6 week workout program to build muscle (with PDF) (2023)

for all myfellow beginner lifters, I recommend watching the video below while I go over some helpful tips on this exercise program, as well as discuss what are the important elements that make up a good muscle-building exercise plan.

a goodworkout plan to gain muscle massit's primary when your goal is to add mass and strength. The internet and social networks have given us access to an overwhelming amount of information. This made it difficult and confusing to distinguish a good exercise program from a bad one.

That's why I decided to share with you my favorite muscle building program that will really help you see results in a 6 week period.

Ah, you can also download the pdf version of the program by following the link below.

If you are a beginner, read the workout description. There I explain everything about the training plan – how it works, explain its division and go over some training terms.

training summary

Meta:build muscles
Training level:intermediate beginner
Duration:6 weeks
Days per week:3-6 dias
Training duration:45-60 minutes

training details

  • Journey 1 -Pull day (back and biceps)
  • Day 2 -Push Day (Chest, Triceps, Shoulders)
  • Day 3 -Leg day (quadriceps, hamstrings, calves)
  • Journey 4 –Rest
  • Day 5 –Pull day (back and biceps)
  • Journey 6 –Push Day (Chest, Triceps, Shoulders)
  • Journey 7 –Rest
    • The last two days of training can be optimized to meet your goals. For example, if you want to improve your chest and shoulders, you can keep the push day there. If you want to build bigger legs, switch from push day to leg day.
    • That said, if you want to target each muscle group twice a week, you can add a 6th training day by replacing the rest day on the 7th day with a leg day.
skip to workout

training description

6 week workout program to build muscle (with PDF) (1)

So what makes this muscle building program different from the rest? How can I guarantee that this workout will really help you build muscle in 6 weeks?

Well, technically I can't.

There are many variables that play a role in muscle growth. Your diet, supplementation, rest, a general lifestyle to name a few. However, what I can promise you is that if everything else is under control (i.e. you are eating enough, taking at least whey protein after workouts and maybe using creatine, getting enough rest and not leading a lifestyle destructive), this training program will do wonders for you.

At the end of this exercise program I will add some notes on your nutrition and supplementation. I'm not going into too much depth as this article would be 10,000 words long, but enough to give you a rough understanding of what's expected of you.

With all that said, the exercise program follows thepush/pull/legs (ppl) division. This pattern will help maximize muscle gain and lead to faster results.


(Video) How to Create the Perfect Workout Plan // Ultimate Guide

Well, most traditional workouts follow a system that allows you to train each muscle once a week (the notorious bro split). Or others, who don't give their muscles enough time to rest between workouts, leading to overtraining. What's the problem with that?

Well, overtraining leads to muscle loss. The one thing you know you want the least.


Second, by exercising your muscles once a week, you are not benefiting from protein synthesis. Protein synthesis is the reason your body builds muscle (to study,source). It lasts for about 36-48 hours after exercise. What this means is that after your workout you have a 2 day window to build muscle.

With traditional exercise plans for beginners, you are activating your muscles' protein synthesis once instead of twice and, as a result, you are missing out on potential gains.

This training plan allows you to activate protein synthesis twice a week and reduces the risk of overtraining. This makes it ideal for building muscle.

Also, before we get started, you can download the PDF for the muscle gain workout plan.

How does the 6 week training program work?

Please read this before starting!

(Especially if you are a beginner)

The workout plan is a 3-6 day split that you can follow for the next 6 weeks to build muscle. Its focus is to help increase muscle gain and strength development. The muscle building program is suitable for beginners and intermediates.

Your repetition pace should be slow and controlled. Focus on the eccentric contraction of the muscle. For example, when you're lowering the bar during a curl, a bench press, or when you're lowering yourself into a chest dip.

Aim for a 60-second rest pace. Give your body enough time to rest and recover lost minerals to ensure you have enough energy during your sets.

Remember, the indicated reps are what you should be doing with weights that only allow you to do 8 reps in correct form. If you don't know your limit yet, that's okay too. If you find that you can do 8 reps with 20 pounds, but the last 2 sets are cheating, lower the weight. The last thing you want to happen is to injure yourself during a workout.

The exercise program is designed so that you can exercise 3 or 6 times a week. With that said, if you want to maximize muscle gain, you should aim for the 6-day split. If you are a beginner, you will find it difficult to go to the gym 6 times. This is simply because your muscles will not have fully rested. Start with 3 days a week and progress to the full 6 days to maximize your results.

Also, it doesn't have to be 3 or 6. You can go 4-5 times. Use the extra 1 or 2 hits to focus on lagging muscle groups. For example, if you find that your chest isn't as developed as you'd like, just do an extra day of pushing after you finish the 3-day split.

(Video) SIZE GAIN WORKOUT PROGRAM OVERVIEW | Muscle Size 5x5 program by Guru Mann

Still talking about beginners, another benefit of this exercise program is that it will provide you with a lot of tools and information that will benefit your long-term development with your fitness journey.

After the exercise program, you will find quick notes on nutrition and supplementation. As well as a list of exercises you can replace in your workout to add variability (promote more muscle growth).

Adding “drop sets” and “negative sets” helps increase strength and muscle gain. And it can often completely transform a workout for the better. If you don't know what these terms mean, here's a quick explanation:

  • Negative sets:They require a spotter or assisted equipment. It involves doing 4-5 repetitions of eccentric movement with weights that are beyond your capacity. If you don't have a spotter who can help you, that's fine. Negative sets can usually be exchanged for suspended sets.
    • For example, let's say you're doing biceps curls. Your average weight that you are able to do 8 reps with is 45 pounds. Let's say you increase that weight to 65-70 pounds. Your gym buddy (spotter) would help you lift the weight, and you are responsible for lowering the weight in a controlled manner to your starting position.
    • For the exercises in this muscle-building workout I recommended doing negative sets, you'll see a“Negative set”below the exercise name. Negative sets are usually done as a last set.
  • Drop Sets:This is where you take off the excess weight (taking off about 20-25%) so that you can do 1-3 more reps of a given exercise. As you'll probably notice, I recommend doing drop sets for exercises where most commonly the lowest rep range is 5 or 6.
    • For example, using the same exercise example for negative sets, imagine you are doing 50-pound biceps curls. This weight is ideal for you to correctly perform 5 or 6 repetitions. You drop the weight to 35-40 pounds and do another 1-3 reps right.
    • For the exercises in this workout program I recommended doing drop sets, you'll see a“Set of leftovers”marking. Remember that the Drop set should be performed for the last set of the exercise, where you will have the lowest rep range after the weight progression.

Finally, all exercises have a link to a video where the exercise is performed. That is until I build my own library of visual exercise demos. For now though, this will do.

6 week muscle building training program

Day 1: Pull up (back and biceps)

Exercise 1:
Incline bar row(Massa)(Video)
Drop Set to the last set
Exercise 2:
Lat pull down like long kick(Massa)(Video)
Exercise 3:
Lat Pushdowns(Isolated) (Video)
Exercise 4:
Barbell biceps curl(Massa)(Video)
Drop Set to the last set
Exercise 5:
Preacher Curls(Isolated)(Video)
Exercise 6:
hammer thread(Isolated)(Video)

Day 2: Push (chest, triceps and shoulders)

Exercise 1:
Drop set
Exercise 2:
Chest Dips(Massa)(Video)
Exercise 3:
Air Triceps Extensions(Massa)(Video)
Exercise 4:
triceps pulldown(Isolated)(Video)
Negative Set
Exercise 5:
Side sider for front lift(Isolated)(Video)
Exercise 6:
shoulder press(Massa)(Video)

Day 3: Legs

Exercise 1:
Exercise 2:
lunges with dumbbells(Massa)(Video)
Exercise 3:
leg flexion(Isolated)(Video)
Exercise 4:
leg extensions(Isolated)(Video)
Drop setor Negative Set

Day 4: Rest

Day 5: Pull

Exercise 1:
Exercise 2:
cable lines(Massa)(Video)
Exercise 3:
4to failure
Exercise 4:
Alternate curl with dumbbells(Massa)(Video)
Exercise 5:
seated inclined thread(Massa)(Video)
Drop set
Exercise 6:
spider curls(Isolated)(Video)

Day 6: Push

Exercise 1:
inclined supine(Massa)(Video)
Drop set
Exercise 2:
crusader cape(Isolated)(Video)
Drop set
Exercise 3:
skull crushers(Massa) (Video)
Exercise 4:
cable triceps extensions(Massa)(Video)
Exercise 5:
Lateral Raises(Isolated)(Video)
Exercise 6:
Single Arm Linear Inhibitor(Massa)(Video)

Day 7: Legs

Exercise 1:
Hack Machine Squat(Massa)(Video)
Exercise 2:
Bulgarian split squat with dumbbells(Isolated)(Video)
Exercise 3:
romanian deadlift(Massa) (Video)
Exercise 4:
Body weight squat(Exhaustion)(Video)

List of Substitute Exercises

As I mentioned earlier, it is advisable to alternate between exercises and not have the same routine. Adding variability to your workouts keeps your body from getting used to them. Thus, preventing you from reaching a plateau and increasing muscle gain.

When substituting exercises, be sure to follow the(Massa)e(Isolated)bookmarks. For example, you change your Bench Press(Massa)for Supine Declined(Massa). instead of bench press(Massa)for Cape Flyes(Isolated).


Mass-labelled exercises are those that help build gross muscle mass and strength. Isolation exercises are those that isolate the muscle, allowing you to achieve its full range of motion.

(Video) The BEST Muscle Building Workout Plan For You (MAXIMUM GAINS!)

Also, those marked with (Burn out) are exercises that are those added at the end of the workout just to deplete the muscle. They also help to increase training volume.

Also, be sure to alternate between exercises that are already in the program. You'd be surprised how much you're impacting muscle growth just by switching the order of your exercises.

Keep in mind that some muscle groups don't get a lot of compound or isolation exercises. So the ones already listed should be enough to work with.

breast replacement exercises

Refuse Bench Pressdumbbell flightsincline pushups
Close grip bench pressIncline dumbbell flyesball push-ups
pullovers with dumbbellsbutterfly machine
Refuse Bench PressMolas de Cabo de Bancada Plana
chest presslow cable crossover
bench press with dumbbellsCable chest press
Incline bench press with dumbbells

back replacement exercises

farmer's walkSingle Arm Lat Pulldownrowing machine
T rowback extensions
pullovers with dumbbells
Closed grip pulldowns
Reverse grip pulldowns
dumbbell row

Biceps replacement exercises

Concentrated Curlspull-upsZottman Curl
Inclined Hammer ThreadThread without plate with barClosed grip pulldowns
E-Z bar curlsInverted Lines
cable curls
cable bundles
biceps curl machine

Triceps substitute exercises

triceps dipsReverse footprint extensionsdiamond push ups
Close grip bench presskickbacks with dumbbells
Tate Press

shoulder replacement exercises

standing bar pressReverse Fliespike push-ups
Arnold Shoulder PressFront Raises with Dumbbells
Clean and Pushbus drivers
Barbell Shrugs
Kattlebell Balances

leg replacement exercises

Leg presshamstring curlbodyweight lunges
squat machinecalf increasesBox Squats
sumo deadlift
sumo squats
(Video) Maximize Your Gains: The Perfect 6-Week Workout Program

Nutrition and Supplement Notes

As mentioned, I won't go into too much depth, but will provide enough for you to understand the basics of nutrition and supplementation when building muscle.

That's another topic on its own.

One thing you need to understand is that to build muscle you need agood diet. An exercise program is only half the job.

1. Nutrition

I recommend starting with ourcalorie calculatorwhich will show you how many calories you need to eat to build muscle.

There is no need to bulk up and eat excessive amounts of calories. Crazy surpluses like 500-1000 calories over your amount to maintain your weight are unnecessary and will do nothing but make you fat.

Try your best to eat clean foods. There's no need for you to be on a perfect diet, just make sure you don't indulge in junk food.

Make sure you are eating enough protein. Although there are many reports that claim that it is not necessary to consume exactly 1g of protein per 1kg of body weight, there are also many reports that claim that this amount promotes anabolism and ensures muscle preservation.

2. Supplementation

You really don't need supplements to build muscle. That being said, supplements will help you to improve muscle gain through their anabolic properties.

Whey protein is a must. Drink whey protein post-workout to ensure you stop the post-workout catabolic effect and enter an anabolic state. Whey protein right after a workout has been shown to create a favorable environment for growth hormone production. Increasing post-workout whey protein to 40g increases protein synthesis by up to 20%.

The second is creatine. I've written a detailed guide to creatine (there's an infographic there) where I cover everything from what creatine is to creatine's muscle building properties. The TLDR of creatine is that it helps with energy production during your workout and ensures you give 100% when working out.

Beta Alanine will also help you increase the intensity of your workouts.

Lastly, omega 3s. They help with muscle inflammation, increase recovery time, and create an anabolic environment for the muscles through the mTOR pathways. I wrote a detailed article on howOmega 3 fatty acids improve muscle growth.

(Video) Full Body 5x Per Week: Why High Frequency Training Is So Effective



Is 6 weeks enough time to build muscle? ›

Most beginners will see noticeable muscle growth within eight weeks, while more experienced lifters will see changes in three to four weeks. Most individuals gain one to two pounds of lean muscle per month with the right strength training and nutrition plan.

Can I reshape my body in 6 weeks? ›

Combining a healthy diet and the right exercises can help you transform your body within your desired timeline. Hence, you can make 6-week body transformations if you eat clean and have an ideal 6-week workout plan. Remember to incorporate effective full-body workouts, especially if you also aim to lose weight.

Can you see gains in 6 weeks? ›

If you're a beginner, expect to see muscle gains roughly six to eight weeks into a strength training program. One of the biggest factors in expediting your gains, says Wilson? Protein. “Your daily protein intake plays an important role in muscle growth,” she explains.

How much muscle can you gain in 6 weeks? ›

Research investigating lean muscle gain over the course of a month is limited,2 but experts suggest that most healthy individuals can gain 1 to 2 pounds of lean muscle mass per month. However, this rate varies based on age, sex, physical condition, genetics, diet quality, and of course, training program.

What is the 6 week shred program? ›

The 6-Week Shred program provides five strength-centered workouts every week for six weeks, each about 60 minutes in duration. The workouts rotate through a focus on the chest, back, shoulders, legs, and biceps and triceps.

How do you set up a 6 week challenge? ›

6 Week Summer Workout Challenge Training Schedule
  1. Day 1 – Upper Body Superset Workout.
  2. Day 2 – Lower Body Superset Workout.
  3. Day 3 – Cardio and Abs.
  4. Day 4 – Upper Body Superset Workout.
  5. Day 5 – Lower Body Superset Workout.
  6. Day 6 – Cardio and Abs.
  7. Day 7 – Complete Rest Day.
Jul 12, 2021

How toned can you get in 6 weeks? ›

Six weeks is enough time to get lean (about 10-12% body fat) if you're about 10 to 15 pounds over what you were. However, if you've been out of the gym and off your diet for a while, then you may need to leave yourself more time, like 12 weeks.

How much can my body change in 6 weeks? ›

Expert-recommended weight losing progress is around 1-2 lbs per week, a number not upsetting normal metabolism, which makes a total of 6-12 lbs in 6 weeks. This is a realistic, manageable and healthy weight loss goal as the first. If you stay focused, with a little hard work you can surely shake off more.

Will I see a difference in 6 weeks of working out? ›

Assuming you are consistent with your fitness program and effectively use each workout as a building block of your overall fitness tower, you can expect to see the physical benefits of your fitness within 8 – 12 weeks. By this stage, physical benefits might include weight loss or a change in body composition.

Should I build muscle workout morning or night? ›

Hitting the gym in the evening also has great benefits, especially if you're looking to build muscle. The body's muscles tend to be weaker during the morning and gradually increase in strength throughout the day. The body's muscles achieve peak strength in the early evening.

Is it better to workout in the morning or evening to gain muscle? ›

A study found that people who worked out in the evening gained more muscle mass between weeks 13 to 24 of consistent training than people who worked out in the morning. If you're trying to gain some serious muscle, evening workouts might do ya better in the long term.

Should I do the same workout everyday to build muscle? ›

Performing the same routine every day can lead to excess soreness or strain. Using the same muscle groups over and over again doesn't leave any time for your muscles to repair and grow. I recommend alternating days training different muscle groups so that you give your body time to recover.

How many reps to build muscle? ›

Reps for muscle growth

In order to get bigger and stronger, you must ensure your muscles work harder than they are used to. Generally, between 6-12 reps for 3-6 sets will help to build overall muscle size.

How long after lifting weights will I see results? ›

It can take about three to four weeks to see a visible change. You'll see some real results after 12 weeks, but it "all depends on your goals, and what type of strength training you are doing," says Haroldsdottir. Muscles are made up of two different types of individual muscle fibers: type one and type two.

How long does it take to transform your body from fat to fit? ›

“At 6 to 8 weeks, you can definitely notice some changes,” said Logie, “and in 3 to 4 months you can do a pretty good overhaul to your health and fitness.” Strength-specific results take about the same amount of time.

How long does it take to gain 20 pounds of muscle? ›

We usually recommend gaining between 0.5–1.5 pounds per week. Gaining more slowly tends to yield leaner gains, whereas gaining weight faster tends to yield faster muscle growth. GK gained 1.4 pounds per week, allowing him to gain 20 pounds in a little over 3 months.

How long does it take to increase 1 inch biceps? ›

Through weightlifting exercises, you may be able to put an inch of muscle on your biceps in a week. You may be able to gain another inch in two weeks, but soon your body will plateau and you won't see that kind of growth every week.

How long does it take to gain 10 pounds of muscle? ›

10 Pounds - After 7 months in the gym you will have built a approximately 10 total pounds of mass. Your body is starting to dramatically change and people can really notice the differences.

Can you bulk and cut in 6 weeks? ›

In general, you should expect to spend at least 4-6 weeks in any bulking or cutting cycle; any less time makes it unlikely that you'll see much in the way of results. Longer cycles can be more effective with a few caveats. First, the most effective bulking cycles are generally at least 3-4 months, if not longer.

Does the 30 day shred work? ›

A major influencer of weight loss is the number of overall calories burned ( 2 ). In general, a person weighing around 150 pounds (68 kg), who is of average fitness, can expect to burn 200–300 calories per workout on the 30 Day Shred. This equals about 2.5 pounds (1.1 kg) lost per month from exercise alone ( 6 ).

What diet to follow to shred? ›

Stick to grilled chicken, fish and turkey for protein, while staying away from lunch meats or processed foods that can be high in sodium. For carbohydrates, reach for vegetables and yams rather than bread, rice, cereals and pastas. “Cut carbs for the last two meals of the day,” Ryan says.

Are bananas good for muscle growth? ›

Bananas are a healthy addition to any diet, even one focused on building muscle. In addition to providing energy for the body, the nutrients in bananas have the effect of increasing muscle mass.

Is Peanut Butter good for Building muscle? ›

Just one tablespoon of peanut butter has four grams of protein, making it a good source of protein for building muscle. Peanut butter is also a good source of monounsaturated fat and antioxidants as well as vitamins and minerals that will help your body stay healthy and function properly.

How do you structure a 6 day workout? ›

6-Day Muscle Building Workout Plan
  1. Day 1: Shoulders, Chest And Core Muscles.
  2. Day 2: Triceps And Leg Muscles.
  3. Day 3: Back And Core Muscles.
  4. Day 4: Triceps, Biceps And Leg Muscles.
  5. Day 5: Rest Day.
  6. Is 6 days a week in the gym too much for a beginner?
  7. Which schedule is the best for the gym?
Sep 9, 2022

How do I create a weekly training program? ›

The 7-Day Workout Schedule
  1. Monday: Cardio.
  2. Tuesday: Lower body.
  3. Wednesday: Upper body and core.
  4. Thursday: Active rest and recovery.
  5. Friday: Lower body with a focus on glutes.
  6. Saturday: Upper body.
  7. Sunday: Rest and recovery.
Feb 7, 2022

What is the 21 day fix challenge? ›

The 21 Day Fix involves calculating calorie needs, consuming portion-controlled meals and completing daily workouts for 21 days.

What happens after 6 weeks of working out? ›

At the six week mark, you should notice that your energy levels are on the rise! At first, when you start out, your workouts will leave you energy drained – but – this switches to having the opposite effect. You should begin to feel more energised!

Will I lose muscle after 6 weeks off? ›

Some athletes see a loss of about 6% muscle density after three weeks. Some power lifters see losses of as much as 35% after seven months. Young women who trained for seven weeks and gained two pounds of muscle mass, lost nearly all of it after detraining for seven weeks.

Is 5 weeks enough to Build muscle? ›

Is there a really quick fitness and diet regime I can do to pump up and slim in that time, or have I just blown it?” Answer: Five weeks is plenty of time to change your body and build muscle and lose fat, but you need to be very disciplined.

Why is my stomach getting bigger when I exercise? ›

Why? Well, you may feel bloated after a workout if you've been breathing hard or gulping too much water, which may cause you to swallow air. You may experience abdominal dissension if you overhydrate or drink too little, and physical exertion can cause bloating in and of itself.

How long should you workout a day? ›

As a general goal, aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity every day. If you want to lose weight, maintain weight loss or meet specific fitness goals, you may need to exercise more. Reducing sitting time is important, too.

How long does it take to start seeing results from working out 6 days a week? ›

Muscle fitness – expect to see small changes in the first few weeks. Within three to six months, an individual can see a 25 to 100% improvement in their muscular fitness – provided a regular resistance program is followed.

How long after working out do you stop building muscle? ›

A challenging workout will stimulate around 2–4 days of muscle growth. The more hard sets you do per muscle, the longer the stimulus will last. Getting more precise, 3 hard sets can be enough to stimulate 2 days of growth. 6 hard sets can stimulate as many as 4 days of muscle growth.

What happens if you lift weights but don t eat enough protein? ›

Your body needs protein to build and repair tissues, so if you aren't eating enough, your muscles won't have the material they need to grow. You could feel “punch drunk” after working out, your arms and other muscles might ache more than usual, and your body may even feel generally weaker.

What are signs of muscle loss? ›

What are the symptoms of muscle atrophy?
  • One arm or one leg is smaller than the other.
  • Weakness in one arm and or one leg.
  • Numbness or tingling in your arms and legs.
  • Trouble walking or balancing.
  • Difficulty swallowing or speaking.
  • Facial weakness.
  • Gradual memory loss.
Jan 21, 2022

What makes muscles grow faster? ›

To Grow Muscle, Eat More Protein

Strength training breaks down your muscles, and protein builds them back up. The more difficult your lifting workouts are, the more important muscle-building foods become when weighing protein intake to solidify recovery, Fitzgerald explains.


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