This is such a loaded question. What is the best bodybuilding workout? Is there only one that will produce maximum gains in every single person?
If there was, whoever invented it would be raking in some serious cash.
The honest answer is that there is no ‘perfect’ workout that will meet everyone’s needs. Sure, plenty of people try to sell ‘special programs’ and ‘secret training methods’, but that is just a lot of advertising. The truth of the matter is the best bodybuilding workout will end up being very specific to you.
Everyone is Different
One thing you learn after studying bodybuilding is that there are a lot of ways to make your body grow and change. From Steve Reeves to Ronnie Coleman and everyone in between, hardly any of the champion bodybuilders did the exact same thing. Sure, there are always similarities in training programs, but hardly ever do people train in the exact manner all the time.
A great example is Arnold Swarzenegger and Franco Columbu in the 1970’s and 1980’s. They trained together quite a few times leading up to Olympia competitions but also trained with other people over the years. If you read articles for training on say back or legs, you will notice similarities but not everything was the exact same.
Yes, people might adapt their training or do another program sometimes when working with a partner, but usually they end up doing what they feel works best for them.
People can be vastly different in terms of the way their bodies are naturally built. Sometimes muscles respond better to a particular program for one person but not another. Due to structural differences, some exercises work much better for some people and not nearly as well for others. Genetically we are all fairly different.
Finding Your Best
Your best bodybuilding workout is out there somewhere, but it is up to you to find it. It might take a bit of trial and error before you find it. Here is one blueprint you can follow:
- Go Heavy – Start with low rep, heavy weight, big compound exercises. This is the bread-and-butter of lifting and all of the great bodybuilders created a foundation in this manner.
- Branch Out – Try a variety of compound exercises. Swap out exercises every few weeks and try and get a feel for what works best for you. You might just change a single exercise at a time or try various grip positions. You can even swap between barbells and dumbbells. Learn about all of the exercises you can.
- Work with Ranges – Never stick with just one rep range. Starting with low reps is great but muscles have more than one kind of fiber in them. Some respond better to medium or even high rep workouts as well as combinations. Work a few weeks at medium rep ranges and try a few weeks with high rep ranges. Try and see how you feel during and after the workouts.
- Add Isolations – At some point when muscle become larger from compound exercises it is a good idea to involve isolation exercises to work on shaping the muscles. Again try different exercises, grips, and rep ranges to find out how things affect you specifically.
- Change Programs – There are a whole bunch of training splits involving combining different muscle groups together along with when you take rest days. Experiment with different programs for 6 to 8 weeks each. Then review the results and how they felt to you.
It’s a Journey
One reason why people categorize bodybuilding programs as beginner, intermediate, and advanced is because there is truly a process people typically go through in bodybuilding. Trial and error plays a large part in finding the best bodybuilding workout because what ends up fitting you best might be completely different than the guy working out next to you. So experiment, try new exercises and programs, and don’t get stuck in a rut. That way you can keep learning and growing as you work towards your own best bodybuilding workout.