Using a Plan to Attack Your Muscle Building Goals

When aiming to build muscle size and strength, multiple vital elements ensure that you’re making sustainable progress while preventing injury—above all else, it is imperative to map out a plan that provides ongoing structure in your regime.
SEAN LODOVICA
SEAN LODOVICA

MuscleTech Ambassador

Muscle building goals

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This blog post will highlight the fundamental components required to build muscle and provide you with a sample 5-day workout plan that you can follow.

Applying the Hypertrophy Training Principle

Hypertrophy training focuses on the goal of increasing muscle size. It means using higher repetitions to stimulate an increase in muscle endurance and muscle volume.
Below is a daily hypertrophy workout plan as part of a 5-day split that focuses on developing all the key muscle groups, including back and biceps, legs, chest and triceps, shoulders and arms and calves. The movements within this workout plan include a combination of both compound and isolation exercises.
For the first two weeks, use weights that you can perform the prescribed sets and reps’ range with good technique. Once you’re comfortable with that weight, progressively increase your weight by 2.5, 5 or 10kg increments each week, depending on your strength levels. You can follow this workout from Monday to Friday (as shown below) or in accordance with your schedule, ensuring that you complete all five sessions each week. The routine ensures that you get two days of rest and train each muscle group at least once a week.

5-Day Muscle Building Workout Routine

Monday: Back and Biceps

Exercise Sets Reps
Pull-ups
3
8-12
Lat pulldown
3
8-12
Seated row
3
8-12
Barbell row
3
8-12
Standing alternating hammer curls
4
10-12
Seated dumbbell bicep curls
4
10-12
Barbell bicep curls
4
10-12

Tuesday: Legs

Exercise Sets Reps
Barbell squats
4
8-12
Leg extension machine
4
8-12
Leg curl machine
4
8-12
Dumbbell lunges
4
12-15
Calf raise machine
4
12-15

Wednesday: Chest and Triceps

Exercise Sets Reps
Bench press
4
8-12
Pec fly machine
4
8-12
Standing cable fly's
4
8-12
Tricep rope push down
3
10-12
Tricep dip
3
10-12
Tricep dumbell kickback
3
10-12

Thursday: Shoulders

Exercise Sets Reps
Barbell shoulder press
4
8-12
Dumbbell lateral shoulder raises
4
10-12
Single arm cable lateral raises
4
10-12
Cable face pulls
4
10-12
Rear delt fly machine
4
12-15

Friday: Arms and Calves

Exercise Sets Reps
Seated incline dumbbell curl
4
12-15
Bicep curl machine
4
12-15
Narrow grips pull up
4
12-15
Barbell row
3
8-12
Cable overhead triceps extension
4
12-15
Straight bar triceps push down
4
12-15
Single arm cable pull downs
4
12-15
Upright machine calf raises
4
12-15
Seated calf raises on leg press machine
4
12-15
Barbell calf raises
4
12-15

Tips on How to Plan & Achieve Your Goals

  • Sleep
    You should aim for 7-9 hours of sleep every night. Adequate sleep enables your body to produce growth hormones which assist in recovering and repairing the exercised muscles from that day. Sufficient sleep also mitigates the chance of fatigue-related injuries and poor performance, so ensure that you make it a priority in your regime.

  • Nutrition
    The same principles apply regardless of whether your goal is to build muscle or lose fat. Focus on consuming the correct number of macros (protein, fat, and carbohydrates) per your fitness goal.
    • Protein
      When it comes to building muscle, protein is the most essential macronutrient for building muscle. Consume at least 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight daily. Protein provides the body with amino acids that are used as the building blocks of muscle protein. Your protein options should come from primarily lean animal proteins for example eggs, chicken, beef, and fish. A protein supplement shake made with MuscleTech Nitro-Tech Whey Protein, is an excellent source of protein to ensure that you’re hitting your protein targets each day
    • Carbohydrates
      For carbohydrates, 2-3 grams per pound of bodyweight is ideal each day. Carbs store in your muscles as glycogen and simultaneously keep your muscles full whilst fueling them during workouts. Preferably opt for slow digesting, complex carb sources such as whole grains, oatmeal, brown rice, sweet potatoes, fruit, and vegetables.
    • Fats
      The last macronutrient is fat and should represent 20-30% of your daily calories. You should opt for fat sources such as steak, ground beef, avocadoes, olive oils, peanut butter, fatty fish (salmon, mackerel) and walnuts. Diets incorporating monounsaturated and saturated fat maintain optimal testosterone levels, which is critical for building muscle and strength.

  • Increase Workout Volume and Intensity
    Focusing on altering your training variables will enable you to build long-term, sustainable muscle-mass. Variables such as time-under-tension (how fast you can execute each rep during a specific exercise), drop-sets (performing a set of a specific exercise immediately followed by another set of that exercise at 50% (or less) of initial weight), or supersets (performing two exercises back-to-back, followed by a short rest).

  • Clean Caloric Surplus
    Focus on increasing your caloric intake ensuring those calories come from clean, protein-rich, and nutrient dense food sources. Personally, I have never been an advocate for ‘dirty-bulking’ as I believe that what you put in your body is what you get out. Instead, focus on feeding to fuel your body, workouts, and recovery.

  • Training Method
    Focus on splitting your workouts to ensure that you’re training a specific body part at least once a week. By doing this, you’ll prevent burn-out and fatigue (which is associated with training full-body multiple times a week), and you’ll be able to increase the number of days you train as each day will consist of training a different body part.

  • Try a Creatine Supplement
    Creatine is a natural substance found in our body’s muscle cells and can be found in foods such as red meat and seafood. Creatine helps your muscles to produce energy during heavy weightlifting or high-intensity exercise. When you supplement with creatine, you increase your stores of phosphocreatine (a form of stored energy in the cells), which helps your body to produce more ATP (the source of energy for every cell in your body). Muscle contraction (i.e., working-out) causes your body to use this ATP so by supplementing with creatine, you’ll have more stored ATP meaning that your body can perform better leading to increased muscle size. Combined with weight training, the effects of creatine should be evident relatively soon as you will notice your training volume, strength1 and ultimately muscle mass increase over time. Two products I would recommend from MuscleTech are Nitro-Tech Whey Protein and VaporX5 Pre-workout. Both of these products provide a 3g dose of HPLC-tested creatine.

 

Overall, having a structured workout plan alongside correct nutrition and supplementation will enable you to build long-term sustainable muscle. Be open to modifying your training variables from time-to-time and challenge yourself by progressively increasing the weights you are lifting each week. Ensure that you’re hitting your daily caloric surplus intake and that you’re consuming the right amounts of each macronutrient, in particular protein.

1 Creatine helps to improve physical performance during successive bouts of short-term high-intensity exercise.