For me, using a 5X5 routine works for building muscle, and getting stronger, too. The theory is, if you keep your reps low, and your number of sets high, then your muscles grow faster than doing two sets of ten reps each. Because, with less reps, the more weight you can lift, causing growth and an increase in strength as well.
Some exercises do work better with high reps though. Like squats, crunches or sit-ups, and calf raises. Basically most leg and abdominal work. But with your chest, biceps, triceps, lats and traps, go with the five times five. (Five sets, with five reps each) this will work for anyone of any size or weight. Even if you’ve never lifted weights before, this will work for you, too.
If you’re just starting out, I would suggest working out once a week. Just to ease your way into it. When it comes down to it for beginners, less is more. If you workout too much, than you’re more prone to injury, and your muscles won’t have enough time to recuperate, so you won’t grow. After about three weeks move up to three times a week. With about five exercises per workout. Like legs one day, chest biceps and triceps one day, and back lats shoulders and traps the next day.
Doing Yoga after a workout is one of the best things you can do for yourself. It prevents stretch marks, strengthens your joints for easier lifting, and is proven to increase strength by about 20% next to people who didn’t have a stretching routine after workouts. You should follow up with your yoga about fifteen minutes after your workout, before you eat or shower. I highly recommend it to anyone trying to lose or gain, or just have fun and be in better shape.
To say the least the 5X5 is the best hands down for gaining muscle and beefing up your body. You don’t have to be out-of-shape any more. And if you don’t take my word for it, than you can look it up for yourself, most top bodybuilders use this routine for their own training.