Greg Nuckols Beginner Program

Free4.43 (208 reviews)
Build muscle and strength with full-gym equipment including barbells, dumbbells, and machines.
Program Description

This 12-week program is designed for the beginner looking to make significant gains in whole body muscle or strength using barbells, dumbbells, and machines. This program is great for beginners and those who have worked out in the past but without making much progress.

This program requires barbells and dumbbells, but has alternatives if you do not have these equipment. The exercises are fully customizable for users to achieve their goals of either hypertrophy (muscle) or strength. This is one of the best beginner strength training programs and is completely free to use.

For more details and FAQs on this program, please see the Detailed Program Guide.

Progression Instructions

Within each rep range, you’ll stick with the same weight and aim to perform more reps each week until you’ve mastered the weight. For example, if you’re training in the 5-8 rep range, you’ll use the same weight until you can perform 9 reps. In the next workout, the weight will be heavier, but you should be confident that you can still lift it for at least 5 reps. You’ll stick with the new weight until you can perform at least 9 reps again, at which point the weights will increase again.

Program Overview
Coach
Level
Equipment
Time Per Workout
Days Per Week
Program Length
Beginner
Full Gym
60 minutes
3 days
12 weeks
What People Are Saying
a B.
10 weeks complete
No modifications
13 hours ago
J.J. L. Man, 25
3 weeks complete
4 years of prior experience
As expected strength gains
As expected muscle gains
Marginal modifications
2 days ago
Jaime R. Man, 19
2 weeks complete
No modifications
2 days ago
Connor M. Man, 24
3 weeks complete
No modifications
2 days ago
Anonymous Man, 30
3 weeks complete
As expected strength gains
No modifications
7 days ago
Morgan F. Man, 27
3 weeks complete
More than expected strength gains
As expected muscle gains
Marginal modifications
10 days ago
Lorenzo T.
2 weeks complete
No modifications
10 days ago
Charles G. Man, 46
3 weeks complete
No modifications
12 days ago
Big Baby Buddha Man, 36
2 weeks complete
More than expected strength gains
As expected muscle gains
Marginal modifications
12 days ago
Khieu L. Man, 32
2 weeks complete
2 years of prior experience
As expected strength gains
As expected muscle gains
Marginal modifications
12 days ago
Variation Name
Program Length
Days Per Week
Default Days
Strength
12 weeks
3 days
Mon, Wed, Fri
Variation Description
  • Focus on getting stronger, but you'll gain muscle too
  • Higher weights and lower reps
Mon
The target rep ranges are in a pyramid style (higher reps per set). In general, the lower the reps, the higher the weight you can use. The goal is to stop 1-2 reps shy of failure on every set. Therefore, you should go heavier on your first set (after doing warmup sets), slightly decrease the weight for the second set (lower by ~10%), and slightly decrease again for your last set (lower by another ~10%).
1. Bench Press (Barbell)
Alternative Exercise 1: Chest Press (Machine)
Alternative Exercise 2: Bench Press (Smith Machine)
SetsTargetIntensity
1
3 - 5 reps
-
2
5 - 8 reps
-
3
8 - 10 reps
-
2. Bent Over Row (Barbell)
Alternative Exercise 1: Bent Over Row (Dumbbell)
Alternative Exercise 2: Chest Supported Row (Dumbbell)
SetsTargetIntensity
1
3 - 5 reps
-
2
5 - 8 reps
-
3
8 - 10 reps
-
3. Squat (Barbell)
Alternative Exercise 1: Hack Squat
Alternative Exercise 2: Squat (Smith Machine)
SetsTargetIntensity
1
3 - 5 reps
-
2
5 - 8 reps
-
3
8 - 10 reps
-
4. Bicep Curl (Dumbbell)
Alternative Exercise 1: Hammer Curl
Alternative Exercise 2: Bicep Curl (Cable)
SetsTargetIntensity
1
8 - 10 reps
-
2
10 - 12 reps
-
3
12 - 15 reps
-
5. Tricep Extension (Dumbbell)
Alternative Exercise 1: Tricep Pushdown (Cable)
SetsTargetIntensity
1
8 - 10 reps
-
2
10 - 12 reps
-
3
12 - 15 reps
-
Wed
The target rep ranges are in a pyramid style (higher reps per set). In general, the lower the reps, the higher the weight you can use. The goal is to stop 1-2 reps shy of failure on every set. Therefore, you should go heavier on your first set (after doing warmup sets), slightly decrease the weight for the second set (lower by ~10%), and slightly decrease again for your last set (lower by another ~10%).
1. Seated Shoulder Press (Dumbbell)
Alternative Exercise 1: Overhead Press (Barbell)
Alternative Exercise 2: Shoulder Press (Machine)
SetsTargetIntensity
1
3 - 5 reps
-
2
5 - 8 reps
-
3
8 - 10 reps
-
2. Lat Pulldown
Alternative Exercise 1: Pull-Up (Assisted)
Alternative Exercise 2: Lat Pulldown (Reverse Grip)
SetsTargetIntensity
1
3 - 5 reps
-
2
5 - 8 reps
-
3
8 - 10 reps
-
3. Deadlift (Barbell)
Alternative Exercise 1: Deadlift (Smith Machine)
Alternative Exercise 2: Hip Thrust (Barbell)
SetsTargetIntensity
1
3 - 5 reps
-
2
5 - 8 reps
-
3
8 - 10 reps
-
4. Lunge (Dumbbell)
Alternative Exercise 1: Leg Extension
Alternative Exercise 2: Leg Curl
Alternative Exercise 3: Goblet Squat
SetsTargetIntensity
1
8 - 10 reps
-
2
10 - 12 reps
-
3
12 - 15 reps
-
5. Russian Twist (Dumbbell)
Alternative Exercise 1: Hanging Leg Raise
Alternative Exercise 2: Abs Crunch (Weighted)
SetsTargetIntensity
1
8 - 10 reps
-
2
10 - 12 reps
-
3
12 - 15 reps
-
Fri
The target rep ranges are in a pyramid style (higher reps per set). In general, the lower the reps, the higher the weight you can use. The goal is to stop 1-2 reps shy of failure on every set. Therefore, you should go heavier on your first set (after doing warmup sets), slightly decrease the weight for the second set (lower by ~10%), and slightly decrease again for your last set (lower by another ~10%).
1. Bench Press (Dumbbell)
Alternative Exercise 1: Incline Bench Press (Dumbbell)
Alternative Exercise 2: Incline Bench Press (Barbell)
SetsTargetIntensity
1
3 - 5 reps
-
2
5 - 8 reps
-
3
8 - 10 reps
-
2. Seated Row (Machine)
Alternative Exercise 1: T-Bar Row
Alternative Exercise 2: Seated Row (Cable)
SetsTargetIntensity
1
3 - 5 reps
-
2
5 - 8 reps
-
3
8 - 10 reps
-
3. Leg Press
Alternative Exercise 1: Split Squat (Dumbbell)
Alternative Exercise 2: Lunge (Barbell)
SetsTargetIntensity
1
3 - 5 reps
-
2
5 - 8 reps
-
3
8 - 10 reps
-
4. Hammer Curl
Alternative Exercise 1: Bicep Curl (Dumbbell)
Alternative Exercise 2: Bicep Curl (Cable)
SetsTargetIntensity
1
8 - 10 reps
-
2
10 - 12 reps
-
3
12 - 15 reps
-
5. Tricep Pushdown (Cable)
Alternative Exercise 1: Tricep Extension (Dumbbell)
SetsTargetIntensity
1
8 - 10 reps
-
2
10 - 12 reps
-
3
12 - 15 reps
-