3 Best Workout Programs to Pack on Serious Muscle Mass

3 Lifting Programs For Muscle Gain
Written by Isaac Robertson

The key to building muscle is weightlifting, so that’s what we’re going to focus on in this article. While cardio is important and certainly recommended during off days, your main focus should be getting lifting time in to efficiently build strong muscles.

3 workout plans for men to build muscle

It always helps to have a plan when you get to the gym, so we’ve got three of the best workout programs for you to try out!

1. Upper Lower Split Training

This type of training is ideal for beginners and weightlifters at all levels; it’s a training program many people can get used to fast.

Basically, you alternate between days focused on the lower body and days focused on the upper body (chest/arms/back).

Aim for two days of upper body and two days of lower body per week.

Man showing his muscles

Make your own workout plan that will get you the results you want!

This program is highly versatile and makes sense as it gives your upper body time to heal while you focus on your lower body and vice versa. Adjust sets and reps according to your skill level.

Here are some sample workouts you can try:

  • workout 1
  • workout 2

Leg / Back

  • Barbell Squat
  • Barbell Deadlift
  • Dumbbell Lunges
  • Dumbbell Step-Ups
  • Leg Extensions

Upper Lower Split Training is perfect for those who crave lots of variety to hit muscles from all angles and promote hypertrophy for lean muscle building - here's a great guide on it.

Pro Tip

Use off days to focus on abs and cardio to stay lean.

2. The 5-Day Split

Five-day splits are for people who are serious about gaining muscle mass and is more designed as a bodybuilding workout plan. Each workout should focus on only 1-2 muscle groups so you don’t overexert yourself and make it to the gym 5 days a week.

Here’s a sample week of this bodybuilding program:

  • day 1
  • day 2
  • day 3
  • day 4
  • day 5
  • day 6
  • day 7

Rest and Recover

Be careful not to overexert yourself with this workout regime. If you need more days off, consider combining back with legs and arms, shoulders, and chest with more days off between.​

3. The 5x5 Program

The 5x5 program is ideal for those looking to build muscle along with strength. The name comes from the fact that each heavy weight exercise is 5 sets of 5 reps.

It’s an intense program that’s not quite beginner-friendly – we recommend it for people who have at least six months’ worth of lifting experience. Alternate between Workout 1 and 2 three times a week with at least one day off between sessions for recovery time.

  • workout 1
  • workout 2
  • check
    Front Barbell Squat – 5x5
  • check
    Seated Barbell Military Press – 5x5
  • check
    Barbell Deadlift – 5x5
  • check
    Barbell Curl – 2x8
  • check
    Seated Triceps Press – 2x8

Any weight lifting program we're missing?

Itching to get to the gym yet? These are three of our absolute favorite weight lifting programs for big muscle gains. Remember to get enough protein in post-workout, and don’t forget to take time off to let your muscles rebuild (we know, it can be hard).

About the author

Isaac Robertson

I’m a personal fitness trainer and nutritionist living in sunny Indianapolis, IN. I’ve spent the last 8 years staying at the forefront of the health and fitness industry. In that time, I’ve helped hundreds of people shed the excess weight and get into shape, maintaining their healthy new lifestyle through proper training and eating habits. You can read more about me here​.

  • Thank you for sharing a complete weight lifting plans for muscle gains. I was looking for such post to guide me how can I build muscle with lifting programs.

  • >