I have a masters degree in sports science and around 10 years experience in personal training and sports research.
Putting On Mass
When I was younger I was always a very skinny person, with a little frame. I would eat and eat and eat but never put on weight or change in body shape. To some people this may sound a blessing but once I started going to the gym, I found it increasingly frustrating not putting mass on. When I first started training at 15/16 years old I didn’t take it too seriously. Once I got more hooked into it and started going more and more, fitness stole my heart. Still I struggled to put size on even though I would train 4/5 days a week and eat like a horse.
After a year or two of not getting too much weight on, I met a personal trainer in my gym who told me about this program. He said it’s similar to what American football players used to follow and we know how big they are. Then I had an epiphany, I had to gain mass and get big, it was my ultimate goal. I decided to follow the program he told me about and change my diet to have high calories and high carbohydrates. For the first time ever I put size on and quickly. This is the workout I want to share with you.
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Muscle Gain Workout Program
People often ask me how to gain muscle fast, there’s no straight forward answer but I normally tell them about this workout. Still to this day, 10 years or so later, it’s the best workout I’ve used to build mass. It’s a 4 day upper lower split routine. With Monday and Wednesday being Upper body, Tuesday and Friday lower body.
On the Monday start of with lat pull downs, complete 5 sets, the first set will be 15-20 reps, next is 12-15, then 8-10, 6-8 and finish off with a set of 2-4 reps. After lat pull downs, do the same 5 sets on barbell bent over rows. Then for shoulders perform shoulder press and front raises, using the same 5 set method on these movements. Next go to the flat barbell bench press, followed by incline bench press, completing the same 5 sets. Finally finish off with 5 supersets of straight barbell bicep curls and dumbbell hammer curls, 8 reps of each.
The Tuesday is a leg day. Start with 5 sets of back squats using the same 15-20, 12-15, 8-10, 6-8 and 2-4 rep method. Then move onto hack squats and complete the same 5 sets. Finally burn out with 5 supersets of calf raises and laid down hamstring curls, 10 reps on each.
Wednesday is a rest day and then Thursday is back to Upper body. Do the same workout as the Monday but with different variations. For example; 5 sets of deadlifts and dumbbell bent over rows , 5 sets of Arnold press and upright rows, 5 sets of decline bench press and chest press machine. Finally burn out with 5 supersets of overhead rope extensions and cable bar push downs, 10 reps of each.
Friday is another leg day. Start with the same 5 sets method you have been using and do 5 sets of front squats. Then complete the same 5 sets on leg press. To finish burn out with the same calf and hamstring routine you did on Tuesday.
With the Upper Body movements you can mix and match. The key is 5 sets on back, shoulders and chest each time. Also you need to keep them as compound movements for mass building.
Diet For Mass Building
When looking to build mass obviously the diet is essential. When building mass you need to pack in as much calories as possible. Try keep your sugars down and your protein intake high. Having a high carbohydrate intake will also make putting on size a lot easier. However, it boils down to eating a high amount of calories, aiming for 6-8 meals a day. It also allows you to be a bit more lenient on your diet so more treat meals and more sauces on foods ect. As long as you’re putting in more calories than your burn off, you’ll gain weight.
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Even though this is a 4 day split, you can add a 5th day in, if you feel it won’t effect your resting too much. On the Saturday if you want to go in to the gym and complete some accessory work then by all means go ahead. I would generally do this every fortnight. I would go in and work on some shoulder shrugs, some flies for chest, pull ups for the back and some light arms work. Trust me though this day is not necessary but If you do use it then go pretty light as you don’t want to effect the main 4 day split.
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Why Does It Work?
As with most mass building workout plans, it's concentrated on the compound movements. Anyone who knows what they’re talking about with bodybuilding knows that compound movements are essential for mass. Compound movements are things like bench press, shoulder press, deadlifts and squats.
It also works by basically hitting all your big muscle groups twice each week. Doing 10 sets of compound movements is like a full workout, so you’re doing 2 full workouts on your chest, legs, back and shoulders each week.
People ask why is there not much focus on biceps and triceps? Simply, with all the work on the big muscle groups, there’s no need, they will grow anyway.
Thank you for reading.
© 2019 Ben Smith
Ben Smith (author) from Newcastle Upon Tyne on November 27, 2019:
Yes that's perfectly fine, the workout will still be just as effective.
Garry Saunders from South Africa on November 19, 2019:
This sounds great! Instead of having it as Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday (rest day), Thursday, Friday; can I do it as day 1, day 2, day 3, day 4 and day 5? That way if I skip a day for whatever reason my day 2 can fall on a Wednesday, for example.