A Guide To The Best Aesthetic Workout Routine for Bodybuilding

Many of us want the perfect body. Whether that’s six-pack abs, bulging muscles, or just a healthy appearance. While this is a common dream, most people are not prepared to put in the hard yards to achieve it. The fact that you’re reading this means that you are ready to build muscle and find the best aesthetic workout routine for you.

Although the main goal for most bodybuilders is to build strength and size, some just want to look good. And why not? Looking good will have a positive impact on your mental health and your confidence with your physical appearance.

If you’re starting out or have already begun sculpting your aesthetic body, we are here to help. Finding a training routine to suit your needs can be tough. That is why we have created an in-depth guide to the best aesthetic workout routine.

A Guide To The Best Aesthetic Workout Routine for Bodybuilding

By following our regime, you can work on your muscles and provide a balance between bulging biceps and aesthetically pleasing. With determination, commitment, and the right mentality, you can achieve the aesthetic physique you have been striving for.

Read on as we discuss a few routines that are similar to those used by professional athletes and fitness models as well bodybuilders. Get ready to stand out from the crowd!

Aesthetic: What does it mean? 

Everyone would love to be fit and healthy. Unfortunately, it’s not possible for everyone due to illnesses and health issues. But, there are always ways to improve physical and mental health. An aesthetic body may be “all on the outside” but as you sculpt your body into this form, your health will benefit as well. 

So, what exactly does ‘aesthetic’ mean?

A person who has an aesthetic body is someone whose muscles are balanced and symmetrical. In other words, the person has worked toward a body that is visually appealing to others and themselves. 

Of course, one person may have a different idea of what an appealing body is to another person. Some of us want a body that is ripped with large muscles such as bodybuilders whereas others prefer more petite, toned physiques. 

Overall, some key characteristics stand out for the standard aesthetic physique. These include:

  • Large, thick arm muscles (biceps and triceps)
  • A wide upper back and delts (shoulder muscles)
  • A solid, large chest with toned pectorals
  • A small waist
  • Body fat that is 10% or less
  • Muscular, large quads and calves
  • Toned abdominals

As you probably know, achieving such a physique is not easy. If you already have a workout routine but you’re not seeing any gains, you will need to update it to include exercises that are proven to improve the muscular balance of your body. If you’re not working out at all yet and your body fat is over 10%, you will need to start with dropping that percentage down. 

Your exercises should target your major and minor muscle groups. It’s not all about building your muscle gain. Firstly, you will need to lower your body fat percentage. This involves a caloric deficit diet and requires you to remain hydrated at all times. With physical fitness comes healthy diets. With healthy diets come benefits to your health. It’s a win, win! 

Aesthetic Workout: What do they do? 

Aesthetic workouts are not like any old workout. They are designed to improve your muscle symmetry. Unlike other training programs where you may want to build strength or bulk up, an aesthetic workout routine focuses on reducing your body fat percentage.

This is done through the consumption of a caloric deficit diet, an increase in fluid intake, and a dose of the best cardio for bodybuilding. Over a period of time, these actions will increase your muscular symmetry and overall definition. 

As we mentioned, the main goal of an aesthetic workout routine is to improve your muscular symmetry. This is done through training methodologies where a range of training methods are used to increase your strength and become leaner. 

The exercises involved in aesthetic workouts tend to cover minor muscle groups as well as major groups. Therefore, your muscular proportions become more balanced throughout your body. 

The exercises are split into certain reps, as with most routines. These tend to be 8 to 20 reps per set with 3 or more sets per exercise. These are set in place according to your muscle groups so one day maybe a bicep workout while the next could be a quad routine. 

There is a 50/50 ratio between compound and isolation lifts. A compound movement uses a combination of muscle groups and joints such as a squat. This works the core, calves, hamstrings, and lower back at the same time. An isolation movement targets and works one specific group of muscles or joints. 

A common idea of an aesthetic body is ‘v-shaped.” This signature v-taper is when you have a wide upper body and a small waist. One of the main goals of aesthetic workouts is to achieve this result so the exercises are tailored toward this. 

It’s important to note that training for an aesthetic body is slightly different from training for general health reasons or to build strength. General health training regimes do not require a structured training program. More often than not, there is no end goal for these training routines other than to become healthier. An aesthetic physique isn’t part of this equation.

If you train solely to build strength, your routine will usually consist of resistance training that focuses on compound lifts with low repetitions. Although hard going on certain muscle groups, the end result is to bulk up and not on your aesthetic appearance.  

If you want to get shredded, it’s best to find a balance between reps from 6-10 and 10-15. Such repetitions in your sets will improve your strength as well as size. And, this can be achieved in any number of ways such as through weights, calisthenics, or other methods involving progressive overload. 

Building an aesthetic physique will not happen easily or quickly. It will take some people longer than others, even if they follow the same strict routine. It’s down to how your body reacts to the workouts and your genetics. Whoever you are, you will not achieve your desired results quickly. That is why you should enjoy the working out process while you are doing it. Yes, always have a goal in mind but don’t look too far ahead. You will notice your gains as time goes on and when you do, there is no better feeling. 

Aesthetic Training Routine Exercises 

Before we delve into your training schedule, we want to show you the exercises you will need to perform for this particular training regime. 

You will be training your upper body which includes your back, shoulders, chest, biceps, and triceps. You will also train your lower body to target a range of muscle groups including your hamstrings, quadriceps, calves, and abs. 

The workout set out below will include compound exercises as well as isolation exercises so you can build muscle mass as quickly as possible. We have outlined two workouts for your upper and lower body to perform throughout the week to work on different muscle groups. The first exercises on each routine are the most physically demanding but they become less demanding as you work through each one. 

Here are the exercises required for your upper body workout including the reps and sets.

Upper Body Workout 1

  • Barbell Rows: 3 sets - 5-8 reps - 2 to 3 minutes of rest between each set
  • Bench Press: 3 sets - 5-8 reps - 2 to 3 minutes of rest between each set
  • Pull-Ups: 3 sets - 8-10 reps - 60 to 120 seconds of rest between each set 
  • Incline Dumbbell Press: 3 sets - 8-10 reps - 60 to 120 seconds of rest between each set 
  • Triceps Push-Downs: 3 sets - 10-15 reps - 60 seconds of rest between each set 
  • Side Lateral raises: 2 sets - 10-15 reps - 60 seconds of rest between each set

Upper Body Workout 2

  • Overhead Barbell Press: 3 sets - 5-8 reps - 2 to 3 minutes of rest between each set
  • Chin-Ups - 3 sets - 5-8 reps - 2 to 3 minutes of rest between each set
  • Flat Dumbbell Bench Press - 3 sets - 8-10 reps - 60 to 120 seconds of rest between each set
  • Seated Cable Row: 3 sets - 8-10 reps - 60 to 120 seconds of rest between each set
  • EZ-Bar Curls: 3 sets - 10-12 reps - 60 seconds of rest between each set
  • Chest Dumbbell Flyes: 3 sets - 8-10 reps - 60 to 120 seconds of rest between each set
  • Dumbbell Triceps Extensions: 2 sets - 10-15 reps - 60 seconds of rest between each set
  • Now, we move on to the lower body workouts. Yet again, we have two workout routines here to target certain muscle groups in your lower body.

Lower Body Workout 1

  • Deadlifts: 3 sets - 5-8 reps - 2 to 3 minutes of rest between each set
  • Standing Calf Raises: 3 sets - 5-8 reps - 2 to 3 minutes of rest between each set 
  • Leg Curls: 3 sets - 8-10 reps - 60 seconds of rest between each set
  • Leg presses: 3 sets - 8-10 reps - 60 seconds of rest between each set
  • Cable Crunches - 3 sets - 10-15 reps - 60 seconds of rest between each set

Lower Body workout 2

  • Barbell Squats: 3 sets - 5-8 reps - 2 to 3 minutes of rest between each set
  • Bulgarian Split Squats: 3 sets - 8-10 reps - 60 to 120 seconds of rest between each set
  • Lying Leg Curls: 3 sets - 10-12 reps - 60 to 120 seconds of rest between each set
  • Reverse Crunches - 3 sets - 8-10 reps - 60 to 120 seconds of rest between each set
  • Seated Calf Raises: 3 sets - 10-12 reps - 60 to 120 seconds of rest between each set


Before you tackle your aesthetic workout routine, you will need to warm up. For each exercise and set, you should be using the same weight. Only increase this weight once you have reached a time when you can push it for every set and rep. But, only increase this by a small amount. It may not feel like much but this is a sign of progress and shows you are on the right path to an aesthetic build.

Never change the order of each exercise. They go from most difficult to easiest so that your body gets used to a routine. Do not tweak the routine. Follow it religiously. If you are finding it hard to reach your desired sets and rep ranges, simply lower the given weight. It doesn’t matter the weight. As long as you hit your set and rep targets, that’s all that counts. 

We highly recommend downloading a workout app or get a fitness tracker to track your progress. This will help you understand where you are during your routine as it is very easy to forget how many sets and reps you have completed when you’re in the thick of things. 

Aesthetic Workout Routine 

Now, let’s get down to business. This aesthetic workout routine has an upper-body split. This means you can effectively train all of your muscle groups every 3 or 5 days but this depends on the variation you choose. 

It doesn’t matter if you’re a man or a woman, your body will need to rest and recover after your workouts. This is why you must consider your level of fitness. Beginners should work out three to four times a week when they want to build their muscles. As you progress, each muscle group should not be targeted more than twice a week as this can cause too much strain and result in possible injuries.

Let’s take a look at some variations on this workout routine within four and three days. 

Upper Body Lower Body Split - 4 Day 

  • Monday: Upper Body 1 Workout
  • Tuesday: Lower Body 1 Workout
  • Wednesday: Rest day
  • Thursday: Upper Body 2 Workout
  • Friday: Lower Body 2 Workout
  • Saturday: Rest day
  • Sunday: Rest day

This 4-day workout routine trains each muscle group every third or fourth day. The days you choose to work out are up to you as long as you work out for two days, then have one day off, then two days on again before two days off. 

Next, we have the upper-lower split workout routine looking at week 1 and week 2. This 3-day version will train each muscle group every fourth or fifth day as opposed to every third or fourth. As with the 4-day aesthetic routine, you can choose what exact days you want to work out as long as you follow the format of one day on - one day off - one day on - one day off - one day on - finally, two days off. 

Upper Lower Split - 3 Day

1st week 

  • Monday: Upper Body 1 Workout
  • Tuesday: Rest day
  • Wednesday: Lower Body 1 Workout
  • Thursday: Rest day
  • Friday: Upper Body 2 Workout
  • Saturday: Rest day
  • Sunday: Rest day

2nd week

  • Monday: Lower Body 2 Workout
  • Tuesday: Rest day
  • Wednesday: Upper Body 1 Workout
  • Thursday: Rest day
  • Friday: Lower Body 1 Workout
  • Saturday: Rest day
  • Sunday: Rest day

We do not recommend switching between these two workouts. Therefore, we suggest you pick which one you like most and stick with that. This will give you the best aesthetic results. 

Aesthetic Physique Timeline 

One of the most common questions people have when working toward their dream body is “how long will it take?” Well, this depends on a variety of factors such as how your body is when you start the program and how often you complete the workouts. It goes without saying but, the more you work out, the faster your aesthetic goal will be achieved.

With a proper diet plan and committed workout routine, you should expect to see results within 6 to 12 months. Yes, it’s frustrating but time will show you that each strenuous workout was worth it. 

For beginners, do not overtrain. Do not overexert yourselves as this can lead to health concerns and potentially long-term injuries. Beginners should only hit the gym around three to four times a week. But, when you do visit the gym, ensure you’re targeting each muscle group at least once during that week. Then, rest and allow your muscle groups to recover sufficiently. 


Diet is a significant part of achieving an aesthetic body. To help you increase fat loss as well as build muscle, the following foods should always be in your aesthetic diet plan:

  • Whole grains
  • Lean meats
  • Leafy greens
  • Egg whites
  • Natural yogurt
  • Legumes
  • Nuts 
  • Fruits
  • Fish (not battered)

It may be difficult at first but this diet will become a routine just like your workouts. Just do not skip breakfast, lunch, or dinner. With so much energy exerted, you will need plenty of nutrients and fibers to keep you healthy and strong. Do not forget to keep your water bottle filled at all times and hydrate yourself throughout your exercise. 

Kevin Harris