Most workouts for your major body parts should start with basic, multi-joint strength training exercises that allow you to lift more weight overall, such as the bench presses for chest, overhead presses for deltoids, barbell rows for back and squats for legs. This will allow you to lift heavier on these exercises, while you’re still fresh and have enough energy to better stimulate muscle growth.
Plan on doing 30-45 minute sessions 3-4 times per week (every other day). This may sound like a surprisingly manageable plan, but remember that during each session you have to make it as intense as possible. Your muscles will definitely get sore at first, but that will ease up once you get going with a routine.
- During each session, lift as much weight as you can using the correct form. Test your limits to find out how much weight you should lift by doing reps with different weights. You should be able to do 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps without having to put the weights down. If you can’t, lower your weight. Generally, the 6-12 rep range stimulates bulky muscle growth, while lower reps favor strength gain at the expense of muscle size.
- If you can do 10 or more reps without feeling a burn, add more weight. You simply will not get bigger unless you challenge yourself to go all in.