As a fitness instructor, people regularly ask me how to build muscle quickly. Today’s article will give you a quick overview on the simple things you need to focus on if your goal is to build a bigger body over the next couple of months.
That’s right, I said a couple of months. Not a year.
If you have been training for a while you will have already noticed that the biggest issue holding people back in the gym is the volume of contradicting advice out there. People can’t seem to stick to anything for long enough to get results because they have outside influences telling them that they need to purchase the latest product or try to next big thing in workouts…
The rules to building a more powerful physique are very simple. Too simple, perhaps, for many people to believe them. Instead they spend years looking for the over complicated version.
#1 Know your compound exercises and use them.
#2 Your range of repetitions will help you target hypertrophy.
#3 Don’t forget you also need to have a good diet.
While many people struggle to learn how to get results from their exercise routine, those who do achieve success learn that the important factors lie in getting the basics right. The three point system you see above gives you the key to reaching your goal.
Building your workout routine around one or two compound exercises is a great way to start. Usually, people perform way too many isolation movements and way too few compounds. If you’re unsure what they are, think bench press and deadlift. These large multiple joint exercises will force far more hypertrophy than exercises which try to isolate only one muscle.
Remember, you are not at the gym to train your ego. Take a glance at the dumbbell section the next time you go to the gym and I’m sure you will notice many people training their ‘ego muscles’, i.e. tons of bicep curls and tricep pushdowns but zero squats or wide grip pull ups. The ironic thing is those guys are clearly striving to increase their size but are unwittingly holding their own progress back by avoiding the proven exercises in favor of what gives them a better temporary pump.
After asking what exercises work best, the second most popular question is undoubtedly how much weight should be lifted on each exercise. Obviously, everybody has different capabilities here and what is light for one person might be too heavy for the next. This is why you need to learn how to optimize your rep range to suit your overall goal.
For muscular hypertrophy you should be achieving around 8-12 repetitions in every set. Use this as a guide and it will also help you to progress at a very consistent rate. Each time you are able to push out over twelve reps with a certain weight you should be looking to increase the resistance, pushing yourself back down towards the 8 rep mark and working with that weight until your strength increases.
It’s also worth mentioning the important role your diet plays in the results you achieve. You can’t expect to build a great body if you are feeding it junk, after all. Many guys believe that diets are just for girls, but if you don’t look after your nutrition you are writing off most of your results before you even get to the gym.
You need to make the most of your daily calories and that means getting a good split of carbs, proteins and fats into the food you choose to eat. Whether it’s through supplements or actual food, try to ensure around 50% of your daily intake comes from carbohydrate sources with the focus on complex carbs rather than sugary simple carbs. Follow that up with around 30% from protein and 20% from healthy fats and you have yourself a great diet platform to operate from.
If you’ve had a certain body part which has proved difficult to get results with, you will find that the three steps will help you to bring it back up to speed. So before you spend hours pouring over the best shoulder building exercises or top chest workouts we recommend getting on top of the basics first.
If you previously felt a little lost and confused with all of the information out there giving you contradicting advice on how to build muscle you should now notice a new-found self confidence. Knowing the proven principles of size and strength training puts you on a fantastic platform to build from.