Muscular man using magnesium

Mass building workout plan – how to build mass quickly & healthily

Building muscle mass means intensive training.

The workout plan for building mass is fundamentally different from a normal muscle building (hypertrophy) or body sculpting workout plan.

The fundamentals of a mass building workout

It's all about compound exercises, which work on the interactions between the large muscle groups in the chest, back and legs.

The key to successfully building mass, however, is progressively increasing strength.

We'll show you what it's all about and examine every variable of a mass building workout plan in detail.

Our goal: By sharing the theoretical foundations, we want to raise awareness for the special workout requirements for building muscle mass.

We also offer a selection of example plans for mass building and the option of creating your own mass building workout plan.

1. Workout frequency

Thoroughly training your muscles three times a week is enough to build high-quality muscle mass.

Intense strain with heavy workout weights and PB attempts put your muscles under stress and it is advisable to plan at least one day of rest between workouts.

As a general rule, you could divide the mass building workout plan into a split training for adjacent body regions or create a full-body cycle.

A full-body mass building workout is best for beginners (up to 6 months of training experience).

In a full-body workout, the focus is primarily on compound exercises: deadlifts, rowing, bench press, shoulder press and squats.

The high frequency of compound exercises can result in significant strength improvements very quickly.

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Advanced athletes (at least one year of training experience), who decide to build new muscle mass, can also organise their workout plan as a split routine.

The classic distribution into a triple split would be best here, which focuses on the back/biceps (day 1), chest/triceps (day 2) and legs (day 3).

Workout frequency at a glance:
  • 3 workouts per week
  • Full body workout plan for beginners
  • Split workout for advanced athletes

The rest days in between are very important to allow time for muscle growth.

These processes occur only during rest and regeneration phases and not while muscles are under stress.

Additional endurance training is completely counter-productive to building muscle mass.

High intensity training burns a lot of calories, making it extremely difficult to build mass. Long endurance runs promote the release of catabolic (muscle deteriorating) hormones, which means they have a negativ influence on muscle mass building.

We recommend adding no more than one endurance training session per week to a mass building workout plan. It accelerates the transportation of nutrients in the muscles and supports the regeneration of individual muscles.

The endurance training should be completed on a rest day.

Rest intervals at a glance:
  • Muscles grow during the rest phase
  • Controlled endurance training for improved stamina
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2. Workout duration

Why is a short workout session of 45 to 60 minutes perfect for building mass?

It has to do with the release of hormones. Working out for longer than 60 minutes at maximum intensity causes the body to release large amounts of catabolic hormones – these promote the breakdown of muscle mass.

In order to promote the release of anabolic (muscle building) hormones instead, a workout time of 60 minutes should not be exceeded. These promote the breakdown of muscle mass.

3. Exercise selection

Stay away from isolation exercises or training on machines to frequently.

If you want to build mass, you have to work with free weights – compound exercises like deadlifts, bench presses, squats and shoulder presses should be a matter of course in any mass building workout plan.

The complex motions always address multiple muscle groups simultaneously and strengthen them specifically.

You can therefore stimulates growth in specific muscle groups and work on plenty of muscle fibre at the same time.

Your exercise selection at a glance:
  • Free weights instead of isolation exercises
  • Focus on compound exercises

We have also compiled some other fitness exercises that can be easily included in your mass building workout plan.

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4. Workout volume & intensity

The most effective number of reps for mass building is 3 to 6 reps (at maximum strength).

The most important factor in your mass building workout plan is progression (continuous increase in weight).

Getting stronger with each workout and lifting more weight is the only way to stimulate muscle growth.

The following applies to the workout volume: You should do no more than 12-16 sets per workout.

Less is definitely more in this case! Since the focus of mass building is on heavy compound exercises, a maximum of 3 to 4 exercises per workout day are sufficient.


When it comes to mass building workouts:

Less is definitely more.


The number of sets per exercise should never exceed 5.

You will have to – of course – include 1-2 warm-up sets to prepare your muscles for the extreme stress and to prevent injury.

    Workout volume & intensity at a glance:
    • 1-2 warm-up sets before every exercise
    • 3-4 exercises per workout
    • 3-6 reps

    5. Rest interval

    A rest interval of 120-180 seconds is required between maximum strength sets to allow complete recovery.

    In between sets, you should stand up, drink fluids and mentally prepare for the next set.

    6. Tips for your mass building workout plan

    1. Keep a workout diary

    If you're serious about developing quality muscle mass, you should definitely keep a workout diary, where you record your completed sets and the weights used.

    This allows you to make sure you are progressively increasing your strength and weights.

    2. Find a training partner

    For beginners, it is particularly advisable to find a training partner who can explain the basic training techniques in detail and who can spot for you when lifting. This minimises the risk of injury and maximises the effectiveness of each exercise.

    Motivating each other and meeting up to go to the gym together will help you deal with low phases.

    3. Supplementary sports nutrition

    In addition to progressive strength training and a structured nutrition plan, the intelligent use of sports nutrition as part of your workout plan is great for building mass.

    Creatine helps improve both your explosive and maximum strength, which is particularly useful for heavy compound exercises at low reps.

    Creatine furthermore stores water in the muscles, which has a positive effect on glycogen storage in the muscles.

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    Popular favourites in the area of sports nutrition are protein shakes with whey protein, as well as various amino acids that support muscle growth.


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