Body Building Workout Plans

Many amateur bodybuilders and fitness fans make their workouts too complicated. Worse, sometimes they follow the training programs of professional bodybuilders frequently posted in muscle magazines. This often leads to gross overtraining, which can severely limit progress. Simplify your bodybuilding workout plan to get the most results in the least amount of time.

Rest-Pause Training

Choose only one exercise for each muscle group. According to “The Ultimate Mass Workout,” the best exercises for each muscle group are squats for quadriceps, stiff-leg dead lifts for hamstrings, V-pull-ups and chest-support rows for back, decline bench press for chest, upright rows for shoulders, under-grip chin-ups (hands facing body) for biceps and weighted dips for triceps (see Resources for Exercise Guide). To perform a rest-pause set for biceps, for example, do barbell curls for nine to 12 reps, rest 15 seconds, then do as many reps as you can, aiming for six. Rest 20 seconds and go a third time until exhaustion for at least four reps. Do full body workouts every other day, three to four days per week, with one or two rest-pause sets per muscle group.

5-Day Split

The 5-day split means you train shoulders on Monday, arms on Tuesday, legs on Wednesday, back on Thursday and chest on Friday. For each muscle group you do one or two super sets, which means two sets of two different exercises done back to back with little rest between them. This should take no longer than an hour, and possibly as little as 30 minutes, depending on your rest times between sets. Decreasing rest times really amps up the intensity. Try starting with a 60-second rest between sets and then decreasing this to 45 or 30 seconds. For the chest one of your super sets could be one set of bench press for 12 repetitions, followed immediately by a set of dumbbell flies for 12 reps. Keep your reps between nine and twelve to target the hypertrophy or growth components of muscle fibers.

Positions of Flexion

If you train five days per week, use the 5-Day Split breakdown. For three days, do arms and shoulders on Monday, legs and calves on Wednesday and back and chest on Friday. Positions of flexion means training each muscle group in the mid-range, stretched and contracted positions, in that order. Mid-range compound movements include squats for legs, pull-ups for back, bench press for chest, military press for shoulders, bar curls for biceps and dips for triceps. Stretch exercises include stiff-leg dead lifts for hamstrings, sissy squats for quads, dumbbell pullovers for back, flies for chest incline laterals for shoulders, incline curls for biceps and overhead triceps press. For contraction exercises use leg extensions for quads, leg curls for hamstrings, straight-arm pull-downs for back, cable crossovers for chest, dumbbell laterals for shoulders, concentration curls for biceps and dumbbell kickbacks for triceps. An effective chest workout could be one or two sets of bench presses (mid-range), one set of dumbbell flies (stretch) and one or two sets of cable crossovers (contraction).

About this Author

Andrew Bennett enjoys exploring health and fitness through his personal workouts, as well as researching the latest about the subject. As a natural body builder, Bennett enjoys the ongoing pursuit of health and wellness in all aspects of life. He writes articles, blogs, copy, and even award-winning screenplays.