How to gain muscle mass

How to gain muscle mass

You join the gym, and after 5 minutes of your first day of training, while you prolong the rest of your series with an unfocused look and the sweat dripping down your back, the big question rumbles in your ears: «…how do I gain muscle mass…»

Keys to gain muscle mass

At this point I believe that it is clear to everyone that in order to increase your muscle mass three fundamental things are necessary. These are the variables that we will «play with» and depending on how well you adjust each one, your goal will be closer:

Training + Nutrition + Rest

Dead lift

On this occasion we will focus on the first variable: Training. Without a proper stimulus, it is very difficult for the rest to «go well»…

Increasing Muscle Mass

It is quite normal that if we fail in any of the previous variables, to want to compensate in the others. This is not how it works. We must consider it as a whole. However, within each one, we can mimic and attend to which protocols or recommendations to seek to maximise them.

Increasing muscle mass

You can find many sources of information related to increasing muscle volume, however, it could be said that «there are different ways of reaching the same goal».

In this sense, I’ll be as concise as possible (I’ll get to the point) and from my point of view, I’ll set out the tips for gaining muscle mass that you shouldn’t overlook

Hypertrophy Training

If you want to gain muscle mass, focus your training on that. And here the fundamental point revolves around aesthetics.

Curl biceps

Equally, if you want to compete in powerlifting or weightlifting, your training would revolve around performance, without looking at the aesthetic side.

What training route? Do you prefer focused routines or full body routines? Choose the routine that suits you best, establishing the Frequency of training that fits into your life best. Finally, seek to generate stimuli, be assured that in both cases you will get them.

Adjust the intensity and volume

For the first we refer expressly to the load used in the exercises, i.e. the %  of our RM. This would of course apply to multi-joint exercises. The second refers to the number of sets and repetitions. As a rule, the relationship between the two variables is established according to the following table:

ObjectiveCharge (on 1RM)RepetitionsSeries
Hypertrophy65-80%8-121-3

A high volume is not compatible with a high intensity

In addition to all of the above, on some occasions we introduce a strength mesocycle which can be quite beneficial to our interests

Rest between series

The 60-120s range is considered to be the most appropriate, as established by Brad Schoenfeld and his team as the most optimal rest period for muscle growth.

t is not the same to rest after several series of squats at 75-80% as it is to do a bicep curl. In this sense, self-regulation will also become important and if it is necessary to slightly increase the rest time, in order to «pull» at maximum intensity, we will act in this way.

Increase load under pressure

Make use of «advanced training techniques», such as Biseries, Superseries, «Drop Sets», … the machines will be more comfortable and it will be easier to apply these techniques (removing disks quickly). If we «fail» it will not be the same to do it in a machine, than if we have the bar loaded on top…

Press

Try a descending series in press…

Exercise Tempo

The «tempo» is the mode of execution of the exercises. One of the main benefits will be to promote Stress Work (TUT), it also allows to control Metabolic Stress and Mechanical Stress. One repetition can be divided into 4 phases: Eccentric – Final – Concentric – Start

Bench press

The fraction of time of each of the phases or transitions will generate a certain stimulus.

Example Press Bank TIME 4:2:1:2
  1. Eccentric phase: We take the bar out of the support and keep the arms stretched out. Start lowering the bar until it reaches the chest. We count mentally 4.
  2. End: We touch the chest. We count 2 from the moment we touch our body until we push the bar
  3. Concentric Phase: This is the most complicated phase, and where we have to «squeeze». We count 1 until the sweep reaches the starting point.
  4. Start: We have reached the starting point. We count mentally 1 before starting the 2 repetition.

Control the weight, don’t let it control you

Training for Failure

Muscle failure should not be the norm. On the other hand, «touching» the failure, or punctually reaching it, could be totally feasible. This aspect is less critical in weight training, and likewise in descending series or applied to secondary muscles or isolation exercises. Reaching the failure by squatting, may leave you KO for the rest of the training…

Training for failure

«Abusing» muscle failure can leave your Central Nervous System fried, reducing our ability to generate the right stimulus…

Should you always train for muscle failure?

Apply Rest & Pause

Instead of reaching the failure, «stop» before it happens. Between 1 or 2 reps would be enough (failure-1 or -2). At that point, release the bar/dumbbells, take a 15-20″ deep breath, and pick up the exercise where you left off.

Military press

This technique will help to prolong the exercise and complete each series

Example: Military Press.
  • Warm up with an empty bar(realiza alguna serie de 15-20 Bradford Press).
  • Add weight to the bar (approximation series), until you reach the target load (75% of your RM) for the effective series.
  • Mark a number of series (3) and repetitions (12x).
  • In the first series you won’t notice the fatigue, but the fatigue will appear in the middle of the second series (between the 6-8 rep). Release the bar before you can’t lift it. Air intake lasts 20″. Put the bar back on your shoulders and continue the series.
  • If you are forced to stop before the last rep, apply the same principle.
  • Finish the last series. Possibly you will apply the Rest&Pause before the second one.

Multi-joint exercises

The basis of the training routine should be the basic or multi-articular exercises, these manage to recruit a very high amount of muscle fibres, so that the stimulus is much higher. They are also the ones that will produce the most wear and tear, both in terms of substrates and general fatigue.

Squat

In addition, the hormonal factor comes into play: these movements are characterised by a high release of testosterone and growth hormone

What is the maximum possible muscle gain?

Isolated Exercises

We must not forget that we are «bodybuilders», therefore, these exercises involving smaller muscles are necessary. Work from all possible angles, add modifications to the exercise, use if necessary a half stroke, increase the congestion of the muscular area…

Biceps

You won’t improve your biceps’ «peak» if you only do squats…

The best exercises for Biceps and Triceps

Exercises with your own body weight

They are often overlooked or underestimated. But the truth is that they generate very powerful stimuli in the face of hypertrophy. In order to maximize the TUT, it performs each repetition in a slow and controlled way. Moreover, you can always add intensity by means of ballast (discs, dumbbells, ropes…).

Pull ups

Again, «tempo» will be used to achieve this premise

Example: Pull-ups. Perform an isometric contraction once you reach the bar (with the chest or passing the chin). Hold the descent..

Maintain concentration

Avoid by all means any distraction in each series of rest, your mind must remain «focused». As long as you remain

The Alpha GPC can improve concetration prior to training by acting as a nootropic for cognitive function

Related Entries

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  • How to gain muscle and lose fat at the same time
  • What is the optimal amount of protein to gain muscle mass
  • What diet should I eat to gain muscle mass?
  • 4 Factors to gain muscle mass
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About Javier Colomer
Javier Colomer
Under the motto “Knowledge Makes me Stronger”, Javier Colomer clearly expresses his intentions to share his knowledge and experience within the world of Fitness. His BPT training system is proof of this.
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