The fitness world is ever changing. Long gone are the days of the biggest and baddest bodybuilders getting major contracts with all of the limelight. These days the fitness industry is at its all-time peak, mainly due to the big mass appeal of the likes of men’s physique and bikini classes.
But what if you’re one of the few who want to go against the norm and still want to build that awe-inspiring mass that makes people look twice? What if you are just starting out and want to know the best and quickest way to put on the foundational mass that will make your physique stand out?
Well, now is the time to go get the mass you want. Read on for the top rules for building muscle.
1) Progressive Overload
Let’s first look take a look at training. Weight training provides the stimulus for the body to repair and recover the muscle broken down in a workout. What any gym goer will know though is that the body is very resilient and will quickly adapt to any “trauma” it receives. The body does not want to be overly muscular. Therefore, you have to force it to be. Ever see the guys in the gym lifting the same weights with the same movements week in, week out and unsurprisingly looking the same week in and week out? That’s because their body has become accustomed to the stimulus it receives and knows how to deal it.
In steps progressive overload. To get brutal size you need to get strong, whilst training in a hypertrophy rep range (8-12) the stronger you are the bigger you’ll come. Each week you will log your weights and reps in a book, then look to surpass them the following week. Whether it’s by a rep or 1lb it does not matter. The body will therefore be continually under a stress and be forced to grow.
2) Compound Movements
Now you know how you’ve got to progress in the gym, what kind of exercises should you do? I’m sure the latest pro workout you have read has all sorts of angles and isolation exercises. There should be very little of that in your training, though. The reason the pros train like this is they have already attained the mass they need – they are simply looking to refine it now and add more detail. Do not be fooled though, to get big you need to lift big.
Big compound movements such as the deadlift, the squat and the bench press will always elicit a higher growth response than the equivalent isolation exercise. You want big legs look at Tom Platz you squat, you want a big back – look at Ronnie Coleman – you deadlift. Now you guys out there thinking “but I don’t want to get that big” do not worry you won’t, unless you go at this for years and years. Everyone needs foundational mass and this is what compound exercises bring, the most amount of thick dense muscle that every competitor and gym goer strives for.
3) Eat Big To Get Big!
It is all well and good training as hard as possible but if you aren’t eating enough of the right food then your efforts to gain size are completely wasted. Your body needs a surplus of protein, carbohydrates and essential fats in order to build muscle. Now this surplus of calories will lead to SOME fat gain but this will be minimal assuming you have a surplus of around 200-500 calories a day dependent on your body type.
Look to be eating lots of high quality proteins such as beef, chicken, eggs, salmon and whey. Carbohydrates like oats, potatoes, rice, pasta and vegetables. Lastly do not forget healthy fats such as avocado, nuts, oils and oily fish.
4) Gain Whilst You Sleep
This section is dedicated to all those weekend warriors and late night gamers. You gain whilst you sleep. If you are burning the candle at both ends, training hard in the day but staying up all night, you are not giving your body the chance to grow like it could be doing. Moreover, you run the risk of burning out due to lack of energy which in turn will affect your workouts and mean even less recovery and even less muscle gained. Aim for at least 6-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep a night.
5) Be Consistent
Last but not least the most important rule in your quest to put on muscle is to be consistent. There is no point doing all of the above: killing a workout, eating well and getting good sleep one week to then go the complete opposite the next and do none of these things. You will get nowhere, gain no muscle and be very frustrated.
Muscle building takes a long time so be patient, every week, month and year that goes by you completely nail your workouts, nutrition and recovery will mean you are providing yourself the best possible chance of building as much muscle as possible.
Remember muscle building is a marathon not a sprint, so tick all the above boxes day in day out and before you know you will gaining muscle like nobody’s business!