12 Workouts Of Christmas | Mass Muscle

Written by Jack Boardman

12 Workouts of Christmas: Mass Muscle

Christmas is a time for family and friends, for making merry and eating until you burst – good news if you’re looking to mass gain.

If you’re a hard gainer, looking to make a start with building some serious muscle mass, or even if you’re just looking to put all of those Christmas calories to use, we’ve outlined a mass muscle gain workout schedule for you to stick to over 12 days of Christmas.


Don’t worry, because of your other obligations at this, a giving time of year, we know you might find it difficult to justify a workout on Christmas day, so we’ll let you pick and choose your rest days.

12 days of christmas workout

If you want to see your muscles grow then it is a fact that you need to increase your caloric intake. To achieve bigger muscles you need to achieve a state of caloric excess. If you’re looking to burn off all you’ve eaten this Christmas you’re in the wrong place; what we’re talking about here is bulking up while reducing energy expenditure – sounds like Christmas time to us. If you’re looking to lose your Christmas weight, the opposite is true: cut the calories and increase your energy output.


What’s the plan? This routine will see minimal cardio for maximum weight gain and will focus on a combination of compound lifts, followed up by isolated muscle exercises. The four-day cycle is broken up into chest, back, leg and rest day. From each you should pick two compound lifts and two isolated muscle exercises. Given you’ll have three cycles within the 12 days, try to mix it up.

christmas gifts

The compound lifts involved are basic movements that allow you to focus on power and larger muscle groups. Go for heavy weights, but only as long as you manage perfect technique.


The isolated muscle exercises are for you to hone in on a specific smaller muscle group so they’re as cooked as Christmas turkey. Note that the isolated arm exercises for chest and shoulder day focuses on the tricep, with the biceps on back day. This is because pushing movements work the triceps, so in order to really work them, you should finish chest or shoulder pressing with some high rep isolated tricep exercises.

Chest And Shoulder Day

Compound Lifts

Mix these up with either barbell or dumbbells.

Bench press. 5 x 5

Shoulder press. 5 x 5

Inclined bench press. 5 x 5

Declining bench press. 5 x 5

Isolated Muscle Exercises


Bench fly 4 x 15

Lateral raise 4 x 15

Tricep cable pulldown (one hand) 4 x 15

Tricep bar pulldown 4 x 15

Overhead pullover 4 x 15

Arnold press 4 x 15

gym wear

Back Day

Compound Lifts


Wide bar row 5×5

Close grip row 5×5

Lateral pull down 5×5

Incline bench pull 5 x 5

Isolated Muscle Exercises


Bicep curl w/ bar 4 x 15

Diagonal curl w/ dumbbell 4 x 15

Cable curls /both hands 4 x 15

Cable reverse fly 4 x 15

bicep curl mind muscle connection


Leg Day

Compound Lifts


Squat 5×5

Leg press 5×5

Deadlift 5×5

Isolated Muscle Exercises


Calf extend 4×15

Leg extend 4 x 15

Using Smith machine or leg press, narrow the range of movement so that you target the glutes or specific parts of the quads with 4 x 15 reps of a light weight.

overhead squat

Rest Days

These count for every fourth day. In other words, you’ll be doing three days of exercise in a row, followed by a complete rest day.


To gain mass, limiting your energy output and cardio is a factor, which means you can make watching all that Christmas TV work for you.


Rest days don’t necessarily mean absolute immobility. If you’re feeling the need to get in some exercise, you can consider light intensity workouts. This should be minimal because your rest day is for recovery and growth, but if you feel the need to do something, be conscious of what you last exercised and what you plan on working next. For example, if you just had leg day, running will not allow your legs the rest they should be getting. Likewise, if you are going to be working the chest tomorrow, be careful not to work the muscle groups that you’ll need to be fresh.

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Faye Reid

Faye Reid

Writer and expert

Faye Reid has a Bachelor of Science in Sport and Exercise Physiology and a Master of Science in Exercise Physiology and Sports Nutrition. Faye has worked with numerous high-profile oranisations, such as Men's Health, Sky Sports, Huddersfield Giants, Warrington Wolves, British Dressage and GB Rowing, providing her expert sports science support. Find out more about Faye's experience here: She puts her passion into practice as goal attack for her netball team, and in competitive event riding.

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