The Best Workout for Gaining Muscle

You want to gain muscle and maximize your workout, but don’t know where to start? This article is here to help you; outlining the best exercises and techniques for packing on muscle and achieving the physique you desire.

Quick facts: Best Workout For Gaining Muscle

  • ✅ Gaining muscle requires a progressive overload – American College of Sports Medicine
  • ✅ Women can gain muscle using the same principles as men – Harvard Health Publishing
  • ✅ Building muscle occurs in the kitchen as well as in the gym – The American Council on Exercise
  • ✅ You should be performing resistance training 2-3 times a week – Mayo Clinic
  • ✅ High-intensity interval training has been proven to be an effective tool for gaining muscle – PubMed


Consuming the right nutrients is essential for not only gaining muscle, but also for maintaining good health. Eating a balanced diet that is rich in protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats will help you reach your fitness goals. Additionally, it’s important to remember that the nutrition you consume should be tailored to your individual needs and goals.

Let’s explore how nutrition contributes to gaining muscle:

Calculate your calorie needs

To gain muscle, you must consume more calories than your body burns. Your energy needs depend on your gender, body size and the intensity of your workouts. Use an online macro calculator to determine the number of calories you need to eat each day.

Start by entering information about yourself such as your age, weight and activity level. The calculator will give you a ballpark estimate of the number of calories you need to eat each day in order to gain muscle.

Once you have an idea of how many calories you should be eating, start tracking your food intake. Monitor what types of foods you’re eating throughout the day and make sure they are high-quality sources that provide essential nutrients like protein, healthy fats, complex carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals.

Eating small portions throughout the day can help give your muscles the fuel they need for growth without overwhelming your digestive system with a large meal in one sitting.

Choose nutrient-dense foods

When it comes to gaining muscle, what you eat is just as important as the exercise you do. Choose nutrient-dense foods that provide your body with protein, complex carbohydrates, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals. This type of diet will support muscle growth while also helping to maintain energy levels during your workouts.

Good sources of nutrient-dense foods are:

  • Lean meats like chicken and fish;
  • Fruits and vegetables;
  • Whole grains such as oats and quinoa;
  • Nuts and seeds;
  • Legumes such as beans and lentils;
  • Low-fat dairy products like yogurt and milk;
  • Healthy oils like olive oil.

A balanced diet of nutritious foods helps fuel your body for intense workouts while providing the essential nutrients to build muscle tissue.

Increase protein intake

Increasing your protein intake can be a key factor in gaining muscle mass. Eating a high-protein diet helps build and maintain muscle when combined with regular exercise. Proteins are made up of amino acids, which are the building blocks of muscle, so it’s important to get enough of them in your diet each day.

Most adults need about 0.8g to 1g of protein per kilogram (2.2lbs) of body weight every day for regular activity and exercise, but this can be higher for those who are lifting weights or participating in other activities that promote muscle growth. Aim for whole food proteins such as lean meats, beans, nuts, and seeds over processed proteins such as energy bars or protein shakes if possible.

Additionally, it is important to make sure you are eating a balanced diet that includes all the essential nutrients needed to support healthy muscles and bones.

Strength Training

Strength training is one of the best and most efficient ways to gain muscle. It involves performing exercises with resistance, either with weights, machines, or your own body weight. Strength training not only helps you build muscle but also improve your cardiovascular endurance, increase your energy levels, and strengthen your joints and bones.

Let’s look at some more benefits of strength training:

Select compound exercises

Compound exercises are the cornerstone of any strength training program. These exercises target multiple muscle groups simultaneously, while still allowing you to push your body to its limits. Compound exercises are typically multi-joint movements that involve more than one joint and multiple muscles. Examples include squats, deadlifts, chest presses, shoulder presses, rows and pull-ups.

By performing compound movements, you increase your overall muscle recruitment and intensity level since it requires more energy to move multiple joints at a time. Additionally, compound exercises can also help increase muscular endurance over time as you build stronger muscles that can sustain longer sets of exercises, with fewer rest periods in between sets. Finally, by selecting certain compound exercises for your workout sessions, you can help maximize the amount of muscle gain from your workout routine in the shortest amount of time possible.

Organize your routine

Organizing your routine is essential to getting the most out of your strength training. When planning a workout, it’s important to pay attention to both exercise order and rest period length.

Exercise order should be determined before beginning a session, as this will help ensure proper form and reduce injury risk. Generally, experts recommend that large muscle groups are targeted first, with smaller muscles being targeted afterwards.

Additionally, rest periods should last no more than 60 seconds when lifting light weights and no more than 90 seconds when lifting heavy weights. This will keep you from tiring out too quickly while also allowing sufficient resting time between sets to ensure you make the most of each session.

Increase your weights

Increasing your weights is an effective way to build muscles. You can do this by performing exercises that use a combination of heavier weights, multiple sets and shorter rest periods in between sets. An example of a strength-training exercise would be bench press with heavier weights, five sets and approximately 30 seconds of rest between each set.

Increasing the weight gradually over time is important, as it will allow your body to adjust to the increased load and prevent injury. This can be done by subtracting two-to-five pounds each week until you reach a new level of weight that challenges you. If you find that 8–10 reps are becoming too easy, increase the weight accordingly to maintain difficulty while training. Your goal should be to constantly challenge yourself in order for your muscles to grow effectively.


Cardio can play an important role in gaining muscle. It helps improve oxygen circulation to your muscles and can also help your body burn fat more efficiently. Combined with other exercises, such as weight lifting and resistance training, it can help you build more muscle.

Let’s discuss the best ways to get the most out of cardio for muscle growth:

Choose the right type of cardio

When it comes to gaining muscle, it’s important to choose the right type of cardio. Too much cardio can cause your body to use up all the calories you need to put on muscle mass. You should select an activity that’s tailored towards your goals, rather than an activity that causes you to burn off too many calories at once.

For instance, if you’re looking for a low-impact workout, try activities like yoga or swimming. They don’t place excess stress on your joints and muscles so you can focus on gaining muscle without worrying about any potential injuries.

Alternatively, if you want something more intense and higher-impact, HIIT workouts or Tabata intervals are great options as they require more effort but don’t take up a lot of time. Plus, they have been proven to have great results in building muscle and burning fat.

Monitor your intensity

When performing cardio for muscle building, the goal should be to keep your intensity levels in check. The goal is to maintain a moderate intensity level so that you can continue to work out for longer periods of time. A good way to monitor your intensity level is by monitoring your heart rate. Aim for an intensity range of 50 – 70% of your maximum heart rate and try to maintain that range throughout your workout session. This will ensure that you are getting an effective and challenging workout without pushing yourself too hard.

Furthermore, it’s important to make sure that you are taking breaks throughout your workout session so you don’t over-exert yourself and cause injury. Lastly, make sure you are doing cardio exercises that target larger muscle groups such as running, cycling, or swimming in order to maximize muscle growth potential.

Increase cardio frequency

Increasing your cardio frequency can be a great way to gain muscle mass. Doing short, intensive sprints can help you build more muscle than if you were doing longer, moderate-paced workouts.

When adding cardio to your workout routine, you will want to focus on the optimal intensity and duration for those sessions for maximum benefit. For example, interval training is great for building muscle as it focuses on bursts of intense effort followed by recovery periods. Interval training can range from running or cycling sprints, bodyweight exercises such as burpees or mountain climbers, or even exercises that use resistance bands or kettlebells.

Additionally, when increasing your cardio frequency make sure to give yourself adequate rest after each session in order to maximize results and prevent injury. Finally, be sure to adjust your diet accordingly as higher amounts of cardio may require more fuel in order to ensure you are getting adequate nutrients that support your workout goals and overall health.


Recovery is an essential factor for gaining muscle mass. Proper recovery involves getting enough sleep, eating well, and giving your body time to rest between workouts. Getting adequate rest is essential as your muscles only grow when they’re given time to recover.

Let’s explore the importance of recovery for gaining muscle and what you can do to ensure that you recover properly:

Get adequate sleep

Getting enough sleep is essential for muscle growth and recovery. Sleep helps promote anabolic processes in the body, allowing it to repair muscle fibers and build new ones. Getting 8 hours of quality sleep each night is a key part of your recovery plan.

Make sure to go to bed at the same time each night, remove any distractions like phones or TVs from your bedroom, and try to steer clear of caffeine late in the day. Lack of sleep has been linked to problems with cardiovascular health, cognitive function, and even depression—so don’t skimp on those 8 hours! Adequate restful sleep will ensure that you’re giving yourself the best opportunity for optimum muscle growth.

Take rest days

Rest days are essential for muscle growth. It’s important to take rest days in between muscle-building workouts, as they help the body recover and improve muscle strength. During these rest periods, muscles restore the glycogen and ATP – cellular energy sources – that were used during the workout session. This helps them build up the strength required for more intense exercises later on in your training regime.

Furthermore, taking a break helps reduce fatigue and overtraining injuries that can occur when you work out too frequently without ample rest. To ensure your body gets adequate time to recover and repair itself, aim to include at least one rest day between exercise sessions each week and make sure to get plenty of sleep each night!

Use supplements

Using supplements can help improve your recovery time when trying to gain muscle. Supplements are a great way to get necessary nutrients into your body faster, without having to have meals all the time. Many supplements provide extra nutrients that help reduce inflammation and soreness, while providing energy and endurance. Combined with a healthy diet and regular exercise, these supplements can help your muscles recover faster from workouts, allowing you to gain muscle more effectively.

Popular types of muscle-gaining supplements include:

  • Whey protein powder
  • Branch-chain amino acids (BCAAs)
  • Creatine monohydrate
  • Nitric Oxide (NO) boosters
  • Glutamine

When choosing supplements for muscle-building, make sure to look for those that are researched well and match your needs best. Additionally, be sure to follow the recommended daily dose in order to avoid any adverse effects of any supplement.


Achieving your fitness goals is more than just physical. Your mindset plays a major role in all aspects of your workouts. Developing a positive and focused mindset will help you to stay motivated and on-track when attempting to gain muscle. This can make the process of achieving your desired results much easier.

Let’s look at how to create a successful mindset for gaining muscle:

Set achievable goals

Setting achievable goals is essential when trying to gain muscle. Goals should be specific, measurable and achievable in a given timeframe. Achieving goals can give you the motivation to keep going, while also providing a sense of accomplishment.

When setting goals it is important to remember that there will be difficult days where progress may not seem like it is happening but progress will happen eventually. Muscle growth does not occur overnight, so patience and consistency are important. Always strive for progress, not perfection in order to stay motivated and happy in your journey to gain muscle.

Additionally, make sure that your goals are realistic; set yourself up for success instead of disappointment by setting reachable goals.

Track your progress

Tracking your progress during your workouts is an important step in gaining muscle. You should keep track of the weight that you’re using and the number of reps that you’re able to do. This will give you an indication of how much you’ve improved since the last time you worked out. This is especially important for determining when it’s time to increase the weight that you are lifting.

When tracking your progress, it’s also important to include other metrics such as bodyfat percentage, height, and weight measurements. All of these metrics combined can give a more comprehensive picture as to how effective your workout routine is for gaining muscle mass.

Keeping track of your progress also encourages self-motivation and allows you to set goals for yourself so that you can better stay on track with reaching your desired results.

Remain consistent

Consistency is key when it comes to any kind of workout, especially when trying to gain muscle. Every day counts and every rep matters. If you want to reach your goals, then you will need to stick with it and put in the effort and dedication that is required. Even on days when motivation is low and you don’t feel like working out, keep your focus on the end goal.

When trying to gain muscle, consistency also applies to nutrition. Eating the right foods and staying hydrated are necessary for a successful workout program. So remember, remain consistent in all aspects of your healthy lifestyle and the results you want will follow!

FAQs about: Best Workout For Gaining Muscle

Q: What exercises should I do to build muscle?

A: The best exercises for building muscle are compound exercises like squats, deadlifts, bench presses, pull ups, and overhead presses. These exercises involve multiple muscles and joints, which will help you build more muscle.

Q: How many days a week should I workout?

A: It is recommended to workout 3-4 times a week. You should aim to have at least one rest day in between workouts to give your body time to recover and build muscle.

Q: What should I eat to build muscle?

A: Eating a balanced diet with plenty of protein, carbohydrates, and fats is essential for building muscle. Eating foods like lean meats, eggs, fish, fruits, and vegetables will give your body the nutrients it needs to build muscle.

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