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Gain Mass Fast: 20 Week Program

How To Gain Mass Fast: 20 Week Quick Start Program

Average: 3.6 (81 votes)
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Build muscle as quickly as possible using this 20 week program that features 3 unique stages: neuromuscular adaptation, conditioning, and a maximization stage.

Workout Summary

Main Goal:
Build Muscle
Workout Type:
Full Body
Training Level:
Beginner
Days Per Week:
3
Equipment Required:
Barbell, Bodyweight, Dumbbells
Target Gender:
Male & Female
Author:

Workout Description

The problem: you're just starting and don't want to waste time in the gym. You want to build muscle as quickly as possible, and not fail like so many other beginners do.

The solution: a 20 week quick start program that takes you from point A to point Z, providing you with specific workout plans that will help you reach the level of success you are after.

This workout program features 3 specific stages:

Stage 1 - Neuromuscular Adaptation Stage. Weight is moderate. The focus during this 4 week stage is on learning the exercises, practicing proper form, and developing the habit of actually getting to the gym and not missing workouts. You will be working out only twice a week, but using the same workout each day.

Stage 2 - Conditioning and Building Stage. Another 4 week stage. You will be training 3 days per week, and learning how to push yourself properly on each exercise. Sets will be maximized and you will start to add strength and muscle at a quality rate.

Stage 3 - Maximizing Beginner Gains Stage. This is a 12 week stage that will have your working out 4 days per week. The format will be an upper/lower style of training. You will get as strong as possible in conventional muscle building rep ranges, and will never waste a set.

Maximizing Sets - Maximizing Progress

Stage 1 - This stage is a feeling out stage. Start with a moderately light weight and only add weight to an exercise when the sets feel relatively easy. Don't rush into weight additions. First and foremost you want to develop consistency and an understanding of exercise form. Once you hit a nice stride, then slowly add weight as you can.

Stage 2 - Using good form, start to focus on pushing sets for more and more reps. You do not want to train to failure, not perform reps with sloppy form. Add weight when you reach the recommended number of reps for a set.

Stage 3 - Push every set for as many reps as possible - no exceptions. Never waste a set. Stop each set when you feel like you might fail on the next rep, or when you form starts to slip. Add weight when you reach the recommended number of reps per set.

Stage 1

  • Monday - Workout A
  • Thursday - Workout A

Note: Days of the week are presented for example purposes only.

Stage 1
Workout A
Exercise Sets Reps
Squats 2 10
Bench Press 2 10
Stiff Leg Deadlift 2 10
Barbell Row 2 10
Military Press 2 10
Skullcrushers 2 10
Dumbbell Curls 2 10
Seated Calf Raises 2 10
Sit Ups 2 10

Stage 2

  • Monday - Workout A
  • Wednesday - Workout B
  • Friday - Workout C

Note: Days of the week are presented for example purposes only.

Stage 2
Workout A
Exercise Sets Reps
Squats 3 10
Bench Press 3 10
Leg Curls 3 10
Barbell Rows 3 10
Military Press 3 10
Skullcrushers 3 10
EZ Bar Preacher Curls 3 10
Seated Calf Raise 3 10
Sit Ups 3 10-25
Stage 2
Workout B
Exercise Sets Reps
Stiff Leg Deadlift 3 10
Leg Press 3 10
Dumbbell Flyes 3 10
Pull Ups or Lat Pull Down 3 10
Bent Over Reverse Dumbbell Flye 3 10
Dips 3 10
Hammer Curls 3 10
Dumbbell Shrugs 3 10
Dumbbell Side Bends 3 10
Stage 2
Workout C
Exercise Sets Reps
Squats 3 10
Incline Dumbbell Bench Press 3 10
Leg Curls 3 10
One Arm Dumbbell Row 3 10
Seated Arnold Press 3 10
Cable Tricep Extensions 3 10
Dumbbell Curls 3 10
Standing Calf Raises 3 10
Plank 3 60 sec

Stage 3

  • Monday - Workout A
  • Tuesday - Workout B
  • Thursday - Workout C
  • Friday - Workout D

Note: Days of the week are presented for example purposes only.

Stage 3
Workout A
Exercise Sets Reps
Squats 3 10
Leg Extensions 3 10
Leg Curls 3 10
Seated Calf Raises 3 15
Decline Weighted Sit Up 3 15-25
Barbell Shrugs 3 10
Stage 3
Workout B
Exercise Sets Reps
Bench Press 3 10
One Arm Dumbbell Row 3 10
Military Press 3 10
Dips or Cable Extensions 3 10
Pull Ups 3 AMAP
EZ Bar Curls 3 10
Stage 3
Workout C
Exercise Sets Reps
Stiff Leg Deadlift 3 10
Squats 2 15
Leg Press 3 15
Standing Calf Raises 3 15
Plank 3 60 sec
Dumbbell Shrugs 3 10
Stage 3
Workout D
Exercise Sets Reps
Incline Dumbbell Bench Press 3 10
Barbell Rows 3 10
Seated Arnold Press 3 10
Close Grip Bench Press 3 10
Pull Ups  3 AMAP
Seated Dumbbell Curls 3 10

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    Average: 3.6 (81 votes)
  • About The Author
    Ian Coleman has written over 150 articles on muscle building and fat loss, and is recognized as one of the most knowledgeable muscle building trainers on the planet.
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Comments (66)

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kevin
Posted Sat, 03/16/2013 - 10:07

can this page be sent to my email please.

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Serious??
Posted Sun, 06/16/2013 - 00:39

It's called CTRL + C, CTRL + V.
Your first mistake is that your expecting someone else to conquer the challenge for you...

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Fabio
Posted Sat, 03/16/2013 - 11:37

I haven't been to the gym in a couple months but I think it's time to get back at it. I'll br giving this workout a try.

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mat
Posted Sat, 03/16/2013 - 15:28

Thanks for the workout plan.

I am not a beginner (have been working for a couple of monthes and seen some changes). So instead of working 2 days on the first stage, do you recommend me to work 3 days and work 4 days on the next two stages?

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eric
Posted Sat, 03/16/2013 - 15:36

can i extend the stage 3 workouts as along as i want if i keep seeing good progress from it?

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abdelrahman
Posted Sat, 03/16/2013 - 16:38

Hey there, this routine looks fine but how could an intermediate gym rat use it? Does it go well if he starts with the second stage instead of the first? Can it be the last 16 weeks only for him?

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dan
Posted Sun, 03/17/2013 - 11:20

can you send this to my email please

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Chaitanya Kumar C.
Posted Mon, 03/18/2013 - 04:36

As i am undergoing first level certification in personal training. I want to know more tips on how to train a client, i mean to say the work out schedule for the basic, intermediate and advanced level clients.

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Amjed
Posted Tue, 03/19/2013 - 14:35

Can i do cardio in this program and when ??? help plzzz

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Joey's picture
Joey
Posted Tue, 03/19/2013 - 15:08

You certainly can -- whenever is convenient for you. I wouldn't do cardio before weight training however.

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Michial
Posted Fri, 03/22/2013 - 07:34

I just fill the days that I do not lift with good amounts of cardio, and do 10 minutes before and after my lifting to get the blood moving.

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Ramiro p
Posted Tue, 03/19/2013 - 15:56

Work out program

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jerry
Posted Thu, 03/21/2013 - 18:28

How do u know how many reps to do in this workout it doesn't say

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Steve's picture
Steve
Posted Thu, 03/28/2013 - 09:25

Reps are listed above in the workout chart.

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Shifty
Posted Sun, 03/24/2013 - 14:19

Is there a meal plan to go along with this? Not sure if its a good idea loading up on calories when only working out 2 days a week? Any advice is much appreciated!

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Steve's picture
Steve
Posted Thu, 03/28/2013 - 09:27

With strength gains in place the calorie recommendations will be fine. Remember that eating plans are merely starting points. You can make adjustments if gaining weight too rapidly.

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Tomasu
Posted Sun, 03/24/2013 - 21:06

Hi guys! I am looking into signing up for the gym in the next couple of weeks. I have done some weight training last year but only for a short time and havent lifted anything for more than 6 months...
I would call myself an Ectomorph and was wanting to ask if this routine would be ideal to use for the first 20 weeks at the gym, with good nutrition of up to 4000 calories/day. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Thanks

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Steve's picture
Steve
Posted Thu, 03/28/2013 - 09:28

Sure, this program will help you get on track.

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Brian Wong
Posted Tue, 03/26/2013 - 11:19

if I have been working out in a consistent basis for 1+ year already, can I go straight to stage 3 or at least stage 2? As I am sure I already develop a good habit to go to the gym (5 to 6 days a week). I am just looking for a program change.

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Steve's picture
Steve
Posted Thu, 03/28/2013 - 09:29

If you've been working out that long I would just run the third stage,

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shahab
Posted Fri, 03/29/2013 - 07:02

Hi guys! I am workout a year but I have not seen change in my body anybody help me

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victor wilczynski
Posted Sun, 03/31/2013 - 13:52

I'm a beginer. need to learn workouts.

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matt
Posted Mon, 04/01/2013 - 01:24

If your trying to build Lean muscle fast you still need rest days, your strength will build quicker but gains will be smaller

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John
Posted Tue, 04/02/2013 - 03:09

I used to lift regularly, but have been out of the game for a few years, so much of the muscle turned to blubber.

What are your thoughts on using something like A-Hd instead of creatine? Also, as long as I am downing enough protein, what are your thoughts on running a small caloric deficit (400ish) to lean out at the same time?

One question I never had an answer to - should I eat high protein on ads I don't lift? I always kept it higher, bt didn't emphasize it like I did on lift ads... Should I aim for 2x weight in protein grams everyday?

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John
Posted Tue, 04/02/2013 - 03:09

I used to lift regularly, but have been out of the game for a few years, so much of the muscle turned to blubber.

What are your thoughts on using something like A-Hd instead of creatine? Also, as long as I am downing enough protein, what are your thoughts on running a small caloric deficit (400ish) to lean out at the same time?

One question I never had an answer to - should I eat high protein on ads I don't lift? I always kept it higher, bt didn't emphasize it like I did on lift ads... Should I aim for 2x weight in protein grams everyday?

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John
Posted Tue, 04/02/2013 - 17:44

I used to lift regularly, but after law school, marriage and the kid, I realized that it's been 5 years since I last did regular 5 day-a-week workouts, and most of my muscle has turned into blubber.

This workout looks like a good way to jump back into the game. Do you have any thoughts on using A-HD instead of creatine? I never really had good success w/ creatine, so I'm wondering if I can replace it with something else.

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Tufail
Posted Wed, 04/03/2013 - 14:31

Hey Steve,
I perform this routine weekly
Monday Chest
Tuesday Fat loss
Wednesday Shoulder
Thursday Fat loss
Friday Arms
Saturday Fat Loss
Sunday Rest
Will this routine will work for me to build my muscle quick as possible?

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Dom
Posted Tue, 09/10/2013 - 08:04

you might want to add legs to your routine if you want to build muscle quickly buddy, do legs on your Saturday "Fat Loss Day" then rest on sunday.

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Strider
Posted Fri, 04/05/2013 - 03:50

I'm newly starting gym. Want to lose flabby stomach and build decent frame. will this workout be okay or do I need to do something else? Thanks steve.

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Tufail
Posted Sat, 04/06/2013 - 17:47

plz can you tell me best fat loss routine, thank you

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Steve's picture
Steve
Posted Mon, 04/08/2013 - 22:17

Honestly the best fat loss program is a good eating plan.

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Tufail
Posted Thu, 04/25/2013 - 17:20

Steve Plz Help me
My right arm (Bicep,Tricep,Shoulder) is gaining mass faster than left arm
what should i do?
My Workout are
ARMS The Big Arm Routine
Shoulder The Coconut Shoulder Routine
Chest High Intensity Chest Blaster
PLZ HELP THANK YOU

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Dom
Posted Tue, 09/10/2013 - 08:08

70% diet and 30% exercise is great, I find the better I eat the less exercise I need to maintain an optimum Fitness level.

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Muaaz Tariq
Posted Sun, 04/14/2013 - 02:59

I'm 14 years old and I never worked out before. I was just wondering if this workout plan is good for me and maybe a meal plan to go with it because I'm really skinny.

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Samer
Posted Tue, 04/16/2013 - 08:30

Hi
In stage 2-3
if I left 200 lbs in the first set 10 rep can i use the same weight to do the second and the third set or should i add weight every set.

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Oliver
Posted Sat, 04/20/2013 - 06:58

I'm struggling with putting together a correct eating program. I'm on Stage 3 and 24 years old. Any tips?

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lio
Posted Sat, 04/20/2013 - 08:06

when should i start taking the Recommended supplements for this workout ?

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lio
Posted Sat, 04/20/2013 - 08:08

when should i start taking the Recommended supplements for this workout ?

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Oliver
Posted Sun, 04/21/2013 - 05:45

Hi,
I was wondering if you could give me a few tips on developping a good eating program to go with this workout? Its the aspect I'm really struggling with. I'm currently on Stage 3. Cheers

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Andres A.
Posted Tue, 04/23/2013 - 04:46

hey steve,
Im doing this workout plan, and i was wondering how long should i rest in between sets?

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mari
Posted Tue, 04/23/2013 - 22:00

Request to administer the site
Can I copy this program with Download Photos exercises

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Brian
Posted Thu, 04/25/2013 - 12:29

I am in my third week of this program...skipped stage A since I already exercise on a regular basis and started with stage B. Only a week to go and then I am on to stage C. Thus far I have seen a difference - my shoulders, back, arms and chest are getting bigger. Found I really have to concentrate on getting enough calories and protein to supplement - I am a small guy but with the right eating habits and really hitting the gym hard I am starting to see results! Thanks for the help!

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Enzo
Posted Fri, 05/03/2013 - 03:49

I used to have a great body before, but I stopped going to the gym for about 2 yrs and now my muscles have shrinked already. I am not that fat but I now have a big tummy. If I get back to the gym and use this program, can I have my body sculpted? I really wanna have a lean body and I'm hoping if this program can give it to me?

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Mike
Posted Mon, 05/06/2013 - 11:09

I also haven't gone to the gym in about 2 years but but was quite into it then and when to the gym a least 4 times a week. Would it be beneficial to start this program from scratch in order to get back into the gym routine and get my muscles growing again? Furthermore, if I do this program and complete it, should I and could I move on to an intermediate program such as "Steve's Density And Strength 4 Day Split" http://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/steves-density-and-strength-4-... ?

Thanks

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Salif
Posted Wed, 05/08/2013 - 13:53

Hi Steve,
I'am working on the second stage and i want to know if the table with sets and reps is what i have to do or if it's just an indication ? Should i increase weight or reps or sets ?

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Luigi
Posted Thu, 05/09/2013 - 00:03

what is the recommended diet plan for this??

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Zac
Posted Sun, 05/19/2013 - 20:25

hey,
I have been working out off and on for quite a while now and have made reasonable strength gains, but I am still yet to master perfect form with a couple of these exercises like the bent over row and stiff leg deadlift.
Do you suggest i begin this program at stage 1 and focus working on the form using lighter weight just because Im not confident with one or two of the exercises? or just jump into stage 2?

Thanks

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J-DoggyStyl
Posted Tue, 05/21/2013 - 16:54

This workout sucks, im a real big boyyyyy

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Katharine
Posted Fri, 05/24/2013 - 14:23

Can you please give me some guidelines to the amount of weight I should be starting out lifting for this plan? I'm completely new to working out with weights and would appreciate the advice. I'm female, 100lb, reasonably fit but looking to build muscle. Thanks.

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Tneg
Posted Sun, 06/02/2013 - 05:09

What's with the comment dislikes anyway?? that's weak!

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