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9 Bodybuilding Workouts for Mass Gains

Are you ready for bodybuilding workouts that will give you some serious mass gains? Good, because you’re about to get 9 workouts that will make you huge!

The problem is that many who train for mass get bigger and stronger, but end up looking soft. I’m going to show you the exact workouts you need to gain quality size so that you have muscle mass and definition

Get ready, because the time is MASS GAINS O’CLOCK! 

How to Gain Mass

how to gain mass

The results from doing bodybuilding workouts for mass are the most rewarding, ever! Why? Because you’re going to get bigger, stronger, and you’re going to develop an awesome bodybuilder physique. 

Here are some tips to consider before getting into the bodybuilding workouts for mass gain:

  • You have to overload the muscle to ignite growth, so get ready to lift heavy
  • You’ll also be pumping out reps and using techniques to increase intensity
  • You must eat (I’ll cover that and supplements after the workouts below)

Gaining mass requires a combination of lifting heavy and pumping more blood into the muscle (aka getting a pump!). And this is exactly how I designed the bodybuilding workouts for you.

*If you’re new to bodybuilding and weight training, then make sure you read my post: Bodybuilding for Beginners: Complete Workout and Guide to Getting Started with Weight Training

Techniques for Mass

You’ll notice that some of the exercises in the workouts have asterisks in the ‘sets x reps’ sections…

  • Drop Sets: Do a set, reduce the weight by 30-40% and do another set. This helps you reach muscle failure. 
  • Unilateral:  Typically done with dumbbells. When pushing, you’ll hold both dumbbells out at the extended position and perform a rep with one arm while maintaining the extended position with the other arm, then repeat with opposite arms. If you’re pulling, you’ll be maintaining the position closest to your torso. This will really help shape the muscle!

5 Muscle-Specific Workouts

bodybuilding workouts for mass gains

The first 5 workouts are muscle-specific (ex: chest, back, leg, etc.). You can use these workouts for a 5-day training split like this:

  • Monday: Chest
  • Tuesday: Back
  • Wednesday: Legs
  • Thursday: Shoulders
  • Friday: Arms

In fact, I’ve personally followed this split for most of my lifting career, and even today revert to it when I want to focus on mass. 

Chest Workout for Mass Gains

It’s time for a huge and ripped chest! You’ll notice that you’re going heavy in the beginning with compound exercises bench press and incline bench press. These will be your mass builders.

You’ll follow that up with isolation exercises and doing a drop set on the last set of each. This is going to give you the pump you need.

Lastly, you’ll do an excellent technique for shaping your chest muscles: unilateral incline dumbbell press. 

Exercise Sets x Reps
Bench Press 4 x 6
Incline Bench Press 4 x 8
Dumbbell Flyes 3 x 12*
Cable Crossovers 3 x 12*
Incline Dumbbell Press 3 x 10**
  • *drop set on final set
  • **unilateral on all sets

Learn more about getting a ripped chest in my post: How to Define and Shape Your Chest: Hitting Chest from All Angles

Back Workout for Mass Gains

Back is your largest upper body muscle and also the most complex muscle group. So it makes sense to train back heavy, intense, and with a lotta reps.

This back workout for mass gains have you sticking with basic exercises. Like the chest workout above, you’ll start with heavy compound exercises.

I must note that barbell rows is the best exercise you can do for a huge, thick, and ripped back. So that the first exercise you’ll be doing!

Towards the middle and end of the workout, you’re going to be pumping out more reps and doing some drop sets to increase the intensity and reach muscle failure. 

Exercise Sets x Reps
Barbell Rows 4 x 6
Dumbbell Rows 4 x 8
T-Bar Rows 3 x 10*
Lat Pulldowns 3 x 12*
Seated Rows 3 x 12*
Hammer Strength Rows 3 x 12**
  • *drop set on final set
  • **unilateral on all sets

Leg Workout for Mass Gains

If there’s one day you go all-out, it needs to be leg day! You may find that legs respond best to high volume and high reps. But don’t mistake high reps for going light.

You’ll start out with some heavy squats. This is to build strength and mass by overloading the muscle. After that, you won’t go below 12 reps on anything!

*Make sure you stretch your quads and hams extremely good after your leg workout! 

Exercise Sets x Reps
Squats 4 x 6-8
Stiff-leg Deadlifts 4 x 12
Front Squats 4 x 12
Leg Press 4 x 15
Leg Extensions 3 x 15*
Leg Curls 3 x 15*
Calve Raises (seated or standing) 7 x 15
  • *drop set on final set

Shoulder Workout for Mass Gains

Are you ready for boulder sized shoulders? This workout will help you build those capped delts that make you look like a bodybuilder. 

Like the other workouts, you’ll start with a heavy compound exercise. After that, you’ll be hitting your shoulders from different angles, with a lot of isolation work. 

Exercise Sets x Reps
Seated Barbell Press 4 x 6
Arnold (Dumbbell) Press 4 x 8
Lateral Raises 4 x 10*
Bent-over Raises 3 x 10*
Dumbbell Shrugs 3 x 15*
  • *drop set on final set

Arm Workout for Mass Gains

If you’re using these first 5 workouts for mass gains with a Monday through Friday split, you’ll appreciate that arm day is on Friday.

Because you’ve trained your chest, back, and shoulders heavy, you can really focus on building and shaping your biceps and triceps with isolation movements.

This doesn’t mean train light. But you’re not going to be doing powerlifting curls or anything like that. 

This arm workout will be basic but extremely effective at building quality size and ripped arms. You’ll also be alternating biceps and triceps each exercise. 

Exercise Sets x Reps
Close-grip Bench Press 4 x 8
Barbell Curls 4 x 8
Seated Overhead Dumbbell Extensions 4 x 10
Dumbbell Hammer Curls 4 x 10
Rope Pressdowns 3 x 12*
Preacher Curls 3 x 12*
  • *drop set on final set

4 Multiple-Muscle Workouts

workouts for mass gains

The next phase of bodybuilding workouts is perfect for  4-day training split. You will be training multiple muscles in the same workout (but no more than 2)

The idea is to train a large muscle with a smaller muscle together. Here’s an example of a training split you can use, but feel free to change the order or days of the workouts to your preference. 

  • Monday: Chest and Biceps
  • Tuesday: Quads and Calves
  • Thursday: Shoulders and Triceps
  • Friday: Back and Hamstrings

Chest and Biceps Mass Workout

This may be your absolute favorite bodybuilding workout you ever do! Who doesn’t want a big chest and biceps?

Here, you’re training both! In fact, you may want to save this to the end of the week on Friday so you can be pumped when you go out later!

You’ll be training chest heavy in the beginning, but starting with incline bench press. Many lack upper chest development, so this is a good way to focus on that. And you’ll be doing more reps from drop sets for your biceps to get that superior upper body pump. 

Exercise Sets x Reps
Incline Bench Press 4 x 6-8
Dumbbell Press 4 x 8
Incline Dumbbell Flyes 3 x 10
Cable Crossovers 3 x 12*
Alternate Dumbbell Curls 3 x 10*
Preacher Curls 3 x 12*
  • *drop set on final set

Quads and Calves Mass Workout

One of the problems with leg day is you may train quads so hard that you slack on your hamstring exercises. This workout eliminates that risk!

You’ll focus solely on your quads for most of your workout. This will allow you to put all of your energy into building huge quads. And in the end, you’ll do some calves. 

*You may notice that you’ll be doing 100 total reps for leg press. This is going to really get your quads pumped!

Exercise Sets x Reps
Squats 4 x 6
Front Squats 4 x 8
Leg Extensions 4 x 15
Leg Press 5 x 20
Single-leg Extensions 3 x 12*
Calve Raises 7 x 15*
  • *drop set on final set

Shoulder and Triceps Mass Workout

This will be considered a ‘push workout’ as you’re working muscles that push out. Some will choose to train triceps with chest, and that’s okay too (chest and triceps is also a push workout)

But I’ve always found that shoulders pair excellently with triceps with this type of training split. 

Exercise Sets x Reps
Seated Barbell Press 4 x 6
Dumbbell Press 4 x 8
Lateral Raises 3 x 10
Reverse Pec Dec 3 x 12*
Rope Pressdowns 3 x 10*
Seated Overhead Dumbbell Extensions 3 x 12*
  • *drop set on final set

If you want to learn more about push (and pull) workouts, read my post: Push-Pull-Legs Workout: 6-Day Routine for Mass and Strength

Back and Hamstrings Mass Workout

Back and hamstrings are another set of muscles that pair perfectly together. In a sense, this is a ‘pull-day’ because back and hamstring exercises involve pulling towards your body. 

And if you think about it, you’re also working the entire back-side of your body. This is a part that some may neglect because back and hamstrings are not as visible to us (or to the mirror!).  But if you want that 3D bodybuilder look, you must have a massive back and hamstring. 

*You’ll notice that you’re starting with deadlifts. This is a whole-body compound exercise, but it will specifically add slabs of mass to your back and hamstrings!

Exercise Sets x Reps
Deadlifts 4 x 6
Barbell Rows 4 x 8
Dumbbell Rows 4 x 10
Seated Rows 4 x 12*
Stuff-leg Deadlifts 4 x 12
Leg Curls 4 x 12*
  • *drop set on final set

What to Eat for Mass Gains

Vegan plant-based burgers with fries
*Plant-based burger

The bodybuilding workouts for mass would not be complete without addressing diet. If you wanna grow, you have to eat!

And if I had to guess, just by you reading this post probably means you’re already somewhat lean and want to pack on size. So this means you can be more lenient in your diet. After all, you do need calories to grow. 

However, this doesn’t mean load up on junk food. You need to have a clear strategy for making clean gains. Remember, you don’t want to be big and soft. You want to be huge and ripped! 

Here’s a meal plan to support your workout. Use this as a guide to create your own meal plan.

Sample Meal Plan for Mass Gains

  • Meal 1: Cafe-free eggs, oatmeal, plant-based sausage
  • Meal 2: Protein shake with milk, banana and dark berries
  • Meal 3: Protein source with rice and vegetables
  • Meal 4: Nuts, banana, and avocado
  • Meal 5: Protein source with sweet potatoes and spinach
  • Meal 6: Protein shake with banana and peanut butter 

**If you’re interested in help with meal planning and what to eat, check out these guides:

Meal Plans for Mass Gains
Over 200 Anabolic Recipes

Best Supplements for Mass Gains

basic supplements for mass gains

Taking supplements is optional. But if you want to make the most out of your time in the gym, then there are a few mass building supplements you should consider. 

Here’s the deal…don’t take the latest and greatest supplement you see in a hyped-up advertisement. I’m not saying those are bad, but I’m going to show you a more effective way, and it’s also cheaper!

Here are the 4 basic supplements you need for mass gains. You can also read more about these and other supplements in my post: Best Supplement Stack for Mass

Basic Mass Stack

  • Protein powder
  • Creatine monohydrate
  • Multivitamin
  • BCAAs (branched-chain amino acids)

Protein powder is often necessary to meet your daily requirements for protein. This can be anywhere from 1 to 1.5 grams of protein per day, per pound of body weight. Those shakes come in handy, especially post-workout.

Creatine monohydrate is the most effective supplement you can take for mass gains. And the funny thing is, it’s also the cheapest! Taking creatine will help expand your muscles to hold more water, thus making them bigger and stronger. 

Multivitamins are essential for 2 reasons: 1) We don’t typically get our daily requirements in our diet alone, so a good multivitamin will ensure we do, and 2) Us bodybuilders need more than the average person (because we are anything but average!).

BCAAs will help you recover faster from your workouts. This is crucial because, without proper recovery, you won’t make gains. 

Here’s a supplement chart for when to take your supplements:

Supplement When to take
Protein powder pre and post-workout, between meals
Creatine monohydrate Pre and post-workout
Multivitamin Anytime with a meal
BCAAs Pre and Intra workout

More Tips for Mass Gains

Now you’re ready to start making some serious mass gains! As a recap, here are the core things to keep in mind…

  • Lift heavy on the beginning of your workouts using compound exercises
  • Mix in isolation exercises with more reps to pump blood into your muscles
  • Be consistent and train hard!

And remember, don’t overcomplicate the process of gaining mass! Just stick to these basics and visualize yourself making gains.

Also, follow the basic nutrition and supplement tips I gave you. These will help you make more gains, faster.

**Also, check out my premium 12-week mass building program: Hardcore Muscle Building Program

Train with Passion,


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