IFBB Pro Classic Physique competitor and Gaspari Nutrition sponsored athlete Robert Timms’ talks us through his 5 day workout routine for men to gain muscle.
Over the years, many bodybuilders and trainers have claimed that there are well-kept secrets to gaining muscle. Although some methods of exercise will lend themselves to faster muscle gains than others, there aren’t any true secrets, but there are truths that will get you bigger and stronger.
The good news is that these truths are incredibly simple, but the only tricky part is the act of repeating them day in and day out without failing to consistently drive home your intentions and gains. Before we get to the workout plan, here are 5 of those truths to go with your 5 day muscle building workout plan
1. Lift heavy
Each set you perform should be done with the heaviest weight you can lift in the specific rep range. If you’re able to do even one more rep than what the plan for the day is, that means you didn’t go heavy enough.
2. Employ progressive overload
In order for your muscles to grow, you need to provide ever changing and ever increasing workloads for them to adapt to. The easiest way to progress is via heavier and heavier weights, however, you’ll eventually find that you can’t simply increase the weights each and every week (although you’d like to).
Find new ways to overload the muscles on days like this by decreasing rest time between sets, performing your reps at a slower pace, or incorporating negatives and forced reps into your routine.
3. Ensure you use your hypertrophic range
Hypertrophy is a fancy way of saying: grow bigger muscles, and it just so happens that a specific rep range maximizes hypertrophy. All of your major working sets should be performed in the 8-12 rep range to maximize muscle growth.
4. Always have the right amount of rest
While working hard in the gym is necessary to grow, resting our muscles and allowing them the time to recover is just as essential.
Each muscle group takes at least 48-72 hours to fully repair following an intense workout, so this means that each muscle group should only be attacked one or two times per week at most. If you aren’t resting, you aren’t growing.
5. Eat to grow
Just like a race car needs special fuel to reach maximum speed, your body requires a unique mixture of fuel to perform at its best. You need to give yourself 1-2g of protein per pound of body weight if you want to grow, along with 1-3g of complex carbohydrates per pound of body weight, and plenty of healthy fats.
Before embarking on your muscle building journey, you need to outline your upcoming diet to make sure that you are giving your muscles everything they need to grow as quickly as possible. We have plenty of muscle building diet articles here on TRAIN.
Let’s get down to the workout I use that turned me pro with the IFBB.
5 day workout routine for men to gain muscle – IFBB PRO Robert Timms
Day 1: Back and triceps
Lat pull downs – 4 sets x 12 reps
Bent over barbell rows – 4 sets x 10 reps
Arm dumbbell rows – 4 sets x 10 reps
Pull-ups – 4 sets to failure
Close grip bench press – 4 sets x 8 reps
Skullcrushers – 4 sets x 12 reps
Cable push downs – 4 sets x 12 reps
Triceps kick backs – 4 sets x 12 reps
Day 2: Chest and biceps
Dumbbell presses – 4 sets x 10 reps
Dumbbell flyes – 4 sets x 12 reps
Cable flyes – 4 sets x 12 reps
Dumbbell pullovers – 4 sets x 10 reps
Barbell curls – 4 sets x 10 reps
Alternating dumbbell curls – 4 sets x 12 reps
Concentration curls – 4 sets x 12 reps
Preacher curls – 4 sets x 12 reps
Day 3: Rest
On rest days, mild or mid intensity cardio may be performed but should be kept to a 30-minute maximum.
Day 4: Legs
Barbell squats – 4 sets x 12 reps
45 degree leg press – 4 sets x 10 reps Quad extensions – 6 sets x 12 reps
Stiff legged dumbbell deadlifts – 4 sets x 10 reps
Dumbbell lunges – 4 sets x 12 reps
Lying hamstring curls – 6 sets x 12 reps
Standing calf raises – 5 sets x 12 reps
Seated calf raises – 5 sets x 12 reps
Body weight calf raises – 5 sets to failure
Day 5: Shoulders and traps
Seated military barbell press – 4 sets x 10 reps
Seated Arnold press – 4 sets x 12 reps
Lateral dumbbell raises – 4 sets x 12 reps
Forward plate raises – 4 sets x 12 reps
Smith machine shrugs – 4 sets x 10 reps
Reverse Smith machine shrugs – 4 sets x 12 reps
Dumbbell shrugs – 4 sets x 12 reps
Day 6: Rest
On rest days, mild or moderate intensity cardio may be performed but should be kept to a 30 minute maximum.
Day 7: Abs and “catch up”
Your “catch up” muscle group is the one muscle group you feel needs the most work. This means you’ll be doing your weakest muscle group two times per week, the exact same way both times.
Decline bench crunches – 6 sets x 12 reps
Weighted rope crunches – 4 sets x 10 reps
Leg lifts (weighted if possible) – 4 sets x 10 reps
Planks – 4 sets x failure
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