Creating a Weight Training Plan That Targets Every Major Muscle | Learn: Your Fitness Business Resource

Creating a Weight Training Plan That Targets Every Major Muscle

Tyler Spraul is the director of UX and the head trainer for He has his Bachelor of Science degree in pre-medicine and is an NSCA-certified strength and conditioning specialist. He is a former All-American soccer player and still coaches soccer today. In his free time, he enjoys reading, learning, and living the dad life. He has been featured in Shape, Healthline, HuffPost, Women's...

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UPDATED: Aug 25, 2020

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  • You need to learn the twelve major muscle groups in your body in order to have an effective total bodyweight training routine.
  • When you work the twelve major muscle groups, you work the minor muscles around them as well.
  • Varying your workout routine will help you work out all of the muscles in the twelve major muscle groups.

It is easy to create a weight training plan that targets every major muscle.

The first thing you need to do is learn what the major muscle groups are, and then you can custom tailor a workout plan that is right for you.

From strength training and flexibility exercises to cardio aerobics, you can accomplish a full-body workout with ease either from your home or at the gym.

Instead of learning all of the different muscles in your body, focus on the primary muscle groups. Once you know what the primary muscle groups are you can learn different exercises that target those muscles.

The more variety you put into your exercise routine, the more the various muscles in those groups will be worked.

Go PRO today to create or find an exercise plan that targets every major muscle.

What Are the Major Muscle Groups for Weight Training?

Stand in front of the mirror and contemplate all of the muscles in your body. While no one knows the exact number of muscles you have, you can safely presume there are anywhere from 650 to 850 muscles in your body.

While that is an overwhelming number of muscles to consider, you only need to learn twelve major muscle groups in order to effectively create a weight training plan that targets every major muscle.

When you work the different major muscle groups, you work the surrounding muscles as well, giving you a complete workout.

Starting at the top and working down, the twelve major muscle groups are:

  • Shoulders
  • Trapezius (traps)
  • Back, lower and middle
  • Chest
  • Biceps
  • Triceps
  • Forearms
  • Abdominals (abs)
  • Gluteus maximus (glutes or buttocks)
  • Quadriceps
  • Hamstrings
  • Calves

Another major muscle that needs to be exercised is the heart. However, the heart cannot be strengthened through weight training. Instead, it needs to be exercised through cardio fitness, such as with aerobic activities like stepping or dancing.

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How Do You Know You Are Targeting Every Major Muscle in Your Workout Plan?

By creating a workout plan that incorporates every major muscle, you know you are targeting all of your muscles. In order to ensure that you are effectively working out each muscle group, vary your exercises so that you are incorporating different techniques.

You can use free weights, dumbbells, a barbell, and cable resistance bands or machines to perform strength training.

Each exercise you learn can usually be done a different way using a different tool.

Sometimes you need to use a specific technique because you have an injury and you need to avoid a different method to reduce the risk of injury.

Other times, however, you can use a different technique to work the muscle a slightly different way. In doing so, you get a very well rounded exercise routine.

For example, you can do bicep curls with a barbell, with dumbbells, and with a cable resistance machine.

With each technique, you are getting a slight variation on the positioning of the bicep, which helps to work the overall major muscle group for the bicep.

What Kinds of Weight Training Exercises Target Every Major Muscle?

Any kind of resistance training will help you accomplish your goal of exercising every major muscle. As stated above, by adding variety to your routine you get a complete overall workout for all of your major muscles and your minor muscles as well.

The kinds of exercises you do will vary by the major muscle. The tools you use may also vary. For example, you may perform all of your major muscle exercises with free weights but you may use a machine for your quadriceps.

It is important not to get stuck in an exercise rut. If you always use a machine for your quadriceps then you are not working your quads as effectively as you can.

A simple exercise routine for all of your major muscles may look something like this:

Shoulder lifts with dumbbells, lat pulldown for traps, rows for your back, military bench press for your chest, barbell for your biceps, dumbbell for your triceps, barbell for preacher curls, bench for forearms, crunches for abs, lunges for glutes, barbell squats for quads, barbell deadlifts for hamstrings, and toe raises on a calf machine for calves.

You can do the same routine three times a week and then change the exercises and tools, or you can change your routine every time you work out.

As long as you perform exercises for each major muscle group, your workout is complete.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How many days a week should I exercise?

Three to five workouts a week is recommended for best results.

How do I create my own weight training workout plan?

You can either sign up for an PRO membership or enlist the help of a personal trainer!

What is proper weight training form?

In order to learn proper weight training form, meet with a personal trainer so that they can walk you through the proper technique needed for a wide variety of lifts and exercises.

Go PRO today to locate a weight training plan that targets every major muscle.

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