The Ultimate Resistance Band Workout Routine (with Free PDF)

We’re proud to announce our Ultimate Resistance Band Workout Routine that is designed to improve your resistance band skills, promote muscular hypertrophy, power, and strength.

This workout routine is for all fitness levels and abilities. Whether you’ve never used resistance bands before or just want to explore new ways of challenging the body, this workout program is for you!

We also offer the program in a downloadable, free, and printable PDF format so that you can take it with you wherever you go.

Jump to the workout routine.

Resistance Band Workout Routine In a Nutshell

Program styleResistance bands only
Program duration8 weeks
Workout duration1 hour
Scheduling5 days on, 2 days off
GoalIncrease strength and conditioning
LevelBeginner to advanced
Equipment neededResistance bands of varying tension (continuous loop version)

Workout Routine Structure

In the following 8 week resistance band workout routine you will be performing exercises across all planes of movement. Targeting every muscle group. Giving you every opportunity to get a pump on.

The first 4 weeks will be a 5 day workout spread throughout the week with days dedicated to one or two muscle groups. The second block, weeks 5 to 8, will double the frequency ensuring you double up how much you’re targeting the muscles. Progressive overload is important. As is volume

The workout routine will be structured as follows:

WeekTarget muscles
1-4Cycle among chest/shoulders, back, legs, arms/core
5-8Full body

Rep Scheme

You will be working out in a rep range of 20 or 30 depending on the movement. It may seem like a lot, but as resistance bands tend to be lighter than weights the aim is to fatigue the muscles more to provide as much stimulus for growth as possible. Especially if your starting point is stronger than others. 

Also, it will give you a sick pump. Which in the summer months is obviously more important. 

If you are unable to reach the top rep of the set, you keep the weight the same the following week until you can. Then you add further resistance with another band or mix of bands. This is how you progress

Hit the top rep of your set, add another band. Like adding more weight plates each week. 

The first week may seem like less volume than you’re used to. But as the rep ranges are high, recovery is important. By week 5 you should be more used to the rep ranges, and then frequency is added to help you progress even further.

The RPE Scale

In this workout routine, each movement employs an RPE scale. This means Rate of Perceived Exertion. This is a self determined gauge of effort.

RPE 1 is sitting at home watching Netflix.

RPE 10 is giving it your all.

A one rep max or lifting to failure would be deemed RPE 10. Find your own way to gauge your effort. Rate yourself out of 10. Then apply that to the resistance you employ for each exercise.

You don’t want to be at RPE 10 for everything. You’ll struggle to recover. 

At the end of the 8 weeks you’re free to keep running weeks 5 to 8 until you run out of resistance bands. 

Once you reach that point, my recommendation is to start week 1 to 4 again, but this time slowing down each rep. Making the most out of time under tension. A criminally underused training tool. 

You will feel the burn. And you will love it.

In terms of rest periods, as the weights of bands will likely be lighter than you may be used to, we have kept the rest period between sets fairly short to 90 seconds maximum.

Program Scheduling

The scheduling used in this program will go by a 5 day on, 2 day rest pattern, for a 7 day week. That means you’ll be training for 5 days in a row and then resting for 2 days.

Your 8 week calendar will be as follows:

Day1234567
Wk 1WorkoutWorkoutWorkoutWorkoutWorkoutRESTREST
Wk 2WorkoutWorkoutWorkoutWorkoutWorkoutRESTREST
Wk 3WorkoutWorkoutWorkoutWorkoutWorkoutRESTREST
Wk 4WorkoutWorkoutWorkoutWorkoutWorkoutRESTREST
Wk 5WorkoutWorkoutWorkoutWorkoutWorkoutRESTREST
Wk 6WorkoutWorkoutWorkoutWorkoutWorkoutRESTREST
Wk 7WorkoutWorkoutWorkoutWorkoutWorkoutRESTREST
Wk 8WorkoutWorkoutWorkoutWorkoutWorkoutRESTREST

The program has been designed to give rest to certain muscle groups between days. Especially the second full body blocks. This will allow the program to be run continuously. Rest days are also included to break up the workouts and aid in recovery

Keep an eye on nutrition and sleep. Make sure to eat enough protein and calories, and to get your 8 hours of sleep a night in if you can.

On to the 8 week resistance band workout routine!

The Resistance Band Workout Routine

Weeks 1 – 4

Day 1

SplitCHEST / SHOULDERS
Workout2 rounds of:
20 x Banded chest press (RPE 8)
30 x Banded chest flyes (RPE 7)
20 x Banded shoulder press (RPE 8)
30 x Banded lat raises (RPE 7)
30 x Banded upright rows (RPE 7)
Rest 90 secs in between exercises

And then…
Banded push ups to failure (RPE 10)

Day 2

SplitARMS / CORE
Workout2 rounds of:
30 x Banded bicep curls (RPE 8)
30 x Banded hammer curls (RPE 8)
30 x Banded tricep push down (RPE 8)
30 x Banded overhead extensions (RPE 8)
30 x Banded crunches (RPE 8)
Rest 90 secs in between exercises

And then…
Banded planks to failure (RPE 10)

Day 3

SplitBACK
Workout2 rounds of:
20 x Banded seated row (RPE 8)
30 x Banded lat pull down (RPE 8)
30 x Banded one arm row (left arm) (RPE 7)
30 x Banded one arm row (right arm) (RPE 7)
30 x Banded single arm lat pull down (left arm) (RPE 9)
30 x Banded single arm lat pull down (right arm) (RPE 9)
Rest 90 secs in between exercises

Day 4

SplitLEGS
Workout2 rounds of:
30 x Banded squats (RPE 8)
30 x Banded single leg RDL (RPE 7)
30 x Banded split squats (RPE 8)
30 x Banded glute bridges (RPE 7)
Rest 90 secs in between exercises

Day 5

SplitARMS / CORE
Workout2 rounds of:
30 x Banded bicep curls (RPE 8)
30 x Banded hammer curls (RPE 8)
30 x Banded tricep push down (RPE 8)
30 x Banded overhead extensions (RPE 8)
30 x Banded crunches (RPE 8)
Rest 90 secs in between exercises

And then…
Banded planks to failure (RPE 10)

Day 6 (REST)

Day 7 (REST)

Weeks 5 – 8

Day 1

SplitFULL BODY
Workout2 rounds of:
20 x Banded squats (RPE 8)
20 x Banded chest presses (RPE 8)
30 x Banded RDLs (RPE 7)
30 x Banded lat pull downs (RPE 8)
30 x Banded bicep curls (RPE 8)
Rest 90 secs in between exercises

And then…
Banded crunches to failure (RPE 10)

Day 2

SplitFULL BODY
Workout2 rounds of:
20 x Banded chest presses (RPE 8)
30 x Banded chest flyes (RPE 7)
30 x Banded RDLs (RPE 7)
30 x Banded single arm rows (left arm) (RPE 8)
30 x Banded single arm rows (right arm) (RPE 8)
30 x Banded shoulder presses (RPE 7)
30 x Banded tricep pulldowns (RPE 7)
30 x Banded rear delt flyes (RPE 7)
Rest 90 secs in between exercises

Day 3

SplitFULL BODY
Workout2 rounds of:
30 x Banded lat pull downs (RPE 8)
30 x Banded seated rows (RPE 8)
30 x Banded Bulgarian split squats (RPE 8)
30 x Banded calf raises (RPE 7)
30 x Banded upright rows (RPE 7)
30 x Banded hammer curls (RPE 8)
Rest 90 secs in between exercises

Day 4

SplitFULL BODY
Workout2 rounds of:
20 x Banded stiff leg deadlift (RPE 8)
30 x Banded glute bridges (RPE 7)
30 x Banded pullovers (RPE 7)
30 x Banded lateral raises (RPE 7)
30 x Banded face pulls (RPE 8)
30 x Banded tricep overhead extension (RPE 8)
Rest 90 secs in between exercises

Day 5

SplitFULL BODY
Workout2 rounds of:
20 x Banded shoulder presses (RPE 8)
30 x Banded lateral raises (RPE 7)
30 x Banded single arm rows (left arm) (RPE 8)
30 x Banded single arm rows (right arm) (RPE 8)
30 x Banded bicep curls (RPE 7)
Banded push ups to failure (RPE 10)
Rest 90 secs in between exercises

Day 6 (REST)

Day 7 (REST)

Why Resistance Bands?

Resistance bands are one of the most versatile and cost effective pieces of kit any fitness freak can own.

Whether you’re a novice or veteran gym rat, having some resistance bands in your kit bag will help give you variety in your programming, and also give you something to use should you not make it to the gym for any reason.

It’s for the latter that we have put together this resistance band workout routine pdf for you to keep a hold of. Who knows if we will end up in another lockdown, right?

Resistance bands are brilliant for several reasons. If you can lift a bar in a certain direction, you can perform the same style of movement with a band. Without any need for investing in a rack or plates. Or even a bar.

Also, due to the consistent tension provided by the resistance band, you can train your muscles in every length and maybe even benefit from extra gains over traditional barbell movements due to being able to fatigue the muscle more.

Progression can also occur similarly to lifting weights. Whereas with weight lifting you progress by adding more plates to the bar to increase resistance, or adding more reps, or picking up heavier dumbbells, with resistance bands you can attach more bands, or use heavier ones.

Mixing up the resistance applied during the exercise. Alternatively, you also have the ability to add more reps to your sets. 

Resistance bands are literally a complete gym in one piece of equipment.

Will This Workout Routine Help Me Build Muscle?

Muscle growth is simply a result of providing resistance to your muscle, which forces an adaptation or growth response. So in short, absolutely!

How does this work? In simple terms: Gyms are equipped with all kinds of different free weights and machines which are used to provide resistance and force a muscle growth response.

It’s why people spend so much of their time there.

A bicep curl, for example, provides resistance and mechanical tension to the muscles that make up the bicep. Moving it in a curling fashion causes stress on the muscles.

Repeatedly doing this over time fatigues them. Slightly damages them. And forces the body to repair and grow it so next time it is presented with that same weight, curling it is much easier.

This is the basics of resistance training and muscle growth. Otherwise known as muscle hypertrophy. It doesn’t matter if the weight and resistance comes from a metal bar, or a set of resistance bands.

It’s that mechanical tension and overall resistance and fatigue that causes a muscle growth response. Every time your body adapts and an exercise gets easier, we simply increase the resistance (weight) and cause a further adaptive response.

This is the principle of progressive overload. It doesn’t matter if that’s extra weight, time under tension or otherwise. So long as there’s some resistance there will be growth.

All which can be achieved with our resistance band program.

You Are What You Eat

Resistance band training is only one piece of the puzzle. The body also requires energy from food and amino acids from protein to effectively repair and grow muscle.

Every cell in our body is a protein. And the amino acids which make up protein are super important to muscle development.

Think of your muscle building journey like building a house. If you want to expand your property, if you wish to build an extension, you need materials.

But you can’t just make these materials out of nothing. They need to come from the hardware store. And you also need to choose the right materials. You need quality bricks that give you everything you need to build a solid foundation. 

There are 9 essential amino acids that are important to muscle growth that can not be synthesised in the human body. So we get those from quality protein sources such as animal products, milk, dairy, whey and more.

Some protein sources, such as vegetarian sources, don’t contain all the essential amino acids we need. So vegetarians and vegans will need to supplement with vegan or vegetarian protein supplements.

Eating enough protein and eating the right protein sources that contain all 9 essential amino acids, will complement your resistance training program and help you build solid muscle mass that will rival that of a regular gym goer. 

As mentioned before, so long as you’re providing enough resistance training, and eating good quality protein, you will build the same amount of muscle mass as someone lifting the same amount of weight in a gym.

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Mike Julom

Mike is an ACE Certified PT and a CrossFit Level 1 Trainer. He is an avid lover of all sports. Basketball, tennis, athletics, volleyball, soccer, squash, golf, table tennis, even darts, you name it! He's a very active CrossFit athlete and has been WOD'ing for over 7 years. With such an intense fitness regime, Mike has learned to take care of his body physically, nutritionally, and spiritually. Mike founded ThisIsWhyImFit as a way to share his vast knowledge of exercises, diets, and general fitness advice.

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