Part 2 is here, and this is for those of you who are chasing muscle…
How To Build Muscle – Part 1 – Introduction
This is going to be the beginning of a “How To” series, as I know many of you are looking to get bigger and stronger, whilst sometimes losing sight of what really matters.
How to Build Muscle
The biggest muscle building mistake people make is training like a bodybuilder. Many bodybuilders use drugs but won’t tell you. And they rarely built the bulk of their muscle size with the routines they do now. That’s why bodybuilding routines don’t work for most people. This is what works:
- Get Stronger. The best bodybuilders that ever existed were strong. They knew that muscle follows strength, EVERY SINGLE TIME. Increase your Squat to 300+lb, Bench Press to 220+lb, and Deadlift to 400+lb. Your overall muscle mass will increase because strength is size.
- Add Weight. Forget about chasing the pump. Instead, focus on adding weight on the bar. Try to lift more than last time. You’ll get stronger which will increase your overall muscle mass. If you don’t lift more today than last month or year, you’re not building muscle.
- Do Compound Movements. Do exercises that work several muscles at the same time. You’ll be able to lift heavier weights which will trigger more muscle growth. The bulk of your routine should consist of heavy Squats, Bench, Deadlifts, Overhead Presses and Barbell Rows.
- Use Barbells. You can lift heavier weights with barbells than any other tools. You also have to balance the weight yourself. Barbells involve more muscles and trigger more growth. Use free weights, not smith machines. Start light and use proper form to avoid injury.
- Increase Frequency. The more often you train a muscle, the more you trigger it to grow. The more you do an exercise, the quicker your technique improves, and the heavier you can lift. Select at least 3 exercises from the Big 6, and start performing them at least twice per week. Namely:
- Recover. Your muscles need to recover from your workouts to grow stronger and bigger. They can’t recover if you work them hard every day. Even your mind needs a break. Take three to four rest days a week. Help your muscles recover by getting plenty of food, water and sleep.
- Eat More. Your body uses food to fuel workouts, and recover muscles. Your muscles can’t recover and grow if there’s a shortage of food. If you’re really struggling, get your calories in, in liquid form. This will mean your full for a shorter period of time, and will be able to keep eating more consistently.
- Eat Carbs – In this industry there is so much focus on protein, but the reality is that these excessive recommendations of 1g per pounds of bodyweight (or more!) are damaging your ability to eat enough food. Protein is very filling, so if you’re struggling to eat enough, focus on eating more “clean” carbs.
- Stop comparing yourself to others – Comparing your muscle gains to YouTubers is asking for disappointment. Steroid use is rampant, and at the end of the day, as long as you’re improving yourself, that’s all that really matters. This is a self-improvement game – enjoy the process.
- Be Consistent – Most guys gain 0.125kg/0.25lb of lean muscle per week if they do an effective training program and eat well (subscribe by email to see examples of such programs). You can’t gain muscle faster than this. It takes a year to gain 6kg/12lb of lean muscle and see dramatic change. People can gain more, but 12 pounds of pure muscle is what you can expect. Consistency is therefore key.