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  • Rafid Nassir

Full Body Workout Plan

Updated: Apr 18

I present to you, my full body workout plan, within a 3 day gym schedule. Below, you'll find all the info you need to make decent gains in the gym.


Rafid Nassir full body workout plan

What’s covered?


The most daunting thoughts when committing to a gym routine are usually:

  1. What actual exercises do I do?

  2. Am I doing those exercises correctly? (Don’t want to look like a fool in the gym)

  3. How heavy should I make the weights?

  4. How many repetitions should I do before I stop?

  5. How should I group the set of exercises, on what days?

  6. How many days until I do the same group of exercises again?

  7. How long will it take before I can start seeing results? I need to know this works.

All of the above questions will be answered for you within this article. Make sure you read, and perhaps re-read, through all of this very carefully.


If you have any queries on any of the below, feel free to send an enquiry through our contact form, and I'll be happy to clarify things for you.


Some of the exercises below have videos to annotate and explain the movement in more depth. I'm going to upload more and more of these videos in the future.


What’s unique about this plan? The principles (READ THOROUGHLY)


My aim with working out has always been to spend as little time and mental energy on it as possible, while reaping maximal gains.


You don’t need to be going gym 5 days a week, hours at a time.

You can do this and have a social life, a partner/family you spend quality time with, a highly demanding career.

It’s not just the time spent working out. It’s the mental capacity you need to dedicate to researching what’s effective.

…Well, you don’t need to worry about this, because I’ve done it for you.

After seriously working out for around 8 years (learning a bunch of things on the way), I’ve incorporated 4 main staples I do in combination when possible, that the vast majority of others don’t do.


These are people who have been working out for far longer than me, started off bigger and more defined than me, but I have quickly overtaken.


Those 4 staples apply to every exercise I do, whenever physically possible.


These are:


Fast contraction, slow relaxion

Your form is incredibly important. You don’t want to swing weights around and let momentum move you more than you’re moving the weights.


In order to make your muscles take maximum strain from the weights you’re moving, what you need to do is pretty straight forward:

  1. Contract fast and explosively.

  2. Hold/squeeze at the top.

  3. Slowly relax the muscle until you reach maximum extension.

  4. No dilly-dallying. No mini rests. Repeat immediately.

Combining this with the maximum range of movement that your joints can comfortably provide will allow you to make most use of this staple.


Drop sets

You have 2 types of muscle fibres in each muscle group. Slow and fast-twitch fibres.


Fast-twitch fibres are good for explosive & powerful movement. Slow-twitch fibres are good for endurance and repetitive movement.


Some muscle groups have more fast-twitch than slow and vice versa, depending on what function they serve with your general mobility as a human.

…but ultimately, all muscles have a combination of both types of fibre.


Doing heavy weights with low repetitions hits the fast twitch more. Lower weights with higher reps hit the slow twitch more.


Usually people focus on one or the other when they hit the gym.


What’s helped me get maximum gains very quickly is with drop-setting, I’ve been able to hit and push both of those fibres within the same exercise.


Here’s how I structure my drop sets… and this will take some weight calibration when you first get started:

  1. Select the heaviest weight you can do, where you cannot physically do any more than 5 - 6 repetitions of. If you can only do 4 reps or lower, then it’s too heavy. If 6 or more reps, too light. Same thing also applies for the below rep ranges. (MOSTLY FAST-TWITCH MUSCLE ENGAGEMENT)

  2. Drop the weight by 20%, shake it out and rest for no more than 10 seconds, and do it all over again Your rep range here should be between 5 – 7

  3. Drop by another 20%, straight in again after a 10 second shake-out. Rep range should be 5 – 7.

  4. With the next and final drop (of another 20%), you should be able to do 8 or more reps. (MOSTLY SLOW-TWITCH MUSCLE ENGAGEMENT)

Do each drop with 3 negative reps at the end, where possible. You’ll find out more about Negatives below.


Reps until failure

A lot of people have a number of reps they want to do in mind. They stop once they reach 8, or 12.


This is one of the main reasons why some people, who have been going gym for so long, DO NOT GROW!


Your muscles start micro-tearing (what needs to happen for hypertrophy/muscle growth) once the reps start getting difficult, and you start reaching failure.

The way I best like to explain this is using the barrier analogy. You have 2 barriers whilst you’re doing reps:


The Pain Barrier


This is the one to power through and overcome. The lactic acid is building, burning, intensifying with every rep.

The classic “burn” pain is kicking in, it gets intense and is what separates the men from the boys. The average Joe from the elite athlete.


It really depends on both your pain tolerance and mental resolve, but you basically need to consider that burning pain as non-harmful and just push through.


Don’t worry, you won’t die.


The Fatigue Barrier


The barrier you want to reach, and the satisfaction you get is great every time.


If you’ve selected the right weight and have powered through that pain barrier, you’ll have eventually done so many reps that you cannot physically do another one, even if your life depended on it.


That’s when you know you have maximally micro-teared and pushed your muscle to the absolute limit.


You’ll know you’ve done it right when you feel it in the morning. In fact, you’ll likely feel it for the next 3 – 4 days.


Negative reps

These are beautiful yet won’t be possible to apply to every single exercise you do.

To put it simply, once you reach the fatigue barrier and can’t contract/push/pull anymore, you want to:

  1. Find a way to have something/someone assist you to full contraction

  2. Let the fatigued muscle hold the weight up for as long as you can

  3. …it won’t last long as gravity will inevitably pull the weight to full extension (make sure you fight gravity. FIGHT IT.)

I’ll give you an example of this. Let’s say you’re doing bicep curls with your right arm.


Once you’ve done the max amount you can do and have reached the fatigue barrier (see barrier analogy above), take your left hand and use it to lift your right contracting arm all the way up.


Let your right arm go and whilst it still holds the weight, do your best to fight gravity’s inevitable pull, down to max extension.

Splitting the days

I’ve always kept the same day splits since I started working out, and it’s worked wonders for me.


This split is optimal for:

  • Perfectly timed recovery between workouts

  • Minimal overlap of muscle fatigue between the days

  • Maximal fatigue focused on the muscle groups being worked on the day

It’s a sort of spin on Push/Pull/Legs.


Remember to apply the above 4 theories to ALL the below workouts, doing 3 negatives at the end of each set, where possible.


Day 1: Chest & triceps


On this day I do 3 different compound (hitting more than 1 muscle group in one exercise) exercises, followed by 2 isolations. One to isolate the chest, and one for the triceps.


There are 5 exercises in total. Approximately 1hr. Nice and quick.

Dumbbell Chest Press (Flat Bench) – Compound 1/3:


***VERY IMPORTANT: You want to make sure you mount the dumbbells properly.

The same mounting technique applies to all Dumbbell press exercises on a bench, and here’s a link to my video explaining how it’s done.


This exercise is crucial for a big chest, far safer and (in my opinion) more effective than the traditional barbell bench press, as you have the advantage of range of movement with no restriction on grip angles.


Here’s a video of me demonstrating this exercise.


Starting position:

  • Your elbows need to be tucked in.

  • 1cm max away from your chest. You want full range of movement.

  • Both dumbbells must be in line with your nipples.

  • An arch in your lower back, lifting slightly off bench is fine

  • Feet must be grounded

Dumbbell Chest Press, Flat Bench
Dumbbell Chest Press - Start

Contraction:

  • Upwards movement must be as quick and explosive as possible

  • Dumbbells all the way up, but not touching/clashing in the middle

  • It’s OK for hands to turn inwards slightly, so your fists are in line (like you’re holding a straight bar

  • Elbows pointing outwards slightly


Dumbbell Chest Press, Flat Bench
Dumbbell Chest Press - End

Relaxation:

  • Do NOT hold dumbbells at the top. Start going straight down as soon as dumbbells hit their peak extension.

  • Make sure dumbbells are lowered very, slowly. Count 4 seconds as you lower dumbbells if that helps

  • Go all the way back down to chest level (basically touching your chest).

  • Straight back up to contraction.


Incline Dumbbell Chest Press (Reverse Grip) – Compound 2/3:


Make sure you rest for at least 5 minutes after doing the previous flat bench exercise.


Angle the back of the bench at slightly above (flatter than) 45° (see picture below), with the seat of the bench upwards slightly, to support your butt from slipping down.

Mounting the dumbbells here will be similar to the previous exercise, but with your knuckles facing down – this will help to isolate the upper part of your chest.


Here’s a video of me demonstrating this exercise.


Starting position:

  • Make sure you grip both dumbbells so that your fingers and thumb are facing upwards, and knuckles are downwards.

  • Your elbows need to be tucked in.

  • 1cm max away from your body, in line with the bottom of your rib cage.

  • Like the last exercise, slightly arching your back again here is OK

  • Feet must be grounded either on the floor, or on the footrest on the bench if there is one available.

Incline chest press, reverse grip, start
Incline Chest Press - Start

Contraction:

  • Quick and explosive upwards movement

  • Pushing the dumbbells upwards makes them go from being in line with bottom of rib cage, to mid shoulders.

  • No need to lock your arms out completely at the peak of contraction if not comfortable to do so but try and get as close as possible.

Incline Dumbbell Chest Press
Incline Chest Press - End

Relaxation:

  • Do NOT hold dumbbells at the top. Start going straight down as soon as dumbbells hit their peak extension.

  • Make sure dumbbells are lowered very, slowly. Count 4 seconds as you lower dumbbells if that helps

  • Go all the way back down to body level (touching your lower ribcage).

  • Straight back up to contraction.


Dips – Compound 3/3:


If you can do body weight dips, great. If you can do weighted, even better. But if you are just starting out and can’t do more that 4 reps with body weight only, then make sure you use the dip machine with the platform at the bottom, which can assist you with however much weight you’d like it to push upwards for you.

If you can do more than 8 reps of your bodyweight, I’d recommend buying this dipping belt (it’s the one I have), and attach some extra plates.


If your dipping frame allows it, push the handles outwards to a wide grip dip position.


Starting position:

  • Hold the handle on the side closest to you (the tip), to give you room to lean forward when dipping.

  • Your elbows need to be tucked in.

  • At starting position, your upper arms (humerus bone) must be parallel to the ground

  • The angle in your inner elbow should be as small as possible. 45° is OK, but if you can make the angle smaller than that’s even better.

  • Feet mustn’t be touching the floor, and don’t jump off the floor (just yet).


Body weight dips, start
Dips - Start

Contraction:

  • Quick and explosive upwards movement

  • Legs should come forward with head and neck going backwards, putting you in an almost vertical position.

  • At the peak of contraction, you want to push yourself as far away from the handles as possible. Elbows almost locked.


Body weight dips
Dips - End

Relaxation:

  • Do NOT hold at the top. Start going straight down as soon as you’re at peak height.

  • Make sure you lower yourself very, slowly. Count 4 seconds as you go down to the lowest position possible.

  • Go all the way back down to the angles you had at starting position.

  • Straight back up to contraction.


Cable Chest Fly – Isolation 1/2:

Machine with cables on either side would be ideal for this exercise, but alternatively you can use the pec-fly machine (which can also turn into rear delt-fly machine).

These instructions will be for the cable-fly as it needs really good form in order to make full use of it.

Put the notched on either side as high as you possibly can. And clip on the single handle extension on both cables.


Here’s a video of me demonstrating this exercise.


Starting position:

  • Hold both handles and place yourself precisely in between both cables.

  • Take one step forward (like a lunge) and keep the front foot there, so you have one foot forward, and one foot back.

  • Lean forward

  • In this position, you should feel a slight stretch of your pecs at full extension.

  • Keep your arms as straight as possible with a slight bend at the elbows.


Cable chest fly start
Chest Fly - Start

Contraction:

  • Bring arms together and diagonally down.

  • Gradually lean slightly back, keeping feet in place.

  • Peak contraction should allow the arms to cross in line with your mid torso.

  • Take turns as to which hand/arm crosses above the other with every rep.

  • When you reach peak contraction, hold position and squeeze for 2 seconds.


Cable chest fly, end
Chest Fly - End

Relaxation:

  • Relax your arms back up very, slowly. Count 4 seconds as you go back to starting position

  • Lean forward again as your arms relax upward.

  • Keep feet grounded the entire time.

  • You should be able to feel that stretch every time you fully relax into starting position

Tricep Extension – Isolation 2/2:


This machine can be a bit annoying if yours doesn’t have a pad to support your back (most don’t).


So if that’s the case and if you’re using heavier weights you’re going to need to stand behind the seat. Reason being, it’ll be too demanding for your abs to keep you in place and you want to keep the energy exclusively focused on your triceps as much as possible.


Here’s a video of me demonstrating this exercise.


Starting position:

  • Bring your upper body as close as possible to the handles, with your elbows bent back as far as possible.

  • Keep your elbows down on the pad.

  • Your triceps in this position should feel a slight stretch.


Tricep extension machine, start
Tricep Extension - Start

Contraction:

  • Keeping elbows on the pad, extend arms all the way down.

  • Keep feet firmly in place, leaning forward into the push.

  • Upon peak contraction, hold position and squeeze for 1-2 seconds.


Tricep extension machine, end
Tricep Extension - End

Relaxation:

  • Relax your arms back up very, slowly. Count 4 seconds as you go back to starting position

  • Lean forward again as your arms relax upward.

  • Keep feet grounded the entire time.

  • You should be able to feel that stretch every time you fully relax into starting position.

Day 2: Legs, lower back & abs


There’s only one compound (for power & multiple muscle group co-ordination) in this session and because there are so many different muscle groups involved, the rest are all isolation.


8 exercises in total. Approximately 1hr 30min.


Leg Press (Hack Squat) Machine – Compound 1/1:

You want to focus a bit more on your glutes and hamstrings with this compound. For that, you’re going to need to place your feet as highly as possible on the pad you push with your feet.


To set up, put your seat as close as possible to the pad so you’re in a tight squatting position.


When you get to your final reps and start reaching failure, you can use your hands to push your knees forward, assisting your legs with the press.


Here’s a video of me demonstrating this exercise.


Starting position:

  • Put your feet parallel to each other, at about two feet apart (in line with the outside of your hips).

  • Make sure feet are placed as high up on the pad as possible.


Hack squat machine, start
Hack Squat - Start

Contraction:

  • Make sure arms are out of the way, but are in a comfortable position (I usually fold across my chest like in above image)

  • Push all the way up but DO NOT LOCK YOUR KNEES! Always leave a slight bend.


Hack squat machine, end
Hack Squat - End

Relaxation:

  • No delay.

  • Let your legs go all the way back to starting position without letting knees point outwards.


Calf Press Machine – Isolation 1/7:

Position the seat/machine close enough so that your ankles are bent as far back as possible. You want to also have a slight bend in the knee for a better angle.


Do not move your knees during the exercise. Your ankles should be the only things moving while doing this.


You won’t believe the amount of times I’ve seen people use this machine to do leg press. It’s supposed to be for your calves only.


Here’s a video of me demonstrating this exercise.


Starting position:

  • Place the balls of your feet on the pad

  • Make sure your feet are straight, parallel with each other.

  • Your feet should be perfectly aligned with your hips

  • Before you start, you should have a slight bend in the knees, and ankles fully extended back as far as possible.


Calf press machine, start
Calf Press - Start

Contraction:

  • Keep knees frozen in place.

  • Extend your ankles as far as possible (like you’re tip-toeing).

  • When you reach peak extension, hold and squeeze for 2 seconds.


Calf press machine, end
Called Press - End

Relaxation:

  • When you release, do not flop straight back down.

  • Count 4 seconds as you go back to starting position.

  • Keep knees in the same place with that slight bend


Quad Extension Machine – Isolation 2/7:


This one gives me the biggest burn, and is the best example of how to fight the pain barrier.


Make sure the seat is positioned so that the inside of your knee is just in front of the edge, but not directly on it.


Too far forwards and you’ll put too much pressure on your femur. Directly putting the bend of your inner knees on the edge could be troublesome for your joints.


Here’s a video of me demonstrating this exercise.


Starting position:

  • Slot your legs inside and adjust the machine so that your feet are pushed to the furthest back level.

  • Place your feet parallel with your hips, and keep both feet straight

  • Firmly grip the handles on the side


Qua extension machine, start
Quad Extension - Start

Contraction:

  • Fast & explosive contraction to the top.

  • When your legs cannot go any higher, hold position and squeeze for 2 seconds.


Quad extension machine, end
Quad Extension - End

Relaxation:

  • After you squeeze, relax slowly. Count 4 seconds as you go back to starting position

  • When you reach starting position again, go straight back up. No delay.


Hip Adduction Machine – Isolation 3/7:


Try and set the pads as wide as you can possible spread your legs apart. The greater the range of movement with this one, the better.


You may feel a click in the middle of your pelvis (crotch area) on the first rep. That’s totally normal. Happens to me and a few others I know.


Here’s a video of me demonstrating this exercise.


Starting position

  • See picture below. This is a pretty easy machine that will slot you into position nicely.

  • As mentioned above, just make sure the pads are as far apart as possible.


Hip adduction machine, start
Hip Adduction - Start

Contraction:

  • Squeeze all the way in, so the pads touch each other.

  • Squeeze and hold for about 2 seconds


Hip adduction machine, end
Hip Adduction - End

Relaxation:

  • Release the squeeze gradually. Count 4 seconds as you go back to starting position.

  • You should be able to feel a nice stretch every time you fully relax into starting position

  • When you reach failure, you can set up your own negative reps by pushing your legs together with your hands, and then relaxing back to starting position again x 3.


Hip Abduction Machine – Isolation 4/7:


Most machines aren’t quite calibrated properly for the right abduction movement.


So usually if you just follow the instructions on the machine, it won’t hit the muscle as well as it should in my approach below.


Starting position:

  • Reach out to the main frame, and hold both sides with your arms straight.

  • As you reach forward, your bum will come up. As that happens, make sure your centre of gravity stays in the same place.


Hip abduction machine, start
Hip Abduction - Start

Contraction:

  • Keep your bum in the same place as you start to push your legs outwards.

  • Push out to the very limit of your flexibility

  • Hold at peak contraction for about 2 seconds.


Hip abduction machine, end
Hip Abduction - End

Relaxation:

  • Still keeping your bum in the same position, count 4 seconds as you go back to starting position

  • Keep feet grounded the entire time.


Hamstring Curl Machine – Isolation 5/7:


Sit back as far as you can so your bum is in the corner of the seat.


Make sure the clamping pad is as low down on your quads as possible, to constrict movement as much as possible.


The pad you curl down should be at the very bottom of your calves.


Starting position:

  • Make sure the notch setting straightens your leg out as much as possible.

  • You should feel a nice stretch in your hamstrings


Hamstring curl machine, start
Hamstring Curl - Start

Contraction:

  • Make sure your feet stay straight and keep pointing upwards throughout the movement.

  • Try not to engage your calves, and keep the contraction focused only on your hamstrings.

  • When you reach full contraction, squeeze for a good 2 – 3 seconds.


Relaxation:

  • Relax your legs back up very, slowly. Count 4 seconds as you go back to starting position

  • Still keeping the power coming from your hamstrings only. Not your calves.


Lower Back Extension – Isolation 6/7:


Most people don’t realise this machine has a seat-belt to keep you in place as you push upwards.


Make sure that seat belt is locked tight so you can really concentrate the contraction on your lower back.


If you feel you’re having to use your quads to help stabilise and keep you in place, then it’s not tight enough.


The pad you push back should be under your lower traps, just above your shoulder blades. The notch on the pad should also push you as far forwards as possible. Greater range of movement.


Foot pedal should be high enough for you to have a comfortable bend of the knees.


Starting position:

  • Place your hands on your chest as shown in image below, so you avoid them getting in the way.

  • Make sure your entire back is straight and are facing forwards


Lower back extension machine, start
Back Extension - Start

Contraction:

  • Take your time pushing your body all the way back – no need for explosive movement here.

  • Ensure your back and neck stay straight at all times.

  • Keep pushing until your body is as vertical as possible.

  • Hold that max extension for a good 2 seconds or so.


Lower back extension machine, end
Back Extension - End

Relaxation:

  • Relax back down very slowly. Count 4 seconds as you go back to starting position

  • After a few reps, once you reach failure, you can use your arms to push off your knees and bring you back to a vertical position. Relax from there after failure 3x.


Express Ab Exercise – Isolation 7/7:


You could even do this on flat ground, which would be almost as effective (as long as your feet are anchored to the floor) but the optimal way to do this is on a decline bench.


There are 4 different levels of intensity (for the drop-sets), which will need 4 different positions for your arms to be in.


This basically shifts your centre of gravity from being far from the fulcrum/your hips (highest intensity), to being closer where the intensity reduces the nearer your centre of gravity is to your hips. Physics 101.

Each of the 4 levels can be seen in pictures below. Do as many as you can of each one, before you move onto the image below.


Here’s a video of me demonstrating this exercise.


Starting position 1:
  • Imitate the image below, make sure you have a slight arch in your back.

  • You should feel a stretch along your abs, right down to your pelvis.


Ab workout on decline bench
Ab Workout - Stage 1

Contraction:

  • Keep your arms together and straight, in line with your back.

  • Do NOT let yourself fold at the lower ribs. Keep the fulcrum at hip level.

  • Come up as high as you can, as close to a 90º angle from the floor as possible.

  • The moment you can’t even go past around 45º, move to the next position…

Relaxation:

  • Keeping your back straight, you should have a slight arch in your lower back

  • Lower your body down, leading with your shoulder blades. Go down SLOWLY.

  • When you reach full relaxion, your shoulder blades (or upper back) should be the first to touch the bench

  • If you’re rolling your lower back on the bench on the way down, you’re doing it WRONG.

Starting position 2:
  • Lay back down after failing the last rep in your previous position.