The Next Step: 6 Week Intermediate Mass Building Workout

Have you finished all 3 phases of the "Start from Scratch Beginners Program"? Well this intermediate mass building workout is the next logical step!

Workout Summary

Build Muscle
6 weeks
45-60 minutes
Barbell, Bodyweight, Cables, Dumbbells, Machines
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Workout Description

If you dedicated yourself to getting through Phase 1, Phase 2, and Phase 3 of our Complete Beginner’s Program, then you’ve built a solid foundation and should be ready to take things to the next level.

Our Intermediate Mass Workout is the perfect get big solution.

Now that you’ve built some strength, developed good exercise form, have seen some decent muscle gains, and have hopefully developed some good eating habits, it’s time to turn on the muscle building afterburners.

Intermediate Bodybuilding Mass Workout Routine

As with our three-phase beginner’s program (which can also be used for a comeback after a layoff), even though you’re a bit more advanced now, a little downturn can do wonders for recovery. You don’t need to take a full week off from training, but a couple of days off or a week of low to medium intensity training with some extra recovery time should get you fully prepared to move into this program.

This routine is a four-day split with a few options as to how you break it down (listed below the routine).

Each workout will be slightly less volume than Phase 3 of the “beginner’s” program, but that will allow you to focus more on the target muscles and exercises to keep your intensity at full tilt.

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Intermediate Workout Day 1 

Exercise Sets Reps
1. Squats* 3 8-12
2. Hack Squats 3 8-12
3. Sissy Squats 2 10-12
4. Leg Extensions 3 10-12
5. Lunges 3 10 Each
6. Stiff Legged Deadlifts 4 8-12
7. Leg Curls 3 10-12
8. Standing Calf Raises 4 10-12
9. Donkey Calf Raises 3 10-12
10. Seated Calf Raises 3 12-15

Intermediate Workout Day 2

Exercise Sets Reps
1. Bench Press* 3 8-12
2. Dumbbell Incline Press 3 8-12
3. Dumbbell Fly 3 10-12
4. Cable Crossovers 3 10-12
5. Lying Barbell Extensions* 3 10-12
6. Overhead Dumbbell Extensions 3 10-12
7. Dumbbell Kickbacks 3 10-12

Intermediate Workout Day 3

Exercise Sets Reps
1. Deadlifts* 3 8-12
2. Pull Downs* 3 10-12
3. Pull Overs 3 10-12
4. Underhand Rows 3 8-12
5. Neutral Grip Cable Rows 3 8-12
6. Bent Over Lateral Raises 3 10-12
7. Barbell Curls* 3 10-12
8. Incline Curls 3 10-12
9. Concentration Curls 3 10-12

Intermediate Workout Day 4

Exercise Sets Reps
1. Shoulder Press* 4 10-12
2. Incline Lateral Raises 3 10-12
3. Cable Upright Rows 3 10-12
4. Lateral Raises 3 12-15
5. Dumbbell Shrugs 3 10-12
6. Leg Raises 4 10-12
7. Sit Ups 3 12-15
8. Planks 2 60 Secs

*Do 1-2 warm-up sets of about 10 reps. Train to failure on all other sets, using a weight that allows you to get the higher rep number listed with each subsequent set going down in reps due to fatigue – add weight if/when necessary.

Intermediate Mass Building Routine Notes

Workout 1 is legs because most people will tend to slack off on leg training later in the cycle. You can adjust the sequence based on your own preferences, but it’s best to avoid doing the leg and back workouts back to back because of potential lower back fatigue.

You’ll notice there’s no direct forearm work listed. That’s because every workout has indirect forearm work, but that’s especially prevalent in Workout 3 with deadlifts, back, and biceps all taking a toll on grip strength.

If you feel your grip needs more work and/or you simply want to get some direct forearm work, you can add wrist curls and reverse wrist curls to the end of Workout 3, or add them to Workout 1 if they feel too taxed after back and biceps.

NOTE: Rep speed on all sets should be approximately two seconds down and one to two seconds up. In other words, control the weight in the eccentric/negative phase and explode into the concentric/positive phase.

The rep range listed is a guide that you can adjust if desired. If you want a balance of heavy work with good time-under-tension, consider using more weight and fewer reps on the bigger, compound exercises, but try to stick with the same rep speed and don’t let your ego get in the way, causing you to sacrifice form for big poundage.

Below are optional ways to utilize the three-day training split:

Recommended Standard Split – M-T-W-F

Monday: Workout 1
Tuesday: Workout 2
Wednesday: Off
Thursday: Workout 3
Friday: Workout 4
Saturday: Off
Sunday: Off

Every-other-day Split

Monday: Workout 1
Tuesday: Off
Wednesday: Workout 2
Thursday: Off
Friday: Workout 3
Saturday: Off
Sunday: Workout 4
(Continue with Workout 1 on Tuesday, off Wednesday, Workout 2 on Thursday, etc.)

2-on/1-off Split

Monday: Workout 1
Tuesday: Workout 2
Wednesday: Off
Thursday: Workout 3
Friday: Workout 4
Saturday: Off
Sunday: Workout 1
Monday: Workout 2
(Continue by taking Tuesday off, then restarting with Workout 1 on Wednesday, Workout 2 on Thursday, etc.)

Intermediate Mass Workout Summary

As always, there is no single “perfect” routine for everyone, so experiment and use substitute exercises as needed. If an exercise feels unnatural, awkward, or causes any joint pain, either reduce the weight and work on your form until it feels right, or choose a similar exercise that works well with your biomechanics.

Don’t get impatient with exercises or the workout scheme as listed, though. Give your body at least a couple weeks to adapt and show gains (or lack of gains) before making changes.

Train hard, stay focused, and let us know about your results.

11 Comments+ Post Comment

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Posted Sun, 09/27/2020 - 19:21
Zayden Carman

Question what if you don't have access to cables and machines? I have a bench, a barbell, and dumbbells.

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Posted Mon, 09/28/2020 - 13:37

Hey Zayden - check out this 4 Day Dumbbell Only Workout:

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Posted Sun, 05/19/2019 - 16:31

I've been exercising for two years and am starting to use this routine. I've got the muscle but I'm also looking to cut some bodyfat. What is your suggestion with regard to cardio on this routine?

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Posted Tue, 05/28/2019 - 19:10
Michelle Mcdaniel

Do 15mins of cardio every workout day and 30 on off days
Do 10/15 minutes of core strength everyday before working out
And do kEttle bell swings every single day and also do kettle bell squats hip bridge lunge Bulgarian split everyday except leg day ... run if and when you can

Rest if you need skip workouts if you need

I’m intermediate advanced you can email me if you need
This is what I do just my advice

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Posted Tue, 05/28/2019 - 21:11
Michelle Mcdaniel

Not sure if my reply helped

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Posted Tue, 05/28/2019 - 21:43
Michelle Mcdaniel

Cardio like hitt
45/50 second work
10/15 rest

Plank jacks to mountain climbers ... tuck jumps to star jumps .. quick feet to high knees .. burpee variations

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Posted Wed, 05/29/2019 - 15:31
Michelle Mcdaniel

I had wrote a different reply saying do 15mins of cardio on workout days and 30mins on off days ...
Do 10/15mins of core strength exercises before every workout
And kettle bells swings everyday !!
Do few lunges squats with kettle bell everyday too and
Run when u can
Happy working out

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Posted Sun, 04/07/2019 - 01:47

Hi, I'm new to the site im a beginner in workout I dont know where to start

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Posted Mon, 04/08/2019 - 10:25
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Posted Tue, 12/18/2018 - 02:39

Hi there
Two questions please:
1. How much resting between sets?
2. Should I add a few strength exercises?

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Posted Fri, 03/27/2020 - 14:43

1. At that rep range you probably are doing only 2-3 minute rest and focusing on hypertrophy style training.

2. This seems to be more of a hypertrophy routine. The routine already includes squats, bent over row, deadlift, and military press.

Personally, I wouldn't use this routine. The volume seems pretty intense for an intermediate program geared for people moving over from being a beginner. I would recommend doing something like P.H.U.L. instead. You will get near the same results, but will not spend as much time at the gym.

Although, it does seem like this routine has previous ones that lead into it. So, I am going to assume that if you follow the previous routines then this could be a decent logical next step.