The 8 Week Muscle Building Workout Plan with Free PDF

If you want to transform your physique from lean to aesthetic, you can check out this 8 week muscle building workout plan. I’ve recently created this program for myself and have been using it for the last couple of weeks. I’m noticing some improvement which is why I’ve decided to hand it out in this article.

However, a workout routine that works for me does not mean it works for all. It is because everyone’s body responds in a different way.

Whether this program will work for you or not depends on how your body responds, how consistent you are, and how you maintain your macros.

I’ve also shared a PDF file of this workout schedule. So, you can download it if you like to use it offline.

Please Note: This 8 week program for muscle building will be challenging and requires consistency. So, no excuse if you want to achieve your best physique.

Related: The 5 Best Workout Splits For Strength & Gain with PDF

Program Summary and Description

8 week muscle building workout plan summary
Split TypeCompound/Hybrid
Program Duration2 Months
Frequency5 Days a Week
Daily Workout Duration60-75 minutes
Program GoalMuscle Building
Target GenderMale
Workout LevelBeginner to Intermediate
8 week mass building workout plan summary

How Much Weight Should You Lift?

You can lift as heavy as you like. It’s best to start with lighter weights and then increase load as you move to the second and third sets.

Progressive Overload

Gradually increasing the weight, frequency, or number of repetitions in your strength training will help you grow your muscles over time.1Complexity: A Novel Load Progression Strategy in Strength Training – Frontier in Physiology

Reps and Sets Range

The ideal reps and sets range for bodybuilding are 8 to 12 and 3-4.2Loading Recommendations for Muscle Strength, Hypertrophy, and Local Endurance: A Re-Examination of the Repetition Continuum – PMC Journal (Sports Basel) But you can also increase and decrease the number of repetitions and sets, depending on your goal. The best thing you can do is to perform light weight high rep sets during the first session and heavy weight low rep sets during the second session.

For example, if you train your chest twice a week, then you can do a higher rep set on the first day and a heavy weight low rep set on the second day.

Rest Between Sets

The optimum rest time between sets is 1 to 3 minutes. One-two minute of rest is sufficient for isolation exercises, while 2-3 minutes of rest is ideal for compound exercises.3 The effect of different rest intervals between sets on volume components and strength gains – Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research

Warm-up Exercises

The warm-up helps improve physical performance.4Effects of warming-up on physical performance: a systematic review with meta-analysis – Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research You can do low-intense cardio exercises for five minutes to get your heart rate up and increase your blood flow. It’s also best to perform a lightweight set before you do the main lifts.

Selection of Exercises

I’ve seen many people in the gym focus a lot on isolation exercises instead of compound movements. Isolation workouts are good but not as effective as compound exercises for promoting strength and hypertrophy. That’s why you need to combine them both in order to grow your muscle faster and improve your body composition.

Recommended Nutrition

Nutrition is equally important for muscle building. If you want to know about the recommended supplementation for bodybuilding, you can check out several articles published on the National Health of Institute website.5Evidence-based recommendations for natural bodybuilding contest preparation: nutrition and supplementation – Journal of International Society of Sports Nutrition, 6Dietary Protein and Muscle Mass: Translating Science to Application and Health Benefit – Nutrients, 7Macronutrient considerations for the sport of bodybuilding – Sports Medicine

8 Week Muscle Building Workout Plan

Muscle Building Workout

Here’s how you’ll train your muscles throughout the week.

  • Monday: Chest, Triceps, and Lateral Delt
  • Tuesday: Back, Biceps, and Hamstrings
  • Wednesday: Quads, Glutes, and Core
  • Friday: Chest, Shoulder, and Calves
  • Saturday: Back, Rear Delt, and Quads

This workout routine may not give you an instant pump but will improve your strength and size over time.

Week 1

Monday – Chest, Triceps, and Lateral Delt

ExerciseRepsSets
Barbell Bench Press12-153
Incline Dumbbell Bench Press12-153
Pec Deck Fly12-153
Triceps Rope Pushdown12-153
Triceps Kickback8-103
Dumbbell Lateral Raises8-124

Tuesday – Back, Biceps, and Hamstrings

ExerciseRepsSets
Front Lat Pulldown12-153
Seated Cable Rowing12-153
Bent-over Barbell Row12-153
Barbell Curl12-153
Incline Dumbbell Curl8-123
Leg Curl12-154

Wednesday – Quads, Glutes, and Core

ExercisesRepsSets
Barbell Back Squat8-123
Machine Leg Press10-153
Dumbbell Lunges8-103
Smith Machine Hip Thrust8-103
Hanging Knee Raise8-122
Cable Woodchop (High to Low)10/side1
Forearm Plank1-min1

Friday – Chest, Shoulder, Calves

ExerciseRepsSets
Incline Barbell Bench Press6-84
Decline Dumbbell Bench Press6-84
High to Low Cable Flyes8-123
Dumbbell Overhead Press10-123
Leaning Cable Lateral Raises8-103
Smith Machine Calf Raises8-124

Saturday – Back, Rear Delt, and Quads

ExerciseReps Sets
Front Lat Pulldown6-84
Seated Cable Rowing6-84
Barbell T Row6-84
Single-arm Dumbbell Row8-103
Rear Delt Fly10-124
Hack Squat/Leg Extension12-153

Week 2

  • Monday: Chest, Triceps, and Lateral Delt
  • Tuesday: Back, Biceps, and Hamstrings
  • Wednesday: Quads, Glutes, and Core
  • Friday: Chest, Shoulder, and Calves
  • Saturday: Back, Rear Delt, and Quads

Monday – Chest, Triceps, and Lateral Delt

ExerciseRepsSets
Barbell Bench Press12-153
Incline Machine Chest Press12-153
Pec Deck Fly12-153
Parallel Bar Dips8-123
Single-arm Overhead Tricep Extension8-123
Dumbbell Lateral Raises8-124

Tuesday – Back, Biceps, and Hamstrings

ExerciseReps Sets
Conventional/Off-block Deadlift6-83
Front Lat Pull down12-153
V Grip Lat Pulldown8-123
Cable Seated Row12-154
EZ Bar Biceps Curl10-123
Preacher Curl10-123
Machine Leg Curl/Single-leg RDL12-154

Wednesday – Quads, Glutes, and Core

ExercisesRepsSets
Barbell Back Squat (Warm-up)201
Barbell Back Squat8-123
Machine Leg Press12-153
Dumbbell Lateral Lunges8-103
Dumbbell Step-up8-123
Landmine Oblique Twist8-122
Parallel Cable Woodchop10/side1
Front Plank1-min1
Side Plank30-sec/side1

Friday – Chest, Shoulder, and Calves

ExerciseRepsSets
Incline Dumbbell Bench Press6-84
High to Low Cable Fly8-124
Dumbbell Pullover6-83
Incline Dumbbell IYT Raises8-122
Shoulder Shrug8-123
Calf Raises12-153

Saturday – Back, Rear Delt, and Quads

ExerciseReps Sets
Front Lat Pulldown6-84
Seated Cable Rowing6-84
Bent-over Barbell Row6-84
Standing Pullover8-123
Dumbbell Rear Delt Raises8-124
Hack Squat/Leg Extension12-153

Week 3

Monday – Chest, Triceps, and Lateral Delt

ExerciseRepsSets
Hammer Strength Chest Press12-153
Incline Dumbbell Bench Press12-153
Weighted Deficit Pushup10-123
Barbell Skull Crusher10-123
Triceps Rope Pushdown12-153
Leaning Cable Lateral Raises8-124

Tuesday – Back, Biceps, and Hamstrings

ExerciseReps Sets
Conventional Deadlift4-83
Front Lat Pulldown12-154
Seated Cable Rowing12-154
Chinup8-103
Dumbbell Concentration Curl10-123
Dumbbell Hammer Curl10-123
Leg Curl10-123

Wednesday – Quads, Glutes, and Abs

ExercisesRepsSets
Dumbbell Front Lunges8-123
Machine Leg Press12-153
Dumbbell Sumo Squat8-103
Smith Machine Hip Thrust8-123
Legs Lift on Dip Station8-102
Hanging Knee Raises8-101
Front Plank1-min1
Side Plank30-sec/side1

Friday – Chest, Shoulder, and Calves

ExerciseRepsSets
Incline Machine Chest Press6-84
Decline Dumbbell Bench Press6-84
Seated Pec Deck Fly8-124
Barbell Overhead Press10-123
Dumbbell Lateral Raises8-124
Calf Raises12-154

Saturday – Back, Rear Delt, and Quads

ExerciseReps Sets
Pullups8-123
Front Lat Pulldown8-123
Barbell T Row10-123
Single-arm Dumbbell Row8-123
Cable Face Pull8-124
Hack Squat/Leg Extension12-153

Week 4

Monday

ExerciseRepsSets
Flat Barbell Bench Press12-163
Incline Dumbbell Bench Press12-163
Dumbbell Pullover10-123
Triceps Rope Pushdown10-123
Bench Dips12-153
Leaning Cable Lateral Raises8-124

Tuesday

ExerciseReps Sets
Front Lat Pulldown10-153
Seated Cable Rowing10-154
Meadow Rows8-103
EZ Bar Bicep Curl10-123
Preacher Curl10-123
Machine Leg Curl10-124

Wednesday

ExercisesRepsSets
Barbell Back Squat8-124
Dumbbell Front Lunges12-153
Dumbbell Step-up8-103
Smith Machine Hip Thrust8-123
10-min Abs Workout

Friday

ExerciseRepsSets
Incline Chest Machine Press6-83
Decline Hammer Strength Chest Press6-83
Parallel Cable Fly8-123
Dumbbell Arnold Press8-123
Dumbbell Lateral Raises8-124
Cable Upright Row8-123
Calf Raises12-154

Saturday

ExerciseReps Sets
Pullups8-123
Front Lat Pulldown6-83
Bent-over Barbell Row6-83
Single-arm Dumbbell Row8-103
Cable Face Pull8-124
Hack Squat/Leg Extension12-153

Week 5

Monday

ExerciseRepsSets
High Cable Flyes12-163
Incline Dumbbell Bench Press12-163
Weighted Deficit Pushup10-123
Barbell Skull Crusher10-123
Triceps Rope Pushdown12-153
Leaning Cable Lateral Raises8-124

Tuesday

ExerciseRepsSets
Conventional Deadlift4-83
Front Lat Pulldown10-124
Seated Cable Rowing10-124
Chinup8-103
Incline Dumbbell Curl10-123
Dumbbell Hammer Curl10-123
Machine Leg Curl/Nordic Curl10-123

Wednesday

ExercisesRepsSets
Machine Leg Press12-154
Barbell Back Squat8-104
Dumbbell Step up8-123
Dumbbell Glute Bridge8-102
10-min Triset Abs Workout

Friday

ExerciseRepsSets
Incline Machine Chest Press6-84
Decline Dumbbell Bench Press6-84
Seated Pec Deck Fly10-124
Barbell Overhead Press10-123
Dumbbell Lateral Raises8-124
Calf Raises12-154

Saturday

ExerciseRepsSets
Pullups8-123
Front Lat Pulldown6-84
Barbell T Row6-84
Single-arm Dumbbell Row6-84
Cable Face Pull8-124
Hack Squat/Leg Extension12-153

Week 6

Monday

ExerciseRepsSets
Dorian Yates Chest Workout
Bar Dips8-122
Rope Pushdown10-123
Leaning Cable Lateral Raises8-123

Tuesday

ExerciseRepsSets
Standing Pullover12-163
Seated Cable Rowing12-164
Meadow Rows8-103
EZ Bar Bicep Curl10-123
Cable Curl10-123
Machine Leg Curl10-124

Wednesday

ExercisesRepsSets
Barbell Back Squat8-154
Dumbbell Front Lunges8-103
Dumbbell Sumo Squat8-103
Smith Machine Hip Thrust8-123
15-min Abs Workout

Friday

ExerciseRepsSets
Ronnie Coleman’s Dumbbell Chest Workout
Dumbbell Front Press8-123
Dumbbell Lateral Raises10-123
Calf Raises12-154

Saturday

ExerciseRepsSets
Front Lat Pulldown6-84
Bent-over Barbell Row6-84
Single-arm Dumbbell Row6-83
Cable Face Pull8-123
Dumbbell Rear Delt Fly8-123
Hack Squat/Leg Extension12-153

Week 7

Monday

ExerciseRepsSets
Flat Dumbbell Bench Press12-163
Decline Hammer Strength Press12-163
Machine Incline Press12-163
Dumbbell Pullover8-123
Tricep Bar Pushdown10-124
Dumbbell Lateral Raises8-124

Tuesday

ExerciseRepsSets
Conventional Deadlift6-84
Front Lat Pull down12-163
Cable Seated Row12-164
EZ Bar Biceps Curl10-123
Hammer Curl10-123
Machine Leg Curl12-154

Wednesday

ExercisesRepsSets
Machine Leg Press12-154
Dumbbell Sumo Squat8-103
Dumbbell Step up8-123
20-min Abs Workout

Friday

ExerciseRepsSets
Incline Machine Chest Press6-84
Flat Dumbbell Bench Press6-84
Seated Pec Deck Fly8-124
Dumbbell Arnold Press10-123
Dumbbell Lateral Raises8-124
Calf Raises12-154

Saturday

ExerciseRepsSets
Pullups8-123
Front Lat Pulldown6-84
Barbell T Row6-84
Single-arm Dumbbell Row6-83
Rear Delt Machine Fly8-124
Reverse Lunges/Leg Extension8-123

Week 8

Monday

ExerciseRepsSets
Flat Barbell Bench Press12-163
Incline Dumbbell Bench Press12-163
Weighted Deficit Pushup12-163
Parallel Bar Dips10-123
Barbell Skull Crusher12-153
Leaning Cable Lateral Raises8-124

Tuesday

ExerciseRepsSets
Conventional Deadlift4-84
Front Lat Pulldown12-163
Seated Cable Rowing12-163
EZ Bar Bicep Curl10-123
Concentration Curl10-123
Machine Leg Curl10-124

Wednesday

ExercisesRepsSets
Barbell Back Squat8-124
Dumbbell Front Lunges12-153
Dumbbell Step-up8-103
Smith Machine Hip Thrust8-123
10-min Core Workout

Friday

ExerciseRepsSets
Incline Chest Machine Press6-84
Barbell Bench Press6-84
High to Low Cable Flyes8-103
Barbell Overhead Press8-123
Dumbbell Lateral Raises8-124
Calf Raises12-154

Saturday

ExerciseRepsSets
Pullups8-123
Front Lat Pulldown6-84
Bent-over Barbell Row6-84
Single-arm Dumbbell Row6-83
Rear Delt Dumbbell Fly8-124
Hack Squat/Front Squat12-153

8 Week Muscle Building Workout Plan PDF

The Bottom Line

If you want to follow a well-designed and effective 8 week muscle building program, you can download the above routine.

This program may work well for some people but may not for others because everyone’s body responds differently.

If you eat what is needed for building muscles and stick to the routine, you’ll see improvement in strength and size over time, typically after 8 weeks.

You can also modify this 8 week mass building workout plan depending on your strength and fitness level. For example, you can increase and decrease repetitions, the number of exercises, and the duration of the daily workout session.

Can you do me a favour? Creating these kinds of ultimate workout programs takes a lot of research, time, and effort. I've shared numerous workout plan PDFs for free on this site, and I'll continue doing that. To help me keep creating informational content, you can contribute anything from a thank you message on Instagram to a couple of bucks through Paypal, I would be grateful to you.

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Author
Murshid Akram
I'm a certified personal trainer, fitness blogger, and nature lover. I always learn more about exercise science and human anatomy so that I can provide the best information possible. I share science-based, practical, and logical information that can help you achieve your desired fitness goal.