How to Gain Muscle for Beginners

Structuring Your Weight Training Plan

Now that you have a reader's digest version of the body's adaptation response, let's dive into the best way to structure a workout with the primary goal of gaining muscle. 

While there are about a million ways to increase muscle mass, this layout is the best option for beginners. If you are just starting out, I would suggest working out two to three days a week to start, then increase the frequency to four or five days a week after a few months. The more untrained you are, the sorer you will be initially. Remember, the soreness goes away once you adapt to the stimulus. 

When choosing exercises, I like to train the whole body as a single unit. Some people like to break up the body during a workout routine and train individual muscle groups each day. While there is nothing wrong with this approach in terms of developing muscle, rarely do we only use a single muscle group in our daily life. Therefore, I like to train the system as a whole. 

With the intention of gaining muscle, stick to three to four sets per exercise, with each set ranging between eight to 10 reps. Research tells us that three to four sets is far superior than completing a single set of an exercise. Additionally, eight to 10 repetitions seem to be the sweet spot to increase muscle mass. 

If you can perform 20 reps of an exercise, you are now focusing on endurance rather than strength and need to increase the weight. 

As the weight for each exercise becomes easier, your body has a new baseline. 

This is a great sign that your body has continually adapted to all the hard work you have put in. In order to continually push your body, a new overload stimulus is needed. You can either change the exercise or simply add additional weight to the exercise in order to start the process over again. 

Good luck and happy lifting! 

Connect with us on TwitterFacebookInstagram or Pinterest for more tips, recipes and ideas to fuel your ACTIVE life.

Active logoStay in shape in a fitness class or read more fitness articles.

  • 2
  • of
  • 2

Discuss This Article