Creating The Best Bodybuilding Workout Routines To Build Mass And Gain More Muscle

One of the most traditional bodybuilding workout routines is the 3 day split. There are many variations of the 3 day split but overall they are all similar. The 3 day split is a very popular workout routine and arguably the best approach to building mass. What I really like about this routine over other bodybuilding workout routines is that you are able to focus on working one group of muscles at a time, allowing other groups to rest.

Now, when you think of bodybuilders you might think of those guys that are just plain huge. Big round muscles bulging out of their shirt and forearms the size of most guy’s legs. This is not the type of body that I personally advocate building.

Bodybuilding Workout Routines

Often those who concentrate too much on bodybuilding workout routines will look a bit rounded and soft. Once you build enough size, focus on shaping and toning the muscle.

A good way to avoid having this soft look is to add in different sets and reps along with strategic cardio. However, if you need to gain muscle mass, this is the go-to workout routine for pure size.

If you want to add muscle mass as well as muscle density, checkout this bulking up workout. When it comes to pure size though, traditional bodybuilding workout routines do work better.

Traditional Bodybuilding Workout Routines

Most bodybuilding workout routines are the same and that’s actually okay. With a solid 3 day split and proper nutrition you can expect to make some fairly decent gains.

Here’s what a normal 3 day split looks like:

  • Day 1 – Chest, Shoulders, Triceps
  • Day 2 – Back, Biceps
  • Day 3 – Legs, Calves, Abs
  • Day 4 – Rest
  • Day 5 – Chest, Shoulders, Triceps
  • Day 6 – Back, Biceps
  • Day 7 – Legs, Calves, Abs
  • Day 8 – Rest

Some will rest for a second day on day 9 while others will get right back into their workouts.

While this is a good approach there is one tweak that I recommend.

How To Make This Routine Even Better

When it comes to building mass there is one basic and accepted fact — you’ve got to blitz the muscle that you want to grow. While the amount and style of “blitzing the muscle” is debatable, this seems to be more of a fact than just a theory. All bodybuilding workout routines should focus on this.

In order to get your muscle to grow you’ve got to break it down. By doing this it will come back bigger, stronger, more dense or more full, depending upon how you train.

While the traditional 3 day split mentioned above does blitz the muscle sufficiently, it does not allow for optimal recovery.

“Muscles are built in the kitchen and not in the gym.”

Most likely you’ve heard the cliché that muscles are built in the kitchen and not in the gym. Not only does this apply to your diet but also to your recovery time. It’s during your rest that your muscles are built larger and/or stronger, not while you’re in the gym breaking them down.

Instead of lifting three days in a row, always resting your chest, shoulders and triceps the least while your legs, calves and abs get the most rest try this tweak.

Add in a rest day after two straight days of lifting. This will help you break up your workout and will allow alternating muscle groups more rest.

  • Day 1 – Chest, Shoulders, Triceps
  • Day 2 – Back, Biceps
  • Day 3 – Rest
  • Day 4 – Legs, Abs
  • Day 5 – Chest, Shoulders, Triceps
  • Day 6 – Rest
  • Day 7 – Back, Biceps
  • Day 8 – Legs, Abs

You can see that after the first two lift days you rest after working your back and biceps. After the second two lift days you rest after working your chest, shoulders and tricpes. The third rest you get comes after working your legs and abs.

What’s Good About These Bodybuilding Workout Routines

There are three main aspects to the 3 day split that make them so effective at building mass.

  1. Blitz the muscle
  2. Focus on individual muscle groups
  3. Grouping exercises with muscle groups

As mentioned, blitzing the muscle is vital.

What is nice about the 3 day split routine is how most separate out the days. You’ll notice that day one is chest, shoulders and triceps while day 2 is back and biceps.

The movements that work your chest, shoulders and triceps are all pushing movements. The movements that work your back and biceps are all pulling movements. This is the ideal setup when it comes to building  mass because you are able to break down and focus on complimenting muscle groups all in one workout.

If you tried to focus on chest and back on the same day you would not be able to create the same kind of fatigue as you can by doing chest, shoulders and triceps. Each of these muscle groups is involved in working out and complimenting the other.

Also, you wouldn’t allow for as much rest for each muscle group by combining pushing and pulling exercises. For example, if you are pushing (triceps) on chest and back day and then pushing on your triceps day they would not get an optimal amount of rest. Same goes for pulling — that works your biceps and back so it makes sense to work these two muscle groups on the same day.

A Little Warning

Gaining muscle can be somewhat addicting. Gaining a “good” amount of muscle mass is good but don’t go overboard. If you look at the picture of the guy above he’s a bit too big — soft and rounded. Even more importantly, he does not have great muscle tone.

By focusing purely on bodybuilding workout routines you are not going to build a great looking physique. In my opinion, the best method is to build a good amount of size and then move into shaping the muscle.

If you’ve built a good amount of muscle but would still like to add a bit more, try moving into a 5×5 workout routine. The 5 rep range will allow you to grow in size and in strength.

Strength training builds density and that is what gives your muscles the hard and toned look — not bodybuilding workout routines. If you are satisfied with the size of your muscles, you should then focus on doing a muscle definition workout routine.

For a full step by step workout plan on how to build the ideal amount and shape of muscle, I recommend Visual Impact Muscle Building. This is the course that I am following now and it is working very well.