How To Get Ripped In Three Sessions Per Week

Written by Jack Boardman

Get Ripped In Three Sessions

Compared to diehard gym rats who are getting in the gym for a serious workout five or more times a week, three sessions may seem the bare minimum. So how can you make three workouts a week work for you?


Whereas the flipside of this argument, for some, would be the effectiveness of all over body training three times in a row, there is logic in higher frequency resistance training to repeatedly overburden the muscles in one foul swoop, leaving time for recovery on your days off or in between.


When it comes to your weight lifting, vary the amount you lift by beginning with lower reps of heavier weights, mixed up with higher reps of lower resistance.


Stick to compound lifts to channel as many muscle groups as you can. If you’re only able to hit the gym three times you need to make your time in there count! Whereas any form of high-intensity interval training is essential for fat burning in this workout, we suggest you choose running as your cardio exercise, which also contracts many of the muscles you’ll have been working with your compound lifts.

close grip bench press

Workout 1


Barbell squat: 4 sets, 6-8 reps

Weighted chin-up: 4 sets, 6-8 reps

Standing military press: 4 sets, 6-8 reps

Romanian deadlift single leg: 4 sets, 8-10 reps

Sit-up: 4 sets, 20-30 reps

Z-Bar curl: 4 sets, 8-10 reps

Cardio: 15 minutes. Low-moderate intensity intervals

Workout 2


Clean pull: 4 sets, 3-6 reps

Front squat (bodybuilder): 5 sets, 3-5 reps

Bent over barbell row: 5 sets, 5 reps

Barbell bench press – medium grip: 5 sets, 3-5 reps

Romanian deadlift: 5 sets, 5 reps

Hanging leg raise: 4 sets, 10-15 reps (2 minutes rest)

Cardio: 15 minutes, moderate-high intensity intervals

increase strength

Workout 3


Barbell squat: 4 sets, 12-15 reps

Pull-ups: 4 sets, max reps

Barbell incline bench press medium grip: 4 sets, 12-15 reps (90 seconds rest)

One leg barbell squat: 4 sets, 15-20 reps

Preacher curl: 4 sets, 12-15 reps

Dumbbell one arm triceps extension: 4 sets, 12-15 reps

Ab roller: 4 sets, 15 reps

Cardio: 15 minutes. Moderate-high intensity intervals.

strength training

This workout comes with other things to consider. If you’ve specified a three-session plan, just because you’re in the gym three times doesn’t mean the plan stops there. If you’re looking at three days in a row that might mean four inactive days, depending on your lifestyle. Whereas a workout plan is a perfect way to balance your health, fitness and all that you consume, if you’re looking to get shredded, four inactive days of eating junk and alcohol will upset that balance, making it another slog of an effort when you next go in.


To that effect, you don’t want to keep playing catch up with the progress you made the week before. That said, you ought to consider one of the following two: hit the gym three days in a row, follow with an inactive rest day, and then make the next three active rest days while watching your nutrition on those three days. Or the other option is to place a rest day in between each workout session. Still, if getting ‘ripped’ is the goal, you’ll want to keep up the good intentions outside of the gym too so that your workouts don’t feel like shovelling against the tide. Make use of active rest days and get in some light cardio – a brisk walk or slow jog.

Andy Griffiths

Andy Griffiths

Writer and expert

Andy's journey in fitness started during his studies at Leeds Becket University in 2003, working in the university campus gym, he got a taste for a life in fitness. In the past 17 years, he has developed through various roles and has built a detailed experience in developing one-to-one clients, fellow team members and group fitness programmes in mainstream and boutique facilities. Training endurance athletes, martial arts athletes and simply those wanting to build a healthier life, he has built some great experiences and is now in a fantastic position to share what he has learnt with you. Being able to engage beginners into exercise regimes he feels is essential but has the ability and experience to adapt training techniques for those more experienced so everyone learns something new. He strongly feels that if you believe you are capable, you commit to achieving your goals that you will be successful!