When first starting out on your fitness journey, gains are not hard to come by.
You see noticeable results within weeks.
Overtime, however, it gets harder to put on mass and your bench press has pretty much been the same for a while.
This is the best workout split for mass that will shock your body into growing like its never grown before.
You will train 6 days a week; 3 days on 1 day off.
Your training split will consist of push, pull, and lower body days.
Understand that your muscles can grow in two ways:
- An actual expansion of the muscle fibers.
- An increase of glycogen uptake by the muscle.
Training with heavy weight in the lower rep range, i.e. powerlifting, is more effective at promoting the first type of growth.
Training with moderate weight in the mid-high rep range, i.e. bodybuilding, is more effective at promoting the second type.
For a deeper understanding of what it actually takes to build muscle check out my post on the simple science behind muscle growth.
Mass Gaining Workout Routine
You will train each body part twice a week.
On the first day you will focus on strength training, i.e. training with heavy weights in the lower rep range.
On the second day you will focus on endurance training, i.e. training with moderate weights in the moderate to higher rep range.
Combining techniques from both powerlifting and bodybuilding will have you busting through plateaus towards both strength and mass gains.
This is a 6 week routine.
The exercises across the 6 weeks will be the same, but the sets and reps will vary.
The beauty of this mass gaining workout routine is that it will work to both expand your muscle fibers and increase the glycogen uptake by the muscle.
This will result in maximum gains.
Lower Body Exercises
- Leg Press
- Leg Extensions
- Lying Leg Curls
- Calf Raises
- Flat Bench Press
- Incline Bench Press
- Close-grip Bench Press
- Overhead Press
- Lateral Raises
- Skull Crushers
- Tricep Pushdown
- Lat Pulldowns
- Barbell Rows
- Dumbell Rows
- Cable Rows
- Barbell Curls
- Dumbbell Curls
- Cable Curls
Looking to bring out a lagging body part? Check out my best workouts for mass
For the first week of strength training you will be doing 4 exercises. 4 sets of 3 reps each. I recommend a rest period of up to 3 minutes between sets to allow enough time for your muscle to fully recover. This is so you can exert maximum effort in the next set as well.
For the first week of endurance training you will be doing 6 exercises. 4 sets of 10 reps each. I recommend rest periods of up to 45 seconds between sets, and no more. This is to keep your heart rate up and to increase the time under tension, forcing your muscles to increase the uptake of glycogen and other nutrients.
Day 1: Lower Body Power
Choose a weight that is less than your 3 rep max.
Work your way up to the 3 rep set.
Doing both squats and deadlifts on the same day is no easy task.
Some argue that doing them on the same day will hold you back from exerting full effort.
This makes sense, but I have still seen my strength increase drastically in both lifts.
Doing squats and deadlifts on the same day not only builds up muscular endurance, but builds up strength of character as well.
If you can push through squats and deadlifts on the same day, what can’t you do?
Barbell Squat: 4×3
Barbell Deadlift: 4×3
Leg Press: 4×3
Romanion Deadlift: 4×3
Day 2: Push Power
There is a difference between testing your strength and building strength.
With a weight that is challenging but less than your 3 rep max, you will be building a foundation for your strength gains to come.
Flat Barbell Bench Press: 4×3
Incline Barbell Bench Press: 4×3
Standing Military Press: 4×3
Close Grip Bench Press: 4×3
Day 3: Pull Power
If you are not used to training in the lower rep range then the first few days of this routine were probably very tough.
You have a rest day tomorrow so push yourself hard today.
You are only doing 3 reps of pull-ups so be sure to add additional weight.
If you haven’t done weighted pull-ups before, you’re in for a whole new feel.
I prefer doing bicep curls with an ez-bar, but feel free to go with your own preference.
If you have heavy enough dumbbells for shrugs then use them.
Otherwise just use a barbell.
Barbell Rows: 4×3
Bicep Curls: 4×3
Day 4: Rest or Optional Cardio
You’ve had 3 days of intense heavy lifting.
If you aren’t used to this type of training, you will definitely need the rest.
As I wrote in my post on the science of building muscle, high intensity cardio for short bursts of time can boost your gains.
If you feel up to it, perform 30 seconds of intense cardio followed by up to 2 minutes of low intensity cardio for a total of 15 minutes.
You can do sprints, use the elliptical, or even use the rowing machine to complete this high intensity interval routine.
Day 5: Lower Body Endurance
With the Lower Body Power day the goal was to build on your strength.
With the Lower Body Hypertrophy day the intended purpose is to get as much blood flowing to your lower body as possible.
There are going to be 6 exercises, 4 sets of 10 each.
You should definitely be using much lighter weights than you did on the power day. If you aren’t, then you’re not doing it right.
Barbell Squats: 4×10
Leg Extensions: 4×10
Leg Press: 4×10
Hamstring Curls: 4×10
Calf Raises (seated or standing): 4×10
Calf Raises on Leg Press Machine : 4×10
Day 6: Push Endurance
Personally, this is my favorite day of the routine.
I love the feeling of the insane pump in my chest pushing out against my shirt.
The exercises are simple and straightforward.
You will only be resting for a maximum of 45 seconds between sets.
Don’t socialize and don’t talk to your workout partner.
Focus your attention on the workout and the feeling of you expanding chest.
Bench Press (barbell or dumbbell): 4×10
Incline Bench Press (barbell or dumbbell): 4×10
Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press: 4×10
Lateral Raises: 4×10
Behind the head barbell tricep extension (aka skull-crushers): 4×10
Tricep Push Down (rope or rod): 4×10
Day 7: Pull Endurance
You’ve made it to the final day of the week.
A wide back can really separate a good physique from a great physique.
Keep your focus on the workout and don’t cut yourself short.
Tomorrow is your day off so make sure you push it to the limit.
Pull Ups: 4×10
Cable Row: 4×10
Lateral Pull Down: 4×10
Isolation Dumbbell Row: 4×10
Standing Dumbbell Bicep Curls: 4×10
Rope Hammer Curls: 4×10
End of Week 1
This first week was to get your body prepared for what is to come.
It is only going to get tougher from here.
After all, nothing worth having is ever easy.
Your dream physique is no exception.
If you are willing to put the work in, and able to push through 5 more weeks, you are bound to see results unlike ever before.
Shake off the sweat, refuel with some quality food, take a cold shower, and get ready for week 2 of the best workout split for mass!