Take your strength to new heights with this comprehensive full-body gym workout…

Stick the basics consistently – squats, presses, deadlifts and rows – and you’re guaranteed to build both muscle and strength. This gym workout incorporates each of the above, with some chin-ups and dips added to the mix for good measure, to provide a full-body test that will hit every major muscle group.

Related: Best full-body dumbbell workout

How to do this full-body gym workout:

Stick to 3 working sets, but because you’ll be going heavy you’ll want to do some warm-up sets first. Do a set of 10 reps with an empty bar, 5 reps with 50% of your work weight, then 3 reps with about 70%.  

Low reps and heavier weight make this a strength-focused workout, but you can easily up the reps and drop the weight – consider cutting the rest time, too – to place greater strain on your cardiovascular system and target more of a fat-loss benefit.

Related: Hit the gym with this 30-minute upper-body workout

The full-body gym workout:

1. Barbell Back Squat (Reps: 5 | Rest: 2 mins | Sets: 3)

2. Barbell Overhead Press (Reps: 5 | Rest: 2 mins | Sets: 3)

3. Barbell Bent-Over Row (Reps: 5 | Rest: 90 secs | Sets: 3)

4. Barbell Romanian Deadlift (Reps: 6Rest: 90 secsSets: 3 

5. Chin-Up (Reps: Max | Rest: 60 secs | Sets: 3)

6. Ring Dip (Reps: Max | Rest: 60 secs | Sets: 3)

Related: Resistance band full-body workout

man demonstrating barbell squat man demonstrating barbell squat in full body workout

1. Barbell Back Squat  

Primary target: Quads and glutes

Secondary target: Core 

  • Reps: 5
  • Rest: 2 mins
  • Sets: 3

How to do a barbell back squat:

  • Take the bar out of the rack so it rests across your upper back.
  • Take two big steps back, ending with your feet roughly shoulder-width apart, toes pointing out slightly.  
  • Keep your spine in alignment by looking at a spot on the floor about two metres in front of you, then sit back and down as if you’re aiming for a chair.  
  • Descend until your hip crease is below your knee.  
  • Keep your weight on your heels as you drive up.
man demonstrating overhead press man demonstrating overhead press in full body gym workout session

2. Barbell Overhead Press 

Primary target: Shoulders

Secondary target: Triceps 

  • Reps: 5
  • Rest: 2 mins
  • Sets: 3

How to do a barbell overhead press:

  • With your feet shoulder-width apart, position a bar on your upper chest, gripping it with hands just wider than shoulder-width apart.  
  • Brace your abs, glutes and quads as you press the bar straight upwards.  
  • Pause at the top, then lower.  
  • You might find you can lift more weight by wrapping your thumbs around the same side as your fingers, to keep your forearms in a more favourable position. 

Related: 35 best barbell exercises for every muscle group

man demonstrating bent over row man demonstrating bent over row in full-body gym workout

3. Barbell Bent-Over Row 

Primary target: Upper back

Secondary target: Biceps 

  • Reps: 5
  • Rest: 90 secs
  • Sets: 3 

How to do a bent-over row:

  • Hold the bar with a shoulder-width grip, bending your knees slightly.  
  • Bend at the hips until you’re at a roughly 45˚ angle to the floor.  
  • Pull the bar up to touch your sternum and then lower under control.  
  • If you’re moving your upper body to shift the bar, the weight’s too heavy.
man demonstrating romanian deadlift in full body gym workout man demonstrating romanian deadlift

4. Barbell Romanian Deadlift 

Primary target: Hamstrings

Secondary target: Glutes 

  • Reps: 6
  • Rest: 90 secs
  • Sets: 3 

How to do a Romanian deadlift:

  • Stand tall with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding a barbell with an overhand grip just outside your thighs.  
  • Keeping a slight bend in your knees, bend forwards from the hips – not the waist – and lower the bar down the front of your shins until you feel a good stretch in your hamstrings.  
  • Reverse the move back to the start by pushing your hips forwards. 
man demonstrating chin up in the gym man demonstrating how to do a chin up the gym for a full body workout

5. Chin-Up 

Primary target: Upper back

Secondary target: Biceps 

  • Reps: Max
  • Rest: 60 secs
  • Sets: 3 

How to do a chin-up:

  • Grasp the bar with an underhand grip with your hands shoulder-width apart.  
  • Start from a dead hang with your arms fully extended.  
  • Pull yourself up.  
  • Once your chin is over the bar, slowly lower back to the start.  
  • To make it easier, cross your feet behind you. 

Related: Full-body supersets gym workout

man demonstrating ring dip man demonstrating how to do a ring dip in the gym

6. Ring Dip 

Primary target: Chest

Secondary target: Triceps 

  • Reps: Max
  • Rest: 60 secs
  • Sets: 3 

How to do a ring dip:

  • From the top position, bend your elbows and lower into a dip, descending until your shoulders are just below your elbows.  
  • Leaning forward will work your chest, while staying straight will build triceps strength.  
  • If you don’t have access to rings, use parallel dip bars instead. 

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