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What is the best workout for muscle growth? Example schedule

Written by: Sebastian Fisher



Time to read 4 min

The best workout for muscle growth!

In the current era, the use of performance-enhancing drugs has become so widespread in the general weightlifting community and especially within the fitness influencer community that it is now the norm rather than the exception. This is mainly because many novice and intermediate lifters take their advice and apply it in their own training routine. Especially since an effective workout routine looks significantly different than a workout routine for a strengthened lifter.

Bodybuilding, especially natural bodybuilding, is a discipline that requires an in-depth understanding of the body's physiological responses to exercise. This comprehensive guide will address three key aspects of this process: protein synthesis, training volume and training frequency. We will cite relevant research studies, detail the methodologies used in these studies, and discuss their implications for natural bodybuilders. In addition, we will provide example workout routines for every level of athlete to give readers a clearer understanding of what the best workout for muscle growth could mean for you, taking into account training frequency and volume per muscle group.

At the end we will give an example from our E-book. A professionally curated book containing valuable information on nutrition, supplements and a carefully curated 10-week training program. This program takes into account a 4, 5 and 6 day program per week and therefore has the best training for muscle growth for everyone!

Protein synthesis: The 36-hour window

Protein synthesis is the process by which the body produces new proteins, a crucial part of muscle growth and repair. After a workout, the rate of protein synthesis increases to repair the muscle damage caused by the exercise. This is the body's natural response to adapt to the stress of exercise and prepare for similar stress in the future.

A study conducted by Phillips et al. (1997) found that protein synthesis remains elevated in resistance-trained young men for up to 36 hours after exercise. The researchers used a mixed muscle protein synthesis (MPS) method, which involves the infusion of a labeled amino acid tracer into the bloodstream. The rate of uptake of the tracer into the muscle protein provides a measure of the rate of protein synthesis.

This finding is particularly relevant to natural bodybuilders, as it highlights the importance of adequate protein intake and rest in the 36-hour post-workout window. It suggests that in order to maximize muscle gains, and thus create the best training for muscle growth, natural bodybuilders should focus not only on their training routine, but also on their nutrition and recovery strategies during this critical period.

Training Volume: Adjust to the lifter's experience

Training volume, defined as the total number of sets performed per muscle group per week, is another crucial factor in muscle growth. However, the optimal training volume varies depending on the lifter's level of experience. So in order to put together the best training for muscle growth, it is important that you check what your training level is.

A lower volume is often recommended for beginners. A study by Ralston et al. (2017) found that novice lifters can achieve significant muscle gains with a volume of 9-12 sets per muscle group per week. The study used a randomized controlled trial design, where participants were assigned to different volume groups and their muscle growth was followed over several weeks.

Intermediate lifters, who have adapted to the initial stress of resistance training, need more volume to keep progressing. A meta-analysis by Schoenfeld et al. (2016) suggested that average lifters may benefit from a volume of 18-20 sets per muscle group per week.

Advanced lifters, with years of training experience, may need even higher volumes. While some studies suggest a volume of 20+ sets per muscle group per week, recent research indicates that advanced lifters can handle up to 30 work sets per muscle group per week. In addition, there are even advanced lifters who can handle more than 30 work sets per week to maximize muscle growth. However, it is important that advanced lifters carefully monitor their recovery and adjust their volume based on individual responses.

Beste training voor spiergroei

Training frequency: The 48-hour rule

Exercise frequency, or how often each muscle group is trained, is another key factor in putting together the best workout for muscle growth. While the 36-hour post-exercise window is crucial for protein synthesis and recovery, a 36-hour interval between workouts for each muscle group is impractical. Instead, research suggests that training each muscle group every 48 hours may be optimal.

A study by Damas et al. (2016) found that muscle protein synthesis rates returned to baseline levels about 48 hours after exercise. This suggests that after 48 hours the muscle is fully recovered and ready for the next workout. Therefore, to maximize muscle growth, it may be beneficial to train each muscle group every 48 hours.

Importantly, the optimal training frequency is not consistent across different levels of experience. A beginner may need a longer rest period because the muscle is not yet adapted to lifting weights. As a solid intermediate or advanced athlete, ideally every muscle group should be trained every 48 hours. However, the main difference between all experience levels lies in the volume of work sets they can process per muscle group within this 48-hour recovery window. For example, advanced lifters can recover from a significantly higher number of work sets per muscle group within 48 hours compared to beginners.

Sample Workout Routine If you're new to weightlifting, we understand you may want to start with a 4-day-a-week workout routine. We have developed an E-book training routine for 4, 5 and 6 days a week training. The 4 days a week workout should be considered as a beginner/intermediate workout program. The good thing about a training program like this is that you can easily subtract or add work sets based on what you can recover. The most important thing is that you follow the exercises because this will give you well-developed muscles in the long run. To provide a clearer understanding of how to apply these principles in practice, let's consider an example workout for a beginner to intermediate level athlete during the first week. In this example, the athlete is training 4 days a week, not every muscle group is trained every 48 hours as we considered that the beginner/intermediate may need a longer recovery period.

Example schedule!

Voorbeeldschema beste training voor spiergroei


In summary, protein synthesis, training volume and training frequency are all crucial factors in muscle growth for natural bodybuilders in putting together the best training for muscle growth. Understanding these principles and adjusting their training and nutrition strategies accordingly helps natural bodybuilders maximize their potential for muscle growth.

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