 14:24

No rear delt work?

Andrew
Posted on: Mon, 12/17/2018 - 10:28

I notice that in this workout there is no isolated bicep workouts like a dumbbell curl. I'm just wondering if I will get sufficient bicep work in or need to add additional to this.

Riley Lease
Posted on: Sun, 10/15/2017 - 18:07

Hello,
I really want to do this program but unfortunately my apartment gym is very limited. Will dumbbells work just as efficiently for the barbell moves?

M&S Team Badge
JoshEngland
Posted on: Mon, 10/16/2017 - 09:49

Hi Riley,

Absolutely! You can alter this program to include dumbbell exercises only.

You could also check out this dumbbell split, which sounds like it'd be perfect for what you have available to use:

https://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/3-day-full-body-dumbbell-workout

Hope this helps!

Zehef
Posted on: Fri, 09/22/2017 - 10:49

Thank you Brad for the article.

Can you guys please suggest how much should I rest between sets?

Cheers,

M&S Team Badge
JoshEngland
Posted on: Fri, 09/22/2017 - 12:01

Hi Zehef,

Keep rest periods between 30-60secs in between sets and exercises.

Hope this helps!

M&S Team Badge
JoshEngland
Posted on: Tue, 09/26/2017 - 11:53

Hi Zehef,

You're welcome!

Definitely! Any row variation ought to do the trick here. You might even want to try some chest supported dumbbell rows on an incline bench! They can be an absolute killer!

Are you in your freshman year of college? Or giving the program a shot bc you liked the split?

Either way, best of luck with the gains!

Zehef
Posted on: Sun, 09/24/2017 - 10:37

Thanks for clearing that up Josh!

Can I substitute bent over T-bar rows with chest supported machine rows? There is no T-bar machine (and no T-bar either) unfortunately.

Cheers,

Spencer
Posted on: Sat, 09/02/2017 - 00:35

Always solid Brad! This looks like a great split for anyone!

Daniel
Posted on: Fri, 09/01/2017 - 20:19

For thursdays, I find it really hard to get all those pull-ups done. Any advice on what I can substitute them for?

M&S Team Badge
JoshEngland
Posted on: Tue, 09/05/2017 - 09:30
Free Workouts & Expert Advice

Get a weekly email with the latest workouts, tools, expert guides and deals from M&S.