Today I’d like to introduce you to some of my favourite workout plans to build muscle.
I’ve been lucky enough to have spent some time going through the following workout programs and have learned a great deal from each of them.
These workout plans are all completely different training protocols, but you can definitely build muscle by using any one of them.
So, without any further ado, let’s get into the various workout plans to build muscle.
Workout Plans to Build Muscle
Workout Plan 1 – HFT2 System
The HFT2 System is an awesome program aimed at anyone who wants to pack on some serious muscle.
HFT2 was created by the legend that is Chad Waterbury.
Chad is someone I have followed for many years, especially his wealth of articles on the T-Nation website.
HFT stands for High Frequency Training.
The principles around high frequency training have been around for many years and it’s a principle that even the great man himself, Arnold Schwarzenegger, adhered to.
Chad first started to experiment with high frequency training in 2001 after seeing a performance by the Alexis Brothers of Cirque du Soleil fame.
You can check out a truly awesome video of the Alexis Brothers training and performing on the next page.
In the simplest of terms, high frequency training is about working the muscle groups far more frequently to literally force the muscles to grow.
Chad released his first edition of High Frequency Training in 2012.
However, after working on the original principles with various clients, and receiving a great deal of feedback about HFT, Chad has made a few changes to the program to create the ultimate HFT2 system.
The HFT2 system provides you with two 12-week workouts, which can be used to either bring up lagging body parts, or to pack on slabs of muscle across the entire body.
Although the workouts focus mainly on weight training, you can actually use the same methods to increase muscle mass with bodyweight training.
There also happens to be a wealth of additional information within the HFT2 workout plan.
Check out my full HFT2 System review.
Workout Plan 2 – Anabolic Aftergrowth
Now don’t let the word “Anabolic” worry you.
It typically has negative connotations because it is often used in the same sentence as the word, “steroids”.
However, Anabolic Aftergrowth is a completely natural workout plan that will help you pack on some very serious size and muscle.
This is probably one of the most basic workout plans you will ever come across, and yet it is extremely effective.
In fact, there are only 3 exercises involved.
However, the program creator, Chris Wilson, claims that by following his 60-day workout plan you could easily add 25lbs to your bench, 2 inches to your arms, and a whopping 14lbs of lean muscle.
Chris is part of the Critical Bench team, the long-running health and strength website.
The Anabolic Aftergrowth workout plan focuses on the “Big 3 Lifts”, namely the squat, bench press, and deadlift.
By simply using these three lifts over a 60-day period the aim is to release the body’s natural anabolic hormones, Testosterone, Growth Hormone, and IGF-1.
This form of workout is aimed at giving you a solid strength base, and the rush of anabolic hormones that you produce following each workout is what leads to massive gains.
You will discover the various set and rep schemes, rest periods, as well as the best time of day to train in order to produce the greatest muscle-building formula.
Here’s my full Anabolic Aftergrowth review.
Workout Plan 3 – Time-Volume Training
Time-Volume Training was created by Nick Nilsson, also known as “The Mad Scientist of Muscle”.
Nick is someone who boasts over 30 years experience in weight training, so he certainly knows a thing or two about workout plans to build muscle.
Time-Volume Training is slightly different from the first two workout plans in that the program will build muscle and strength, but there’s also a fat-burning and conditioning element to the training.
This workout plan is fairly simplistic in nature, as all you need to do is pick a weight, set a timer, and repeatedly perform 3 reps of a particular exercise.
In its most basic format, you choose a weight that is more-or-less your 10-rep max for an exercise.
You set a timer for 15 minutes.
Perform 3 reps and then rest 10 seconds.
Continue to perform 3 reps of the exercise at 10 second intervals until you feel that you can no longer get 3 QUALITY reps.
It’s important that you never go to failure during the workout.
Once you’ve reached this stage, continue to perform 3-rep sets, but now with 20 seconds rest in-between.
Keep going until you find that once again you’re unable to perform 3 quality reps, and then increase your rest time between sets to 30 seconds.
You continue in this manner until the timer sounds to indicate your 15 minutes is over.
Now, we all know that building muscle requires progressive overload.
With the Time-Volume workouts you continue each workout with the same weight until you find you can get to the 5-minute mark while still only taking 10 seconds rest between each 3-rep set.
Once you get to this point it’s time to add further weight to the bar.
I guess you could refer to Time-Volume Training as a density training program, which incorporates front loading.
By this I mean you are trying to get more work done in the same amount of time.
Plus you will be performing more “work” at the start of the workout and then once you start to fatigue you’ll be performing fewer sets with longer rest periods.
As I say, this type of workout plan will not only pack on muscle, but it has some serious conditioning benefits too.
It’s also interesting to note that you can complete this type of workout protocol with weights or bodyweight training.
Here’s my full Time-Volume Training review.
Time-Volume Training to Build Bigger Biceps FAST
Workout Plan 4 – Physique Zero
Physique Zero is a complete bodyweight training program, so no weights involved here at all.
The creator of this workout plan is Alain Gonzalez, a fitness coach and an author.
Alain has been involved in fitness and coaching for many years now, but his life changed dramatically as he got older.
With an ever-growing family and busy work schedule it was all about finding time to train and maintaining an awesome physique.
So, Alain’s focus has been to help men just like himself, so this will typically mean that you’re someone who doesn’t have a great deal of spare time to train.
This is why this workout plan is focused on bodyweight training, as pretty much all the workouts can be performed just about anywhere.
Now I know many people won’t believe it’s possible to build muscle by just using bodyweight exercises, but I for one can vouch for its effectiveness.
In fact, I rate the Physique Zero workout plan extremely highly and if you follow through on what you learn you can expect some great increases in muscle and strength, as well as building your endurance levels.
Physique Zero workouts are aimed at producing what is known as a “Hypoxic Environment”.
This basically means that you will be creating lower levels of oxygen concentration in the muscles when you perform certain exercises.
You will restrict the blood vessels in your muscles with this type of training, which means that you will recruit far more strength and hypertrophy fibres, and it is this that leads to massive muscle growth.
The bodyweight workouts require a unique rep tempo, while you’ll also be training above a certain time threshold.
Just as a very basic example, try to perform just 5 ultra-slow push ups over the course of 100 seconds.
So, in effect you’re taking 10 seconds to lower yourself and 10 seconds to push back up.
See how your muscles feel after that.
That’s if you actually make it through all the reps.
Read my full Physique Zero review.
Alain Gonzalez – 6 Bodyweight Exercises That Build Muscle
Workout Plan 5 – Old School New Body
I had to include Old School New Body in my list of workout plans to build muscle, as it has been created by Iron Man Magazine’s editor-in-chief, Steve Holman.
The workouts are aimed at both men and women, so Steve’s wife, Becky has also had a hand in creating this masterpiece.
Old School New Body is actually split into three different training protocols.
The first training protocol is far more focused on losing weight and burning body fat, whereas the second is about adding a bit more muscle to your frame.
The third and final training protocol is aimed at packing on lean muscle, although it isn’t as concentrated on size gains as the other programs above.
Basically, if you’re looking for a lean, sleek, and athletic look, then Old School New Body is for you.
These are dumbbell-focused workouts.
The first two training protocols only require 3 x 30-minute workouts a week, whereas the third set of workouts take 45 minutes to complete.
Interestingly, the entire Old School New Body workout plan is based around Vince Gironda’s density training program.
If you know, you know.
Vince is often viewed as a Demi-God in the Health and Fitness industry and anything with his backing is going to be absolutely fantastic.
Old School New Body is specifically aimed at men and women aged over 35 and there is far more information about diet and nutrition, as well as mindset within the workout plan.
So, the workouts will help to speed up the metabolism, as well as boosting the production of growth hormone.
Read my full Old School New Body review.
Even More Workouts
So, there you have it, my 5 favourite workout plans to build muscle.
There’s something here for everyone depending on your goals, as well as the equipment (or lack of) that you have available to you.
All the workout plans can help you pack on some serious muscle, but they each adhere to completely different training strategies.
Choose one program that is most inline with your goals and get ready to pack on some impressive muscle growth.
Hi, I’m Partha, the founder of My Bodyweight Exercises. I’m someone who’s been passionate about exercise and nutrition for more years than I care to remember. I’ve studied, researched, and honed my skills for a number of decades now. So, I’ve created this website to hopefully share my knowledge with you. Whether your goal is to lose weight, burn fat, get fitter, or build muscle and strength, I’ve got you covered.