How do we build muscle?
People make building muscle much more complicated than it really has to be. Okay true, it’s not an easy process, but it shouldn’t be over thought either. Men and women read magazines and believe everything they read. Well here is the reality, there is a lot if B.S. out there! True some are good sources but there are many bogus ones too. There is only one secret to gaining muscle and that is to get stronger! The stronger you are the more weight you can lift, therefore you’ll be more muscular. Especially if you’re a natural lifter.
Mistakes I’ve encountered at the gym:
• Train 5-6x a week, one muscle a day.
• Go to failure every set to get “pumped”.
• Use many isolation exercises per workout, to hit each muscle from each angle.
If you’ve done this due to what you’ve read, you’re doing it wrong. The only people who will get results from that routine are genetic freaks, steroid users, and advanced lifters. An advanced lifter uses the one muscle group, one time per week split after they have spent few years developing their body. It’s used to tone each muscle up and enhance areas that are lacking; bodybuilders usually do a lot of isolation because they get judged on symmetry. But you need to build those muscles first!
So here is my tip, if you’re not lifting more weights today then you were lifting a year ago, even few months ago, then you are NOT building muscle! Women on the other hand work great with volume but still need to go heavy enough to make gains. Sorry ladies, those cute pink dumbbells won’t do you justice.
You don’t have to be a bodybuilder to build muscle. Think strength training, and make it efficient. You don’t have to be in the gym 6-7x a week, for hours! Stop the complicated methods and stop reading to much nonsense. You don’t have to confuse your muscles by changing exercises every session. You need to keep progress, doing the same routine for a period is fine, just add 5lbs each session or weekly and there you go, you’ve confused your muscles. Also every type of training out there has a purpose, but to build muscle, stop with these failures, you’ll burn yourself out mentally, lose motivation and quit! You don’t need to be sore! No pumping muscles needed! When you’re stronger you’ll have muscles. Do compound exercises and keep heavy, maybe add extra sets to keep you in hypertrophy. To make gains you need to keep heavy, get rest, and can not be at a deficit. Diet goes hand in hand with muscle gaining. If you read different it’s a lie, unless you’re a beginner or on enhancements. So start a program and stay consistent with one but keep adding weights.
Example of some compound exercises:
• Barbell row (gets bicep work done and back)
• Bench press (chest/tricep)
• Overhead press (delts/ tricep)
• Deadlift (back, legs)
• Squats (quads/hams)
With these exercises you’ll burn more calories and save time! As well you can go heavy every time, get stronger A.K.A gain muscle! Free weights are key to balance and build strength. Although I’m okay with my clients learning on machines for form and to connect with the muscles they are training.
So remember, progressive loading is key to building muscle. Have a workout routine consisting of compound movements. Remember to rest and eat properly, don’t over train nor under train. You must challenge yourself and keep heavy. Have fun at the gym and remember, more and more and more for a natural lifter is not the answer for gains, strength training and progressive overload is the answer for a natural lifter.
There are many benefits to compound exercises. I recommend you hear this podcast on Sports Performance Radio (SPR) with Lyle Mcdonald on weight gain.
Hear this podcast: