The Next Step: 6 Week Intermediate Mass Building Workout

Team SAN
Written By: Team SAN
April 18th, 2018
Updated: June 13th, 2020
421K Reads
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
  • Main Goal
    Build Muscle
  • Workout Type
  • Training Level
  • Program Duration6 weeks
  • Days Per Week
  • Time Per Workout45-60 minutes
  • Equipment Required
    Barbell, Bodyweight, Cables, Dumbbells, Machines
  • Target Gender Male
  • Recommended Supps
  • Workout PDF Download Workout

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.

Posted on: Fri, 06/14/2024 - 09:44

Hey, since I do not know if my last comment went trough, I'm writing this again(sorry if its twice)

This workout fits me perfect, I just unfortunately have only one Multi-Tasking machine at home. Would this plan still make sense if I replaced all the dumbbell/deadlift exercises with extra reps on machine exercises?


M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Tue, 06/18/2024 - 08:20

Got you on the first one, Vugo. For future reference, the questions and comments have to be approved before they show up. So, if you ask again in the future, be assured it got to us. I will answer here as well. As long as you push yourself on the exercises you swap in, you should see progress.

Posted on: Fri, 09/29/2023 - 19:19

Interested in this program. My gym has Friday off and I can’t go on Sunday so can I do Saturday Monday Wednesday Thursday?

Thank you

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Wed, 10/18/2023 - 11:05

Sure can, David. Let us know how it goes for you. Thanks for reading M&S!

Posted on: Mon, 08/14/2023 - 09:47

Hi, Hope all is well! I followed the program from Scratch 1,2 & 3, and lead me to this amazing program. Will be done with this program in 2 weeks. What to follow next? Hoping to gain Mass Muscles and Get Bigger.

Thank you so much for all the efforts.

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Thu, 08/17/2023 - 22:08

This should help you find that next program. Congrats on the progress and thank you for reading M&S!

Posted on: Sun, 11/27/2022 - 19:30

How much rest time in between sets?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Sun, 11/27/2022 - 21:23

60-90 seconds

Posted on: Tue, 09/20/2022 - 16:55

how is this 45-60 min per workout

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Sat, 09/24/2022 - 09:44

Thanks for the question, Mico. If others have done this workout, feel free to chime in and let Mico know how long it took you to do them.

Posted on: Fri, 03/22/2024 - 09:07

The rest time ALONE is 35-50 minutes going by your recommended rest time of 60-90 seconds between sets. This is more like a 90-120 minute workout.

Posted on: Tue, 10/26/2021 - 18:13

Is there a way to shift this into a 3 day split rather than 4/any recommendations for doing it myself? My work/social schedule means that I need to stick to a M/W/F schedule.

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Thu, 10/28/2021 - 10:40

Hi, Alex! How about breaking it like this.

Monday - Workout 1
Wednesday - Workout 2
Friday - Workout 3
Next Monday - Workout 4
Next Wednesday - Workout 1
Next Friday - Workout 2

and so on. You don't have to be locked into a seven day routine. This will help you see results as well. Hope this helps!

Manik Chavan
Posted on: Mon, 10/11/2021 - 05:27

Are there any alternatives for hack squats and cable crossovers

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Mon, 10/18/2021 - 21:08

Hey Manik, go with leg presses or goblet squats in place of the hack squats. Any version of a flye would work in place of the crossovers.

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

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

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Mon, 09/28/2020 - 13:37

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

Posted on: 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?

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

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

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

Not sure if my reply helped

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

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

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

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

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

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

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Mon, 04/08/2019 - 10:25
Posted on: 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?

Posted on: 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.