1 barbell and this beginner-friendly workout to build full-body strength

This 25-minute barbell complex is perfect for home gyms – build strength and definition with only one piece of equipment

Shot of a sporty young woman exercising with a barbell in a gym
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Barbells are one of the most intimidating home gym equipment, as people often associate them with bodybuilders and powerlifters. They can be a powerful ally in the battle for strength; better still, they aren't as scary once you start using them. This beginner barbell workout is an excellent place to start if you want to build strength using only a barbell. It takes only 25 minutes and works all the muscles in your body for maximum calorie-burning and strength-building potential.

Strength training has several benefits. It can help you lose belly fat, build muscle, boost metabolism and more. It can even decrease the risk of falls, lower the risk of injury and promotes mobility and flexibility (contrary to popular belief). Truth be told, you don't have to use a barbell to enjoy these benefits, but adding a barbell to your home gym setup might be a good idea, nevertheless. Haven't got one yet? Check out T3's best barbell guide for more info.

This workout consists of a warm-up, three supersets and a cool-down. Supersets are multiple (often two) exercises performed in quick succession (i.e. without rest) to maximise muscle activation and reduce workout time. The supersets in this beginner barbell workout don't target the same muscles, so you don't have to worry about pushing them to their limits. And since it's a beginner workout, we recommend using the bar only for most exercises; if you fancy making the session, add some bumper plates to your setup (here are the best weight plates). The workout is structured as such:

  • Warm-up
  • Open Book (1min)
  • Glute Bridges (12 reps)
  • Hollow Hold (30 sec)
  • Workout
  • Superset 1
  • 3 rounds, 1 min rest after each round
  • Barbell Shoulder Press (10 reps)
  • Lateral Lunge to Back Lunge (4 reps)
  • Superset 2
  • 3 rounds, 1min rest after each round
  • Barbell Squat (10 reps)
  • Inchworm (6 reps)
  • Superset 3
  • 3 rounds, 1 min rest after each round. 
  • Barbell Curls (40 sec; as many reps as possible/AMRAP) 
  • Cooldown
  • Forearm Stretch (30 sec)
  • Child’s Pose (30 sec)

Barbells come in many shapes and sizes, and if you like kitting out your home gym with gear that takes up less space but doesn't compromise on workout quality, we recommend the Bowflex SelectTech 2080 Barbell with Curl Bar; this adjustable barbell includes an E-Z bar as well as a barrel, making it suitable for arm workouts as well as full-body workouts. Finally, we recommend checking out the best barbell workout (for reference).

Matt Kollat
Section Editor | Active

Matt Kollat is a journalist and content creator who works for T3.com and its magazine counterpart as an Active Editor. His areas of expertise include wearables, drones, fitness equipment, nutrition and outdoor gear. He joined T3 in 2019. His byline appears in several publications, including Techradar and Fit&Well, and more. Matt also collaborated with other content creators (e.g. Garage Gym Reviews) and judged many awards, such as the European Specialist Sports Nutrition Alliance's ESSNawards. When he isn't working out, running or cycling, you'll find him roaming the countryside and trying out new podcasting and content creation equipment.