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6 Week Workout Program To Build Muscle (With PDF)…

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A good muscle building workout is principal when your goal is to add on size and strength. The Internet and social media have given us access of an overwhelming amount of information. This has made it hard and confusing to distinguish a good workout from a  bad one.

This is why I have decided to share with you a workout program that will truly help you build muscle within a 6 week time frame.

Workout Summary

Goal

Build Muscle

Training Level

Beginner/Intermediate

Duration

6 Weeks

Days Per Week

3-6 Days

Workout Length

45-60 minutes

Equipment

Yes

Workout PDF

Skip to the workout

Workout Description

bodyweight_pec_exercises

So what makes this muscle building program different from the rest? How can I guarantee that this workout  will actually help you build muscle within 6 weeks.

Well, technically I cannot.

There are a lot of variables that play a role in muscle growth. Your diet, supplementation, rest, an general lifestyle to name a few. However, what I can promise is that if everything else is in check (i.e. you are eating enough, you are taking at least whey protein after your workouts and maybe using creatine, resting enough, and do not lead a destructive lifestyle) this workout program will do wonders for you.

At the end of this workout program I will add in some notes regarding your nutrition and supplementation. I’m not going into too much depth as this article would be 10 thousand words, but enough for you to have a crude undestanding of what is expected of you.

With all of that being said, the workout program follows the push/pull/legs pattern.

Why?

Well, most traditional workouts follow a system that allows you to train each muscle once per week (the notorious bro split). Or others, that do not give your muscles enough time to rest between workouts thus leading to overtraining. What’s the problem with that?

For starters, overtraining leads to muscle loss.

The thing that, ya know, you want the least.

Secondly, by exercising your muscles once per week you are not benefiting from protein synthesis. Protein synthesis is the reason why your body builds muscle. It lasts for about 36-48 hours. What that means is that after your workout you have a 2 day window in which you can build muscle.

So, you’re activating your muscles’ protein synthesis once instead of twice.

Also, before we get started, you can download the PDF for the muscle gain workout plan.

6 Week Workout Program To Build Muscle

Please read this before you start!

(Especially if you are a beginner)

The workout is a 3-6 day split you can follow for the next 6 weeks to build muscle. Its focus is to help increase muscle gain and strength development. The muscle building program is suitable for beginners and intermediates.

Your rep tempo should be slow and controlled. Focus on the eccentric cotnraction of the muscle. For example when you are lowering the barbell during a curl, a bench press, or when you’re lowering yourself on a chest dip.

Aim for a resting tempo of 60 seconds. Give your body enough time to rest and regain its lost minerals to ensure you have enough energy durings sets.

Remember, the reps indicated is what you should be aiming to do with weights that allow you to do just 8 repetitions  correct form. If you don’t really know your limites yet, that’s fine too. If you notice that you can do 8 reps with 20lbs, but the last 2 sets are cheated, then lower the weight. The last thing that you want to happen is for you to injure yourself during a workout.

The workout program is designed so you can workout 3 or 6 times a week. With that being said, if you want to maximize muscle gain, then you should aim for the 6 day split. If you are a beginner, you will find it hard going to the gym 6 times. This is simply because your muscles will not have fully rested. Start of with 3 days a week and progress towards the full 6 days to maximize your results.

Also, it does not have to be either 3 or 6. You can go 4-5 times. Use the extra 1 or 2 visits to focus on lagging muscle groups. For example, if you notice that your chest is not as developed as you want it to, then just do one extra push day after you finish the 3 day split.

While on the topic of beginners, another benefit of this workout program is that it will provide you with a lot of tools and information that will benefit your long-term development with your fitness journey.

After the workout program you will find quick nutrition and supplementation notes. As well as a list of exercises that you can substitute existing ones in the workout so you can add variability (promote more muscle growth).

Adding “drop sets” and “negative sets” help boost strength and muscle gain. And quite often can completely transform a workout for the better. If you are not aware what those terms mean, here is a quick explanation:

  • Negative sets:  They require either a spotter or assisted equipment. It involves doing 4-5 repetitions of eccentric movement with weights that are beyond your capacity. If you don’t have a spotter who can help you, that’s fine. Negative sets can often be swapped for drop sets.
    • For example, let’s say that you’re doing biceps barbell curls. Your average weight with which you are capable of doing 8 repetitions is 45lbs. Let’s say you raise that weight to 65-70lbs. Your gym buddy (spotter) would help you raise the weight and what you are responsible for is lowering the weight in a controlled fashion to its starting position.
    • For the exercises in this muscle building workout that I have recommended doing negative sets you will see a “Negative set” tag underneath the name of the exercise. Negative sets are usually done as a last set.
  • Drop Sets: It’s where you strip the excess weight (taking away roughly 20-25%) so that you can do 1-3 more repetitions of a certain exercise. As you would probably notice, I have recommeneded doing drop sets for exercises where most commonly the lowest rep range is 5 or 6.
    • For example, using the same exercise example as for the negative sets, imagine you are doing biceps barbell curls with 50lbs. This weight is ideal for you to properly carry out 5 or 6 repetitions. You bring the weight down to 35-40lbs and do another 1-3 correct repetitions.
    • For the exercises in this workout program that I have recommended doing drop sets, you will see a “Drop Set” tag. Remember that the Drop set should be performed for the last set of the exercise where you will have the lowest rep range following weight progression.

Finally, all the exercises have a link to a video where the exercise is performed. This is until I build a library of my own with visual demos of exercises. For now, though, this will do.

Day 1: Pull (Back and Biceps)

Exercise Sets Reps
Exercise 1:
Bent Over Barbell Rows (Mass) (Video)
Drop Set for the last set
4 6-12
Exercise 2:
Wide Grip Lat Pull Down (Mass) (Video)
4 8-10
Exercise 3:
Lat Pushdowns (Isolated) (Video)
4 10-12
Exercise 4:
Barbell Biceps Curls (Mass) (Video)
Drop Set for the last set
4 6-8
Exercise 5:
Preacher Curls (Isolated) (Video)
3 8-12
Exercise 6:
Hammer Curls (Isolated) (Video)
4 8-12

Day 2: Push (Chest, Triceps and Shoulders)

Exercise Sets Reps
Exercise 1:
Bench Press (Mass) (Video)
Drop Set
4 8-12
Exercise 2:
Chest Dips (Mass) (Video)
4 8-12
Exercise 3:
Overhead Triceps Extensions (Mass) (Video)
4 8-12
Exercise 4:
Triceps Pulldown (Isolated) (Video)
Negative Set 
3 10-12
Exercise 5:
Sider Lateral to Front Raise (Isolated) (Video)
4 10
Exercise 6:
Shoulder Press (Mass) (Video)
3 8-12

Day 3: Legs

Exercise Sets Reps
Exercise 1:
Squats (Mass) (Video)
4 8-12
Exercise 2:
Dumbbell Lunges (Mass) (Video)
4 8-12
Exercise 3:
Leg Curls (Isolated) (Video)
5 10-12
Exercise 4:
Leg Extensions (Isolated) (Video)
Drop Set or Negative Set 
5 12-15

Day 4: Rest

Day 5: Pull

Exercise Sets Reps
Exercise 1:
Deadlift (Mass) (Video)
3 6-10
Exercise 2:
Cable Rows (Mass) (Video)
4 8-10
Exercise 3:
Pull-ups (Burn out) (Video)
4 Until Failure
Exercise 4:
Alternating Dumbell Curls (Mass) (Video)
4 8-10
Exercise 5:
Seated Incline Curls (Mass) (Video)
Drop Set
4 8-10
Exercise 6:
Spider Curls (Isolated) (Video)
4 8-12

Day 6: Push

Exercise Sets Reps
Exercise 1:
Incline Bench Press (Mass) (Video)
Drop Set
4 6-10
Exercise 2:
Cable Crossover (Isolated) (Video)
Drop Set
4 8-12
Exercise 3:
Skull Crushers (Mass) (Video)
4 8-10
Exercise 4:
Cable Overhead Triceps Extensions (Mass) (Video)
4 8-10
Exercise 5:
Lateral Raises (Isolated) (Video)
4 10-12
Exercise 6:
Single Arm Linear Jammer (Mass) (Video)
4 8-10

Day 7: Legs

Exercise Sets Reps
Exercise 1:
Machine Hack Squat (Mass) (Video)
3 8-10
Exercise 2:
Dumbbell Bulgarian Split Squat (Isolated) (Video)
4 10-12
Exercise 3:
Romanian Deadlift (Mass) (Video)
3 6-8
Exercise 4:
Bodyweight Squats (Burn out) (Video)
4 12-20

List of substitute exercises

As I previously mentioned it is wise to alternate between exercises and not have the same routine. Adding veriability to your workouts prevents your body from getting accustomed to them. Thus, preventing you from hitting a plateau and boosting muscle gain.

When substituting exercises make sure that you follow the (Mass) and (Isolated) markers. For example, you swap your Bench Press (Mass) for Decline Bench Press (Mass). Rather than Bench Press (Mass) for Cable Flyes (Isolated).

Mass marked exercises are those that help you build crude muscle mass and strength. Isolated exercises are those that isolate the muscle allowing you to target its full range of motion.

Also, those marked with (Burn out) are exercises that are those added at the end of the workout just to exhaust the muscle. They also help increase the workout’s volume.

Also, make sure that you alternating between the exercises that are already in the program. You would be surprised of how much you are impacting muscle growth just by swapping the order of your exercises.

Keep in mind that some muscle groups do not have a lot of compound or isolated exercises. So the ones already listed should be enough to work off of.

Chest Substitute Exercises

Mass Isolated Burnout
Decline Bench Press Dumbbell Flyes Incline Pushups
Close Grip Bench Press Incline Dumbbell Flyes Ball Pushups
Dumbbell Pullovers Butterfly Machine
Decline Bench Press Flat Bench Cable Flyes
Machine Chest Press Low Cable Crossover
Dumbbell Bench Press Cable Chest Press
Dumbbell Incline Bench Press

Back Substitute Exercises

Mass Isolated Burnout
Farmer’s Walk Single Arm Lat Pulldown Rowing Machine
T-Bar Row Back Extensions
Dumbbell Pullovers
Close Grip Pulldowns
Reverse Grip Pulldowns
Dumbbell Rows

Biceps Substitute Exercises

Isolated Burnout Mass
Concentration Curls Pull-ups Zottman Curl
Incline Hammer Curls No-Plate Barbell Curls Close Grip Pulldowns
E-Z Bar Curls Inverted Rows
Cable Curls
Overhead Cable Curls
Machine Biceps Curls

Triceps Substitute Exercises

Mass Isolated Burnout
Triceps Dips Reverse Grip Extensions Diamond Pushups
Close Grip Bench Press Dumbbell Kickbacks
Tate Press

Shoulder Substitute Exercises

Mass Isolated Burnout
Standing Overhead Barbell Press Reverse Flyes Pike Pushups
Arnold Shoulder Press Dumbbell Front Raises
Clean and Jerk Bus Drivers
Barbell Shrugs
Kattlebell Swings

Leg Substitute Exercises

Mass Isolated Burnout
Leg Press Hamstring Curls Bodyweight Lunges
Squat Machine Calf raises Box Squats
Sumo Deadlifts
Sumo Squats

Nutrition and Supplementation Notes

As mentioned, I will not go into too much depth but provide enough for you to understand the fundamentals to nutrition and supplementation when building muscle.

1. Nutrition

I recommend starting off with our calorie calculator which will show you how much calories you need to take in order to build muscle.

There is no need to bulk and eat excessive amounts of calories. Crazy surpluses like 500-1000 calories above your amount to maintain your weight is unecessary and will do nothing more but make you fat.

Try your best to eat clean food. There’s no need for you to be on a perfect diet, but just make sure that you are not over indulging on junk food.

Make sure that you are eating enough protein. While, there are a lot of reports that claim that it is not necessary to consume exactly 1g of protein per 1lbs of your bodyweight, there are also a lot of reports that claim that this amount promotes anabolism and ensures muscle preservation.

2. Supplementation

You don’t really need supplements to build muscle. That being said, supplements will help you improve muscle gain through their anabolic properties.

Whey protein is a must. Drink whey protein after your workout to ensure that you stop the post-workout catabolic effect and enter an anabolic state. Whey protein shortly after a workout has been shown to create a favourable environment for growth hormone production. Increasing post-workout whey protein to 40g is shown to enhance protein synthesis by up to 20%.

The second one is creatine. I have written an in-depth guide to creatine (there’s an infographic there) where I cover everything from what is creatine to the muscle building properties of creatine. The TLDR of creatine is that it helps with power output during your workout and ensure that you give it your 100% when exercising.

Beta Alanine will also help you increase the intensity of your workouts.

Lastly, omega 3s. They help with muscle inflammation, increase recovery time, and create an anabolic environment for your muscles through mTOR pathways. I have written an in-depth article about how omega 3 fatty acids improve muscle growth.



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