Phase Training Pt. 2: 5 Week Workout to Build 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
4
45-60 minutes
Barbell, Bodyweight, Cables, Dumbbells, Machines
Male & Female
download pdfDownload Workout

Workout Description

Now that you’ve wrapped up the first part of this phase-training program, you’re probably amped up to start putting on some serious size.

Chances are high that you gained a bit of muscle during the five weeks of your size-priming phase, but now is when the real muscle-building fun begins…

Phase 1 was a priming phase that laid the groundwork for Phase 2, so now it’s time to change things up and bring in some full range-of-motion training and increased muscle fiber recruitment to get the real gains going.

If you feel like you’re ready to attack Phase 2 with full force, try to hold your horses a bit… It might sound counterintuitive to slow down when your motivation is this high, but it’s a good idea to take a deload week of medium-intensity training before jumping into the size-building phase.

As we mentioned in Phase 1, for a medium-intensity week, you can use heavy weights and low reps—stopping short of failure, or you can lighten up the weights for slightly longer tension times.

Either way, you want to let your nervous system recover.

The Phase 2 routine is another five weeks, but this time you’ll be training every other day with slightly more volume and with full-range exercises for every major body part. Let the gains begin…

Phase 2: Building Muscle Size

Workout 1

Exercise Sets Reps
1. Squats* 2 6-9
2. Sissy Squats 1 10
3. Leg Extensions 1 8-10
4. Stiff-Legged Deadlifts* 2 6-9
5. Leg Curls 1 8-10
6. Standing Calf Raises 2 8-10
7. Donkey Calf Raises 1 8-10
8. Seated Calf Raises 1 8-10
9. Incline Bench Press* 2 6-9
10. Incline Flyes 1 8-10
11. Bench Press 2 6-9
12. Cable Crossovers 1 8-10
13. Lying Triceps Extensions* 2 6-9
14. Overhead Extensions 1 8-10
15. Rope Pushdown 1 8-10

Workout 2

Exercise Sets Reps
1. Pull Downs* 2 6-9
2. Dumbbell Pullovers 1 8-10
3. Reverse Grip Pull Downs 1 8-10
4. Cable Rows 2 6-9
5. Bent Over Lateral Raise 1 8-10
6. Shrugs 2 8-10
7. Standing Dumbbell Press* 2 6-9
8. Side Lying Rear Delt Fly 1 8-10
9. Lateral Raise 1 8-10
10. Barbell Curls* 2 6-9
11. Incline Curls 1 10-12
12. Spider Curls 1 8-10
13. Hanging Knee Raise 2 10-12
14. Ab Crunch 2 10-12

*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.

Notes on Phase 2

  • Although one to two sets per exercise may not sound like a lot, it allows you to put in 100% effort on all sets.
  • Use a medium-speed rep cadence of approximately two seconds on the negative/eccentric and approximately one second on the positive/concentric. Controlled reps allow you to feel the muscles working for better mind-muscle connection, and this cadence will help maintain a decent amount of time under tension.
  • Keep rest periods between sets at 40-60 seconds maximum. This will help with muscle fiber recruitment while also making sure your workouts don’t go too long.
  • Train every other day on this routine if possible. Yes, that will mean one weekend day every week. If you can’t do that, you can take weekends off, but start back the next week with the next workout in series (if you do Workout 1 on Friday, continue with Workout 2 on Monday). You’ll likely get the best gains by training every other day with this routine, however, and remember that it’s just five weeks.

Once you’ve finished the five size-building weeks of Phase 2, you can either go back and do Phase 1 again, repeat Phase 2 with some variation, or pick a whole new workout routine.

Just remember to change your training routine every 4-6 weeks to keep moving forward and avoid stagnation or boredom.

9 Comments+ Post Comment

No Profile Pic
Posted Sat, 04/14/2018 - 09:31
dannyboy

can I substitute the squats for a leg press instead? I ask because I have suspected acl damage, broken piece of cartilage and crepitus in my knee (MRI next week). One of the problems i have is that my left knee tends to hyper-extend so badly that it can bounce forward again and collapse my leg under me, so i really do not want 40 or 50 Kgs on my shoulders when this happens.

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 04/16/2018 - 09:31
JoshEngland

Hi Dannyboy,

Tough to recommend this sub without working with you in person. Whenever a prior injury is involved, I always recommend seeking out the advice of a personal trainer in person. They'll be able to view your movement patterns and suggest the right substitution.

Hope this helps!

No Profile Pic
Posted Tue, 04/17/2018 - 11:38
dannyboy

thanks for the reply I will have a word with one of the trainers up the gym,
I did the 1st day of this phase today all I can say is owwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww! great workout, I really felt it afterwards.

No Profile Pic
Posted Wed, 03/28/2018 - 01:09
Josue Garcia

So to clear things up, it’s every other day; meaning Monday - workout 1, Wednesday - workout 2, Friday - workout 1 and Sunday - workout 2; is that right?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Wed, 03/28/2018 - 09:15
JoshEngland

Hi Josue,

Yep! That's correct.

Hope this helps!

No Profile Pic
Posted Sun, 03/25/2018 - 00:22
dannyboy

thanks for posting this, i have a couple of questions though. i train 6 days a week so can i do a mon, tues workout, wed cardio, thurs, fri workout, sat cardio, sun rest. or do i need to have a rest day between workouts? also am i doing too much cardio? at the moment i have just finished week 2, of phase 1 5 week primer workout. i am doing cardio workouts that burn over 2000 calories, 3 times a week and doing a 1/2 cardio workout ( over 1000 cals) on phase training days. i have decided to stop doing cardio on phase training days but am i still doing too much cardio? i ask because i am getting looks and comments at my gym along the lines of "you have a dry patch on your clothes, you need to work out more". due to a knee injury i can only use certain machines but i am doing 60-70 km a day, 3 times a week at the minute.

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 03/26/2018 - 08:58
JoshEngland

Hi dannyboy,

Sweat is not a good indicator of your training intensity. Some people sweat more than others. They're probably just joking with you.

I'd recommend reading this: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/articles/7-habits-highly-motivated-and...

Figure out what you're trying to accomplish with your workouts. It sounds like you don't have a complete goal at mind to me. If your goal is to build muscle, lower the cardio training or increase your calorie intake.

Hope this helps!

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 04/02/2018 - 10:06
JoshEngland

Hi dannyboy,

Glad to hear your recovery is going well and you're making progress in the gym!

The Captain America workout is a solid option for after this phase.

Then you could go into the Upper/Lower 4 Day Gym Bodybuilding Split.

That'd be a solid way to progress.

Hope this helps! Keep it up!

No Profile Pic
Posted Sat, 03/31/2018 - 12:25
dannyboy

thanks for the reply and the advice, i do have a goal in mind i think i am just in transition at the minute from weight loss to muscle gain. after finally getting over a long illness (18 month) i did 3 months of pure cardio to get rid of the fat i built up being unable to exercise. could you suggest a workout to do after i complete this one with muscle gain in mind? i want the capt. America physique and i see there is a workout for that. can i jump to that after completing this or would you recommend another beginner level workout, such as the Upper/Lower 4 Day Gym Bodybuilding Split Workout?