Bodybuilding Workout-How To Set Up A Bodybuilding Workout

Let’s look at a typical bodybuilding workout that is posted on numerous message boards across the internet. It will look something like this:

Chest day:

Barbell chest press: 3 sets of 12 reps

Incline barbell chest press:3 sets of 12 reps

Decline barbell chest press: 3 sets of 12 reps

Flat dumbbell flyes: 3 sets of 12 reps


Now I’m not trying to knock anyone that uses this type of bodybuilding workout. Most people just don’t know any better. They read a few articles or read a popular bodybuilding magazine and since the pros say that they train this way then it must be good for anyone else, right?¬† Now I’m not here to knock bodypart training, I like it and I used it. What I’m knocking is the decision made in designing that bodybuilding workout.

The sets and reps are typically 3 sets of 10 or 12 reps. Since that’s what has been used for decades, no one thinks outside the box. The average gym trainer doesn’t see the need to train with multiple rep ranges. Multiple rep ranges used will result in both strength and size increases which ultimately lead to more muscle.

Lower rep work will  recruit fast twitch muscle fibers which have a greater chance of growth. Most people ignore the lower rep work in favor of higher bodybuilding rep schemes and that severely limits a physique.

Another misguided thought process about most of the bodybuilding workouts that you see is that almost no one focuses on different periods of training. What I mean is that most people are concerned with just training with higher reps instead of using different periods of training that will lead to more muscle growth. Remember, you need to have a plan with your bodybuilding workout.


That’s why I advise what’s known as accumulation and intensification periods. While I have spoken about the need for undulating periodization for a six pack ab workout before, I do think that most bodybuilding workout plans should be based around the accumulation and intensification principles.

Basically, you first “accumulate” muscle by using a typical bodybuilding workout approach. So you would use your three or four sets of ten to fifteen reps to cause muscle damage and increase muscle breakdown in hopes that you’ll add more muscle size. This is done for four to six weeks. After that period of time you’ll be in the intensification period where you’ll use more sets (around 4 to 6) and less reps (around 4 to 8) and handle heavier weight.

Based on the muscle mass that you have built in the accumulation period, you’ll know be able to handle greater weight which will help you handle more weight when you go back to the accumulation period. See how it’s a cycle that will increase the results of your bodybuilding workout?

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Leave A Reply (4 comments so far)

  1. fredrick wilson
    9 years ago

    Been searching for awhile for something like this great info very useful. I’m not a big bodybuilding magazine fan so thanks for this.

  2. Just rushlo raw food
    9 years ago

    Hello. This is kind of an “unconventional” question , but have other visitors asked you how get the menu bar to look like you’ve got it? I also have a blog and am really looking to alter around the theme, however am scared to death to mess with it for fear of the search engines punishing me. I am very new to all of this …so i am just not positive exactly how to try to to it all yet. I’ll just keep working on it one day at a time Thanks for any help you can offer here

  3. admin
    9 years ago

    Don’t worry about the search engines, they won’t penalize you. I use a Woothemes for my blog layout theme.

  4. kris
    8 years ago

    look at ronnie colemans training scedule, he trains like a powerlifter on monday-tuesday-wedenesday (low reps)
    and he uses supersets,drop sets, etc on thursday,friday and saterday
    and thats why he is the best bodybuilder in the world, he combines the training of the fast twitch and slow twitch muscles in one week,
    the best of both worlds!

    and that is what is the biggest mistake bodybuilders all over the world make (or made including myself)
    i did a powerlifting phase and gained a lot of muscle,eventually i stalled
    then i did a supersetting phase but after a while my gains stalled 2
    when i went from the one phase into the other,that first week i was brutally big,and i am so stupid i didn’t think of it before!
    now i can’t train 6 days in a row like ronnie because i am a natural
    but i sure as hell can train 5 days in a row, so here is what i do now
    the workout ronnie does on saterday, i do on monday and so rotates my workout
    hope this will help…
    and if you don’t know ronnie coleman, look him up and be amazed!

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