A Simple And Effective Weight Training Program

In order to gain muscular weight, you will need to organize a training program that builds strength and muscle.

A weight training program that's geared towards gaining muscular weight will rely heavy on compound movements.

So, for this program to be successful, you will be using free weights that incorporates compound movements with the progressive resistance principle.

Compound movements are those exercises that use more than one muscle group to move the weight. For example, the squat.

This exercise uses that quadriceps, buttocks, back, and basically all of your core muscles.

You may be wondering why you need the squat to build your legs since it involves all of these other muscle groups and not just the thighs. To put it simply, squats get you big. That's about as easy as I can say it. The same goes for the other compound movements such as the dead lift, bench press, clean and press, barbell rows, shoulder press and the chin up to name a few.

I'm not going to get into the benefits of compound movements, but suffice to say, if you want to gain muscle mass and body weight, there is no other way to do it than with compound movements. For more information about compound movements and what they do, click here.

Now, for those of you who are just beginning, I suggest you start with a beginner routine. You can find a beginner routine here.

Also, I strongly suggest you go through building muscle 101's routines page because it will outlay some basic rules and principles of weight training.

Alright, let's take a look at the weight training program.

Let's take a look at the programs:

Sample Mass Program I

Day one: Chest, shoulders, triceps, and abs;

Day two: Rest;

Day three: Legs and calves;

Day four: Rest;

Day five: Back, biceps and abs;

Day six: Rest;

Day seven: Repeat program

Let’s look at the program in more detail and find out what exercises your going to be doing.


Day one: Chest, shoulders, triceps, and abs;

Chest exercises:

Bench press;
Incline press;
Flat bench fly;

Shoulder exercises:

Press behind the neck;
Lateral raises;

Triceps exercises:

Close grip bench presses;
Standing cable press downs;

Ab exercises:

Crunches

Day two: Rest;

Day three: Legs and calves;

Quadriceps:

Squats;
Leg presses;

Hamstrings:

Stiff legged dead lifts;
Leg curls;

Calves:

Standing calf raises

Day four: Rest;

Day five: Back, biceps, and abs;

Back:

Bent over rowing;
Seated cable pull downs;

Biceps:

Standing barbell curls;
Seated alternate dumbbell curls;

Abs:

Crunches

Day six: Rest;

Day seven: Repeat schedule;

The following schedule will outline the number of sets you’ll be performing and the recommended weight increments.


Day one: Chest, shoulder, and triceps;

Chest

Bench press

Warm up: 1 x 20 repetitions 40% of your max;
First set: 1 x 8 repetitions 50% of your max;
Second set: 1 x 8 repetitions 60% of your max;
Third set: 1 x 6 repetitions 70% of your max;
Fourth set: 1 x 5 to 6 repetitions 80% to 85% of your max;

Incline press

First set: 1 x 12 repetitions 50% of your max;
Second set: 1 x 8 repetitions 60% of your max;
Third set: 1 x 6 to 8 repetitions 70% of your max;
Fourth set: 1 x 6 to 8 repetitions 80% of your max;

Let’s say your max on the incline press is 160 pounds, than your weight increments would be as follows:

First set: 80 pounds;
Second set: 95 pounds;
Third set: 115 pounds;
Fourth set: 130 pounds.

Rest for about 60 to 90 seconds in between each set

Flat bench fly

First set: 1 x 12 repetitions 60% of your max;
Second set: 1 x 12 repetitions 60% of your max;

Shoulders

Press behind the neck

Warm up: 1 x 20 repetitions 40% of your max;
First set: 1 x 8 repetitions 50% of your max;
Second set: 1 x 8 repetitions 60% of your max;
Third set: 1 x 6 repetitions 70% of your max;
Fourth set: 1 x 6 repetitions 80% to 85% of your max;

Try and use a weight that allows you to perform the repetitions in good form. Try not to jerk the weight too much to get the weight up. Your first set should be 50% of your max. The weight for each set should increase by 10% to 20%.

On set four, you should be at 80% to 85% of your max.

So, let’s say your max press is 150 pounds, your weight progression would look as follows:

Warm up: 60 pounds;
First set: 75 pounds;
Second set: 90 pounds;
Third set: 105 pounds;
Fourth set: 125 pounds.

Rest periods between sets: 60 seconds.

Lateral raises

First set: 1 x 12 repetitions 60% of your max;
Second set: 1 x 12 repetitions 60% of your max;
Third set: 1 x 12 repetitions 60% of your max.

Triceps

Close grip bench press

Warm up: 15 repetitions 40% of your max;
Set one: 1 x 10 repetitions 50% of your max;
Set two: 1 x 8 repetitions 60% of your max;
Set three: 1 x 6 repetitions 70% of your max;
Set four: 1 x 6 repetitions 80% of your max.

Standing cable press downs

First set: 1 x 12 repetitions 50% of your max;
Second set: 1 x 10 repetitions 60% of your max;
Third set: 1 x 8 repetitions 70% of your max.

Abs

Crunches

4 sets of 20 repetitions.

Rest about 25 to 35 seconds between each set.


Day three: Legs and calves;

Quadriceps

Squats

Warm up: 20 repetitions 40% of your max;
Set one: 1 x 12 repetitions 50% of your max;
Set two: 1 x 10 repetitions 60 % of your max;
Set three: 1 x 8 repetitions 70% of your max;
Set four: 1 x 6 to 8 repetitions 80% of your max;
Set five: 1 x 12 repetitions 65% of your max.

Leg press

Set one: 1 x 12 repetitions 60% of your max;
Set two: 1 x 10 repetitions 70% of your max;
Set three: 1 x 8 repetitions 80% of your max;
Set four: 1 x 8 repetitions 80% of your max.

Hamstrings

Stiff legged dead lifts

Warm up: 1 set of 15 repetitions 40% of your max;
First set: 1 set of 12 repetitions 50% of your max;
Second set: 1 set of 10 repetitions 60% of your max;
Third set: 1 set of 8 repetitions 70% or your max;

Leg curls

Set one: 1 x 12 repetitions 50% of your max;
Set two: 1 x 10 repetitions 60% of your max;
Set three: 1 x 8 repetitions 70 % of your max;
Set four: 1 x 6 to 8 repetitions 80% of you max.

Calves

Standing calf raises

Warm up: 25 repetitions 40% of your max;
Set one: 1 x 20 repetitions 50% of your max;
Set two: 1 x 20 repetitions 60% of your max;
Set three: 1 x 15 repetitions 70% of your max;
Set four: 1 x 15 repetitions 80% of your max;


Day five: Back, biceps and abs;

Back

Barbell bent over rowing

Warm up: 15 repetitions 40% of your max;
Set one: 1 x 8 repetitions 50% of your max;
Set two: 1 x 8 repetitions 60% of your max;
Set three: 1 x 6 to 8 repetitions 70% of your max;
Set four: 1 x 6 repetitions 80% of your max;

For the first couple of sessions, keep the weight relatively constant with no increases. Once you get the hang of the exercise, slightly increase the weight from sets one to three. That is, add about 5% to 10% more weight for set two and set three.

For example, let’s say your max row is 150 pounds, your weight increments will be as follows:

Warm up: 60 pounds;
First set: 75 pounds;
Second set: 90 pounds;
Third set: 105 pounds;
Fourth set: 120 pounds.

Really stretch your back out in between each set.

Rest for about 60 seconds in between each set.

Seated lat machine pull down

Warm up: 15 repetitions 40% of your max;
Set one: 1 x 10 repetitions 50% of your max;
Set two: 1 x 8 repetitions 60% of your max;
Set three: 1 x 8 repetitions 70% of your max;
Set four: 1 x 6 to 8 repetitions 80% of your max.

For the warm up, really stretch the back. For your first set, you should be aiming for 10 repetitions with 50% of your max.

Aim for a 5% to 10% increase in weight for each successive set. Increase the weight for set two that allows you to perform the prescribed repetitions in good form. Try and aim for a 5% to 10% increase in weight for set two.

For you second set, you use 5% to 10% more than your first set. If you can handle a little more, great! Just remember that as soon as you find yourself rocking, swinging or swaying, you using too much weight. Let’s say your max pull down is around 160 pounds. Your set progression will look as follows:

Warm up: 65 pounds;
First set: 80 pounds;
Second set: 95 pounds;
Third set: 110 pounds;
Fourth set: 130 pounds

Rest periods between sets: 50 seconds

Biceps

Standing barbell curls

Warm up: 15 repetitions 40% or your max;
Set one: 1 x 10 repetitions 50% of your max;
Set two: 1 x 8 repetitions 60% of your max;
Set three: 1 x 8 repetitions 70% of your max;
Set four: 1 x 6 to 8 repetitions 80% of your max.

You should be starting with about 50% of your max on the first set. Increase the weight by 10% to 15% for each successive set. By the time you reach set four, you should be using 80% to 85% of your max. The movement should be under control and fluid. Try and aim for a 5% to 10% increase in weight from set one to set two in this program.

For your last set, you should be using weight that allows you to perform 6 to 8 reps but with some difficulty. You want to just barely complete 8 reps in good form. For example, let’s say your max curl is 110 pounds, your weight progression will be as follows:

Warm up: 45 pounds;
First set: 55 pounds;
Second set: 65 pounds;
Third set: 75 pounds;
Fourth set: 85 pounds.

Rest periods between warm up and set one: 50 seconds

Seated alternate dumbbell curls

Set one: 1 x 8 repetitions 50% of your max;
Set two: 1 x 8 repetitions 60% of your max;
Set three: 1 x 8 repetitions 70% of your max;

Rest for about 40 seconds in between each set.

Abs

Crunches

4 sets of 20 repetitions.

Rest about 25 to 35 seconds between each set.


This particular program should be followed for 6 to 12 weeks. After 12 weeks, it is recommended that you take a break for a couple of weeks to let your body recover. I’ve also set out another alternative program for you to follow below.

Alternative Sample Mass Program II

Day one: Chest and arms;

Day two: Rest;

Day three: Legs and calves;

Day four: Rest;

Day five: Back and shoulders;

Day six: Rest

Day seven: Rest


There you have it, a weight lifting routine that will help you build muscle from start to finish. Remember that more is not always necessarily better. I suggest you follow the routine for 3 months.

Remember, if you need to see full descriptions and illustrations for the exercises above, go to:

building muscle 101's weight lifting exercise page here.





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