The Most Effective Routine to Build Muscle

Jorden knows a thing or two about building muscle.

Jorden knows a thing or two about building muscle.

Today’s we have a guest post from strength coach and fitness expert Jorden Pagel. I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know Jorden over the last year, and we even roomed together in NYC for an event in June.


He’s a beast in the gym and a smart coach, and today he’s breaking down the best way to build muscle quickly. We’ve been covering fat loss quite a bit recently, so this is a refreshing post on a topic I know many of you are interested in as we approach the winter months. 


The Most Effective Routine to Build Muscle

In our never-ending quest for gains, the question that often comes up is “What’s better for building muscle: total body workouts or split routines?” Each form of training has been used to help people pack on size, but is one way more effective than the other?

While the traditional ‘bro-split’ of training each muscle group once per week has become synonymous with bodybuilding and adding mass, things weren’t always that way. In fact, many old-school bodybuilders utilized total body workouts in order to hit all the major muscle groups multiple times per week.

So the question is, does one work better than the other? Let’s take a look at the advantages of each:

Advantages of Total Body Workouts

  1. Faster Gains in Size and Strength

The core of total body workouts are compound exercises like the squat, deadlift, presses, and rows. Because these exercises target multiple muscle groups at once, you’re able to move much more weight than if you were using isolation exercises.

This allows you to move more weight, but also leaves each muscle group less fatigued, meaning you can train with a higher intensity more times per week. This leads to a greater increase in strength and faster muscle gains.

  1. Shorter Workouts

Because you are hitting multiple muscle groups at once, you can cut way down on the amount of time you spend in the gym. Because of the shorter workout, you can also train with much harder, leading to better results.

  1. More Calories Burned

The more muscle used during an exercise, the more calories you burn. This allows you eat more food without having to worry about gaining fat.

Advantages of Split Workouts

  1. Less Fatiguing

As great as full body workouts are, they can be very fatiguing and are hard to sustain for long periods of time. Splits on the other hand, only focus on one muscle group per day, which actually leads to less overall fatigue, allowing you to hit the gym 5-6 times per week.

  1. Greater Loads

Because splits are less fatiguing, you can usually use higher loads on each body part. This increase the stress on the muscle, producing greater damage, leading to potentially larger muscle gains.

What Should You Use?

A lot is going to depend on your goals, and how trained you are. If you’re a beginner to an intermediate trainee, both full body workouts and splits are going to work to help you add size.

A beginner should start with full body routines because not only will they help you add size fast, but they’ll help you get stronger too.

If you’re someone training for a bodybuilding show or contest, a split routine may be more effective.

But, if you’re just the average gym-goer, who’s been training for a number of years, there is actually a third, and better option out there…

A Case For Specialization Programs

The more experience you have in the gym building muscle, the harder gains are going to be to come by.

This is because the more muscle we build, the closer we get to our genetic muscle-building potential, or how much muscle we can build naturally.

Training for a few months to gain a only a few pounds of muscle across your entire body is lame, and isn’t really going to make you look all that different. But, training for a few months to gain a few pounds of muscle in once specific body part, and people will take notice.

The other advantage of specialization programs is that you can use very high weekly volume, with moderately-high workout intensity, all while keeping fatigue low because you’re not burning yourself out with full body workouts 3-4x per week, and you’re not spending 2 hours in the gym 6 days per week like with splits.

A Quick Primer on Creating Your Own Specialization Program

If you want to know how to create your own specialization program, keep reading. However, if you want access to a done-for-you, choose-your-own specialization plan, skip to the end.

Here’s how I would set up my own specialization program:

  • 40-50 sets per week for the intended muscle group.
  • Split those sets fairly evenly across low (6 or below), moderate (8-12), and high (15+) rep ranges, divided into 3-4 workouts.
  • Aim to complete a workout every other day, with a minimum of 4 per week.
  • For the rest of your muscle groups, perform a total body strength circuit once per week, keeping weight heavy and below 6 reps.
  • Use approximately 70-80% compound exercises.

Muscle-Building, Made Easy

One of the hardest things about building muscle is there’s so much involved. You need to make sure your volume is high enough, that you’re doing the right exercises, that you’re resting the right amount, and on and on and on.

Because I believe that everyone should have access to a program where all this is done for you – where you don’t have to think, just execute – I created Mass Made Easy.

Mass Made Easy is a 12-week strength and hypertrophy specialization program that lets you, the user, choose your own area of specialization, with 6 months worth of workouts.

And the best part, Mass Made Easy takes all the guesswork out of building muscle. Just follow the program and see the results. No more wondering if you’re doing enough volume, the right number of reps, or proper exercises.

Follow the plan. Make the gains.

And, in honor of its launch, Mass Made Easy is over 50% off right now through Sunday, October 30th.

If you want a program that’s going to help you build more muscle than ever before, with less headaches and frustration than ever before, Mass Made Easy is the program for you.

Grab Mass Made Easy for over 50% off now.