Your routines are probably the most glamorous part of a weight training regimen.
They are the running-backs of the offense, the ones who take the credit for the holes created by the offensive line and rack up the stats. Behind a great offensive line, a decent running-back can appear great.
The point: Don't give all the credit for your successes or all the blame for your failures to your bodybuilding routines. They are just one part of your weight training program.
Perfect bodybuilding routines don't exist. Don't spend an exorbitant amount of time searching for them.
There exists an infinite number of bodybuilding routines that have been put together, tried by someone and are now published somewhere. Some are good, some are not so good. Most all will give you gains if you give them a chance, combine them with a good diet, get your rest, etc.
In other words, give them a good offensive line and they will let you run.
But don't just pick your routines at random, do so with some sound reasoning. Look at the routine and analyze it. Does it give you adequate rest or is it clearly going to lead to overtraining? Is it focused on compound exercises or is it more of a toning routine?
Run through the Bodybuilding Tips Checklist Page. Make sure the routine takes into account most of these factors. The more things you do right, the more your gain weight fast goal is likely to be realized.
An even better plan when first starting out, or if you are experienced but stuck in a rut of slowed gains, is to follow a proven plan-of-action. Follow a specific and proven program prescribed by a knowledgeable and reputable trainer that is designed for you, the "genetically average Joe."
I highly recommend you consider one of the top-rated programs on the reviews page. It is through the faithful following of a complete and sound bodybuilding program that the big gains come.
Adjustments To Make...
When you become more experienced at weight training, when your tracking has some historical data (Tracking, Tracking, Tracking, don't forget your Bodybuilding Tracking Program), you will want to start making adjustments to your bodybuilding routines based on what has been proven to work for you. Do your hams respond to higher reps? Do you need more concentration on your calves than routine "A" allows for?
With a good tracking program, you will have the answers for these types of questions and be able to make intelligent adjustments that will keep your gains coming at a fast pace. Only with a good tracking program will you become an advanced level bodybuilder.
Until your tracking program has sufficient data, you'll have to experiment a little. The bodybuilding routines on this page are somewhat tailored to myself, based on my muscle fiber make-up and what my tracking has shown works for me in terms of tempo and methods.
When looking at a routine, realize it is not engraved in stone. All parts are changeable to fit your wants and needs.
Other pages on this site can be helpful for understanding the terminology and concepts that these sample bodybuilding routines are based on. The exercise pages are linked within the individual routines.
Specific pages related to putting together a productive routine include...
Basic Routine Goal - Pre-Program, conditioning the muscles for what is to come Routine Methods - Multiple Sets Splits - 3 day split Tempo - 1/0/1, 2 minute rest intervals
Comments - These are short workouts and should be completed in less than 30 minutes each. Do this or a similar bodybuilding routine (maybe a single-set routine with light sets would be good) for two or three weeks before moving on to heavier weight lifting. This is designed to wake-up the muscles from all the inactivity you've made them endure. Don't be surprised if you see big gains with this as your body will be ready to go and likely start with a bang.
Basic Routine Goal - Muscle Size, Strength Routine Methods - Single Sets Splits - Full-body, twice a week Tempo - 3/0/2, 2 minute rest intervals
Comments - This routine has rep ranges that have been effective for myself in terms of spurring growth. Rep ranges that are the most effective vary by person. But even when you find your ideal rep range, remember to go outside of it in some routines to keep the muscles from adapting.
Basic Routine Goal - Muscle Size Routine Methods - Single Sets Splits - Full-body, 2 days a week Tempo - 4/0/2, 2 minute rest intervals
Comments - This is a HIT routine where you do two full-body workouts but the two workouts are composed of different exercises. At 8 exercises per workout, it falls on the longer side of the HIT routine pendulum.
Basic Routine Goal - Change of Pace, Muscle Size Routine Methods - Cumulative Fatigue Training Splits - 3 day split Tempo - 2/0/1, 1 minute rest intervals
Comments - This is a tough but effective routine and a great change to heavier weightlifting. As with all volume-based-training, watch it carefully to prevent overtraining. You may need to use it for less time than you do other routines, like two weeks instead of your usual four or six.