I have been working out for about 15 years now, since I was 14. Over the years I believe I learned a thing or two about developing a good workout routine to pack on some muscle. Here is my latest muscle-building strategy as well as some other helpful tips.
My workouts are split into 6 different routines â€“ Biceps/Triceps, Chest/Shoulders, Back/Legs and Triceps/Biceps, Shoulders/Chest, Legs/Back. Every work out is preceded by a 15-20 minute jog to warm up. The first muscle group I train during the day is the heavy and intense part of my workout while the second half focuses more on the "pump" and good form. In my opinion you can't go intense and heavy much longer than 25-30 minutes before significantly tiring yourself out. If you are able to work out intensely for longer than that, you are not working out intensely enough!
My work outs in total range from 45 minutes to an hour and have 20-22 sets of various repetitions within them â€“ 10-12 intense sets and 10-12 sets of reduced intensity with good form. Between each set I rest for one minute. Everybody's body is different but for myself I feel this set up is the best for ensuring I get a great work out just about every day. If I had a two hour routine I am not sure how long I could keep that up given all my other priorities in life.
Taking Days Off
I generally work out 6 times a week and take one day off, but I have no problem taking a day off when I just can't fit in a workout routine or feel too tired that day. On the flip side, I have gone 10 or more days in a row of working out, just because I felt up to it. If I am on vacation I stay away from the gym. I feel that there's no need to be working out while I am on a break. There are some benefits to just eating and tanning on an all-inclusive vacation. Take a look at my articles Gaining Lean Muscle Mass During an All-Inclusive Vacation and How to Get a Great, All-Natural Tan that both could be helpful to advance your bodybuilding goals.
Free Weights vs Machine
My workout routine contains both free weights and machine exercises as I have a home gym. I use to be heavily in support of free weights whenever it was feasible to do an exercise with them. Back in university I would get annoyed with anyone who used the squat rack as a bench press. Once I moved into my own place and got my home gym set up I realized the benefits of using a machine. There's nothing quite as shocking to the body when you are doing a bench press seated in an upright position when you've been using a bench and free weights your whole life.
More of my workout advice:
Are Bowflex SelectTech Adjustable Dumbbells suitable for you?
Should you buy Bowflex SelectTech Dumbbells in a store or online?
Why you would want to use barbells for your workouts
Why you would want to use dumbbells for your workouts
How I lost over 40 pounds in 6 months with some simple diet changes
Upper body exercises with no equipment needed
Lower body exercises with no equipment needed
Cardio exercises with no equipment needed
The Different Ways of Doing Dumbbell Bicep Curls
Inflatable Exercise Ball Exercises for Men