The best muscle building workout program for men uses big movements and heavy weights. When you are searching for the perfect exercise routine to increase muscle size, use large movements that target your major muscle groups from a variety of angles. Select workout tools such as dumbbells and barbells that offer a large selection of weight loads so you can continue challenging your muscle tissue as you grow.
The key to the best muscle building workout program is to stimulate your muscles into responding. You do this by selecting weight loads that allow you to complete three sets of six to eight repetitions. Limit your rest time between sets to 30 to 45 seconds to quickly fatigue the muscle. Once you are able to easily complete three sets of eight reps, increase the weight. Organize your workouts into muscle groups: shoulders, chest and triceps; back and biceps; legs and core. That way, you challenge each muscle group to the extreme and will see changes in your body.
Recovery days in the best muscle workout program are necessary. Your body makes the muscle-building changes during your rest periods. Arrange your recovery days by working out every other day or alternating the muscle groups so one is resting while the other is working. You still need one or two complete days of rest from weight-lifting each week to reduce your injury risk. Protect yourself from other injuries by wearing proper footwear, workout clothes, gloves and wrist wraps when needed. If you have a previous wrist or hand injury, gloves and wraps are essential to reduce strain on your joints. Warm up with 3 to 5 minutes of full-body movement prior to lifting and cool down with stretches for the muscle groups you worked.
Shoulders, Chest and Triceps
Barbell Shoulder Press: Sit tall and hold a barbell with both gloved hands. Position your hands approximately shoulder-distance apart. While the bar is resting on your legs, face your palms down. Bend your elbows and raise the backs of your hands to your shoulders to position the bar across your upper chest. Exhale, straighten your arms overhead until only a slight bend in your elbows remains. Inhale and slowly lower the bar back to your upper chest.
Flat Bench Chest Fly: Hold onto a dumbbell in each hand. Lie face up on a flat bench and extend your arms over your chest. Face your palms toward each other. Press your lower back into the bench to protect your spine. Inhale and lower your arms to the sides while keeping a slight bend in your elbows. Lower as far as possible. Exhale, bring your arms back to the starting position as you focus on squeezing your elbows together. Turn your palms toward your face for a dumbbell chest fly variation.
Lying Triceps Extension: Hold a barbell between your hands or grasp an EZ-Curl bar with both hands. Lie face up on a flat bench and extend your arms toward the ceiling. Keep your shoulders and elbows in this stable position as you inhale, bend your elbows and lower the weight toward your forehead. Exhale and straighten your arms to the starting position.
Back and Biceps
Barbell Rows: Wrap a wrist wrap around a barbell and grasp the bar with your palms facing down and spaced slightly wider than your shoulders. Stand with your feet at a hips-width apart and lean forward slightly from your hips. When you do this, straighten your arms toward the floor so they hang directly below your shoulders. Exhale, bend your elbows and pull the weight toward your torso. At the top of the movement, squeeze your shoulder blades toward each other as you pause for one second. Inhale, straighten your arms to the starting position.
Chin-Ups: Chin-ups target your back and your arms and will pre-fatigue your biceps for the next exercise. Wrap your wrist wraps around an overhead bar and grasp the bar with your palms facing you. Position your hands at a shoulders-width apart. Hang from the bar or place the tops of your feet on a bench if you need assistance. Exhale, bend your elbows and pull your chin up to the height of the bar. Pause for one second and then inhale and slowly lower to the starting position.
Concentration Curls: Hold a dumbbell in your right hand as you sit on a flat bench. Position your right elbow against your right inner thigh and straighten your right arm so the weight begins near your right ankle. Exhale, bend your right elbow and raise the weight toward your right shoulder. At the top of the movement, turn your little finger toward your armpit to peak your biceps. Inhale and return to the starting position. Repeat for repetitions and then perform an equal number with your left arm.
Legs and Core
Front Barbell Squat: Position a barbell in a squat rack so it is at the height of your shoulders. Step underneath the bar and rest it across your upper chest and shoulders. Cross your arms over each other and hold onto the bar with both hands. Once the bar is secure, push up with your legs to release it from the rack. Place your feet slightly wider than your hips with your toes facing forward. Tighten your stomach to support your back and shift your weight onto your heels. Inhale, bend both knees and lower your hips until your thighs are parallel with the floor in a deep squat. Exhale, straighten your legs and return to a standing position.
Stiff-Legged Dead Lift: Stand with your feet slightly wider than your hips with your toes underneath the bar of a barbell. Wrap your wrist wraps around the bar for a secure lift. Begin in a folded forward position with your legs straight, back straight and hands grasping the bar at approximately a shoulders-width apart. Exhale, stand tall as you raise the weight close to your legs and up to your hips. Inhale, fold forward and return to the starting position.
Standing Calf Raise: Stand tall on the ground or on the edge of a stair. Hold onto a dumbbell in each hand with your arms at your sides. Raise your heels as high as you can as you balance on the balls of your feet. Then lower your heels and repeat. Perform this exercise one leg at a time for a greater challenge.
Seated Calf Raise: Sit on a flat bench or chair with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Hold a barbell or pair of dumbbells across your thighs. Exhale and raise your heels as high as possible. Pause for one second at the peak contraction and then inhale and lower your heels. You may place your feet on a piece of wood or step for a greater range of heel motion.
Jackknife: Lie face down on a stability ball. Place your hands on the floor and walk your hands forward until the ball rests against your thighs near your knees. Keep your spine straight as you exhale, bend your knees and roll the ball toward your chest. Inhale, straighten your legs and return to the starting position.
Russian Twists: Sit on the floor with your knees bent and feet in front of you. Hold onto a dumbbell or a medicine ball in front of your chest. Keep your chest high as you exhale and rotate the weight to your right side. Return the weight to the center and then exhale and twist to the left. For a greater challenge, keep your knees bent and elevate your feet throughout the movement.