5 New Hypertrophy Workouts for Packing on Muscle Mass

Hypertrophy Workouts

Look around almost any gym, and you’ll see guys wandering from one exercise to another with no real plan in mind. Come back in 12 months, and most of them will look exactly the same. They won’t have gained any muscle at all.

What a waste of time!

You’ll make much more progress if you follow a logical, structured, progressive workout.

Training without a plan is like heading out on a long journey without a map. You MAY reach your destination, but the odds are stacked against you. And, if by some miracle you do arrive at your goal, you probably went the long way around and wasted a lot of time and energy in the process.

A good workout is like a map – it’ll get you to where you want to be in the shortest possible time.

While it’s a good idea to learn how to write your own workouts, that can be time-consuming. Sometimes it’s nice to leave all that work to someone else and focus 100% on your training.

After all, that’s one of the reasons that people hire personal trainers and coaches.

Here are 5 tried and tested hypertrophy workouts for you to try. They include a variety of exercises, training splits, and workout methods to ensure that you don’t get bored doing the same thing over and over again.

Pick one, stick with it for 4-6 weeks, and then try another one. It’s okay to come back to your favorite, but don’t use the same workout for too long, or it will lose its effectiveness.

Warming up for a great workout

To get the most from any of these workouts, and keep your risk of injury to a minimum, make sure you spend a few minutes warming up before you start. A proper warm-up will increase joint mobility and muscle elasticity and raise your core temperature. Not only will this minimize your chances of hurting yourself, but it’ll also improve your performance, and that means better results and faster progress.

Prepare your body for your coming workout by doing 5-10 minutes of easy cardio, followed by some dynamic joint mobility and stretching exercises for the body parts you are about to train.

Finish off your warm-up with 2-3 sets of the main exercises of your workout, using light weights. This will not only ensure your muscles and joints are good to go, but will also give you a chance to practice the exercises you are about to do.

Workout 1 – The simple four-way split

If you are new to hypertrophy training, this is a good place to start. With only four workouts per week, you’ll have plenty of time to rest and recover, and it won’t take over your life either.

Benching Iron

 

Each body part gets trained once per week, which is enough to produce some noticeable muscle growth. However, we’ve doubled up on arm training as we know that’s an area a lot of exercisers like to prioritize.

Level: Beginner / Intermediate

Weekly split:

Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
Chest and biceps Legs and abs Rest Back and triceps Rest Shoulders and arms Rest

Workout 1.1 – Chest and biceps

Chest:

Barbell bench press – 3 sets of 8 reps

Incline dumbbell press – 3 sets of 10 reps

Cable crossovers – 3 sets of 12 reps

Biceps:

Barbell curls – 3 sets of 8 reps

Cable curls – 3 sets of 10 reps

Workout 2.1 – Legs and abs

Legs:

Barbell back squats – 4 sets of 6 reps

Romanian deadlifts – 3 sets of 8 reps

Leg extensions – 3 sets of 10 reps

Leg curls – 3 sets of 10 reps

Split squats – 3 sets of 12 reps per leg

Standing calf raises – 3 sets of 12 reps

Abs:

Body saw – 3 sets of 12 reps

Russian twist – 3 sets of 10 reps each side

Workout 3.1 – Back and triceps

Back:

Lat pulldowns – 3 sets of 10 reps

Single-arm dumbbell rows – 3 sets of 12 reps per arm

Dumbbell pullovers – 3 sets of 12 reps

Triceps:

Skull crushers – 3 sets of 10 reps

Triceps pushdowns – 3 sets of 12 reps  

Workout 4.1 – Shoulders and arms

Shoulders:

Seated dumbbell shoulder press – 3 sets of 8 reps

Dumbbell lateral raises – 3 sets of 10 reps

Cable face pull – 3 sets of 12 reps

Arms:

Dumbbell curls – 3 sets of 8 reps per arm

Reverse curls – 3 sets of 10 reps

Triceps dips – 3 sets of 8 reps

Triceps kickbacks – 3 sets of 10 reps per arm

Workout 2 – Push-pull-legs

Push-pull-legs is a popular and flexible training split. It groups exercises by movement, which helps prevent overlaps while providing plenty of rest and recovery between workouts.

Arnold Quads

You can work each muscle group once or twice per week, depending on the time you have available and how experienced you are. Beginners and early intermediates should stick to one workout per body part per week, while more advanced exercises can do two.

Level: Beginner / Intermediate / Advanced 

Weekly split:

  Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
Beg/int. Push Rest Pull Rest Legs Rest Rest
Adv. Push Pull Legs Push Pull Legs Rest

Workout 2.1 – Push

Incline barbell bench press – 3 sets of 10 reps

Chest press machine – 3 sets of 12 reps

Dumbbell flyes – 3 sets of 12 reps

Barbell shoulder press – 3 sets of 8 reps

Dumbbell lateral raises – 3 sets of 12 reps

Triceps pushdowns – 3 sets of 10 reps

Close grip pushups – 3 sets of 15 reps

Workout 2.2 – Pull

Pull-ups – 3 sets of 6 reps

Reverse grip lat pulldowns – 3 sets of 8 reps

Seated cable rows – 3 sets of 10 reps

Dumbbell shrugs – 3 sets of 12 reps

Dumbbell reverse flyes – 3 sets of 12 reps

EZ bar preacher curls – 3 sets of 10 reps

Dumbbell curls – 3 sets of 8 reps per arm

Workout 2.3 – Legs

Front squats – 3 sets of 8 reps

Leg press – 3 sets of 10 reps

Bulgarian split squats – 3 sets of 10 reps per leg

Box jumps – 3 sets of 10 reps

Seated calf raises – 3 sets of 12 reps

Standing calf raises – 3 sets of 15 reps

Workout 3 – Powerbuilding workout

Powerbuilding is a combination of powerlifting and bodybuilding. It’s a training method designed to increase muscle strength and size at the same time. Each workout is built around one of the “big three” exercises: squats, bench presses, and deadlifts, and involves lifting heavy weights to build strength, and then moderate weights to trigger hypertrophy.

Dumbbell Arnold Press

In addition to the three main workouts, this program also includes a fourth assistance workout that is designed to plug any developmental gaps left by the other three sessions.

Not sure if you want to be a bodybuilder or a powerlifter? This is the workout for you!

Level: Intermediate / Advanced 

Weekly split:

Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
Squat Rest Bench press Rest Deadlift   Assistance Rest

Workout 3.1 – Squats (legs)

Squats – 5 sets of 3-5 reps

Hack squat – 3 sets of 8 reps

Leg extensions – 3 sets of 10 reps

Leg curls – 3 sets of 10 reps

Lunges – 3 sets of 12 reps per leg

Workout 3.2 – Bench press (chest and triceps)

Bench press – 5 sets of 3-5 reps

Incline dumbbell bench press – 3 sets of 8 reps

Pec deck – 3 sets of 10 reps

Close grip bench press – 3 sets of 8 reps

Dumbbell skull crushers – 3 sets of 12 reps

Workout 3.3 – Deadlifts (back and biceps)

Deadlifts – 5 sets of 3-5 reps

Good mornings – 3 sets of 8 reps

Reverse hypers – 3 sets of 12 reps

Chin-ups – 3 sets of 6 reps

Chest supported rows – 3 sets of 10 reps

Workout 3.4 – Assistance (shoulders, calves, and core)

Barbell shoulder press – 3 sets of 8 reps

Face pulls – 3 sets of 12 reps

Seated calf raises – 3 sets of 12 reps

Standing calf raises – 3 sets of 15 reps

Hanging knee raises – 3 sets of 12 reps

Cable woodchops – 3 sets of 10 reps per side

Workout 4 – Pre-exhaust supersets

This workout involves doing an isolation exercise immediately before a compound exercise for the same muscle group. This increases time under tension and also pre-fatigues the prime mover or agonist, which, in theory, produces a deeper level of fatigue and more muscle growth.

Arnold In Gym

To do a pre-exhaust superset, do the first exercise, e.g., leg extensions, and then immediately do a set of leg presses afterward. Rest for 1-2 minutes and then repeat the pairing. Because your muscles will already be tired, don’t expect to use as much weight as usual on the second, compound exercise in each pairing.

Level: Intermediate / Advanced 

Weekly split:

Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
Chest and back Rest   Legs and calves   Rest Shoulders and arms Rest Rest

Workout 4.1 – Chest and back

Cable crossovers – 4 sets of 12 reps

Barbell bench press – 4 sets of 8 reps  

Straight arm pulldowns – 4 sets of 12 reps

Pull-ups – 4 sets of 6 reps

Incline dumbbell flyes – 4 sets of 12 reps

Incline dumbbell bench press – 4 sets of 8 reps

Dumbbell pullovers – 4 sets of 12 reps

Bent over barbell row – 4 sets of 8 reps  

Workout 4.2 – Legs and calves

Leg extensions – 4 sets of 12 reps

Front squats – 4 sets of 8 reps

Leg curls – 4 sets of 12 reps

Deadlifts – 4 sets of 8 reps

Alternating leg extensions – 4 sets of 12 reps per leg

Lunges – 4 sets of 8 reps per leg

Hip thrusts – 4 sets of 12 reps

Romanian deadlifts – 4 sets of 8 reps

Standing calf raises – 4 sets of 12 reps

Ankle jumps – 4 sets of 15 reps

Workout 4.3 – Shoulders and arms

Dumbbell lateral raises – 3 sets of 12 reps

Barbell shoulder press – 3 sets of 8 reps

Barbell front raises – 3 sets of 12 reps

Dumbbell alternating shoulder press – 3 sets of 8 reps per arm

Preacher curls – 3 sets of 12 reps

Barbell cheat curls – 3 sets of 8 reps

Triceps pushdowns – 3 sets of 12 reps

Close grip bench press – 3 sets of 8 reps

Workout 5 – Agonist-antagonist supersets

This workout pairs pushing with pulling exercises. Using push-pull supersets is an effective way to shorten your workouts and also speed up recovery between exercises. Do the first exercise, e.g., pull-ups, and then immediately do the paired pushing exercise, e.g., push-ups. Rest a moment and then repeat the pairing.

Arnold Arms Pump

Back is trained twice in this program, and exercises have been separated into horizontal pulling exercise (rows) and vertical pulling exercise (pulldowns and pull-ups) to balance the opposing pushing exercises more evenly.

Level: Beginner / Intermediate

Weekly split:

Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
Chest and back Rest   Legs Shoulders and back Rest Arms Rest

Workout 5.1 – Chest and back

Dumbbell bench press – 4 sets of 8 reps

Cable seated rows – 4 sets of 8 reps

Incline dumbbell press – 4 sets of 10 reps

Chest supported dumbbell rows – 4 sets of 10 reps

Chest press machine – 4 sets of 12 reps

Face pulls – 4 sets of 12 reps

Workout 5.2 – Legs

Squats – 3 sets of 8 reps

Leg curls – 3 sets of 12 reps

Romanian deadlifts – 3 sets of 8 reps

Leg extensions – 3 sets of 12 reps

Leg press – 3 sets of 8 reps

45-degree back extensions – 3 sets of 12 reps

Standing calf raises – 3 sets of 12 reps

Tibialis anterior toe raises – 3 sets of 12 reps

Workout 5.3 – Shoulders and back

Dumbbell shoulder press – 4 sets of 8 reps

Pull-ups – 4 sets of 8 reps

Shoulder press machine – 4 sets of 10 reps

Lat pulldowns – 4 sets of 10 reps

Barbell front raises – 4 sets of 12 reps

Dumbbell pullovers – 4 sets of 12 reps

Workout 4 – Arms

EZ bar biceps curls – 3 sets of 8 reps  

EZ bar skull crushers – 3 sets of 8 reps

Cable curls – 3 sets of 10 reps

Triceps pushdowns – 3 sets of 10 reps

Concentration curls – 3 sets of 12 reps per arm

Single-arm overhead triceps extensions – 3 sets of 12 reps per arm

Workout FAQs

Got questions about these workouts? We’ve got answers! If you can’t find the information you need below, please drop us a line in the comments section.

Wrapping up

With five new workouts to try, you have no excuse for drifting from one exercise to another and getting nowhere fast. A well-structured program could be the difference between reaching your muscle-building goals and not making any progress at all.

Follow these programs to the letter or, if you prefer, use them as frameworks and slot your favorite exercises into each one. Either way, your workouts will be more productive.

Some exercisers can get away with a more flexible approach to training, but they are in the minority. For the rest of us, a good program is the key to bodybuilding success.

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