Men naturally have higher levels of muscle-building hormones than women.
A lifting workout program designed to build muscle size features exercises that are done for numerous sets with the goal of overloading your muscle fibers. How much muscle you put on will depend on the aggressiveness of your training regimen, as well as genetics and your natural level of muscle-building hormones.
Maximizing Workout Effectiveness
Start each workout session with a warm-up lasting a total of 10 minutes, with five minutes dedicated to light cardio like walking, jogging or biking and the other five minutes used for dynamic stretches. You'll increase blood flow to your muscles and wake up your neuromuscular system, which will improve your workout performance. Have a snack consisting of lean protein and carbohydrates ready to eat within 30 minutes of completing your workout, as this will increase protein synthesis.
Workout Designed for Size
The American Council on Exercise recommends performing three to six sets of six to 12 reps of each exercise. Start with three sets of each exercise until you've been training consistently for six weeks and then gradually increase the number of sets you perform as you advance. Rest 30 to 90 seconds in between sets. Select two exercises per muscle group, including the chest, back, shoulders, biceps, triceps, legs and core. For your chest, choose from bench press, dumbbell chest press, incline press, chest fly and pushup. Hit your back with pull-up, bent-over row and lat pulldown. Work your shoulders with shoulder press and lateral raise. For your biceps, perform dumbbell and barbell biceps curls and for your triceps, include dip and lying triceps extension. Develop your legs with leg press, squat, lunge and deadlift. Work your core by doing back extension, crunch and torso twist.
Lift weights three to four days per week, depending on your training level and how much muscle mass you'd like to build. When lifting three days per week, focus on all your major muscle groups during each workout and spread your workouts throughout the week so that you're not working out on consecutive days. An appropriate schedule would be Monday, Wednesday and Friday. If you've been training consistently and are looking for a more aggressive program, lift four days per week. Focus on your upper body muscles two days, such as on Mondays and Wednesdays, and your lower body muscles on two days, like Tuesdays and Fridays. When you follow a split program, you have time to do more exercises per muscle group.
A Word on Toning
People who use the term tone are often interested in building muscle definition, but not in the way that they'd like to build mass. Instead, they're looking for a defined, lean appearance. If this is what you're interested in achieving, you'd see greater benefits if you also incorporate regular bouts of calorie-burning exercise to simultaneously lower your body fat percentage. In addition to your weight training sessions, fit in 150- to 250-minutes of moderate-intensity cardio per week, as recommended by the American College of Sports Medicine for losing fat.