The Top 5 Workout Programs for Putting On Size and Strength

Do a quick search online and you’ll find hundreds of workout plans for nearly every goal. Some programs are designed to increase your strength and endurance, while others promote muscle building.

With so many options available, it’s hard to tell what works and what doesn’t work for putting on mass. Things are even more complicated for newbies, hard gainers, and female lifters. If your goal is to build muscle and add bulk to your physique, try these five workout programs:

Starting Strength

Designed by Mark Rippetoe, this workout routine is perfect for beginners. It uses the body’s most basic movement patterns to increase muscle mass and strength. It’s a complete training system that will make you bigger, stronger, and more confident. Most exercises included in this program require a barbell, focusing on progressive overload.

Starting Strength utilizes big compound movements, so it can get boring. However, it teaches proper form and produces excellent strength gains.

Mark Rippetoe, the man behind this program, has more than 35 years of experience as an Olympic weightlifting coach and competitive powerlifter.

His workout plan emphasis the importance of barbell training, offering a systematic approach to muscle growth and development. We even have our own modified version version of the 5×5 routine you can check here.

Power, Rep Range and Shock (PRRS)

If you’ve been training for a while, check out the Power, Rep Range and Shock (PRRS) training routine. This workout program was created for intermediates and advanced lifters. Eric Broser, its author, is one of the top natural bodybuilders in the world. He has published more than 400 articles and studies on nutrition, supplements, and training.

This training system offers a cyclical approach to weight lifting. Once you enroll in this program, you’ll use a new training protocol every week. This will shock your muscles and force them to grow. Power, Rep Range and Shock addresses muscle growth from all angles, offering lasting results.

Its goal is to help you increase raw strength and boost testosterone production naturally. Since each workout is different, you’ll never get bored. Lifters are encouraged to use a low volume, low frequency approach in order to get consistent results and prevent injuries.

The 5/3/1 program

5/3/1 appeals to those looking for a flexible workout plan. This training system is similar to Starting Strength, focusing on your one rep max for various exercises.

However, it’s more customizable and can be easily adjusted to your needs and goals. 5/3/1   is also a great choice for overcoming workout plateaus. Jim Wendler, the guy behind this program, recommends it to lifters of all ages and fitness levels.

If you choose this program, you’ll perform a full body routine three times a week. Full body workouts are the best way for beginners to gain mass and strength.

The key is to keep the assistance work to a minimum. A typical training routine can include squats, benches, presses, deadlifts, and assistance work (dips, chin-ups, neck exercises, and curls).


Smolov is a great choice for those looking to bring up weak or lagging body parts. This training routine is brutal and requires a certain degree of experience. It works best for training your legs and glutes.

When applied correctly, it will help you get bigger, stronger, and shredded – all at the same time. You can expect a strength gain of at least 100 pounds on your squat in about four months.

This workout program has five phases and lasts 17 weeks. Kyle Hunt, one of the best personal trainers out there, took his squat from 495 pounds to 600 pounds while getting shredded – all thanks to this system.

Although the original training routine only focuses on the squat, it can be modified for your upper body. For best results, perform this routine when you’re in a mass building state.


Created by Skip La Cour, Max-OT focuses on compound movements that stimulate all muscle fibers. This strength based, low volume program is ideal for those who are short on time and want quick results.

Lifters are encouraged to work each set to failure without using isolation movements. Each workout takes 45 minutes or less. Skip La Cour also recommends lifters to take one week off every 12 weeks. If you choose this program, make sure you have a spotter.

These training programs have proven results and can be used for extended periods of time. Regardless of what program you choose, keep changing your workouts and add more sets, reps, or weights to the bar.

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