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Male Over 21 Build Muscle

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Day 1: Upper Body A + Cardio

Exercise Sets Reps
Bench Press 4 8
Lat Pull Downs 4 10-12
Machine Shoulder Press 4 10
Close Grip Bench Press 4 10
Seated Alternating Dumbbell Curls 4 12

Day 2: Lower Body A + Cardio

Exercise Sets Reps
Barbell Squats 3 8
Leg Extensions 5 12
Leg Curls 4 12
Standing Calf Raise 4 12-15
Ab Wheel Rollouts 4 15-20

Day 3: Off

* Some cardio can optionally be performed on days off or first thing in the morning.

Day 4: Upper Body B + Cardio

Exercise Sets Reps
Seated Overhead Dumbbell Press 4 10
Barbell Rows 4 8
Inclined Dumbbell Bench Press 4 10
Two Arm Seated Overhead Dumbbell Extensions 4 12
Barbell Curls 4 12

Day 5: Lower Body B + Cardio

Exercise Sets Reps
Dumbbell Lunges 3 10
Leg Press 5 12
Dumbbell Stiff Leg Deadlifts 4 8
Seated Calf Raise 4 12
Planks 4 1-2 minutes

Day 6: Off

* Some cardio can optionally be performed on days off or first thing in the morning.

Day 7: Off

* Some cardio can optionally be performed on days off or first thing in the morning.

Rest Between Sets

Limit rest between sets to a maximum of 60-90 seconds. For barbell squats you may rest up to 3 minutes between sets if needed.

Exercise Form

Make sure to perform only quality reps. If your exercise form starts to break down, end the set. This will help you reduce the chance of injury.

Resistance

Use the same weight for each set of a given exercise. When you can perform the listed reps for each of the sets, progress in weight.

Cardio

The combination of resistance training and cardio is an excellent choice for overall health, and to assist the body in remaining lean while building mass. Optional cardio can either be 15 minutes of HIIT or 20 minutes of LISS. HIIT is high intensity interval training, and LISS is low intensity steady state.

“Steady state” cardio includes moving at a constant, challenging speed on the treadmill, Stairmaster, elliptical, etc. “HIIT” cardio involves alternating between periods of super-high intense exercise, and a more reasonable, sustainable pace. Sprinting is a good example of high intensity, while walking at a brisk pace would be considered a more sustainable, lower intensity pace.

Click here for 8 quality HIIT cardio workout examples.

Nutrition

To build muscle you’ll need to be in a calorie surplus. A simple and fast way to calculate your daily caloric intake requirements to build muscle is to determine your TDEE, or total daily energy expenditure, and add 300 calories.

Click here to calculate your TDEE.

To maximize the muscle building process while keeping fat gains to a minimum, it is best to gain 1 to 2 pounds of weight per month. If you are gaining weight more rapidly than this, subtract 200-300 calories from your daily intake level. If you are not gaining weight each month, add 300 calories to your daily intake level.

Special Notes

Make sure your diet is protein-rich and filled with plenty of whole foods, including quality fats and carbohydrates. For more information on constructing a muscle building diet, check out our nutrition plans.

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