A Muscle Plan for Every Man | Fitbie

Workout Plans that Build Muscle

A Muscle Plan for Every Man

Use this guide to create your very own cutting-edge exercise routine

How will I make progress?

This, of course, depends on your main goal.

You measure progress by the number of plates on the bar, so you want to increase the weight on your main exercises each week. Let's say you're doing 5 sets of 3 reps of the front squat. In the first week, you use 135 pounds for your fourth and fifth sets. The second week, you might go up to 155 pounds for the final sets.

You can continue like this for a few weeks, but eventually you'll hit a point when your strength gains are smaller than the weights you can add to the bar. To use heavier weights, you have to reduce your number of repetitions. So instead of 5 sets of 3, you might do 3 sets of 3 and 2 sets of 2. Or you could do 6 sets of 2, using progressively heavier weights in each set, with the goal of using the heaviest weight possible in your final set each week. You can apply this strategy to any exercise, with any configuration of sets and reps. For a routine that’s designed to build tremendous power, check out our 15-Minute Workout: Boost Strength in Less Time.

Muscles grow bigger when you make them stronger, which is easy enough to understand even if it's sometimes hard to pull off. They grow because you make them do more work. You can accomplish that by adding a rep or two to each set or by adding a set to each exercise.

Let's say you're doing the barbell incline bench press. You start with 4 sets of 6. For the first few weeks, you should see steady increases in strength simply by adding more weight to the bar. When you feel your strength reaching a plateau, try to squeeze out an extra repetition or two—that is, do 7 or 8 reps—with the same weight on your final 2 sets. Or you could add a fifth set. That gives you more total work, which should lead to bigger muscles.

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