In today’s society, people with muscular physiques tend to be glorified. As a result, people are inspired to work out and get lean. This is easier said than done. There are a lot of things that can get in the way of this plan. The most obvious are your dietary habits and workout consistency. One lesser-known yet highly impactful aspect is working out with a realistic bodybuilding workout plan. It would be sad if you wasted your time with an unproductive strength training plan. For this reason, we would like to present you with a practical 6 week workout plan to gain muscle. Check it out!
The Workout Plan
The following workout plan is a 4-day split. This means that you will perform four circuits on four different days of the week, each targeting different muscle groups. All the workouts are muscle-strengthening exercises. Here are other crucial aspects of the workout plan that you should know:
As mentioned earlier, the workout plan is for gaining muscle. It best suits individuals who want to build muscle mass and strength.
You can follow this routine for the next six weeks or more. That said, we must warn you that you will likely hit a workout plateau if you follow this plan for a long time. Instead, try a new muscle building training style if you happen to find your body getting accustomed to the routine.
You will realize that every exercise has several suggested repetitions (reps) and sets. This is because we want you to attain a balance between the weights and number of reps. Typically, most of our reps lie between 10 and 12 to help maximize hypertrophy.
According To Health Harvard, this range is enough to give your muscles a challenge (4). However, if you want to increase the intensity of the workout, you can increase the reps.
The following routine best suits individuals in the intermediate fitness level. It may not suit beginners as it incorporates weights and some intense exercise variations. On the other hand, it may not suit advanced weight lifters as the exercises may be too light.
Time Per Workout Session
The workout session is designed to last anywhere between 30 and 45 minutes. It may last longer than this if you get longer breaks or perform more reps or sets.
We urge you to keep the resting periods during the workout between thirty and sixty seconds at most. Our routine also requires you to exercise for four days and rest on the other days of the week.
When crafting this 4-day split, our aim was also to prevent you from overdoing the workout and to give your muscles enough time to recover. We urge you to rest and not perform any other exercise during the three days. This will give you plenty of time to recover from fatigue and muscle soreness.
Of course this routine will incorporate equipment as it is a weight training program. Just to remind you, weight training is a type of strength training performed for increased muscle strength and size.
The routine is best to be performed in a gym. Here, you will have access to all the machines and weights required to complete this workout plan. Do not follow this program if you have knee problems and injuries and have not consulted with a doctor.
The Workout Schedule And Circuits
The following 6 week workout plan is set up as a split routine and segmented into different circuits. This approach will help target every muscle and burn fat throughout your body. It is for this reason that this program is also considered to be an effective full-body workout plan with equipment. But, first, take a look at the schedule:
- Monday: Day 1
- Tuesday: Day 2
- Wednesday: Rest
- Thursday: Day 3
- Friday: Day 4:
- Saturday: Rest
- Sunday: Rest
Day 1 Circuit
We kick off this program with a thorough leg workout plan that targets your quads, calves, hamstrings, and adductors. The exercises in the circuit will help tone, sculpt and increase leg mass and strength. The exercises are as follows:
- Leg presses (Reps: 10-12, Sets: 3)
- Seated calf raises (Reps: 12-15, Sets: 3)
- Glute bridge with alternating leg raises using a resistance band (Reps: 10-12, Sets: 3)
- Resistance band leg lifts (Reps: 12-15, Sets: 2)
- Hamstring curls (Reps: 10-12, Sets: 2)
- Romanian deadlift (Reps: 10-12, Sets: 2)
- Bulgarian split squat (Reps: 12-15 Sets: 2)
- Dumbbell step-ups (Reps: 10-12, Sets: 3)
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Day 2 Circuit
Target: Chest And Biceps
These are some of the most intimidating areas when you are looking to build muscle. However, this is only if you are familiar with the best chest and triceps muscle-building exercises. We have incorporated the best of these workouts and they are as follows:
- Incline Bench Press (Reps: 10-12, Sets: 2)
- Close grip cable press (Reps: 12-15, Sets: 2)
- Crossbody hammer curls (Reps: 10-12, Sets: 3)
- Cable pec fly (Reps: 10-12, Sets: 4)
- Close grip EZ bar curls (Reps: 12-15, Sets: 3)
- Machine preacher curls (Reps: 10-12, Sets: 3)
- Flat dumbbell chest presses (Reps: 12-15, Sets: 2)
- Upright triceps row (Reps: 10-12, Sets: 3)
Day 3 Circuit
You also need to pay attention to your back as you also tone other muscles. The idea is to melt back fat and fix your posture, especially because you incorporate weights in this routine. Training your back will also help prevent injury or reduce injury risk. Below are the exercises to perform in this circuit:
- Superman (Reps: 10-12, Sets: 2)
- Dumbbell single-arm row (Reps: 10-12, Sets: 2)
- Chest-supported dumbbell row (Reps: 10-12, Sets: 3)
- Kettlebell swings (Reps: 12-15, Sets: 2)
- Barbell bent-over row (Reps: 10-12, Sets: 2)
- Barbell deadlift (Reps: 10-12, Sets: 2)
- Lat pulldowns (Reps: 10-12, Sets: 3)
- Inverted row (Reps: 10-12, Sets: 2)
Day 4 Circuit
Target: Shoulders And Triceps
Well-toned shoulders and triceps define a muscular physique. You cannot aim at getting lean and fail to work out these two critical areas. Below are the shoulder and triceps exercises we have compiled to boost muscle growth and size:
- Overhead dumbbell triceps extension (Reps: 10-12, Sets: 2)
- Standing cable lateral raise (Reps: 10-12 per arm, Sets: 2)
- Bent over lateral raise (Reps: 12-15, Sets: 2)
- Standing dumbbell shrugs (Reps: 10-12, Sets: 2)
- Single-arm reverse grip cable press down (Reps: 10-12 per arm, Sets: 2)
- Dumbbell shoulder press (Reps: 10-12, Sets: 3)
- Rear deltoid raise with power form (Reps: 10-12, Sets: 2)
- Dumbbell triceps pullovers (Reps: 10-12, Sets: 3)
Why Perform This 6-Week Workout Plan To Gain Muscle?
We understand that there are loads of muscle-building workout plans online that you can choose to follow to build lean muscle. That said, follow this one based on the following benefits it brings to the table:
Increased Muscle Mass And Strength
Of course, the first benefit you will reap from this workout plan is added muscle size and strength. You will build muscle more than ever using this program. The advantage of added muscle strength is improved balance, mobility, and stamina.
Reduced Diabetes Risk
Training using this routine will also help reduce your diabetes risk. According to a 2012 study conducted by Health Harvard, weight training was found to help lower the participants’ risk of diabetes as compared with those who performed other activities or none (4). The rationale behind this is that weight lifting for increased muscle reduces blood sugar levels and controls weight (4). These are the significant risk factors of diabetes.
Reduced Osteoporosis Risk
Osteoporosis is a condition that causes the bones to become brittle and weak to the point that a fall or mild bend may result in a fracture (5). It affects both genders and of all races. The following muscle building plan increases bone mass and helps reduce osteoporosis risk.
This 6 week workout plan to gain muscle can also help with weight loss as it helps you burn calories. As you increase its intensity, you burn more calories, which might help prompt weight loss. Remember that the number of calories is influenced by your age, gender, and weight.
For instance, WebMD acknowledges that a 155-pound individual burns roughly 198 calories participating in low-impact aerobic exercise for thirty minutes (1). You may see weight changes at a different time than another individual also following this exercise program.
Increased Metabolic Rate
One of the benefits of strength training is increased metabolic rate. Fitness experts have stated that when you lose skeletal muscle, your resting metabolic rate reduces. As a result, you have a higher risk of becoming overweight or acquiring obesity (3).
Boosted Life Span
Performing this exercise program regularly can also help you live longer by reducing your risk of life-threatening diseases like cancer. According to WebMD, an individual is advised to exercise at least 150 minutes a week when doing moderate exercise and 75 minutes for vigorous activities (1). This workout plan is vigorous and meets the target minutes (30 minutes x 4 days =120 minutes).
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How Long Will It Take To Build Muscle?
When you are following this or other muscle-building workout plans, you will face this question. Like it or not, you cannot escape it since followers often want reassurance that the program they are using will help them build muscle fast.
It will take you several weeks or even months of consistent training using this strength training routine to notice some muscle changes. Here are some facts about muscle development:
- Younger individuals will build muscle faster than seniors. According to Medical News Today, this is because as you age, you lose muscle mass. This means that gaining muscle will be more challenging than for youngsters who are yet to lose theirs (2).
- Muscle mass development rate will depend on the muscle you had before starting a strength training program. The more muscle you have, the more muscle changes you will notice during your training (2).
- Men will build muscle faster than women. Experts state that muscle mass and strength development is faster in men because of higher testosterone levels. Testosterone helps with muscle formation (2). Women take longer than men because they also have shorter muscle fibers that decrease muscle strength (2).
In light of this, we urge you to be patient with your body and follow the program religiously. The more you challenge your body, the more your muscles grow in size and strength.
The Bottom Line
The following 6 week workout plan to gain muscle can help any individual in the intermediate level build muscle size and mass. It is a 4-day split plan that targets your legs, back, shoulders and triceps, and chest and biceps on different days.
You can expect to see muscle changes after several weeks or months of regularly doing these workouts. We recommend you talk to your doctor and trainer first before giving this program a shot. Once you do, please tell us what you think of it in the comment section. Good luck!
Check out this 20-min Full Body Workout at Home.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on for decision-making. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- Health benefits of Exercise (2021, webmd.com)
- How long does it take to build muscle? (2018, medicalnewstoday.com)
- Increasing Lean Mass and Strength: A Comparison of High Frequency Strength Training to Lower Frequency Strength Training (2016, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Lift weights to build muscle (2017, healthharvard.edu)
- Osteoporosis (2021, mayoclinic.org)