Four Best Workouts and Protein Shakes for Building Muscle

By Chris Gronkowski

Want to Build Muscle? 4 Best Workouts and Protein Shakes

Anyone trying to get into better shape will benefit from a strict and consistent workout schedule along with a well-balanced diet. However, your fitness goals will alter which types of workouts, food and protein shakes you commit to. If you’re looking to build muscle, it’s often recommended that you try to work out at least three to four times each work.

While many people think the more you work out, the more muscle you’ll gain, it’s important to give your body time to rest. There’s some debate on whether it’s better to work out several days in a row or alternate every other day. When first starting out, it’s best to try both methods and find a fitness schedule that works for you. Just be sure to give yourself a few days off in between.

5 x 5 Program

BodyBuilding.com touts this type of workout plan as one of the top ways to build muscle quicker. You can change up the actual workouts that you incorporate, but the 5 x 5 program focuses on three exercises that are repeated in five sets with five repetitions in each. For this workout schedule, you should select three exercises that focus on all the major parts of your body—upper, lower and core. BodyBuilding.com recommends creating two different workout programs, each including three different exercises, and perform these three times per week and giving yourself days in between to recover. Then, you should alternate these programs each time you work out.

Some examples of great exercises to include in this program are barbell squats, pull-ups, sit-ups, seated barbell military press, barbell deadlifts and seated triceps press, but you can experiment with some of your favorite workouts as long as you’re incorporating your core, upper and lower body.

Upper and Lower Body Workouts

When trying to build muscle mass quickly, focusing on your upper and lower body can give you the results you’re looking for. A typical training schedule for an upper/lower body focus usually follows two days on (one for upper, one for lower) followed by one rest day. While concentrating on these parts of the body will certainly help to put on muscle, you should occasionally take a day to work on your core or do a few core workouts before your other exercises as strengthening your core will help with upper and lower body workouts.

When focusing on your upper body, you’ll want to incorporate a combination of chest, back, shoulder and arm (biceps and triceps) exercises. Compound exercises are perfect for building muscles in these areas. These movements include push exercises like bench presses, barbell presses and push-ups, as well as pull movements like cable rows and pull-ups.

German Volume Training

One of the most popular training routines for bodybuilders, German volume training (often referred to simply as GVT or the Ten Sets method) is a high-intensity exercise program known to generate quick results. When following this type of training, you should select just one exercise and repeat it for 10 sets of 10 reps. Because this type of exercise schedule is so rigorous, you may find it difficult to complete all the reps towards the end but try to keep pushing your body to complete the set or work until muscle failure. When following the Ten Sets Method, the intense workouts can be more demanding on your muscles, so it’s essential to take some rest days.

Protein Shakes

When trying to build muscle, consuming protein shakes is an excellent way to fuel your body before or after a workout. When working out often, your body is burning through protein and energy more quickly, so it’s important to make sure you’re taking in enough. Make a shake in an insulated protein shake bottle and bring it along to the gym to aid your body in muscle regrowth after they’ve been broken down during the workouts.

This protein shake is perfect for those looking to gain muscle because it packs in additional supplements like creatine, egg whites and peanut butter powder. Try drinking half your shake before you work out for an energy boost and finishing the other half post-workout to expedite the muscle rebuilding process.

Ingredients:


Directions:

Add a bit of the milk to shaker bottle before adding the protein powders to prevent them from sticking to the bottom. Then, screw on the top, ensure that the pop-top is completely closed and shake.

Tornado Pre-Workout Shake

Adding pre-workout to a protein shake will provide your body with additional supplements to promote muscle growth and boost energy. Research shows that people who consume a protein shake 30 minutes prior to working out will have more stamina and can speed up the process of muscle re-growth while working out. Try this Tornado Pre-Workout Shake for a taste of one of our favorite pre-workout recipes.

Ingredients:

  • Handful of ice
  • 12 ounces water or milk
  • 1 scoop pre-workout
  • 1 scoop vanilla whey protein

Directions:

Add liquid and ice to shaker cup first. Then, mix in protein powder and pre-workout and shake.

Orange Creamsicle

Including fruit or juice to your protein shakes is a good way to change up the flavors while still getting some protein in before or after working out. Before mixing, use two large navel oranges for fresh-squeezed juice.

Ingredients:

  • 1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ¾ cup unsweetened almond milk
  • ¾ cup fresh-squeezed orange juice
  • 1-2 cups of ice

Directions:

Mix the almond milk, orange juice, vanilla and ice before adding protein powder and shaking.

Chocolate Peanut Butter

Peanut butter powder is packed with protein, so mixing it with protein powder is a good idea for a morning shake to kickstart your metabolism. The more protein you consume, the more energy you’ll have throughout the day and before your exercise routine.

Ingredients:

  • A handful of ice
  • 1 cup milk or almond milk
  • 1 scoop of chocolate protein powder
  • 2 tablespoons PBfit powdered peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon of honey to sweeten (optional)

Directions:

Add ice and milk to shaker bottle. Then, mix in protein powder, peanut butter and honey and shake.