Best weight training program to build muscle
The five-by-five program is one that is quite popular among those who are looking to gain a high amount of strength and muscle mass.
The set-up of this program is to perform three main exercises that target the main muscle groups in the body (both lower and upper body in the same workout), performing five sets of five repetitions. At the end of each workout you can add in a few sets of isolated exercises if you like, but it's not required by the program.
One of the biggest advantages of this set-up is going to be an increased frequency of training. Since you will stimulate so many muscle fibers every other day, you will see a very high release of testosterone, promoting a good degree of muscle mass growth.
Most individuals also find that they become hungrier while following this program, which is representative of the intense nature of it.
The second con to this set-up is due to the fact that you'll be lifting heavy three times a week - it doesn't lend so well for a lot of other activity, such as heavy sports training. If you're involved in high-level athletics, it may be better to choose a slightly less demanding program so you don't become overly fatigued.
You'll want to aim to perform the 5 X 5 protocol for the core exercises as described above and then cut back on the volume for the accessory lifts.
If you know going in you're someone who tends to have difficulty recovering, then you may want to attempt a 3 X 5 set-up first and see how you do. It can be easy to overtrain on this program if you're not careful.
Alternate between workout A and workout B three times a week with at least one day off between sessions. Aim to rest for 60-to-120 seconds between sets of the core exercises and 30-to-45 seconds between sets for the accessory exercises.
German Volume Training
The next higher volume muscle-building program is German Volume Training. This one is quite similar to the 5 x 5 program in that it too is going to call for a higher set number, but it differs in that it takes the rep ranges much higher to ten reps for each set.
The design of this program is to focus on two main muscle groups per day, alternating between them over the course of three days a week.
For someone who has some training behind them, this type of workout can allow you to build muscle mass at an incredibly high pace provided you're following a proper nutritional protocol with it as well.
Some individuals will make the mistake of not looking after their nutrition on this program and it's those people who are at a much higher risk of burning out after a short period of time passes.
If you want to get good results with this program, eating a higher calorie diet will be a must to support the volume.
Similar to the 5 x 5, if you're planning on doing a lot of additional activity with this program - sports training, cardio, or otherwise, you may run into some problems. Typically you will need to reduce everything else you're doing so the body can have enough time to recover and progress ... be sure you factor this in as well.
The other con of this program is that if you are interested in maximum strength development, it may not be the absolute best idea either. The reason for this is that pure strength gains typically require you to lift in a lower rep range, while this program pushes it a bit further.
There are advanced variations with German Volume Training that bring the rep range lower to allow for more weight. If this is an important issue for you, think about looking into that.