A quick online search will reveal more muscle building workouts than you could possibly try in a lifetime. How can you be sure you are using a program that really works?
There are no perfect muscle building workouts that work for everyone, but there are a lot of well constructed regimens that have been designed by experienced coaches and trainers based on their experience working with hundreds of clients and athletes. I cannot tell you which of these will work best for you, because that mostly depends on, well…you.
My Favorite Muscle Building Workouts
What I can do is share two of my favorite routines. I have used these with many clients as well as myself, and they have consistently provided great results for most of those who have used them.
The 5X5 Method
The 5X5 is my favorite workout mostly because it has worked better for me than any other plan I have tried. It involves performing 5 sets of 5 repetitions per exercise. You will pick two compound exercises per muscle group, and you will train each muscle group two times per week. One the first day you will perform the first exercise, and next time you train that muscle group 3 days later you will perform the second. I will give an example week below for chest training.
Monday: Flat Barbell Bench Press- 5 sets of 5 repetitions with your 7 repetition maximum
Thursday: Incline Dumbbell Press- 5 sets of 5 repetitions with your 7 repetition maximum
By the time you reach your fifth set it will be quite challenging to complete your five repetitions. This workout is great because it increases strength in addition to building muscle.
This is another one of my favorite muscle building workouts that I have had great success with. HIT stands for high intensity training and this method is definitely intense. With this method you will you will also pick two compound exercises per muscle group, and train each muscle group twice per week. You will perform three sets to failure, each in a different repetition range. Below is an example for chest training.
Monday: Flat Barbell Bench Press- 1 set of 5-7 repetitions done to failure, 1 set of 10-12 repetitions done to failure, and 1 set of 15-18 repetitions done to failure.
Thursday: Incline Dumbbell Press- 1 set of 5-7 repetitions done to failure, 1 set of 10-12 repetitions done to failure, and 1 set of 15-18 repetitions done to failure.
This method pushes your muscles to the max by forcing you to go to failure in three different repetition ranges. This thoroughly trains all of the different muscle fiber types in the muscles, and provides excellent results.
Do Not Forget to Eat
These are fantastic workouts but if you do not eat to grow they will not be effective. Make sure you are eating a balanced diet containing:
- High quality protein (1.5-2 grams per pound of bodyweight daily)
- Healthy fats like avocado, olive oil, salmon, almond butter and coconut
- Quality carbohydrates like oatmeal, brown rice, bananas, and berries
Shoot for a calorie surplus of 500-1,000 calories per day for best results.