For anyone looking to pack on some serious muscle mass, one of the top priorities will be to determine what the best bodybuilding workout to follow is. There are a wide range of different workouts available, so choosing the one that will suit your needs best is important.

It’s also essential that you understand which factors contribute the most to gaining lean muscle mass. A program that utilizes these principles will often fare better than one that doesn’t.

Let’s take a brief look at some of the more popular bodybuilding workout set-ups and identify the pros and cons of each.



The five-by-five program is one that is quite popular among those who are looking to gain a high amount of strength and muscle mass.

The set-up of this program is to perform three main exercises that target the main muscle groups in the body (both lower and upper body in the same workout), performing five sets of five repetitions. At the end of each workout you can add in a few sets of isolated exercises if you like, but it’s not required by the program.


One of the biggest advantages of this set-up is going to be an increased frequency of training. Since you will stimulate so many muscle fibers every other day, you will see a very high release of testosterone, promoting a good degree of muscle mass growth.

Most individuals also find that they become hungrier while following this program, which is representative of the intense nature of it.


The drawback to this program is that it’s one that a beginner likely shouldn’t jump into as it will be intense and could lead to  if you’re not careful. It’s best to have a 3-6 month lifting history behind you so you can be sure your body is ready for this stress load.

The second con to this set-up is due to the fact that you’ll be lifting heavy three times a week – it doesn’t lend so well for a lot of other activity, such as heavy sports training. If you’re involved in high-level athletics, it may be better to choose a slightly less demanding program so you don’t become overly fatigued.


You’ll want to aim to perform the 5 X 5 protocol for the core exercises as described above and then cut back on the volume for the accessory lifts.

If you know going in you’re someone who tends to have difficulty recovering, then you may want to attempt a 3 X 5 set-up first and see how you do. It can be easy to overtrain on this program if you’re not careful.

Alternate between workout A and workout B three times a week with at least one day off between sessions. Aim to rest for 60-to-120 seconds between sets of the core exercises and 30-to-45 seconds between sets for the accessory exercises

5 sets of 5 reps


5 sets of 5 reps


5 sets of 5 reps

5 sets of 5 reps


2 sets of 8 reps


2 sets of

  • The Workout. Workout A. Barbell Squat. …
  • workout 1. Dumbbell Bench Press. 10 sets of 10 reps. …
  • workout 2. Barbell Squat. …
  • workout 3. Barbell Shoulder Press. …
  • Day 1: Biceps, Triceps, And Calves. Barbell Curl. …
  • Day 2: Legs. Barbell Squat. …
  • Day 4: Chest And Triceps. Dumbbell Bench Press. …
  • Day 5: Back And Calves. Bent Over Barbell Row.

Despite the fact that might win the gym popularity contest right now, fitness pros agree: Not only are exercise machines totally fine to use, they might be especially helpful if you’re new to working out.

“It’s true that if you’re using free weights you have to recruit so many stabilizing muscles,” says Shannon Fable, certified trainer and programming director for  “But when you’re getting started, using selectorized equipment (the machines with weighted plates) and just learning the movement pattern is OK.”

Another bonus: “If you haven’t got full strength, or balance, or full range of motion, machines are much safer,” says Stuart Munro, certified personal trainer for the .

For those who have been on a gym hiatus or are gaining back strength post-injury, weight machines are an easy way to get back in the game—without the risk of dropping anything heavy on your foot, Munro says. And, as you’ve likely noticed, weight machines remove the guesswork since they usually have helpful how-to cards right on the machine.

With that in mind, here are the top machines the trainers we spoke with suggested. Each one will help you build strength and train your body to use the right muscles, so you can be on the leg press one day and do  the next.


11 DEC 2017

Following a training plan that aims to make you more powerful has several benefits. For a start, power moves are fun to do – they involve big, quick movements and they’re satisfying because you feel like you’re training in quite a hardcore way.

You may even feel like an elite athlete. And you should, because power moves form a big part of any pro sportsman’s training plan. They use them because they target the fast-twitch muscle fibres, which are responsible for improving speed and generating force. The happy side effect, if you’re not a pro athlete, is that targeting those muscle fibres will also help you to build muscle and burn fat.

How to do it

Follow the sets, reps and rest instructions for each move to get the maximum benefit. Do each workout once a week for four weeks, aiming to increase the amount you lift each week. And make sure you make a note of how much you lift in each session to keep yourself motivated