Workout And Diet Plan To Build Muscle


Workout and diet plan to build muscle increases muscle size by putting in long hours of solid hard physical work. It thoroughly delves into diet and nutrition which is an integral part of the regimen. You will build a perfect body with it for sure.

How to Build Muscle: Guide to Lean Gains


How to Build Muscle: 5 Step Guide to Lean Gains

The process of muscle building is an incredibly complex physiological and biomechanical process which can confuse even the most experienced trainee. Here are 5 simple steps that can get you started on the right track today.

Looking for the most comprehensive muscle building guide on the internet? Well, good thing you stopped by, I’ve got you covered. 

This guide will take you through everything from nutrition to training and even supplementation, which will get you on the right path to add quality slabs of muscle.

If you need help or clarification, please feel free to post a question or comment at the end of this guide.

How Do You Actually Build Muscle?

Before we discuss the nuts and bolts of how to build muscle, we need to run through the basics of muscle physiology so that we’re all on the same page.

When someone lifts weights, they create trauma within the muscle fiber by generating micro-tears. Once damage occurs, a cascade of biochemical signaling takes place and satellite cells become active. These cells actually bind to muscle cells in order to repair the damaged areas and help to synthesize new contractile components.

When these components increase in cross-sectional area, you experience the phenomenon commonly known as muscular hypertrophy.

Essentially, you must remember the goal of training is to stimulate protein synthesis but the key to building muscle is cellular repair, not damage.

Now don’t get me wrong, there is some truth to the saying, “stimulate, don’t annihilate.” But, to quote supergenius and performance specialist Alex Viada,

Adaptation requires pushing the body to do something it doesn’t really want to do, it’s gonna hurt. If it gets easier, then chances are, you’re getting lazier.”

Somatotypes: Do They Even Matter?

When it comes to training and nutrition, most guys want to classify themselves in 1 of 3 body type categories: ectomorph, mesomorph, or endomorph.

Before we get into breaking down each somatotype, let’s first examine the origins and significance of body typing.

Somatotypes were originally developed by a psychologist from Rhode Island named William Herbert Sheldon. Originally, body typing was developed to characterize an individual’s psychological state based upon their anthropometry.

In the end, the bodybuilding and fitness community adapted the somatotype classification system as a way to categorize physical deviations present in trainees.

Not only that, the original model developed by Sheldon was designed entirely for men, so what are women supposed to use?

As you can see, somatotypes are fairly limited in their design, application, and significance. That being said though, here are so typical characteristics exhibited by each classification within Sheldon’s developmental model:


  • Typical skinny guy:
    • Small joints
    • Narrow shoulders
    • Fairly lean build
    • Long bone structure
    • Tall and lanky
  • Defined as a “hardgainer” in the weight training community


  • Fairly athletic physique:
    • Large bone structure
    • Higher levels of lean body mass
  • Somewhat “blocky” appearance
  • Naturally strong despite a lack of proper training


  • Short and “stocky” physique:
    • Thick overall
    • Slightly higher levels of body fat
  • Limb lengths provide advantages to strength training in the lower body
Muscle & Strength Gym

If you’ll notice, I didn’t include any specifics on training or nutrition recommendations for each body type like most articles.

In fact, I think that most of those articles are rather short-sighted in their approach as many folks don’t follow the “cookie-cutter” outline associated with somatotypes.

For example, what happens if you possess an ectomorphic build but you feel terrible on a higher carb diet and you can handle 5 days of training per week?

Should you just continue to bang your head against the wall by slamming carbs, avoiding cardio, and only training 3 times per week because that’s what all the internet “experts” recommend?

In short, no.

Somatotypes were never designed as a means to estimate muscle growth potential or an individual’s genetic response to training.

Remember, body types are not the “be all, end all”; you’re not destined for hardgainer hell simply because you’re tall and lanky with narrow shoulders.

Similarly, you’re not doomed to put on fat if you’re an endomorph who loves carbs. This is merely a reference point, nothing more, nothing less.

Don’t limit yourself psychologically by believing your somatotype is something you can’t control and the limiting factor for your gains.

As Alexander Juan Antonio Cortes has said before,

More than anything else, I think somatotypes are useful for the most general of classifications for beginning trainees, not as a rationale to limit one’s potential. Your somatotype isn’t even “real.” Don’t use somatotypes as an excuse to create a preconceived limit where there isn’t one.

The Workouts

Just like most weight training programs built around the upper/lower split, The Muscle Building Workout Routine divides everything up into 2 different types of workouts.

One will train your entire upper body to some degree (chest, back, shoulders, biceps, and triceps), and one will train your entire lower body to some degree (quads, hamstrings, calves, and abs as well).

You will then do 2 (or about 2) of each workout per week depending on exactly which variation of the split you decide to use (again, either will be perfect).

So, let’s take a look at the workouts…

The Muscle Building Workout Routine: Upper Body A

  1. Bench Press
    3 sets of 6-8 reps.
    2-3 minutes rest between sets.
  2. Rows
    3 sets of 6-8 reps.
    2-3 minutes rest between sets.
  3. Incline Dumbbell Press
    3 sets of 8-10 reps.
    1-2 minutes rest between sets.
  4. Lat Pull-Downs
    3 sets of 8-10 reps.
    1-2 minutes rest between sets.
  5. Lateral Raises
    2 sets of 10-15 reps.
    1 minute rest between sets.
  6. Triceps Pushdowns
    3 sets of 10-12 reps.
    1 minute rest between sets.
  7. Dumbbell Curls
    2 sets of 12-15 reps.
    1 minute rest between sets.

The Muscle Building Workout Routine: Lower Body A

  1. Romanian Deadlifts
    3 sets of 6-8 reps.
    2-3 minutes rest between sets.
  2. Leg Press
    3 sets of 10-12 reps.
    1-2 minutes rest between sets.
  3. Seated Leg Curls
    3 sets of 8-10 reps.
    1-2 minutes rest between sets.
  4. Standing Calf Raises
    4 sets of 6-8 reps.
    1-2 minutes rest between sets.
  5. Abs
    x sets of 8-15 reps.
    1 minute rest between sets.

The Muscle Building Workout Routine: Upper Body B

  1. Pull-Ups
    3 sets of 6-8 reps.
    2-3 minutes rest between sets.
  2. Barbell Shoulder Press
    3 sets of 6-8 reps.
    2-3 minutes rest between sets.
  3. Seated Cable Row
    3 sets of 8-10 reps.
    1-2 minutes rest between sets.
  4. Dumbbell Bench Press
    3 sets of 8-10 reps.
    1-2 minutes rest between sets.
  5. Dumbbell Flyes
    2 sets of 10-15 reps.
    1 minute rest between sets.
  6. Barbell Curls
    3 sets of 10-12 reps.
    1 minute rest between sets.
  7. Skull Crushers
    2 sets of 12-15 reps.
    1 minute rest between sets.

The Muscle Building Workout Routine: Lower Body B

  1. Squats
    3 sets of 6-8 reps.
    2-3 minutes rest between sets.
  2. Split Squats
    3 sets of 8-10 reps.
    1-2 minutes rest between sets.
  3. Lying Leg Curls
    3 sets of 10-12 reps.
    1-2 minutes rest between sets.
  4. Seated Calf Raises
    4 sets of 10-15 reps.
    1-2 minutes rest between sets.
  5. Abs
    x sets of 8-15 reps.
    1 minute rest between sets.

As you can see from the workouts, each one is focused primarily on the most effective compound exercises with just the right amount of secondary focus on isolation exercises as well.

There is also damn near perfect balance among the opposing movement patterns, and the exercises in each workout are ordered in terms of most demanding to least demanding (the exact way it should be).

As you can also see, the intensity/rep ranges and rest intervals between sets for each exercise is exactly what it should be for building muscle, and the volume for each muscle group both per workout and per week total is all perfectly within the optimal volume range for intermediate/advanced trainees looking to build muscle mass.

So, what I’m trying to say is, all of the factors and components that work best for building muscle have been brought together perfectly in one ideal workout routine.

Workout Order & Scheduling

As shown, The Muscle Building Workout Routine contains 4 different workouts. There’s 2 upper body workouts (A and B) and 2 lower body workouts (A and B).

In case it isn’t obvious enough, they are meant to be done in this order whether you use the 3 or 4 day upper/lower split:

  1. Upper Body A
  2. Lower Body A
  3. Upper Body B
  4. Lower Body B

(If this is still confusing, just go back to the upper/lower split options I showed you earlier. I’ve laid out how you’d schedule the 4 workouts over the course of the week using either version of the split.)

Details, Guidelines and Clarifications

Now to answer any questions you may have, clear up any confusion that may be present, and explain how to make it all work as effectively as possible.

General guidelines of The Muscle Building Workout Routine:

  • For each exercise, you should use the same weight each set. Meaning, if it says to do 3 sets of an exercise, you’d use the same weight on all 3 sets. For example…
    Right Way: 100lbs, 100lbs, 100lbs.
    Wrong Way: 95lbs, 100lbs, 105lbs.
    When you are able to lift a given weight for the amount of sets and reps that are prescribed for that exercise, you’d then increase the weight by the smallest possible increment the next time you do that exercise. You’d then repeat this process of progression as often as you can. (I’ll explain this in much more detail in a minute.)
  • The number of sets listed does NOT include warm up sets. Those are the actual work sets only. Warm up as needed.
  • The order the exercises are listed in is the order they are supposed to be done in. Don’t change it.
  • You are meant to be doing all of the exercises listed for each workout. However, if you come across something your gym doesn’t have or something you honestly cannot do due to some preexisting injury (or some other REALLY good reason), do the next closest match instead. (I’ll give some suggestions below.)
  • The split, frequency, exercise selection, prescribed amount of sets, reps and rest intervals for each exercise, the total amount of volume… it’s all for a reason and it is all meant to remain and be done EXACTLY as I have written it. DO NOT SCREW WITH IT LIKE AN IDIOT.

Details and clarifications for Upper Body A:

  • The Upper Body A workout starts with the bench press. This is meant be a flat barbell bench press. I recommend having a spotter if possible. Besides being important for obvious safety reasons, not having one may make you afraid of trying for an additional rep, and this could hinder your progress.
  • Up next is a row, which basically means some type of horizontal pull (meaning back row exercise). Pretty much any type of back row would be fine here, so pick your favorite. If I had to make a suggestion, I might go with a chest supported row of some sort because chest supported rowing doesn’t require any real lower back stabilization like a bent over barbell row would. And, since you will be deadlifting the next day, this may be a beneficial choice for some people. Otherwise, feel free pick any type of horizontal back row you want (chest supported row, any Hammer Strength machine row if your gym has them, a bent over barbell or dumbbell row, t-bar rows, whatever). As long as it’s a back row of some sort, it’s fine. If you think you’d benefit from not using any lower back the day before doing deadlifts, then stick with something chest supported to give your lower back a break. If not, pick anything.
  • For incline pressing, I recommend incline dumbbell presses. Technically any type of incline press will do here. Barbell, dumbbell, machine (Hammer Strength makes an incline chest press that I love). But, my first choice recommendation would definitely be for the incline dumbbell press (in which case be sure to set the bench to a 30 degree incline or slightly less, not more).
  • For lat pull downs, I recommend using an underhand grip (meaning your palms will face you) or a neutral grip (palms face each other… this grip is much less stressful on your elbows/wrists). This is because I’m going to recommend an overhand grip (palms face away from you) during the Upper Body B workout. You’ll see. Also, these are to be done in front of your head… never behind the neck.
  • For laterals raises, you can really do whatever lateral raise you want. With dumbbells (seated or standing, one arm at a time or both together), with cables, with a lateral raise machine if your gym has a decent one. Just pick your favorite.
  • For the triceps exercise, I recommend cable press downs using pretty much whatever type of handle you like best. I personally prefer the v-bar or rope.
  • For the biceps exercise on this day, I recommend any type of dumbbell curl (standing, seated, on a preacher bench, whatever). Pick your favorite.

Details and clarifications for Lower Body A:

  • The Lower Body A workout begins with the Romanian deadlift. I recommend using a double overhand grip as opposed to a mixed grip (which would be one hand over, one hand under).
  • For the leg presses, you can do these the traditional way (both legs at the same time) or single leg if possible. Also, this is meant to be done in a 45 degree leg press. If your gym doesn’t have one, then use whatever leg press they do have.
  • For the leg curls, some gyms have a few different types of leg curl machines… seated, standing, and laying. You can really pick any one you want.
  • Next up is standing calf raises. If your gym doesn’t have a standing calf raise machine, feel free to do calf presses in the 45 degree leg press.
  • For abs, do a few sets of whatever you want. Just don’t go too crazy… no more than 10 minutes or so. I’m a fan of basic stuff like weighted crunches, hanging leg raises, planks, etc.. Keep it simple

11 Most Important Muscle Building Tips:

Muscle building isn’t complicated, just make sure you remember these 11 important tips:

  1. Nothing happens until you nail your nutrition.
  2. Focus on progressive overload with either more weight, reps, or sets.
  3. Stick to compound exercises.
  4. Don’t abuse training frequency (at least not initially) – more doesn’t always equate to better.
  5. Minimize stress and maximize recovery.
  6. Sleep as much as possible; nap frequently.
  7. Stick to whole foods but don’t be afraid to incorporate some processed options (10-15% of calories) if appetite is poor and you consistently lose weight.
  8. Eat 250-500 calories above your BMR.
  9. Emphasize protein at every meal and eat 1g/lb of bodyweight.
  10. Gain 0.5-0.75lb (intermediates) or 0.75-1.00lb (beginners) of bodyweight per week.
  11. Adjust calories up or down according to weekly weight loss/gain.

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