Anyone who’s looking to pack on some serious muscle, one of the most important things to be aware of is choosing an ideal training method that works for you. From the wide range of various workouts available, choosing the one that suits your particular needs best is going to be critical.
In this article, we’ll be going into some GREAT bodybuilding workout plans that you can start taking advantage of now to achieve the results you’re after.
1. The 5 X 5 Program
The 5 × 5 program is one of the most popular ones out there for those looking to gain a high amount of strength and muscle mass.
The setup of this workout program is to perform 3 main exercises that target the main muscle groups in the body, in both lower and upper body, performing 5 sets of 5 repetitions each.
At the end of the workout you can add a couple of sets of exercises if you like, but it’s not required by the program.
- Increased frequency of training
- Stimulate a lot of muscle fibers
- Very high release of testosterone
- Good degree of muscle mass growth
*Note that most people find themselves getting hungrier while following this program, because of its intense nature.
- Intense. Not recommended for beginners
- Fatigue (a lot)
- Could lead to overtraining if you’re not careful
2. German Volume Training
The next muscle-building program is The German Volume Training. This one’s quite similar to the 5 x 5 program, in terms of a higher set number. But it differs in terms of rep ranges, since it goes up to 10 reps for each set.
This program is designed to focus on two main muscle groups per day, switching between them over the course of 3 days per week.
- Can allow you to build muscle mass at an incredibly high pace provided you’re following a proper nutritional protocol with it.
IMPORTANT: If you want to get good results with this program, eating a higher calorie diet is a must in order to support the volume.
- You’ll need to reduce everything else you’re doing so the body can have enough time to recover and progress.
- If you’re interested in maximum strength development, this might not be the best workout. Since pure strength gains typically require you to lift in a lower rep range, and this program pushes it a bit further.
3. The FST-7 Training Program
This is a training program that’s catching on rather rapidly. It doesn’t specifically lay out all the exercises that you need to perform in a given session, nor does it specifically state that you must divide the body according to a certain protocol (i.e., upper body and lower body or chest/back, legs and shoulder), but instead, gives you guidelines as to what you should be doing on the last exercise for each body part worked that session.
The name FST-7 stands for Fascial Stretch Training, which indicates that one of the primary objectives this program attempts to achieve, is to stretch the fascia tissue, which is the soft connective tissue that’s found surrounding your muscles as well as throughout the rest of the body.
It’s main responsibility is to help maintain the structural integrity of the body, providing support and protection, as well as working as a shock-absorber, when you perform various activities throughout the day, both in and out of the gym.
When this tissue is stretched, you’ll see increasings in muscle growth. Since there will be a higher deliverance of minerals, amino acids and oxygen to the tissues.
With this setup, perform 7 sets of 15 reps for the last exercise you do for each muscle group. It’s important to keep your rest periods between these sets shorter – around 30 seconds in total.
Note: It’ll be okay (and common) to adjust the weight downward from what you’d normally use for this particular exercise, due to the fact that you’re using a much higher number of total sets, and the longer rep range will demand that you’re not lifting as heavy.
- Better fascia health
- Allows a great deal of flexibility on your part with overall structural design
- Stimulate the metabolic rate considerably
- If you struggle with recovery, you may not be able to work out as frequently as you’re accustomed after performing this protocol.
4. Upper/Lower Split Training
This setup is typically performed on a 2 on, 1 off schedule, and it allows you to hit each muscle group 2× per week.
- A good option for beginners weight lifters looking to build mass.
- Allows enough rest over the entire week, and breaks the body up, so that each workout is slightly less stressful.
- Advanced trainees can intensify the workout through the total set number, exercise selection, and rest periods used, allowing for increased muscle gains at any level.
- Allows you to include more isolated exercises. If you want to specifically target one of the smaller muscle groups.
- This is designed to be a 4-day program. It should be performed four days of the week. If you have scheduling conflicts, this might be a problem for you.
5. Full Body Workouts
Finally, we have full-body workouts. The 5 x 5 program can also be considered as a full-body workout program to an extent, since you’re working almost all the major muscle groups with the 3 exercises you choose.
But, real full-body programs will provide 1 direct exercise for each muscle group – quads, hamstrings, chest, back and shoulders. Note that the arms are worked when doing chest and back.
On top of these lifts, you can also throw in a couple of isolated exercises, if you want to hit the smaller muscles individually.
- It can be appropriate for a beginner, given they use a lower total set number for each exercise and watch the volume.
- There are a number of different combinations you can create a full-body workout with, and can utilize different principles within the workout to add variety and keep up the progress.
- Not ideal if you’re looking to specialize in a certain body part.
Keep these 5 different types of workouts in mind, as you make the decision as to which one will be the ideal bodybuilding workout program for you.
Also keep in mind that you can – and should – switch programs after some time, in order to keep experiencing results and to avoid a plateau.