Sample Workouts for Beginner and Intermediate Body Builders




In the mass gain overview, I touched on the exercises needed for mass gain as the compound exercises involving large groups of muscle. The reasons behind this are twofold: By employing many muscle groups, more muscle is stimulated, and growth potential is maximised. Compare this to, say, a preacher curl: where only the bicep is targeted.
The second reason is that a shorter, more intense session employing large muscle groups can stimulate testosterone production, more so than a longer session focussed on smaller muscle groups.
For these reasons, an example mass gaining workout split would look something like this:

Beginners: 1 day split/full body workout involving large muscle groups:
Bench Press
Squats
Deadlifts
Dumbell Flyes
Seated Leg Press
Seated Row
That's it. 3 sets of 8 to 12 reps on these exercises at your maximum effort will certainly exhaust you. We are hitting all the large muscle groups in this split: Chest, Back and Legs.
Beginners will need at least 2 days off , possibly 3, between each routine to recover. Rest between sets is also important, at least 2 minutes, more than just catching your breath.
Intermediate to Experienced: 3 day split.
Day 1 : Chest/Shoulders/Triceps
3 circuits of:
Bench Press
Dumbell Shoulder Press
Tricep Kickbacks
3 circuits of:
Dumbell Flyes
Lat Raises
Tricep Cable Pushdown
3 circuits of:
Cable Cross
DB Front Raise
French Press
Each circuit should consist of 8-12 repetitions of each exercise in the circuit.
The exercises are grouped in circuits of threes, and you perform one complete circuit before needing to rest: we start with the bench press, then while you are doing the shoulder press, your chest is recovering, and while you are doing kickbacks, your chest and your shoulders are recovering. You can then go onto the next circuit after a minute or so - your chest will have had over 3 minutes to recover since it was last exercised. At 30 seconds per set and 1 minute's rest, you will easily get through the 27 sets shown here in under 30 minutes.


Day 2: Back, Biceps and Abs. 3 circuits of the following groups:
3 circuits of:
Deadlifts
Dumbell Curls
Hanging Leg Raise
3 circuits of:
Lat Pulldown
Twenty Ones (on the barbell)
Hanging Knee Raise
3 circuits of:
Seated Row
Barbell Curl
Crunches
In this workout, we hit the biggest and most exhausting exercises first: deadlifts and dumbbells. Deadlifts, a back exercise, tend to also work the forearms a bit, so the biceps are still pretty good after the deads and you can put in good effort on the bicep curls. The same rationale applies for the other circuits with the 2nd and third exercises not impacting on the first. This allows you to go from one to the next without a break and get through your workout faster.
Day 3: Legs, Calves and Forearms. 3 circuits again:
3 circuits of:
Squats
Calf(Toe) Raises
Forearm Curl
3 circuits of:
Leg Press
Toe Raise on the Leg Press
Reverse Forearm Curl
3 circuits of:
Hamstring/Leg Curl
Reverse Calf Raise (Smith Machine)
Palm Down Preacher Curls
Here we follow the same rationale as for Days 1 and 2: largest muscle groups first, moving straight to the smaller ones and resting at the end of the circuit. The only exercises needing explanation here are the Reverse Calf Raise and the Palm Down Preachers.
Reverse Calf involves the loaded smith bar across the trapezius, the heels on a block of wood, and the toes pointing down. By raising the toes to be level with or above the heels, this works the tibialis, or the 'front calf' muscle, one that is frequently overlooked.
By following this program, a 2 days on, one off routine provides 72 hours rest to every muscle group, and allows you to hit each muscle at least twice a week. With challenging weights, proper nutrition and rest, your body will be forced to grow !