The new year has come and gone. The time has come to focus on building muscle and meeting your fitness goals. The question remains, however – how will you meet your goals? Do you want to work at a gym or at home? Do you want a lifelong program or something that lasts three to four weeks? Whatever your goals, these five workout plans will help you design a program that works for your body so you can build muscle.
1. Hot and Heavy Weight Lifting
This four-week program is perhaps the most intense on our list. The first two weeks involve heavy lifting and building exercises, while the second two weeks focus on boosting intensity.
During the first two weeks, use machines at the gym that focus on large muscle groups, including your chest, back, shoulders, and quads. You’ll also want to focus on two or three smaller muscle groups, including your calves and abs. Design a workout that involves ten sets often for each muscle group. That means five or six hundred reps per workout.
During the second two weeks, begin to raise your reps each day. At some point during these two weeks, you will hit significant fatigue. When this happens, start splitting your workouts into one large muscle group and one small muscle group per session.
Because of the workout intensity and the expectation for fast results, we highly suggest you use weight lifting belt equipment to keep from straining your lower back.
2. The Three Day Exchange Program
This program can be interchanged as you see fit. You’ll have three workout routines in your pocket. We suggest doing a different workout every other day for several weeks. Explore each workout and set weights and repetitions based on your goals.
The first workout should focus on an incline dumbbell press with multiple different inclines and weights, bent-over lateral raises, and weighted Swiss ball crunches.
The second workout should focus on bent-over rows, dumbbell step-ups, and reverse crunches. This is the least heavy of the routines.
The final workout should focus on dumbbell bench presses, dumbbell curls, dumbbell seated shoulder presses, and chin-ups. This is the heaviest of the three routines.
3. ABC Home Workout
This intense workout can be done in the comfort of your own home. Repeat the process as many times as you’d like throughout the week. Three to four times per week will elicit the best results. Remember that proper muscle building requires days for your muscles to heal in between workouts.
The first series of exercises (Group A) includes squat jumps, pushups, and pull-ups. The second series of exercises (Group B) includes squats, more pushups, and spiderman crawling. The third series (Group C) requires alternating side planks and burpees.
Again – keep in mind that you should set repetitions based on your current capabilities. Slowly increase these repetitions over time as you begin to feel more comfortable.
4. The Natural Program
This habit-improving program focuses on more than exercise. It also focuses on a healthy diet, training habits, and lifelong changes you can make to meet your fitness goals. It advises that muscle builders train for less than an hour, keeping exercises intense and short. In addition, the program discourages supplements, with the insistence that proper muscle building is natural.
If you take part in this program, you should also focus on the importance of caloric intake and the nutrients you eat on a daily basis. Poor eating habits usually result in poor muscle-building habits.
Essentially, when using this program, you’ll want to design a workout routine that focuses on the muscles you’d like to build. From there, eat plenty of vegetables, rice, chicken, and protein shakes. Spend three to four days at the gym each week, working on the muscles you want to see improved. Focus on lifelong habits – not short-term results.
5. Work With a Personal Trainer
If none of these routines sound like they will help you achieve your desired goals, you should consider working with a personal trainer. The vast majority of gym memberships include access to these trainers, who will help design a program that works for your specific goals and needs. Everyone has different muscles, body types, and focuses. Instead of trying to cookie-cutter your way into a workout that you’ve seen on TV – try tailoring your exercises to your lifestyle.
Between these five programs, you’ll be a muscle-building superstar in no time. Remember to stay safe, eat healthily and work hard.
Author Nancy Moore