Looking to bulk up your muscle strength? Well if you just look for strength training programs online, you’ll be overwhelmed by the over 30 million results that slap you in the face! The good news is that we’ve done your homework for you.
Here are the top 13 workout routines for effective muscle building…
1. German Volume Training
The German Volume Training (GVT) program has been around since the 1970’s. Today, the program hasn’t changed much, focusing on building lean muscle mass with a technique called overload—or 10 sets of 10 repetitions (or the 10×10 approach) for one exercise per body part. You might only do 3 or 4 exercises each time you work out, essentially overloading the muscles with intense weight and volume to fatigue. Just be sure to take long breaks between sets so you don’t over train or injure yourself.
2. Cross Fit
For most people, CrossFit is a hellish workout and it didn’t get the tagline “workout till you puke” without a reason. It’s made up of functional ass-kicking exercises done interval style and too fatigue—like burpees, pull-ups, walking lunges, push-ups, and kettle bell swings. But if you serious want a big set of pipes and legs to go with it, CrossFit is the program for you.
3. 5×5 Routine
The 5×5 workout routine is quite popular for a few good reasons—it builds muscle mass, strength and definition all in one workout. And 5×5 has some serious heavy lifters behind it. For one, it was created by two of the most famous bodybuilders, Bill Starr and Reg Park, in the 1970’s. Secondly, it was adopted by Arnold Swarchenegger who integrated it into his own bodybuilding routine.
4. 300 Spartan Workout
If you haven’t already guessed, this workout was created by Gym Jones for the actors who appeared in the movie 300. Its purpose: to make them look like Spartan Warriors. The workout focuses a grueling regime of circuits, done in as little time as possible (20 minutes max) with no rest in between. The exercises are quite unorthodox, but meant to provide a full body workout that improves every aspect of fitness.
5. 007 Workout
Another movie inspired workout, the 007 or Bond workout was created for actor, Daniel Craig…so the real taking names Bond, in order to enhance his physique for ‘Quantum Of Solace’, including doing all of his own stunts. It focuses on building functional muscle for the upper and lower body, as well as power, strength and endurance. The 007 workout is split into 5 days—2 days of power circuit training and 3 days of interval training, followed by a gentle weekend of running, walking, swimming, or yoga.
Image from Shutterstock
6. 2-Day Split Workout
This 2 day split method is meant to build lean muscle quick. Basically you’ll be lifting more in less time in the gym while giving your muscles adequate time to recover and grow. Each routine is performed once per week and muscles groups are rested for 48-hours in between routines.
7. Accelerated Results 7
Accelerated Results 7 (or AR7) was developed for actor Jason Momoa, aka: Conan or Khal Drago (Game of Thrones), by his celebrity trainer, Eric Laciste. The name Momoa and his hulking image alone should give you an idea of just how effective this workout is. AR7 is built for those who want to pack on killer muscle with little time—Momoa packed on 25-pounds of lean muscle mass in six weeks using this technique. This program is made up of a series A and series B of exercises grouped into a 7-6-5 progression like this:
Image from Shutterstock
8. 100-Rep Shocker Workout
This one week workout is shocker is meant to break the monotony of your strength training and literally brutalize your body into building muscle. It’s great for short weeks, when you don’t have a load of time to spend at the gym. It means performing 100 total reps per exercise, resting as often as you need to get there. Your whole workout should take between 30 and 40 minutes.
9. PHUL Workout
The PHUL workout, which stands for Power Hypertrophy Upper Lower, combines bodybuilding and power lifting techniques to build strength and size. It’s a 4-day split workout hits each muscle group twice within one week, focusing on big compound movements for optimal progression. Two of 4 working days of the program focus on pure strength training; while 2 power days focus on hypertrophy (bodybuilding) style training with abdominal work completed during days off.
10. Power Pump Workout
The Power Pump workout is a complete push, pull, leg muscle building program that focuses on the “pump” or Myofibrillar Hypertrophy, a method of motion that signals cellular increase in contractile proteins actin and myosin, or blood volume—which causes bigger, stronger muscles to grow.
11. Giant Set Routine
This 3 day split routine will have you hitting each muscle group with 3 killer supersets made up of 3 different exercises. This workout is designed for muscle shock and muscle growth. It’s quick and dirty so no rest in between exercises.
12. Low Volume, High Intensity Strength Training
This no BS, 3-day workout is an intense method that trains muscles to absolute failure on each set. It offers an alternative to all of those boring, time consuming, high-volume programs.
13. Signaling Workout
If you haven’t heard of a muscle-building philosophy called signaling, you’ve seen it on screen. In fact, that’s exactly the technique that British celebrity, Tom Hardy, used for bulking up as Bane in The Dark Knight Rises, and his martial arts film, Warrior. The technique basically has you doing the same exercise routine 4 times daily in single bursts, which only takes 20 minutes each time—morning, mid-afternoon, late afternoon, and evening. So you essentially get 4 heavy, body-building based routines, involving heavy, compound lifts (bench press, dead lifts, squats, renegade rows etc.) compared to simply one big boost from one workout session. The frequent spikes in testosterone (or growth hormone production) lead to faster muscle growth.
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