Bro, you’re here because you want to build muscle. You’re ready to take your physique to the next level with serious pounds of lean mass and need a foolproof plan to get you there. Fortunately for you brother, you’re in the right place. Go from beta-fail to alpha-male with this Complete Guide to Muscle Building…
- The muscle building program
- Workouts – 3-day full body program
- Muscle building nutrition
- The last rep
The muscle building program
This complete muscle building program comprises of two fail-safe routes to get stacked.
- Dedicated bulking focused workouts
- Eating big to build muscle
Together, these two tactics will give your physique a double-edged attack. The bulk-focused workouts will force your body to adapt, while the ‘eating big’ mentality will provide the building blocks and fuel.
You’ll essentially be knocking down a wall and building it back bigger and bigger every time. Albeit with muscle tissue – not actual bricks.
There’s no limited time frame for this plan. It’s up to you how long you carry it out for and you should tailor it to suit. We’ll give you everything you need to know, you just need to do it.
It’s not going to be easy. But, bro, let’s be real – is anything worthwhile not difficult? One thing is for sure though, it’s gonna be fun! You’re gonna be ripping barbells left, right and center, all while eating in a calorie surplus. Ask any athlete and they’ll tell you nothing beats bulking.
One way to build muscle is by forcing adaptations via the use of resistance training. For the layman, this is better known as lifting God damn weights.
Sounds awesome, right? That’s because it is.
Every time you lift, you cause tiny micro-tears to the muscle tissue. When recovered properly with enough rest and the right nutrition, this tissue grows back thicker, making the cross-surface area of the muscle of the bigger. This is essentially how dudes get jacked.
Train for the Gain(z)
For this complete guide, you’ll be working towards adding size. So, rather than focus on strength or endurance, hypertrophy will be your goal. After all, that’s what you’re here for, right? Damn straight.
Here’s everything you need to know about muscle hypertrophy in our complete guide.
To add size, you need to gravitate your workouts towards hypertrophy, induced by correct training volumes. In short, you’ll be lifting heavy weights for a higher number of reps. Why? Because volume is the key to mass… and volume equates to weight lifted x repetitions completed –it’s as simple as that, bro.
For this plan, volume will be acquired over a three-day full body plan. Studies have shown that this style of training trumps a traditional bodybuilding split, which is exactly why we’re doing it. 
You’ll also be employing a muscle building method known as progressive overload. This means adding more weight to the bar at every safe opportunity. Once your muscles have adapted to lifting a load, you’ll push them even further with a heavier weight to increase overall volume. 
Compound Vs. Isolation exercises
Because you’re going for a full body approach over a traditional split, you’ll be hitting a healthy-dose of multi-joint movements. These are what is known as compound exercises.
Compound exercises are absolutely killer for building mass. While isolation moves sniper in on specific areas, multi-joint compounds ignite multiple groups all in one go, leading to greater amounts of muscle fiber recruitment. It’s less sniper and full-blown rail gun warfare.
Plus, there’s also the added factor that you can lift heavier loads with compound movements. Whereas you might only be able to push X amount with your arms alone, you should be able to move much more with your legs and shoulders in play too.
Ultimately, this can go a long way in achieving greater amounts of training volume. You already know how important overall volume is, right?
The best way to approach exercise choice when building muscle is to be mixed. Start with the bigger, more energy demanding compound movements, before moving onto isolation exercises. Imagine a sculptor shaping a statue with his biggest tools first before finessing the details with a tiny chisel and hammer.
3-Day Full Body Program
We recommend you complete this program for a minimum of four weeks. Turning your body into an iron-forged fortress isn’t easy, but after a month you’ll be making gainz to be proud of. Paired with the proper nutrition, this plan will craft you a leaner, stronger, and harder physique.
Also, to avoid overtraining, we suggest you take it easy for a few days after the 12-week mark. Don’t worry about (losing gainz) because your body will welcome the break.
When hitting this plan try to leave at least 24 hours between each workout. important to muscle growth, as this is the time your physique repairs itself. By taking a day rest between training sessions you give your body a chance to recuperate and come back stronger.
Here’s the program…
Day 1 –
- Deadlift – 4 sets of 12 reps
- Barbell bench press – 4 sets of 12 reps
- Standing military press – 4 sets of 12 reps
- Dumbbell Romanian deadlift – 4 sets of 14 reps
- Dumbbell lateral raise – 4 sets of 14 reps
- Plank pull-through – 4 sets of 16 reps (8+8)
Day 2 –
- Back squat – 4 sets of 12 reps
- Dumbbell incline press – 4 sets of 12 reps
- Wide-grip lateral pulldown – 4 sets of 14 reps
- Skull crushers – 4 sets of 14 reps
- Bicep matrix – 3 sets of 21 reps (7+7+7 partial ranges)
- Hyperextensions – 4 sets of 12 reps
Day 3 –
- Front squat – 4 sets of 12 reps
- Stiff leg deadlift – 4 sets of 12 reps
- Alternating dumbbell lunge – 4 sets of 14 reps (7+7)
- Decline dumbbell press – 4 sets of 12 reps
- Upright row – 4 sets of 12 reps
- Renegade row – 4 sets of 14 reps (7+7)
The eagle-eyed among you might have noticed that we haven’t prescribed rests. It’s not that we’re lazy or forgot about them – it’s just that the science says you can autoregulate.
You’ll induce muscle building adaptations either way. Mechanical tension is maximized via longer rest times because you’re fresher, and can, therefore, lift more. Whereas muscle damage is maximized via short rest periods because it causes certain metabolic by-products.
So, simply rest for as long as you feel you need to. Set the weights down and attack them again as soon as you’re ready.
Muscle building nutrition
When it comes to building muscle, nothing beats the kitchen. No matter how much hard work you put in during your time in the gym, it all means nothing if your nutrition is out of whack.
But as a dedicated reader of SpotMeBro, you’re not the sort of guy to let that happen.
The first thing you need to know about building slabs of lean mass is how they’re constructed. Now, remember when we told you about rebuilding the wall after you knock it down with weight training? Yeah? Well, that’s only made possible with the power of protein.
Protein is essentially the building blocks of your muscles. Therefore, it’s vitally important you get enough in your diet to promote muscle growth. More on this later.
But getting jacked doesn’t just stop at protein. No way, bro. You must also be eating enough healthy fats to support your health and hormones, while finding the energy to train and build via carbohydrates.
Nutrition for getting swole is a complete package, bro. It’s all about finding the right balance of essential macronutrients and vital vitamins, then incorporating them into a clean and wholesome diet. Let’s break down what you’re gonna need to eat.
Protein is a macronutrient used by the body to create and repair muscle tissue. You’ll find it in many foods, with the main sources being meats, eggs, beans, and dairy.
Here’s a rundown of the most popular protein sources used by athletes:
- Chicken breast
- Lean beef
- Turkey breast and mince
- Protein supplements (whey & plant-based variations)
Your body uses the protein you consume to repair and regenerate damaged cells. So, understandably, you need a lot of it.
According to the ISSN, training individuals must eat between 1.4 to 2.0 g of protein per kg of body weight every day . Any less than that and you’ll struggle to maintain your existing muscle mass, never mind adding more.
We recommend you shoot towards the higher end of the spectrum for muscle building. Maybe a little bit more if you’re looking to undergo a seriously lean bulk.
A great way of ensuring you have the stomach for so many amino acids is to split your protein intake up. Rather than stick to the American staple of three meals per day – opt for six instead. Just make sure to include protein into every feed (around 20-30 g) and it’ll be easy.
Many diet plans discredit carbohydrates. But the reality is bro, they’re essential for energy.
By consuming the ideal kinds of carbs at the right times you’ll without a doubt amplify your muscle building. Plus, being full of carbs make you look bigger and feel stronger.
In the world of nutrition, there are two main types of carbs. These are known as complex and simple carbohydrates.
Complex carbohydrates are longer chains of saccharides. These longer, complicated chains mean that it takes the body a greater effort to break them down. Energy from these is slowly released but sustained over a longer period of time.
On the other hand, simple carbs are shorter chains that take less time to digest. This results in energy becoming available at a much more rapid rate. Hence the sudden rush and then crash from foods high in refined sugar.
Here are some popular carb sources you might recognize:
- Brown rice
- Sweet potato
- Whole-wheat pasta
- Whole-meal bread
- Table sugar
- Sports drinks
- White rice
- White bread
- White pasta
To support your muscle building program, complex carbohydrates should be consumed as the main energy source. You should aim to include them in your breakfast to kickstart the day, other main meals, and up to two hours before training. This gives the body ample time to digest them and turn their sugars into muscle firing glycogen.
On the flip side, simple sugars supply almost instant energy. It doesn’t take much effort to break them down into glucose, which is then stored and used inside the muscles as glycogen. For simple sugars to be used as an effective training fuel or recovery purposes they should be consumed close to the time of exercise.
Unfortunately, fats haven’t enjoyed the best press in recent history. However, we’re here to tell you they’re fundamentally essential for every man out there.
Studies have shown that men suffer a massive 12% drop in natural T levels after eight weeks on a low-fat diet . So, if you want to stay healthy, don’t believe the hype.
As somebody looking to add slabs of powerful mass game, testosterone is your best friend. Not only does it promote the kind of alpha masculine traits, but it supports muscle growth too. Add that to optimized strength and you’d be a fool to ignore it.
You can ensure you’re feeding your body enough cholesterol to forge testosterone by eating the correct types of fat. For a deeper insight into good fats for muscle building click here.
But, what kind should you actually eat? Good question, bro. Here are a bunch of healthy androgen hormone boosters to throw on your plate:
- Whole eggs
- Liver and organ meat
At best, try to avoid fats that are man-made. You’ll often find these in the binding of processed food like cakes and cookies, or commonly in highly-processed takeout snacks.
The last rep
Now you have all the tools to build lean, powerful muscle, it’s time to do it. As we’ve already said – this is your program that you should tailor to suit your individual goals.
For short-term progression complete the workouts for a minimum of four weeks. While you won’t see the most dramatic changes in your physique, you’ll certainly notice a difference. If you get your nutrition in line with your workouts, you’ll be bigger, stronger, and leaner in just under a month.
However, if you choose to go all-in and chase a brand-new body, aim for the 8 to 12-week mark. This is the sort of time frame where you can expect to see ‘transformation’ type results. Your extended bout of high-protein nutrition and training should have melted away a ton of fat, resulting in a ripped and chiseled physique. Let’s not forget all that mountain of lean muscle too.
Just remember to keep an eye on your conditioning and to look out for the warning signs of overtraining. After an intense bout of bulking it’s important to undergo a planned deload week, which you can learn all about here. Don’t panic, bro. This will give your body a chance to recover and you shouldn’t lose your gains.
- Schoenfeld B, et al. Influence of Resistance Training Frequency on Muscular Adaptations in Well-Trained Men.J Strength Cond Res. 2015
- Peterson MD, et al. Progression of volume load and muscular adaptation during resistance exercise.Eur J Appl Physiol. 2010
- Jäger R, et al. International Society of Sports Nutrition Position Stand: protein and exercise.J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2017
- Wang C, et al. Low-Fat High-Fiber Diet Decreased Serum and Urine Androgens in Men.The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. 2005
Does this workout provide enough volume for an intermediate-advanced lifter? I’m 48 years old and find it harder and harder to make gains, or even just stay in shape. Looking to start fresh and hit the gym (and kitchen) with some new vigor. At 48, I can feel the affects of lower T, hoping to rejuvenate with a new workout.
Awesome to hear you’ll be back to crushing it in the iron house. Yes, this workout should provide enough volume for an intermediate-advanced lifter given the right intensity.