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Intermediate Muscle Building Workout

Average: 3.8 (126 votes)
3.8 5 126
Shock your muscle into growth by rotating this workout with your current routine. This workout hits each major muscle group twice per week.

Workout Summary

Main Goal:
Build Muscle
Workout Type:
Split
Training Level:
Intermediate
Days Per Week:
5
Equipment Required:
Barbell, Bodyweight, Cables, Dumbbells, EZ Bar, Machines
Target Gender:
Male & Female
Author:

Workout Description

Shock your muscle into growth by rotating this workout with your current routine. This workout hits each major muscle group twice per week. Monday is chest/triceps/shoulders, Tuesday is back/biceps, Wednesday heavy leg routine, Thursday is chest/triceps/shoulders and Friday is back/biceps. This workout is ideal for people stuck on a plateau. The change in routine will shock your muscles and when you change back to your original program your muscles will be shocked again.

Monday - Chest, Shoulders and Triceps
Chest
Exercise Sets Reps
Dumbbell Bench Press 3 10, 10, 8 (adding weight)
Incline Dumbbell Bench Press 3 10
Chest Dip 3 MAX
Triceps
Exercise Sets Reps
Lying Tricep Extension 3 8-10
One Arm Dumbbell Extension 3 10
Tricep Extension 3 10
Shoulders
Barbell Front Raise 4 12
Dumbbell Lateral Raise 4 15, 12, 8, 8 (adding weight)
Notes
None.
Tuesday - Back and Biceps
Back
Exercise Sets Reps
Wide Grip Pull Up 3 MAX
Lat Pull Down 3 10
Straight Arm Lat Pull Down 3 10
Machine Reverse Fly 3 10
Upright Row 3 8-10
Biceps
Exercise Sets Reps
Standing Barbell Curl 3 8-10
Preacher Curl 3 10
Incline Dumbbell Curl 3 10
Notes
None.
Wednesday - Legs
Quads, Glutes and Hamstrings
Exercise Sets Reps
Squat 4 10,10,8,8
Dumbbell Lunge 3 8 on each leg
45 Degree Leg Press 3 12
Leg Curl 3 15
Leg Extension 3 15
Calves
Exercise Sets Reps
Standing Calf Raise 5 10,8,8,8,6 (heavy)
Seated calf Raise 5 15 (light)
Notes
None.
Thursday - Chest, Triceps and Shoulders
Chest
Exercise Sets Reps
Barbell Bench Press 4 10, 10, 8, 6
Dumbbell Flys 3 10
Cable Crossovers 3 10
Triceps
Exercise Sets Reps
Close Grip Bench Press 4 10, 10, 8, 6
Lying Dumbbell Extension 3 10
Tricep Kickback 3 10
Shoulders
Seated Dumbbell Press 4 10, 10, 8, 8
One Arm Cable Lateral Raise 3 12
Notes
Every second week superset bench press and dumbbell flys.
Crossovers: Ultra slow rep timing with 2 second pause and squeeze at the top of the movement.
Friday - Back and Biceps
Back
Exercise Sets Reps
Seated Row 4 10
Bent Over Barbell Row 3 10
Bent Over Row 3 12
Smith Machine Upright Row 3 8-10
Biceps
Exercise Sets Reps
Cable Curl 4 8-10
Concentration Curl 3 10
Reverse Barbell Curl 3 10
Notess
None.

WEEKEND - REST AND RECOVER

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    Average: 3.8 (126 votes)
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Comments (298)

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June
Posted Sat, 05/22/2010 - 17:28

I've been on the intermediate muscle building workout for 2 months. Should I continue with this one or jump to something diff. I have noticed I haven't been getting bigger.

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Steve's picture
Steve
Posted Mon, 05/24/2010 - 08:58

Are you pushing for progression of weight on every set? And how many calories are you eating per day?

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Larry Ramos
Posted Thu, 02/10/2011 - 11:04

on the barbell workout for chest.can i stick with dumbbells or is it more effective to do barbell presses. i just like the explosiveness of the dumbbell presses, but i want the recommended work out to do what its designed to do..

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dreas romero
Posted Thu, 04/14/2011 - 00:48

ofcourse you switch it up, its called muscle confusion. muscles will adapt and plateu do some research my friend. noobs do the same workout weekly, crossfit, powerlifting, burnouts, circuits, cardio, strentght ... switch up reps weight amounts higher reps less weight, more weight lower reps (Strength)

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Tyler
Posted Wed, 12/05/2012 - 19:05

you don't have to switch up your exercise unless you'v been lifting for a long time, otherwise for begginners the only thing you need to do is increase weight and you'l get stronger

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Mike
Posted Mon, 05/24/2010 - 14:20

How many weeks should this routine be done while trying to break a plataeu. Is it ok to just go till failure while increasing the weight, I don't want to mess up my form. Also should I increase the weight on every exercise or just the ones told to?

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Steve
Posted Tue, 05/25/2010 - 11:03

I would try it for 2 to 3 weeks and then go back to your standard routine. And always try to increase weight.

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chris
Posted Wed, 05/26/2010 - 10:23

me and my friend have been doing this workout now for at least 1 month ,would it be ok to carry for 1-2 months and then go back to our old routine if so how long should we wait to come back to this routine ??

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Steve
Posted Wed, 05/26/2010 - 14:10

I would continue using this routine as long you are seeing results.

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Kevin
Posted Sun, 05/30/2010 - 17:05

Can this be run with cardio added to add muscle and still drop fat? I've done the 10 week mass and 8 week heavy lift program after that so know I want to cut but still add muscle. With heavy reps and cardio will this help cut. Calories will be limited to lean meats, fruits, vegetables and supplements. Thanks for any info!

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Steve
Posted Mon, 05/31/2010 - 10:11

It's virtually impossible to add muscle and lose fat at the same time. Doing cardio will help your overall conditioning, and keep your metabolism up, but to maximize muscle gain you will need to eat more then normal.

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Skinnyman
Posted Mon, 05/31/2010 - 16:12

What about your abs?

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Steve
Posted Tue, 06/01/2010 - 11:45

I would add in abs on whichever day(s) works best for you. And stick with your favorite ab exercises.

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Jerry
Posted Wed, 06/02/2010 - 15:48

I started going to the gym about a year ago, but i never really had a full week workout because i practice soccer. My idea is to gain more strength and tone my upper body during the summer... would this routine help?
Is it okay if i go run in the morning and do this in the afternoon warm up do the routine and complement with some ab exercises?

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Steve
Posted Wed, 06/02/2010 - 17:23

The key to adding strength and muscle (toning) is progression of weight and eating more then it takes to maintain your weight. This routine will work as long as you work hard. And it is ok to run in the morning. Just remember to eat :)

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chris
Posted Wed, 06/02/2010 - 16:50

How many meals a day would be sufficent to maximize muscle gain? I currently have 4.

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Steve
Posted Wed, 06/02/2010 - 17:24

You need to eat at least 30 to 40 grams of protein every 2.5 to 3 hours, and make sure you are eating more daily calories then is required to maintain your weight.

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Sam
Posted Thu, 06/03/2010 - 19:23

should i go back to my regular workout or can i keep using this one

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Denis
Posted Sun, 06/06/2010 - 00:52

In most of your sets it says to do around ten reps. However, if I plan on building muscle shouldn't I do around 6-8? Will the workout be as effective if I modify it to doing less reps?

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Steve
Posted Sun, 06/06/2010 - 10:15

The real key to building muscle is pushing for more weight and eating more then it takes to maintain your body weight. In general, staying between the 5 to 12 rep range is optimal for most. Rep range is merely a vehicle. It's continuously progression that drives muscle growth.

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kevin
Posted Tue, 06/08/2010 - 19:30

I have just started the workout, the monday routine woerked great for me thanks, the only question i have in the exercises with the 10,10,8,6 reps for 4 sets, the set includes 10 reps increase weight 10 reps and increase and so, or the first set are 10 reps the second 10 the third 8 ans so, cause the monday workout felt wonderful using the first option, am i following the instructions correctly? thanks

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Steve
Posted Wed, 06/09/2010 - 14:22

Yes, you are performing the workout correctly.

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Denis
Posted Tue, 06/08/2010 - 22:00

Thanks Steve. One more thing. Are the exercises that you have for each day supposed to be performed in the specific order you have listed or did you just put them down in no set order? Also, what if I can't do a certain exercise due to an previous injury? Can I replace it with something I can do or should I just not do it at all?

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Steve
Posted Wed, 06/09/2010 - 08:47

I would perform them in the order listed, if possible.

Regarding your injury, it is completely acceptable to work around an injury and change up a few exercises.

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Denis
Posted Thu, 06/10/2010 - 17:05

Thanks Steve. I also had a concern regarding protein intake. As far as I know, muscles need protein within a half hour after they are done working. So for example if I do a chest, triceps, and shoulder day, I take protein after the workout but it has already been close to an hour since I lifted chest because I do chest first. So wouldn't that be too long to wait to take the protein for the chest? Should I take some protein mid-workout or how does that work out?

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Steve
Posted Fri, 06/11/2010 - 08:59

Good question. Many take BCAAs or a BCAA product intra-workout, and they a whey shake ASAP post-workout. I recommend checking out the intra-workout products for more information on intra-workout nutrition:

http://www.muscleandstrength.com/store/category/intra-workout.html

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kevin
Posted Thu, 06/10/2010 - 19:07

thanks for the reply, so just to be sure (10,10,8,6)=1 set?

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Steve
Posted Thu, 06/10/2010 - 22:05

No that is 4 sets.

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KJ
Posted Sun, 06/13/2010 - 16:15

With 3 to 4 days of cardio added ,morning and night, would this be good for a cutting routine for a couple months. I push to failure and add weight to ALL SETS. Thanks this site is GREAT.

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Steve
Posted Sun, 06/13/2010 - 17:21

With a good cutting diet, your approach will work well.

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zico
Posted Mon, 06/14/2010 - 18:43

Good routine, except it seems a lot to fit in one day. Each day is averaging around 24-26 sets. I'm usually crunched with time, so how can I do a similar routine within 1 hour but still be effective? Even if I only rested 1 minute in btw sets I don't think I could fit that in an hour. Perhaps I can perform less sets per exercise? Or maybe perform less exercises per muscle group? Your advice is appreciated. Thanks!

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Steve
Posted Mon, 06/14/2010 - 18:46

I would consider dropping one exercise per bodypart.

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zico
Posted Mon, 06/14/2010 - 18:50

wow you reply fast. thank you for your help, steve. keep it up!

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Steve
Posted Mon, 06/14/2010 - 18:53

You're welcome!

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denis
Posted Sat, 06/19/2010 - 23:37

Hey Steve, I had a question about sets. Is it true that the more sets a person does, the more atrophy? How many sets per body part do you think is ideal for maximimum muscle gain?

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Steve
Posted Sun, 06/20/2010 - 20:06

Hi Denis,

On the average, I recommend 9 to 12 sets for major bodyparts like chest, and about 6 sets for minor bodyparts like biceps. As a natural, you do not need to perform high volume. it is best to stimulate the muscles with hard sets and heavy weight. Progression of weight is really key to gaining muscle mass.

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Will
Posted Sun, 06/27/2010 - 12:20

Hey Steve, I am weigh 180 pounds right now and im around 6'1. i am planning on starting your workout next week. i am very excited because this routine looks great! what is the key to major muscle growth? On the 3 x 10 excercises do I need to increase weigtht on the second and third sets? I amm confused about this. If you could help me i would be very grateful! thanks for your time, Will

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Steve
Posted Mon, 06/28/2010 - 13:29

Hi Will,

Beginners can gain up to 10 to 15 pounds of muscle their first year, which is a lot of muscle! Make sure you eat enough to gain about 2 pounds each month during your first year. You also want to eat at least 30 to 40 grams of protein every 2.5 to 3 hours.

Adding weight is also a big key. Always push yourself for more reps on every set, and when you can do the recommended number of reps for a set, add weight. Never waste a set.

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Guil
Posted Mon, 06/28/2010 - 18:04

Steve,

What is your recommended rest time in between sets and exercises?

Thanks,

Guil

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Steve
Posted Tue, 06/29/2010 - 14:51

Hi Guil,

I recommend 90 to 120 seconds between sets for most exercises, and 2 to 5 minutes between taxing heavy sets of squats, deadlifts, bench press, etc.

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John
Posted Wed, 06/30/2010 - 23:53

Hi steve,
I've worked out for about a year now as an intermediate. Im not really big at all but I have definitely been adding weight through my meal plan. I want body to get definied over the next couple of months, is this the right workout? and if not Can you please suggest me one that will help?
Thank You

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Steve
Posted Fri, 07/02/2010 - 12:58

Hi John,

Leaning out, or losing fat, is all about diet. You want to continue to lift hard and heavy while trying to cut fat, so really, any muscle building workout will serve you well.

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Jake Jenkings
Posted Thu, 07/01/2010 - 12:43

I have a medium size build 5'10 and weigh 205. I want to lose some body fat and build muscle. i was thinking about trying this program with about 30-45 minutes of cardio each morning. I have some fat around my stomach and chest i want to lose not sure if this would work for me.

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Steve
Posted Fri, 07/02/2010 - 13:02

Hi Jake,

It is very difficult to lose fat and gain muscle at the same time. I would recommend training hard for a month or two while on a cutting diet, and then after that, start to focus 100% on muscle building. For either cutting or gaining muscle, you want to train hard, and use a muscle building workout. This workout would serve you well.

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Jake
Posted Sat, 07/03/2010 - 11:09

Thanks for the information so, would you suggest a workout like this http://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/24-doug---s-5-day-high-definit... for a month or so with a cutting diet. Then use the muscle building work out. Were can I find information on a cutting diet?

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Steve
Posted Tue, 07/06/2010 - 14:54

Hi Jake,

That's a solid choice. I would post for help on the forum to get some advice on cutting diets.

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Jay
Posted Tue, 07/06/2010 - 00:22

Hi Steve, When you say always push for more reps isnt that bad for people who want to gain mass because i hear that if you want muscle mass, you should ideally train in the 6-8 rep range. If i push for more and do 14 for example, should i increase the weight so that i would be able to preform around 6-8?

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Steve
Posted Tue, 07/06/2010 - 14:56

Hi Jay,

When I recommend pushing for more reps, it means this:

If a set calls for 10 reps, when you can perform 10 reps, add weight. This will cause your rep total to dip down. Then you push for more reps until you hit 10 again.

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Todd
Posted Tue, 07/13/2010 - 19:12

How come they have shrugs on back days? Isn't that a shoulder exercise? I seem to have shoulder pain performing upright rows. Is there something effective I could replace it with? Shrugs?

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Steve
Posted Wed, 07/14/2010 - 13:50

Hi Todd,

Shrugs aren't listed in this workout.

Regarding upright rows, you could replace them with shrugs.

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