Muscle Mass For The Modern And Athletic Man

By Josh Gibson | Mens Training

Sep 24

Following the same “muscle mass” workout your friend or coach showed you from high school gets boring and monotonous…

Sure, it was great in the moment and filled a void when you just started getting hair under your armpits and your voice still “squeaked”, but things change…

Your strength and size stall…

So you scour to find a “new” workout program but most don’t fit into your already active lifestyle because the programs require 5-6 days of workouts and are all revolved around bodybuilding splits.

You know…

  • Chest and Tri’s
  • Back and Bi’s
  • Legs and …. more legs.
  • Shoulders sand core

On top of that, you have this actual life filled with

  • School / Work
  • Family
  • Sport / Activites

But you’re looking for a simple muscle mass plan to stack on pounds of muscle like you do pancakes on your plate and while maintaining your athleticism…

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Let’s show you how busy and active guys can structure their training program to add muscle around your busy life schedule assuming you already are active 3-4 days per week.

Setting Up Your Week For Muscle Gains

The Bible knows what it’s talking about when it says:

“A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways”
James 1:8

The same rule holds true for your training.

Your week needs to reflect your Primary Goal.

In this case, your primary goal to add muscle size.

Say you play two pick up games of basketball per week, and you also train with weights two times per week, but your primary focus right now is to add muscle size and strength.

We need to SHIFT our week in favor of our primary training goal (muscle mass) and put our sport/activity on the back burner temporarily for 8-12 weeks.

Therefore you should aim to train with weights three times per week and leave one day for basketball or your sport / activity of choice.

Switching your week up to reflect your primary emphasis helps you focus on your primary goal during that phase of training and avoid playing mental ping-pong with yourself and wondering why you haven’t got more jacked yet.

Pick one goal / training focus.

Run in that direction and don’t look back and avoid being double minded about your workout and reap the rewards of dedicated, focused and intense work in the gym.

Muscle Mass For The Modern

& Athletic Man – Phase 1 Weekly Overview

Start off your training with a higher training frequency.

The best way to get better at doing something is to keep doing it.

Increasing our training frequency of the muscle groups will signal a less intense but constant stimulus for muscles to adapt to so we are going to do 3 full-body workouts per week which each workout should be completed under 60 minutes and your week might look like this:

Monday – Weights – Total Body (lower emphasis)

Tuesday – Weights – Total Body (upper emphasis)

Wednesday – Off

Thursday – Basketball / Activity

Friday or Saturday – Weights – Total Body (upper emphasis)

Muscle Mass For The Modern

& Athletic Man – Phase 1 Hypertrophy Program

Day 1 – Total Body (upper emphasis)

1A- Barbell Bench Press 3×12-15

1B- Chest Supported Row 3×12-15

Rest: 60 seconds after last exercise

2A- Reverse Lunge 3×12-15 / leg

2B- Inverted Rows 3×12-15

Rest: 60 seconds after last exercise

3A- DB Bench Press – 1 Arm 3×12-15

3B- DB Rows – 2 pt 3×12-15

Rest: 60 seconds after last exercise

Day 2 – Total Body (lower emphasis)

1A- Back Squat 3×12-15

1B- Pull Ups 3×12-15

Rest: 60 seconds after last exercise

2A- Barbell Floor Press 3×12-15

2B- DB Step Ups 3×12-15 / leg

Rest: 60 seconds after last exercise

3A- DB Overhead Press 3×12-15

3B- Bent Over Rows – Barbell 3×12-15 / leg

Rest: 60 seconds after last exercise

Day 3 – Total Body (upper emphasis)

1A- Chin-Ups 3×12-15

1B- Incline Close Grip Bench Press 3×12-15

Rest: 60 seconds after last exercise

2A- Seated Row (machine / cable) 3×12-15

2B- RDL’s 3×12-15

Rest: 60 seconds after last exercise

3A- DB Overhead Press – 1 Arm 3×12-15

3B- Reverse Grip Pull-downs 3×12-15

Rest: 60 seconds after last exercise

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The keys to your success for phase 1 of your training program utilizes:

  • higher frequency training
  • the metabolic stress of the muscles
  • push / pull training split of opposing muscles

Which is going to build muscle, tendon, and ligament strength while also conditioning your body and getting it physically preparing you for more intense phase 2 for your hypertrophy training where will intensify the size and strength of your muscles.

Muscle Mass For The Modern & Athletic Man – Phase 2 Weekly Overview

Your muscles are going to tell you to STOP, but you have to override those feeble signals in this phase of training.

The workload is going to be nearly doubled and those little fibers will have less time to rest because you’re running them through a gauntlet of supersets with no mercy but forcing them to adapt.

Your brave week can be laid out with a upper / lower split to raise the intensity of the focused body parts and the workouts should still be completed in under 60 minutes.

Your week can look like this:

Monday – Weights – Upper Body (push emphasis)

Tuesday – Basketball / Activity – Total Body (upper emphasis)

Wednesday – Off

Thursday – Weights – Lower Body

Friday or Saturday – Weights – Upper Body (pull emphasis)

Muscle Mass For The Modern

& Athletic Man – Phase 2 Hypertrophy Program

Keeping your training program simplified and focus we enter an intensification phase.

Our muscles have trained and adapted to a moderate stimulus of stress on a frequent basis, now we are going to turn the intensity dial up to activate higher threshold motor units and muscle fibers by increasing the load primarily and adding additional volume.

Day 1 – Upper Body (push emphasis)

1A- Barbell Bench Press 3-5×8-12

1B- Close Grip Push Ups 3-5×10-12

Rest: 90-120 seconds after last exercise

2A- Pull Ups 3-5×8-12

2B- DB Rows – 2 pts 3-5×10-12

Rest: 90-120 seconds after last exercise

3A- SA DB Shrugs – 1 Arm 3×12-15

3B- Tricep Pressdowns – 2 pt 3×12-15

3C- Barbell Curls- 2 pt 3×12-15

Rest: 60-90 seconds after last exercise

Day 2 – Lower Body

1A- Back Squat 3-5×8-12

1B- Reverse Lunge 3-5×10-12

Rest: 90-120 seconds after last exercise

2A- RDL’s 3-5×8-12

2B- Facepulls (band or cable) 3×12-15

Rest: 60-90 seconds after last exercise

3A- Quad Extensions 3×15-20

3B- Hamstring Curls 3×15-20

3C- Glute (Frog Pumps) 3×20-30

Rest: 60-90 seconds after last exercise

Day 3 – Upper Body (pull emphasis)

1A- Pull Ups (neutral grip) 3-5×8-12

1B- Bent Over Row (snatch grip) 3-5×10-12

Rest: 90-120 seconds after last exercise

2A- Bench Press (incline) 3-5×8-12

2B- Push Ups (wide grip) 3-5×10-12

Rest: 90-120 seconds after last exercise

3A- Lateral Raise + Reverse Fly – 3×12-15

3B- DB Skull Crushers – 2 pt 3×12-15

3C– DB Curls- 2 pt 3×12-15

Rest: 60 seconds after last exercise

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Another key to success for phase 2 of your muscle hypertrophy program will be utilizing:

  • super-setting the same muscle groups
  • increasing the metabolic stress of the working muscles
  • activating higher threshold motor units and muscle fibers

This will cause an intense “pump” of blood and nutrients into the working muscles which is followed by a nice case of DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) the next day so recovery is essential in-between workouts and why the muscle groups are now divided up more because intensity has increased.

Concluding Your Muscle Gaining Strategies

Building muscle comes down to these 3 main principles

  1. Muscular Tension – the tension your muscle need to overcome a certain load
  2. Metabolic Stress – total amount of work the muscle can perform and recover from
  3. Muscular Damage – breakdown of muscles fibers to rebuild stronger and bigger for next time

That is essentially it for the training portion!

Now you can manipulate these variables by adjusting:

  • Adjusting your rep load (or % of your 1RM)
  • Rest periods (duration of time between sets)
  • Time under tension (total time your muscle is actually working during the set)
  • Rep Range (reps per set)
  • Total Volume ( Total Sets x Total Reps = volume of work)

The other key factor is going to be EATING which essentially comes down to making sure you are eating every day in a surplus of calories!

If you want a simple equation to eat enough calories to gain muscle mass:

Desired Bodyweight x 14 or 16 = Total Calorie # to hit!

Now what to do after you completed these two phases of your hypertrophy training.

  • Switch up your exercises (bench press to floor press)
  • Vary your rep range ( from 12-15, now try 6-8)
  • Alter your exercise Tempo (4-0-X)
  • Shorten your rest period

The opportunities are endless to keep your training fresh and the gains continually coming, and oh yeah.

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About the Author

Josh is top-tier Speed, Strength and Performance Coach for Athletes and active individuals. He is known for applying proven and practical training principles with athletes and individuals so they can sprint fast, jump high and compete at their highest potential all while preventing the playing of patty cake, wasting time in the gym with gimmicks, fads and other non-effective “workouts.”