Every guy in the gym wants to look like a super hero. We all want the boulder like shoulders, cut abs and tree trunk thighs. That’s why we’re in the gym, that’s why we lift, and struggle with the pain.
Unfortunately, we’re not all genetically equal and building muscle is a lot harder for some than others. If you’re struggling to build more muscle here’s some tips to help you earn your cape.
Lifting weights, and trying to build muscle at it’s core is incredibly simple. You lift this weight, get into the right rep range to trigger hypertrophy and your muscles grow.
It can become a stagnant routine of doing 8-10 reps for months and years without significant progress. It’s so much of an accepted routine that you lose sight of the most basic principle.
Muscle growth will have a direct correlation to the weight you’re moving. The heavier you can lift the greater the muscle response. If you’ve been in the same weight range of 100 lbs and getting 6-8 good reps, imagine the muscle response if you did the same rep range with 150 lbs. What about 200 lbs?
Bodybuilders can become so focused on shaping and sculpting, and getting in the right rep range that they neglect the power and strength building dynamic.
Taking a few weeks or months off a bodybuilding routine and instead focusing on getting stronger with power lifting routines can pay massive long term dividends due to the enormous strength gains.
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Eat Like A Lumberjack
I don’t personally know any lumberjacks but I’m assuming they eat a lot. They’re big burly dudes and have a lot of muscle mass. But that’s not the point.
One of the biggest obstacles to gaining weight in general and muscle specifically for most lifters is they simply don’t eat enough to grow. Most are afraid of getting fat, or they think they can get some good gains and turn their fat into muscle.
To make significant gains you will need to get into a large calorie surplus. We’re not talking 100-200 calories per day. You want to make man gains, and that means 500-800 calories above what you’re doing now.
It’s a growth cycle, so you need to treat it that way. Don’t worry about the fat, the newly formed muscle mass will help melt that away after your bulking phase.
Another diet mistake is skipping the carbs while trying to add weight. It will prove difficult to make good gains while on a low carb, high protein meal plan. Carbs play a vital role in new muscle development so it’s important to include it with every meal.
No, it doesn’t mean an all donut diet is viable. But you do need carbs as part of the bulking phase.
Related: I gained weight on my last diet
Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone
Your body is an adaptive engine. Thousands and thousands of years has honed it’s ability to adapt to your behavior. It’s not always noticeable, and sometimes it takes weeks and months for your body to adapt, but it will.
What does this mean for building muscle mass? If you continue doing variations of the same routines, week in and week out your body will adapt. It gets used to what you’re doing over and over again. When that happens your progress will slow to a halt and you’ll hit the dreaded plateau.
You need to challenge your body with every workout. Sometimes that means changing the weight of your lifts, sometimes it’s the reps, and other times you need to crank up the intensity with supersets.
Challenge your body to adapt, challenge it to grow and build new muscle and you’ll be shocked at how well your body adapts to difficult and ever changing behavior.
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