Phase Training Pt.1: 5 Week Primer Workout for Muscle Size

Welcome to phase training, where you'll change your workouts every so often to keep things interesting. This phase is for those looking to build muscle!

Workout Summary

Build Muscle
Split
Beginner
5 weeks
3
45-60 minutes
Barbell, Bodyweight, Cables, Dumbbells, EZ Bar, Machines
Male
download pdfDownload Workout

Workout Description

When it comes to just about anything that’s not working in your life, a small change can have a big impact.

That’s especially true when it comes to weight training, and change is something that should happen more frequently than it does for most trainees.

Some people go several months or an entire year on the same routine, but you can pretty much guarantee those are the people complaining about stalled gains and no motivation to train.

One of the easiest ways to change up your routine and break out of the monotony to keep the gains going is by utilizing periodic phase training.

The simplest way to use phase training is to break it up into four to six-week training schedules.

You can set up multiple phases, but a two-phase routine is a great way to start, so here’s a quick and easy way to break out of the boredom and start gaining again.

100% Pure Titanium Whey Shop Now!

Phase 1: Priming for Size

First things first… If you’ve been training for a long time with medium to high intensity and no breaks, start by taking a full deload week of lower intensity. You can simply decrease the amount of weight you’ve been using and stop your sets short of reaching failure. This will give your nervous system time to recuperate, as there’s a good chance that’s what’s put your gains on pause.

This first part of this simple-to-follow phase-training routine will be a five-week phase that will prime you up for max gains during the second phase. This first five weeks will be based on big, basic exercises and a three-days-per-week program. After the first five-week phase, take a one-week downshift to reduce the intensity and prepare for Phase 2.

Monday

Exercise Sets Reps
1. Squats* 2 6-9
2. Leg Extensions 1 8-10
3. Stiff-Legged Deadlifts* 2 6-9
4. Leg Curls 1 8-10
5. Bench Press* 2 6-9
6. Crossover 1 8-10
7. Incline Press 2 6-9
8. Pull Down* 2 6-9
9. Bent Over Row 2 6-9
10. Dumbbell Press* 2 6-9
11. Upright Row 1 8-10

Wednesday

Exercise Sets Reps
1. Deadlifts* 2 6-9
2. Calf Raises 2 10-12
3. Lying Tricep Extensions* 2 6-9
4. Barbell Curls* 2 6-9
5. Wrist Curls 1 10-12
6. Hammer Curls 1 8-10
7. Hanging Knee Ups 2 10-12
8. Crunches 1 10-12

Friday

Exercise Sets Reps
1. Squats* 2 6-9
2. Leg Extensions 1 8-10
3. Leg Curls 1 6-9
4. Seated Calf Raises 2 10-12
5. Bench Press* 2 6-9
6. Crossover 1 8-10
7. Incline Press 2 6-9
8. Chin Ups 2 6-9
9. Bent Over Row 1 8-10
10. Dumbbell Press 2 6-9
11. Upright Row 1 8-10

*Do 1-2 warm-up sets on the big exercises, doing around 10 reps with about half of your work weight or slightly more. Train to failure on work sets, adding weight whenever you’re able to go beyond the listed rep count.

Note: After this size-priming phase, you’ll probably feel motivated to keep going at 100%, so it will be tough to turn that motivation down, but the medium-intensity week in between phases will rejuvenate your nervous system for the final five weeks of all-out training intensity. The low- to medium-intensity week is also a built-in change-to-gain method that just happens to get you totally refreshed and ready to trigger massive muscle gains.

For your medium-intensity week before going into the next phase, you can either start phase two with light weights to get a feel for the routine, or you can continue with this routine but use heavy weights with low reps…

How is heavy training considered medium intensity?! Well, heavy weight and low reps are hard work, but they simply don’t tax the muscles in the same way because your nervous system quits earlier.

With this sort of phase training combined with proper nutrition, it’s not unusual to hear reports of people gaining several pounds of muscle after a couple rounds. Keep in mind, this first phase will likely bring on some good strength gains coupled with decent size gains, but be patient. You’re not necessarily recruiting all your muscle fibers yet, as this is a way to prime you up for some serious muscle-size gains in Phase 2.

17 Comments+ Post Comment

No Profile Pic
Posted Wed, 05/09/2018 - 10:52
Joe

Hi. Couple questions.

1. Is it ok to go for runs on off-days? Or is that counter-productive to lower-body muscle gains?
2. My gym is always so crowded. Is it ok to do the exercises out of the listed order?
3. Is it ok to add other lifts or calisthenics/dips/pullups/pushups to the workout? Or is that doing too much and overexerting?

Thanks

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Wed, 05/09/2018 - 11:05
JoshEngland

Hi Joe,

1. Yes, that is fine.

2. Yes, that is fine.

3. I wouldn't recommend it, but if you feel it is needed - go for it!

Hope this helps!

No Profile Pic
Posted Sat, 03/24/2018 - 15:04
ehsan

i have been going gym for 3 months and now i want to start with your plan because during last 3 months i didnt have so much plan to work out and now i want to bun fat and gain muscle but i want to know what do you recommend for fat burn or protein to use during this time?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 03/26/2018 - 09:28
JoshEngland

Hi ehsan,

Recommended supplements are listed in the program description at the top of this workout page.

Hope this helps!

No Profile Pic
Posted Sun, 03/18/2018 - 13:09
Jaime Flores

Where is phase two?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 03/19/2018 - 09:03
JoshEngland

Hi Jaime,

Set to be published this Thursday. :)

No Profile Pic
Posted Tue, 03/20/2018 - 13:41
Jaime Flores

Thank you for the heads up!

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Tue, 03/20/2018 - 15:26
JoshEngland

You're welcome! :)

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Thu, 03/22/2018 - 10:10
JoshEngland
No Profile Pic
Posted Fri, 03/09/2018 - 12:19
ZAIN

There is no information about rest timing between sets......

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Fri, 03/09/2018 - 16:45
JoshEngland

Hi Zain,

For hypertrophy rep ranges such as these, rest for 30-60 seconds in between sets and exercises.

Hope this helps!

No Profile Pic
Posted Wed, 02/28/2018 - 17:54
Josue Garcia

I’ve got another question, what about cardio? Is cardio avoided?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Thu, 03/01/2018 - 09:18
JoshEngland

Hi Josue,

You can perform cardio if you wish. I always recommend folks do some sort of cardio, even if it means only low intensity walks during the course of the week. The form and amount can be based on your own personaly preferences. So long as you're performing cardio, you'll experience the cardiovascular improvements and benefits associated with cardiovascular exercise.

Hope this helps!

No Profile Pic
Posted Wed, 02/21/2018 - 15:47
Josue Garcia

I’m finishing up a 12 week workout program and this looks great but where’s part 2? Would be great if it was uploaded. Thanks again guys

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Wed, 02/21/2018 - 15:50
JoshEngland

Hi Josue,

Part 2 will be released next month. Stay tuned!

No Profile Pic
Posted Wed, 02/21/2018 - 22:21
Josue Garcia

Oh, awesome! Thank you!

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Thu, 03/22/2018 - 10:10
JoshEngland