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Looking for a 12 week resistance band training program to help you transform your physique no matter where you’re at? 

You’ve come to the right place!

Going to the gym can be beneficial, but having a resistance bands workout routine you can do anywhere is cost-effective and convenient. 

With the right resistance band program in place, you can build muscle and lose fat to start feeling healthier – and happier – than ever. 

Combine this with healthy eating to boost energy levels and mental clarity as well!

I’ve been a personal trainer for many years. Every day, I help clients achieve their fitness goals with resistance bands alone, so I know this can work for you.

Keep reading to learn more about how to get the most bang for your buck with our FREE 12 week resistance band training program PDF!

Resistance Bands Vs. Traditional Equipment: What Are the Benefits of Resistance Band Training?

Related: 8 Resistance Band Bicep Exercises

12 week resistance band training program

Lifting weights at the gym works for many, but you can also follow a resistance band program to see the results you desire!

Bands are great because they are lightweight and easy to store and transport. If you wish to get in a muscle-building resistance band workout while on vacation, pack your bands in your suitcase – maybe even your purse!

This isn’t an option with dumbbells and many travel accommodations do not provide a fitness center.

Pressed for time? It may also be easier for you to fly through your resistance band routine each week compared to a gym routine. 

After all, you don’t have to spend time loading plates on barbells, switching out dumbbells, waiting for machines, and more. All you need to do is grab another band!

How to Choose the Best Resistance Bands for Your Training – Some Factors to Consider

Related: 12 Resistance Band Chest Exercises

Best Resistance Bands for Your Training

There are two types of resistance bands to choose from for your 12-weeks resistance band training program: bands with handles and loop bands.

Loop bands are most commonly used for lower-body exercises although they can be maneuvered to be made to work for other types of exercises.

Bands with handles can be utilized in various movements, especially with the upper body. If nothing else, you should for sure have these on hand.

Try to find higher-quality bands that are unlikely to snap when put under too much strain. With loop bands, it is also preferable to get fabric bands because they will not roll up during movements and cause you to pause your workout.

The Best Resistance Band Exercises 

Related: 13 Resistance Band Shoulder Exercises

1. Chest Presses

The resistance band chest press is a replacement for the barbell bench press. 

This movement is great for targeting multiple muscles of the upper body and is a must for any push day workout!

How-To Perform Chest Presses

  1. Anchor your band to a wall or door at chest level. 
  2. Face away from the anchor and grab each handle with your hands by the sides of your chest with your elbows pointed out. Your arms should be forming a 90-degree angle. 
  3. Push the handles forward until your arms are fully extended. 
  4. Pause here for a moment before bringing the handles back toward your chest and repeating.

Benefits

  • Builds your chest
  • Strengthens your triceps
  • Challenges your shoulders

Pro Tips

  • Be careful to not splay your elbows to prevent injuries.
  • Try counting to three on your way back to provide more resistance.

2. Squats

The squat is another amazing compound movement that is also functional. While most people perform this exercise with a barbell or dumbbells, you can effectively do it with resistance bands as well. 

Do this exercise at least once a week on a lower-body day in the resistance band workout routine.

How-To Perform Squats

  1. Step evenly on a band so that your feet are hip-width apart and hold the handles at shoulder height. 
  2. Push your glutes back and bend your knees as you squat down. 
  3. Pause when your thighs are parallel with the floor before pushing back up through your heels and coming to standing.

Benefits

  • Builds the glutes
  • Strengthens the quads
  • Functional movement

Pro Tips

  • As you squat down, make sure your knees do not go over your toes to prevent knee injuries.
  • Focus on pushing your knees out to work your glutes more.

3. Conventional Deadlifts

Deadlifts are an amazing full-body exercise that can promote great progress when you use proper form. Include these in a lower-body or pull workout. 

How-To Perform Conventional Deadlifts

  1. Step evenly on the band so that your feet are hip-width apart and grab each end of the band so that very little slack is allowed. 
  2. Keeping your back straight and shoulders back, push up through your legs until you come to standing. You should feel the most resistance at the top of this movement. 
  3. Pause here before coming back down and repeating.

Benefits

  • Builds the glutes
  • Strengthens the hamstrings and quads
  • Functional movement

Pro Tips

  • Make your primary focus not rounding your lower back during this movement to prevent injuries.
  • Count to three when you pause at the top to create more tension.

4. Banded Pulldowns

Work your lats and biceps simultaneously with banded pulldowns. Include these in an upper-body or pull day workout!

How-To Perform Banded Pulldowns

  1. Anchor your band somewhere above you. 
  2. Grab each handle and get in a position so that there is minimal slack in the band and your arms are fully extended in a V. 
  3. Pull the handles down until they are on either side of your chest. 
  4. Pause here for a moment before releasing the handles back up.

Benefits

  • Builds your back
  • Strengthens your biceps
  • Promotes good posture

Pro Tips

  • Choose a weight that allows you to bring the band handles all the way down to your chest.
  • To ensure equal tension of each side of your lats, alternate which handle you pull down.

5. Banded Glute Bridges

While glute bridges alone are effective, utilizing a band will ensure your gluteus medius gets more attention.

Include this exercise on any lower-body day from the resistance band workout guide.

How-To Perform Banded Glute Bridges

  1. Get onto your back and put a closed-loop band around your legs right above your knees. 
  2. Place your feet flat on the floor with your knees bent and arms lying by your sides. 
  3. Push your hips up towards the sky and hold for a moment at the top. 
  4. Slowly bring your hips back down and tap your glutes on the floor before repeating the movement.

Benefits

  • Builds the glutes
  • Strengthens the hamstrings
  • Protects the knees

Pro Tips

  • Count to three at the top of this movement to make it more difficult.
  • Try adding a pulse at the top if you want to take this exercise to the next level.

6. Arnold Presses

The Arnold press is a killer exercise for your shoulders and works both the anterior and lateral delts. 

Use these in a superset during an upper-body or push day workout to really feel the burn!

How-To Perform Arnold Presses

  1. Stand evenly on your band and grab both the handles. 
  2. Position your hands right in front of your chest with your palms facing inward. 
  3. Rotate your wrists to bring your hands out on either side of your shoulders with your palms now facing forward. 
  4. Press your hands up and bring them together above your head. 
  5. Bring your hands back down by shoulders and rotate them inward to your chest before repeating.

Benefits

  • Works the front delt
  • Challenges the lateral delt
  • Increases the effectiveness of a normal shoulder press

Pro Tips

  • Feel free to add a bicep curl into this exercise to make it a compound movement.
  • If you feel any pain in your elbows, choose a band of less resistance.

12-Week Resistance Band Workout Program 

Weeks 1-4: Full-Body

Monday

Full-Body Day 1
WARM-UP5 minutes walking on treadmill + active stretching
EXERCISESETSREPSREST TIME
Squats36-81 minute 30 seconds
Chest Presses38-101 minute
Band-Assisted Pull-Ups38-101 minute
Banded Calf Raises210-1245 seconds
Banded Crunches210-1245 seconds
CARDIO10 minute Stairmaster
COOLDOWN5 minutes full-body stretching

Estimated Workout Duration: 45 minutes

Tuesday

Full-Body Day 2
WARM-UP5 minutes walking on treadmill + active stretching
EXERCISESETSREPSREST TIME
Conventional Deadlifts36-81 minute 30 seconds
Good Mornings38-101 minute
Banded Pulldowns38-101 minute
Band Pull Aparts210-1245 seconds
Decline Band Press Sit-Ups210-1245 seconds
CARDIO10 minutes walking on an incline
COOLDOWN5 minutes full-body stretching

Estimated Workout Duration: 45 minutes

Wednesday

REST DAY

Thursday

Full-Body Day 3
WARM-UP5 minutes walking on treadmill + active stretching
EXERCISESETSREPSREST TIME
Straight Leg Deadlifts 36-81 minute 30 seconds
Banded Glute Bridges38-101 minute
Band Tricep Pressdowns38-101 minute
Hammer Curls210-1245 seconds
Straight Arm Press With Abdominal Hold210-1245 seconds
CARDIO5-minute HIIT workout
COOLDOWN5 minutes full-body stretching

Estimated Workout Duration: 40 minutes

Friday

Full-Body Day 4
WARM-UP5 minutes walking on treadmill + active stretching
EXERCISESETSREPSREST TIME
Monster Walk36-81 minute 30 seconds
Wide-Stance Band Pullthroughs38-101 minute
Arnold Presses38-101 minute
Bicep Curls210-1245 seconds
Banded Wood Chopper210-1245 seconds
CARDIO10 minute Stairmaster
COOLDOWN5 minutes full-body stretching

Estimated Workout Duration: 45 minutes

Saturday

REST DAY 

Sunday

REST DAY

Weeks 5-8: Upper-Body/Lower-Body Split

Monday

Upper-Body Day 1
WARM-UP5 minutes walking on treadmill + active stretching
EXERCISESETSREPSREST TIME
Chest Presses48-101 minute 30 seconds
Band Pull Aparts310-1245 seconds
Overhead Tricep Extensions310-1245 seconds
Banded Pulldowns312-1530 seconds
Concentration Curls212-1530 seconds
CARDIO15 minute Stairmaster
COOLDOWN5 minutes upper-body stretching

Estimated Workout Duration: 60 minutes

Tuesday

Lower-Body Day 1
WARM-UP5 minutes biking + active stretching
EXERCISESETSREPSREST TIME
Squats48-101 minute 30 seconds
Single-Leg Straight Deadlifts310-1245 seconds
Single-Leg Glute Bridges310-1245 seconds
Banded Calf Raises312-1530 seconds
Banded Crunches212-1530 seconds
CARDIO20 minutes walking on an incline
COOLDOWN5 minutes lower-body stretching

Estimated Workout Duration: 65 minutes

Wednesday

REST DAY

Thursday

Upper-Body Day 2
WARM-UP5 minutes walking on treadmill + active stretching
EXERCISESETSREPSREST TIME
Chest Flyes48-101 minute 30 seconds
Band-Assisted Chin-Ups310-1245 seconds
Resisted Dips310-1245 seconds
Arnold Presses312-1530 seconds
Alternating Bicep Curls212-1530 seconds
CARDIO10-minute HIIT workout
COOLDOWN5 minutes upper-body stretching

Estimated Workout Duration: 55 minutes

Friday

Lower-Body Day 2
WARM-UP5 minutes biking + active stretching
EXERCISESETSREPSREST TIME
Conventional Deadlifts48-101 minute 30 seconds
Good Mornings310-1245 seconds
Fire Hydrants310-1245 seconds
Single-Leg Banded Calf Raises312-1530 seconds
Resisted Russian Twists212-1530 seconds
CARDIO15 minute Stairmaster
COOLDOWN5 minutes lower-body stretching

Estimated Workout Duration: 60 minutes

Saturday

REST DAY

Sunday 

REST DAY

Weeks 9-12: Push/Pull/Legs Split

Monday

Push Day 
WARM-UP5 minutes walking on treadmill + active stretching
EXERCISESETSREPSREST TIME
Chest Presses410-121 minute
Arnold Presses412-1530 seconds
Upright Rows312-1530 seconds
Skull Crushers312-1530 seconds
Kneeling Crunches315-2030 seconds
CARDIO20 minute Stairmaster
COOLDOWN5 minutes upper-body stretching

Estimated Workout Duration: 65 minutes

Tuesday

Pull Day 
WARM-UP5 minutes walking on treadmill + active stretching
EXERCISESETSREPSREST TIME
Conventional Deadlifts410-121 minute
Banded Pulldowns412-1530 seconds
Single Arm Rows312-1530 seconds
Hammer Curls312-1530 seconds
Weighted Leg Raises315-2030 seconds
CARDIO30 minutes walking on an incline
COOLDOWN5 minutes upper-body stretching

Estimated Workout Duration: 75 minutes

Wednesday

Legs Day 
WARM-UP5 minutes biking + active stretching
EXERCISESETSREPSREST TIME
Squats410-121 minute
Banded Glute Bridges412-1530 seconds
Lying Hip Abductors312-1530 seconds
Lateral Band Walk312-1530 seconds
Single-Leg Banded Calf Raises315-2030 seconds
CARDIO15-minute HIIT workout
COOLDOWN5 minutes lower-body stretching

Estimated Workout Duration: 60 minutes

Thursday

REST DAY

Friday

Push Day 
WARM-UP5 minutes walking on treadmill + active stretching
EXERCISESETSREPSREST TIME
Chest Presses410-121 minute
Arnold Presses412-1530 seconds
Upright Rows312-1530 seconds
Skull Crushers312-1530 seconds
Kneeling Crunches315-2030 seconds
CARDIO20 minute Stairmaster
COOLDOWN5 minutes upper-body stretching

Estimated Workout Duration: 65 minutes

Saturday

Pull Day 
WARM-UP5 minutes walking on treadmill + active stretching
EXERCISESETSREPSREST TIME
Conventional Deadlifts410-121 minute
Banded Pulldowns412-1530 seconds
Single Arm Rows312-1530 seconds
Hammer Curls312-1530 seconds
Weighted Leg Raises315-2030 seconds
CARDIO30 minutes walking on an incline
COOLDOWN5 minutes upper-body stretching

Estimated Workout Duration: 75 minutes

Sunday 

Legs Day 
WARM-UP5 minutes biking + active stretching
EXERCISESETSREPSREST TIME
Squats410-121 minute
Banded Glute Bridges412-1530 seconds
Lying Hip Abductors312-1530 seconds
Lateral Band Walk312-1530 seconds
Single-Leg Banded Calf Raises315-2030 seconds
CARDIO15-minute HIIT workout
COOLDOWN5 minutes lower-body stretching

Estimated Workout Duration: 60 minutes

12 week resistance band training program pdf

Pro Tips for the Most Effective Resistance Band Training 

Resistance Band Training

1. Track Your Calories

Whether you want to focus more on gaining muscle or burning fat with your 12-week resistance band training program, knowing how many calories you’re consuming daily is vital.

To gain an average of one pound per week, eat in a caloric surplus of 500 calories daily. 

To lose a pound a week, be in a caloric deficit of 500 calories.

Apps like MyFitnessPal can help you stay on top of your intake and educate you on the macronutrients of your meals.

2. Have a Protein Goal

Protein is the most important macronutrient for helping you reach your goals. 

Your muscles cannot grow if they do not have the proper fuel, and protein sources provide the amino acids necessary.

Aim to consume one gram of protein for every pound of body weight to see real results.

3. Stay Hydrated

It’s hard for your body to function optimally on a 12-week resistance band training program if there’s not enough water in your system. 

Try to drink a gallon of water a day to experience better absorption of nutrients, improved energy levels, and more.

It may take a bit of time to get used to this increased intake, but give it a week or so and feel the difference.

4. Prioritize Nutrient-Dense Meals

Many people go through a “dirty bulk” when they turn up the heat in the gym, but this is not optimal. You’re likely to gain much more fat with this method than muscle.

Make sure you’re consuming plenty of fruits, veggies, lean meats, nuts, and seeds. These have a wide variety of nutrients to keep you feeling energized for your workouts.

5. Stay Consistent With Your Workout Routine

It is hard to progress if you are not consistent. Choose a resistance band workout plan that you know you can realistically stick with and make sure to never miss a workout.

Life throws obstacles in our way sometimes. Simply be flexible and change up which days you work out every week if need be. 

To keep up with the new results you desire, you have to work harder as time goes on to prevent any plateaus.

6. Get Your Steps In

Walking is one of the most beneficial things you can do for yourself both mentally and physically. 

If you can get an outdoor walk in every day, you’re likely to experience reduced risks of various ailments, improved moods, increased longevity, and more.

Aim to get in at least 5,000 to 10,000 steps a day in addition to your resistance band training to take things to the next level.

7. Utilize Progressive Overload

To ensure you continue making improvements to your physique and capabilities, utilize progressive overload in your workouts.

It’s more difficult to do this with resistance bands since they can only provide so much resistance, but there are other ways to do progressive overload. 

A few examples are increasing sets, increasing reps, decreasing rest time, and doing supersets.

8. Take Steps to Prevent Injuries

It can be very frustrating to get an injury from exercise that puts your progress on hold. Do your best to prevent this from happening by warming up and cooling down with every workout.

This can be done with active stretching, passive stretching, foam rolling, and mobility movements. 

Get in a routine and make it a non-negotiable during your 12-week resistance band training program.

9. Have Rest Days

While you may enjoy engaging in your resistance band workout program daily, it is ideal that you allow a day or two for your body to rest and recover. 

Still, feel free to go on walks and get gentle movement in, but do not cause too much stress for your muscles.

The body will take these days to allow the muscles to grow back bigger and stronger from the strain you put on them with your resistance bands.

10. Enjoy the Journey

If you don’t enjoy the journey of improving your health, you’re not likely to stick with it long-term. 

Bettering yourself is a lifelong process, so it is essential that you find a 12-week resistance band training program that you have fun with and look forward to completing.

Frequently Asked Questions

Related: 13 Resistance Band Back Exercises

Resistance Band Exercises

How many times a week should you do resistance band training?

You can use our 12-week resistance band training program with PDF to help you decide how many days you should train, if you’re unsure. 

Otherwise, take a look at your weekly schedule and see what you can realistically commit to. Ideally, shoot for three to six days a week.

Can you get ripped with just resistance bands?

If you only follow a resistance band workout program, you’re very likely to see great results. 

The argument that bands cannot provide enough resistance as time goes on is valid. But as I shared, you can utilize progressive overload in other ways to ensure that you indeed get ripped.

Also, in addition to following a 12-week resistance band training program, make sure you are eating healthy and in a caloric deficit to allow your new muscle gains to show through.

How long should you do resistance band training?

You should train for however long you realistically have time for! 

If that is not limited, then an hour is an effective amount of time. It’s how we designed the 12-week resistance band training program.

If you choose to implement longer periods of cardio after the weight training part, allow for up to an hour and a half per workout session.

Is it okay to use resistance bands every day?

While it is alright to use resistance bands every day, try to follow a resistance bands workout plan that allows for at least one day of recovery.

If you do really want to train every day, just be sure that you are rotating through muscle groups and not lifting too heavy.

Conclusion

We hope that you found insight in our 12-week resistance band training program and that you have a new idea of what your resistance band workout schedule should look like!

Resistance bands can be exactly what you need when you use them often and effectively. Just remember that it must be done in combination with a healthy diet and proper rest and recovery.

Comment below what goal you are looking to achieve, and don’t forget to share our free 12-week resistance band training program with anyone else who could benefit from it!