For anyone looking to pack on some serious muscle mass, one of the top priorities will be to determine what the best bodybuilding workout to follow is. There are a wide range of different workouts available, so choosing the one that will suit your needs best is important.
It’s also essential that you understand which factors contribute the most to gaining lean muscle mass. A program that utilizes these principles will often fare better than one that doesn’t.
Let’s take a brief look at some of the more popular bodybuilding workout set-ups and identify the pros and cons of each.
WHAT IS THE BEST BODYBUILDING ROUTINE FOR YOU
THE 3 DAY FULL BODY SPLIT
★ Monday: Full Body Workout
★ Tuesday: off
★ Wednesday: Full Body Workout
★ Thursday: off
★ Friday: Full Body Workout
★ Saturday: off
★ Sunday: off
This is my personal favorite. All of the most highly proven and often recommended weightlifting workout routines for beginners start with the 3-day full body split with light cardio, about 20 minutes a day. You work all muscles and get plenty of rest. It sure cuts out a lot of confusion and makes my life easy.
Plus it works! This fitness routine allows beginners to build muscle and increase strength at the fastest rate possible. For this same reason, it’s also ideal for people past the beginner’s stage whose #1 goal is increasing strength.
NOW ON TO ANOTHER POPULAR AND EFFECTIVE WEIGHTLIFTING ROUTINE
THE 4 DAY UPPER | LOWER SPLIT
★ Monday: Upper Body
★ Tuesday: Lower Body
★ Wednesday: off
★ Thursday: Upper Body
★ Friday: Lower Body
★ Saturday: off
★ Sunday: off
This routine allows for each muscle group to be trained twice per week, which is what has been proven to work best for intermediate and advanced trainees.
If you are training for competition this would be the best routine for you. A 3-day version of this upper/lower split is also possible and equally effective, which is ideal for people who can only manage to work out 3 days per week or would just prefer a slightly reduced weightlifting frequency.
You’d just do upper, lower, upper one week, and then lower, upper, lower the next and keep alternating like that (with 1 day off between workouts and 2 days off at the end).
Remember that routines should not be set in stone. I recommend that you change it up every month or so to see what works best for you. Variety in training promotes muscle gain.
You don’t need to spend hours researching routines trying to find the golden solution. Just stick with one of these and you should be fine. The main idea is to work a variety of muscles one day and let them rest the next day to prevent injury.
Each week, try to make small increases in the weight you lifted in the previous week. Look over your lifts from the prior week in your workout journal and try to beat those numbers.
Over time, these small increases will add up and before you know it you may have added hundreds of pounds to a lift. The stronger you get the more you will grow, if you keep your weight lifting diet in line with your goals.
A common bodybuilding myth is that you should always use as much weight as possible every time you workout. This is far from the truth. While the whole point of bodybuilding is to increase strength you shouldn’t always use your max amount of weight.
For example, if you are doing the three-day split, use a moderate amount of weight one day, the next up the weight some more, and the third increase to your max. Then the following week start that cycle over again. This technique has been proven.
HOW MANY REPS TO BUILD MUSCLE
★ Doing 1-6 reps per set is best for increasing strength.
★ Doing 5-12 reps per set is best for building muscle.
★ Doing 10-20 reps per set is best for improving muscular endurance.
★ 1-20 reps per set can serve some type of purpose in weightlifting.
However, this could be narrowed down quite a bit based on your specific goal. The majority of people most likely going to want to build muscle and should do between 5-12 reps per set.
BASIC STRENGTH TRAINING PROGRAM
Strength training of moderate-intensity, sufficient to develop and maintain fat-free weight, should be an integral part of an adult fitness program.
THE FOLLOWING ARE EXAMPLE EXERCISES FOR A BASIC STRENGTH TRAINING PTOGRAM
★ Bench Press
★ Lat Pulldown
★ Overhead Press
★ Bicep Curl
★ Tricep Pulldown
★ Leg Extension
★ Leg Curl
★ Abdominal Crunch
★ Chest: Dumbbell Fly, Butterfly’s, Incline/Decline Press, Pushup, Wall Pushup
★ Back: Seated Row, One Arm Dumbbell Row, Pullup
★ Shoulder: Lateral Dumbbell Raise, Front Dumbbell Raise, Upright Row, Bent-over Flys
★ Biceps: Hammer Curls, Pull-ups
★ Triceps: Tricep Extensions (Kickbacks), Dips
★ Quadriceps: Lunges, Leg Press
★ Hamstrings: Straight Leg Dead Lift
★ Calves: Calf Raise
★ Legs: Hip Abduction, Hip Adduction