This barbell only workout is perfect for someone with limited access to equipment. It can be performed virtually anywhere and requires only a barbell and some hard work.
Workout Summary

Workout Description

Barbell exercises are incredibly potent muscle builders. If you performed only squats, deadlifts, bench press and overhead press you would be able to build a substantial amount of muscle mass. This workout takes things a step further and add in several other proven barbell exercises.

Barbell Only Muscle Building Workout

The barbell only muscle building workout is an upper lower split. You will hit the gym 4 times per week. The following example may be altered to fit your schedule:

  • Monday - Lower Body
  • Tuesday - Upper Body
  • Thursday - Lower Body
  • Friday - Upper Body
Lower Body
Exercise Sets Reps
Power Cleans 3 5
Squat 3 6-12
Stiff Leg Deadlift 3 6-12
Barbell Calf Raise 3 12-20
Barbell Ab Roll Outs 3 10-20
Upper Body
Exercise Sets Reps
Bench Press 3 6-12
Yates Row 3 6-12
Push Press 3 5
Seated French Press 3 8-12
Barbell Curl 3 8-12
Lower Body
Exercise Sets Reps
Deadlift 3 5
Front Squat 3 6-12
Wide Stance Good Mornings 3 6-12
Barbell Calf Raises 3 12-20
Weighted Barbell Sit Ups 3 10-20
Upper Body
Exercise Sets Reps
Seated Overhead Press 3 6-12
Barbell Rows 3 6-12
Incline Bench Press 3 6-12
Close Grip Bench Press 3 6-12
Reverse Grip Barbell Curls 3 8-12

Workout Notes

Progression. Add weight when possible. Progression, or the addition of weight, is a foundation of muscle building.

Form. Never sacrifice form. Always stop a set when you feel like your form is slipping, or when you feel you may fail on the next rep.

Yates Rows. A Yates row is performed in the same manner as a barbell row, except with the palms facing away from the body.

Still Leg Deadlifts. Sink only to the point where you feel like you can no longer keep your lower back tight.

Wide Stance Good Mornings. Top angle should be slightly outward. Stick your butt back as you initiate each rep, and only sink to the point where you feel like you can no longer keep your lower back tight.

Barbell Calf Raises. Hold a barbell in front of your body and perform calf raises. Because you have no method of balance it's better to perform this style of raises off the floor and not off of a wooden block.

Close Grip Bench Press. Tuck your elbows into your sides and grip the bar so that your wrists and right above your elbows - and no closer.

Weighted Barbell Sit Up. Place your feet under something secure, and cradle a weighted barbell in the bend of your elbows. Perform sit ups, making sure not to let the bar slip or roll towards your chin.

mickeal rozon
Posted on: Sun, 01/02/2022 - 19:14

This workout looks great! I was wondering if I can do this three times a week ? For example: Upper-Lower-Upper then the next week Lower-Upper-Lower. Thanks

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Tue, 01/04/2022 - 16:34

Hey, Mickeal! You sure can. Make the program work for you, and let us know how it goes!

Posted on: Mon, 11/18/2019 - 23:11

I know this routine says beginner and it’s great for muscle mass. But can I add an extra sets to this at AMAP using that as a 4th set ?

Posted on: Mon, 06/03/2019 - 18:33

Power cleans seem like a move that should be taught under supervision. Not really the best for a beginner to start doing.

Posted on: Thu, 03/12/2015 - 16:58

This is a great program, but I would personally investing the money into something that you can manipulate once progress starts to slow. I personally use this, but to each their own.

How would you manipulate your program once progress stalls?

jim mckee
Posted on: Wed, 03/04/2015 - 23:41

LOL, I love the 'Add weight when possible' comment...

My god. That's ALL there is, adding weight. Good of you to ask 'Nicely''.... lol

Posted on: Tue, 12/03/2013 - 07:02

hi i was just wondering if 40kg barbell curl is a good weight im 19 if that helps ?

Posted on: Sat, 11/09/2013 - 02:04

seems very good upper lower workout for advance beginner like me.

Posted on: Mon, 06/24/2013 - 13:47

Hi, I really like to do pull ups can I added to the upper workout?

Posted on: Wed, 05/08/2013 - 04:11

Are 86 kg of weight enough for this workout ?

Posted on: Sat, 04/06/2013 - 00:14

I'm having problems with Power Clean. Everywhere I look, a different technique is presented to me. For e.g. in some videos, I find the lifter making a jump before "catching" the barbell, in others they don't.
There are other minor issues too. I'd like them clarified for my own safety, before I get hurt.
Please reply the correct step by step method of it, including where to pause between each step and other stuff like that.

Posted on: Thu, 03/28/2013 - 08:00

8 sets for reverse barbell curls!!!

Posted on: Sat, 03/23/2013 - 00:47

"requires only a barbell"

Bench and Squatrack are, of course, a given -.-

Posted on: Fri, 03/22/2013 - 18:23

Theres not enough arms in this.

Posted on: Sat, 04/19/2014 - 17:08

You sir, have no idea what you are talking about.