Best Workouts To Build Muscle, Abs & More

Jennifer E. Engen

If you want to build muscle then you’re going to need a proper strength training program. And, while you could blindly follow the advice of the countless fitness ‘experts’ on Instagram, you’ll likely fare far better following the advice of qualified personal trainers.

Fortunately, we’ve collated information on a variety of workouts for men, covering the chest, back, leg, arms and more, to give you essential guides for the exercises to perform whenever you hit the gym. If you perform these workouts and combine them with an effective meal plan (you should definitely speak to a qualified nutritionist to determine the best meal plan for you) then you’ll soon find you’ll be building muscle in no time.

Chest Workouts

Chest workouts are an absolute essential for men in the gym, since building huge pecs is one of the main reasons for working out in the first place. However, because the pectoral muscles are so large, they need a lot of stimuli to hit certain areas, and this can only be done with a well-rounded chest workout routine.

There are chest exercises to target the upper chest and lower chest for example, and some chest workouts are better performed using dumbbells as opposed to a barbell. You can even perform home chest workouts, either if you don’t have a gym membership, or so you can maintain your fitness if you travel a lot.

Check out our guide to the best chest workouts for men, all of which are accompanied by videos to show you the correct form, and you’ll be filling out your t-shirts in no time.

Back Workouts

Back workouts can bring you some serious upper body strength, along with improving your posture and overall health. If you increase the size of your lats, too, then you will slowly but surely get a more V-shaped figure, which is something many bodybuilders, in particular, seek out.

Back workouts predominantly involve rowing movements and, as with chest workouts, can be performed using barbells and dumbbells to help target certain areas. The lat pulldown is an essential back exercise too, but as with any exercise, you need to perform it properly if you want to reap the full benefit.

Check out our guide to the best back workouts, all of which are accompanied by videos to show you how to perform them correctly.

Leg Workouts

Image: The Manual

One of the unofficial testaments of the gym is to never skip leg day, yet, it is a rule that is not always followed. But if you don’t give your legs any real attention then you only have yourself to blame when you’re ridiculed by your peers for looking out of proportion.

Leg exercises and workouts aren’t easy, and they’re going to have you working up a serious sweat, but push through and you’ll soon build yourself a solid base to stand on, and some chunky quads to go with it.

Check out our guide to the best leg workouts for men to add into your gym routine, all of which are accompanied by videos to show you the correct form.

Shoulder Workouts

Image: Bodybuilding.com

Shoulder workouts are also incredibly important because, not only can increasing the size of your shoulders make you appear broader, but strong shoulders grant you serious upper body strength. You’ll likely see surfers, in particular, have large shoulders thanks to the amount of paddling they do in the water.

Wide, strong shoulders can also help you to lift heavy objects and are essential if you engage in a range of sports. Shoulder workouts can be completed using a variety of equipment, including barbells, dumbbells, cables and even resistance bands. Remember, if you’re trying a shoulder exercise for the first time, then make sure to use a relatively lightweight.

Shoulder exercises cause your shoulder muscles to become fatigued very quickly, and you’re going to benefit more from completing a full set of repetitions using a lightweight than you will from failing to perform them with a heavier weight.

Check out our guide to some of the best shoulder exercises for men, complete with video tutorials showing the correct form.

Arm Workouts

The arms are another body part men are incredibly keen to train. Big biceps and triceps are something virtually all men wish to have, not only to be aesthetically pleasing but to give you extra strength to be able to lift heavy objects (a strong core is also essential for this).

While you can dedicate a gym session to just your biceps or triceps, you’ll do well to target all the muscles in the arms in one hit to be more efficient.

Check out our guide to the best arm workouts and arm exercises for men, complete with video tutorials to show you how to best perform them.

Ab Workouts

Many men consider a set of six-pack abs to be the pinnacle of fitness, but obtaining them is no easy task. Not only do you need to perform a range of ab exercises to build up the size of the muscles, but you also need to keep your body fat to a minimum to allow them to show.

Ab workouts are sometimes confused with core workouts, but there is actually some difference between the two. Ab workouts and exercises tend to target solely the abdominal muscles, whereas core workouts focus on building a more solid and stable core, which factors in the muscles all around the central core region.

There can be some overlap, however, and many of the workouts we’ve included in our ab workout guide and be used to build a strong core, as well as provide greater structural balance.

Full-Body Workouts

Image: MadbuzzHK

Full-body workouts can be fined as either specific movements that target virtually all muscles in the body. These are commonly referred to as compound movements, such as deadlifts and squats.

Or, you can complete a full-body session in the gym comprising exercises that target specific areas, but you create a routine that targets all areas of the body individually. For example, you could perform a couple of chest workouts, some leg workouts and some back workouts, using a superset model to improve efficiency, such as a dumbbell chest press followed immediately by some weighted lunges.

Check out our guide to some of the best full-body workouts and exercises, complete with video tutorials. Pay particularly close attention to the guide for the deadlift, as it has the potential to cause injury if not performed correctly.

Push-Pull Workouts

Image: Muscle & Fitness

Push-pull workouts offer a perfect model for men to simplify their training, as they combine both push and pull movements to target large muscle groups in the body. They’re similar to full-body workouts in this regard, but instead of completing a range of push and pull exercises in one gym session, you would split them across two separate days.

For example, you would complete a push session on a Monday, a pull session on Tuesday and then most likely a leg workout session on Wednesday, and repeat this again to give you a six-day workout routine.

Check out our guide to some of the best push and pull exercises to perform, complete with video tutorials. If you’ve not tried the push-pull system before, it could offer the change-up to your gym sessions you need to better stimulate the muscles and see them become larger and stronger.

Bicep Workouts

Image: Pinterest

Step into any gym and you’re bound to see at least one guy performing some bicep curls in the mirror. Similar to a set of six-pack abs, huge, bulging biceps are an indicator of peak physical fitness (and masculinity).

Fortunately, there is a wide variety of bicep exercises men can perform to increase their size and strength, which utilise barbells, dumbbells and even the cable machine. You’re unlikely to dedicate a gym session just to the biceps (although there’s nothing to say you can’t) and many men will combine bicep exercises into their back day session, effectively creating a push-pull day.

Check out our guide to learn some of the best bicep exercises and workouts for men, all of which are accompanied by video tutorials to show you how to perform them properly.

Best Tricep Workouts

The triceps muscles are actually larger than the biceps, yet many men will focus more on training their biceps for those sweet muscular peaks. But there is much to gain from training your triceps, not least some sleeve-busting arms.

As with the biceps, you’re unlikely to dedicate an entire gym session to just the triceps, but they can definitely be added into a chest day or back day workout routine.

Check out our guide to learn some of the best triceps exercises for men, complete with video tutorials.

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