3 Day Cable Machine Full Body Workout Routine (with PDF)

While many people still focus on different training splits, a full-body workout routine might be the most advantageous.

It allows you to train each muscle group several times a week without hitting the gym frequently. In fact, by following our 3-day cable machine workout, you can maximize your hypertrophy gains by a significant margin.

And we are not just making baseless claims. Our full-body cable workout plan is based on scientific research and evidence.

While experts recommend training each muscle group at least twice per week [1][2], advanced and intermediate lifters will achieve their bodybuilding goals faster if they work out their muscles three times per week [3].

So, if bodybuilding and hypertrophy is your goal, our full-body cable machine workout can definitely help you.

3 Day Cable Machine Full Body Workout

3 Day Cable Machine Full Body Workout Routine

Pure cable workouts are not especially common at the gym. Fitness enthusiasts like to diversify their training methods – using all kinds of equipment and machines to realize their workout goals.

But performing only cable exercises does not limit your ability at the gym. According to research, you will grow similarly in terms of strength, muscularity, and functional ability, irrespective of the equipment used – as long as the intensity and volume are equated [4].

This proves that cable machine exercises can be as effective as using any free weight if you have a well-structured workout program. In fact, they can even offer some additional benefits.

Unlike free weights and selectorized machines, cable-based equipment has a fixed range and motion path. There is little risk of injury as the technique will always be faultless. Moreover, since you don’t have to worry about the form, you can put your entire focus on getting the best of the exercise movements.

Based on these conclusions, let’s move on to our actual cable machine full-body workout program. We have already provided an overview of the number of sets and repetitions that you need to perform.

For maximum hypertrophy gains, anywhere up to 12 repetitions with a medium load should be optimal. But if you want to test your endurance as well, you can amp it up to 15 repetitions for each set [5].

3 Day Cable Machine Full Body Workout Routine

Day 1

We start our first training session with some simple cable squats. This compound movement is very effective at activating the quadriceps. However, studies also show that the glutes and other lower-body muscles are engaged to a high degree as well [6].

So, performing a bunch of squats can really give your lower body the workout it needs for optimal, well-rounded growth.

From there, we move on to simple cable chest presses to activate the pectoralis major. Many experiments have shown that this exercise elicits the highest level of chest activation compared to similar movements.

After this, we will focus on the shoulder muscles. Leaning cable lateral raises are shown to be the most effective movement for growing the shoulder’s lateral (side) delt for maximum muscle development [7]. The leaning position will add a little more intensity to the workout.

Cable upright rows are meant to target the entire back. While upper-back muscles will be activated, the primary movers will be the rhomboids and the traps located in the middle-back region.

Cable tricep pushdowns are simple exercises that activate the triceps brachii. Wide-grip cable lat pulldowns primarily target the lats.

Cable curls will simply activate your biceps. After that, you will perform the last exercise of the session – cable crunch.

It’s important not to forget your core and abdominal muscles. As you are following a pure cable pulley full-body workout, you are not actively engaging your core for balance and coordination. So, external isolation exercises are needed for the same.

  • Cable squat: 3 sets of 10-15 reps
  • Cable chest press: 3 sets of 10-15 reps
  • Leaning cable lateral raises: 3 sets of 10-15 reps
  • Cable upright row: 3 sets of 10-15 reps
  • Cable tricep pushdown: 3 sets of 10-15 reps
  • Wide grip cable lat pulldown: 3 sets of 10-15 reps
  • Cable curl: 3 sets of 10-15 reps
  • Cable crunch: 3 sets of 10-15 reps

Day 2

We start the routine with some cable leg extensions. This exercise mainly activates the front quadriceps – the rectus femoris and the vastus muscles. The main difference between squats and extensions is that the latter is an open-chain kinetic exercise requiring different movements [8].

From there, we move on to the inclined cable press. Unlike flat presses, performing this exercise on an inclined platform will activate the upper portion of the pecs. According to research, an angle of roughly 30-56 degrees is optimal for maximum upper-chest activation. [9].

Building a big chest is not the only goal for bodybuilders. You need to sculpt and tone it as well. That is why we have included cable crossovers in this routine, as well. From there, we move on to cable front raises to develop the front head of the deltoids.

Cable overhead tricep extensions form the next set of exercises. This movement works all three heads of the tricep muscle. However, research indicates that the long head of the triceps brachii receives the maximum activation [10].

We then move on to cable rows, the same as before. Cable rope hammer curls are excellent exercises that engage multiple muscle groups – including the elbow flexors, the biceps brachii, the brachioradialis, and the brachialis [11].

The last exercise of the day is standing cable calf raises to grow your calves.

  • Cable leg extension: 3 sets of 10-15 reps
  • Incline cable press: 3 sets of 10-15 reps
  • Cable crossover: 3 sets of 10-15 reps
  • Cable front raise: 3 sets of 10-15 reps
  • Cable overhead tricep extension: 3 sets of 10-15 reps
  • Cable row: 3 sets of 10-15 reps
  • Cable rope hammer curls: 3 sets of 10-15 reps
  • Standing cable calf raise: 3 sets of 10-15 reps

Day 3

For the last training session of our cable machine 3-day workout, we will kick-start our routine with some lying cable hamstring curls. This will shift the focus to the development of hamstrings instead of the quadriceps.

The cable glute kickbacks are compound exercises that target the gluteus maximus, the gluteus medius, and the gluteus minimus. The three accessory or assisting muscle groups are the hamstrings, calves, and the core.

The cable high-to-low chest press is excellent for activating the lower part of the pectoralis major, which is important for giving a nice, firm shape to your pecs.

The cable rope face pull is an effective accessory exercise that activates all the upper posterior chain muscles efficiently. For the triceps, we have included the single-arm cable tricep pushdown variation for maximum muscle recruitment.

The standing bent-over cable rows are meant to activate the lats, the middle and lower trap muscles, the posterior delts, and the rhomboids. This variation is great for adding mass to your back while also improving your trunk stability.

To add some intensity to the workout, we have included the lying cable bicep curls in our routine. It produces a very intense stretch that can maximize muscle recruitment and trigger growth effectively.

We put our workout session for the week to bed by performing some simple cable shrugs. This effective isolation exercise is a great one to build your upper traps.

  • Lying cable hamstring curl: 3 sets of 10-15 reps
  • Cable glute kickbacks: 3 sets of 10-15 reps
  • Cable high to low chest press: 3 sets of 10-15 reps
  • Cable rope face pulls: 3 sets of 10-15 reps
  • Single arm cable tricep pushdown: 3 sets of 10-15 reps
  • Standing bent over cable row: 3 sets of 10-15 reps
  • Lying cable bicep curl: 3 sets of 10-15 reps
  • Cable shrugs: 3 sets of 10-15 reps

Don’t miss:

5 Day Cable Machine Workout Routine
5 Day Gym Machine Bro Split Workout Routine
4 Day Gym Machine Full Body Workout Routine

Cable Machine Full-Body Workout Program PDF

By following our cable full-body workout plan, you can achieve your fitness goals without hitting the gym as frequently as you would have thought.

To download the complete 3-day cable workout program, click on the button below.

The file is available in PDF format and is easily downloadable and printable.

Final Words

To help you maximize your strength and hypertrophy gains, we have come up with the ultimate cable machine 3-day full body workout routine.

Our entire plan is based on scientific research and evidence to provide the best results. Make sure that you stick to the routine strictly to see optimal gains.

Don’t miss:

4 Day Gym Machine Upper Lower Workout Routine
3 Day Gym Machine Push Pull Legs Split Workout Routine
3 Day Full Body Workout Routine


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  2. Grgic, J., Schoenfeld, B. J., Davies, T. B., Lazinica, B., Krieger, J., & Pedisic, Z. (2018). Effect of Resistance training frequency on Gains in Muscular Strength: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Sports Medicine, 48(5), 1207–1220. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40279-018-0872-x
  3. Colquhoun, R. J., Gai, C. M., Aguilar, D., Bové, D. S., Dolan, J., Vargas, A., Couvillion, K., Jenkins, N. D., & Campbell, B. (2018). Training volume, not frequency, indicative of maximal strength adaptations to resistance training. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 32(5), 1207–1213. https://doi.org/10.1519/jsc.0000000000002414
  4. Aerenhouts, D., & D’Hondt, E. (2020). Using machines or free weights for resistance training in novice males? a randomized parallel trial. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17(21), 7848. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17217848
  5. Schoenfeld, B. J., Grgic, J., Van Every, D. W., & Plotkin, D. L. (2021). Loading Recommendations for Muscle strength, hypertrophy, and local Endurance: A Re-Examination of the Repetition Continuum. Sports, 9(2), 32. https://doi.org/10.3390/sports9020032
  6. Contreras, B., Vigotsky, A. D., Schoenfeld, B. J., Beardsley, C., & Cronin, J. (2016). A comparison of gluteus maximus, biceps femoris, and vastus lateralis electromyography amplitude in the parallel, full, and front squat variations in Resistance-Trained females. Journal of Applied Biomechanics, 32(1), 16–22. https://doi.org/10.1123/jab.2015-0113
  7. Abstract: Electromyographical analysis of the deltoid between different strength training exercises. (n.d.). https://www.bisp-surf.de/Record/PU201312008451
  8. Bączkowicz, D., Kręcisz, K., & Borysiuk, Z. (2019). Analysis of patellofemoral arthrokinematic motion quality in open and closed kinetic chains using vibroarthrography. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, 20(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12891-019-2429-z
  9. Luczak, J., Bosak, A., & Riemann, B. L. (2013). Shoulder Muscle Activation of Novice and Resistance Trained Women during Variations of Dumbbell Press Exercises. Journal of Sports Medicine, 2013, 1–6. https://doi.org/10.1155/2013/612650
  10. Jeon, I., Zulkarnain, R. F., Sun, Y., Lim, S., Chun, J. M., & Jeon, I. (2018). The different role of each head of the triceps brachii muscle in elbow extension. Acta Orthopaedica Et Traumatologica Turcica, 52(3), 201–205. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.aott.2018.02.005
  11. Tiwana, M. S. (2022, August 30). Anatomy, shoulder and upper limb, biceps muscle. StatPearls – NCBI Bookshelf. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK519538/