These expert-designed workouts use scientifically-proven methods to help you increase muscle mass and build power.
When you’re aiming to pack on muscle, it’s essential to optimize your training if you want to enjoy the benefits of all that hard work. That’s why Tonal’s Build Muscle programs are based on scientifically-proven methods that’ll help you get the most out of each lifting session and reach your goals faster.
To help you break through strength and power barriers, these programs feature traditional compound movements that work all your major muscle groups such as deadlifts, bench presses, and squats. You’ll also strengthen smaller, supporting muscles in technique-focused accessory movements. This accessory work improves performance in your big lifts by training your body for stable and controlled movement as resistance increases.
In Build Muscle programs, you’ll lift in a moderately-low rep range (4 to 8 reps) for three to five sets to stimulate hypertrophy, or muscle growth. Because this type of work is taxing on all your muscles, these workouts incorporate ample rest and recovery between sets. By using these rest periods and lifting at an intentional, deliberate pace, you’ll be able to give your maximum effort with optimal form in each rep.
What Are the Benefits of Build Muscle Programs?
These workouts are expertly designed to develop your muscles’ ability to forcefully contract through heavy resistance by stimulating myofibrillar hypertrophy. This specific type of muscle growth increases the number of myofibrils (small components within a muscle fiber) in a muscle. Myofibrils contain the contractile units responsible for generating force and movement. This results in stronger muscles that are capable of lifting heavier.
Building lean muscle through functional strength training doesn’t just make your muscles bigger—it also equips your body to handle the demands of your workout and everyday life.
How Should Build Muscle Workouts Feel?
Don’t be discouraged if these workouts feel challenging at first. Raising your strength ceiling is physically and mentally demanding work that’ll likely leave you with some degree of fatigue and soreness. Take advantage of the rest periods within workouts and in between program days for recovery.
As you progress in these programs, you’ll feel increasingly strong and powerful. Your confidence will soar as you set new Strength and Power PRs in each exercise. Follow the programs below (listed from easiest to hardest) for your experience level to start building strong, lean muscle.
Build Muscle: Beginner
Beginning Strength Fundamentals – Coach Amy Schemper
In each workout of this four-week program, Coach Amy gently guides you through a series of foundational, full-body exercises. The workouts also include bodyweight moves so you can develop your form as you work on your strength.
Beginner Breakthrough – Coach Jared Rodriguez
This two-week program is a well-rounded approach to building full-body strength and lean muscle. Coach Jared gives clear guidance and directs your focus to what matters most with each move.
The Show Up – Coach Allison Tibbs
This four-week Programs+ is an effective way to explore the upper bounds of beginner-level programming. Coach Allison’s reassuring style will help you gain confidence in the essential strength moves featured in each workout. And with Programs+ you can extend the length of each session or even try intermediate workouts as you feel ready.
When to Move on to Intermediate Programs
If you’re no longer feeling drained after workouts, and you’re not getting as sore as when you started, it might be time to consider leveling up. Additionally, you should be competent in each movement, as evidenced by a smooth line in your range of motion chart that’s consistent between reps.
Build Muscle: Intermediate
Rising Reps – Multiple Coaches
The ascending rep schemes in this program are designed to build both muscular strength and size. You’ll also feel a great sense of accomplishment as you finish each session. You’ll train with multiple coaches to experience different teaching styles and perspectives on the movements.
Push + Pull Power – Coach Jared Rodriguez
Training with a push-pull split builds full-body strength by hitting your muscles from every angle and allowing muscle groups time to recover in between sessions. Each workout in this program includes rotational core work to build a stable core that’ll translate to feeling stronger in all your movement patterns.
Mastering Major Lifts – Coach Nicolette Amarillas
In this four-week program, you’ll hone your technique in classic lifts, such as the front squat, deadlift, and pulldown. Coach Nicolette will expertly guide you through the nuanced details of each movement. As you practice your form, you’ll also pack in impressive volume, setting you up for success in any program that follows.
When to Move on to Advanced Programs
Once the workload of Intermediate programs feels manageable and the pace of workouts feels easy to follow, you’re probably ready to move on to Advanced programs. You should also be consistently setting Power PRs as your strength and technique improves.
Build Muscle: Advanced
20-in-20: Pump up the Volume – Coach Tony Horton
Even though the workouts in this program are short, they’re full of high-volume, quality lifting. It’s easy to make a 20-minute time commitment each day, and the workouts’ pace and structure ensure you’ll always be ready to tackle the next session.
Divide and Conquer – Coach Jared Rodriguez
Sharpen your focus in this program by overloading one muscle group per workout. Coach Jared’s steadfast style will keep you engaged, and the intense resistance (paired with dynamic weight modes) provides the necessary work to accomplish muscle growth.
Power Build – Coach Joe Rodonis
Along with building muscle, this program also focuses on developing your power. In different workouts during the week, you’ll focus on intensely heavy lifts and explosive plyometrics to build and express your strength. This new program is already wildly popular among members.
Substitutes While on the Go
When you’re away from home, you can still build muscle with advanced yoga flows or bodyweight strength training. Recovery is also incredibly important while building muscle, so consider restorative yoga flows and recovery sessions in between your heavy lifting workouts. Percussive massage sessions are also a proven way to facilitate recovery by improving blood flow to restore and refresh sore muscles. Short bursts of stimulus from a massage gun also decrease the body’s response to pain, desensitizing muscles against future achiness.
To get the most out of Tonal’s variety of offerings, add a Get Lean program into your training for a change. Because Get Lean programs improve your work capacity by maximizing the amount of volume you can lift within a workout, mixing in these programs will increase your resistance to fatigue when you go back to intensive muscle-building. By increasing your strength potential, you’ll also be able to get more benefits from Get Lean programming. This periodic swap of focus and stimulus will keep you fresh and engaged through challenging training cycles. If you’re training for a specific sport, check out an Improve Fitness program that emphasizes athletic power and speed.