Want to Gain Muscle Fast?
If you have looked at anything to do with weight training, fitness, or exercise chances are you’ve noticed something. There are a million and one different opinions. Do this diet, do this program, take this supplement, drink this crazy drink and you will magically sprout muscles, lift cars, and have washboard abs. This drives me crazy when I see people trying to sell stuff that will do this. And I talk about it a lot on my YouTube channel.
If only right? So how do you know what to listen to? Well for starters, if something sounds too good to be true, chances are it is. Have you ever bought in to a miracle product? You saw the before and after pictures of others who had tried it and then after doing the program yourself found it didn’t work for you. Know why that is?
Because while those products may not be necessarily bad, it’s not the product that has gotten the results for those “success” stories. Those people who find success are ones who also work out, and change the way they eat in addition to taking the product.
Despite what marketers tell us, and advertisements show us, nothing can replace putting in the work. Clean eating, and exercise when stuck with for some time will do the trick every time.
So the next time you see a success story, just know you don’t have to shell out a ton of money for their product, because that’s not where success comes from.
You’ve got this. And if you want to take your first step we have a free video course that teaches you how to get started (no miracle product needed).
Does Resting Between Sets Affect Your Gains?
Have you ever been guilty of this in the gym? You are catching your breath after a hard set that is pushing your muscle gains to the max and you whip out your phone. You glance at a few funny memes. Respond to a couple texts. Like a couple posts and before you know it you’ve blown five minutes. But in truth you’ve blown more than that.
When we lift to gain muscle we tend to think it’s all about how much we have on the bar, how much we are lifting that truly matters and little else. But in truth that’s one of the least things to concern yourself with, as it is all just about how we look in the gym (hint: no one is watching anyway).
In truth while the speed of our reps and our form is super important, so is time under tension. Time under tension is how much strain our muscles are under, and if we lift an insane amount of weight but rest five minutes in between each set, our muscles have time to relax before we even move on to our second set. I talk a lot about this in our my Facebook Group.
By doing this you are sabotaging your muscle gains. The key is resting LESS time. Rather than using your phone to distract you, set a timer. When you start your first set start the timer. Once you finish your set, don’t rest longer than 45 seconds before moving on to the next set.
Sure you will find that you can’t lift as heavy, but you will be getting stronger because your muscles are working that much harder. You can read more about time under tension in this article by bodybuilding.com
Have Your Muscle Gains Stopped?
So maybe you’ve changed your body composition and have learned how to gain muscle and get buff. But you are not where you want to be and it seems the muscle growing has slowed down or tapered off completely. What is that next step to build more muscle?
All is not lost and before you get fed up with your lack of muscle growth, just know you can do more to grow your muscles. For starters, the reason things taper off is because you are growing muscle. Your body has become accustomed to this new you which means you’ve already taken great strides.
But now your body is ready for a new challenge in order to grow more muscle and bulk up. It’s a combination of pushing yourself further in your workouts as well as changing things up with your nutrition intake. I talk about this all the time in the my podcast.
With your workouts, here are three things you can do to really push you body in the gym:
Do 3 new workouts every gym session.
Increase your amount of sets to five on every exercise.
Limit resting time in between each set to 45 seconds.
You will find just these few things can greatly impact your workout.
Second, for your nutrition intake your body needs a lot of clean power packed calories for that additional muscle growth. That means you have to eat more, but not just anything, you’ve got to eat more clean calories. Just increasing your daily intake by 500 calories a day can make a huge difference in the amount of muscle mass you put on and can take you from skinny to buff.
So don’t get mad and throw in the towel as your muscle gains slow down. Change things up and dig deep.
Get Bigger Arms
So if you are trying to increase your gains, chances are you are working on those arm muscles. I mean who doesn’t want to have some great guns popping out from those short sleeved shirts?
But are you going about it the wrong way? We all know about those popping biceps, but we may be missing out on the muscle that can drastically make our arm muscle bigger. The tricep muscle.
The tricep muscle is underrated because the biceps get all the credit. Our tricep muscles actually do most of the functional work in our everyday life. So most of the movements that require us to use our arm muscles use the tricep muscle. Not only that, but it makes up most of upper arm muscle. The tricep is considerably bigger than our bicep muscle.
By focusing on tricep workouts we can drastically increase our overall arm size. Throw in a couple tricep exercises each day with your other exercises for extra growth.
There are so many great tricep exercises too. From skull crushers, to pulldowns, to kickbacks.
Get a Bigger Chest
Head into any gym on any given day and chances are someone will be on the bench press. Pumping out reps. It’s one of those staple workouts that must be done. But are you doing your bench presses right? Are you even hitting your chest muscles while performing your reps? There’s a chance you’re not. There’s 3 major mistakes we can make when doing the chest press.
Arching your back. From slight arches to insane ones, it’s easy to arch your back so much that your back barely touches the bench. This is taking the load off of your chest muscles and also setting yourself up to get hurt. Keep your back flat on the bench.
Not coming all the way down. So often I see people only come about half way down with the bar, or stop a couple inches above the chest. You want to bring the bar completely down so it touches your chest.
Bouncing. This is the last common mistake I see, performing your reps so fast that you are using the momentum of the movement to “bounce” the bar back up after it comes down.
All of these mistakes are easy to do, but are easy to correct. So next time you are trying to crush it on the chest press, evaluate yourself and see if you are making these mistakes. For more check out my chest workout podcast.
How To Lift to Gain Muscle Mass
So we all want to lift more? After all we equate lifting more with being stronger and it’s how we measure whether we are making progress in that regard right? So what can we do to increase our lifting?
There are several things that will go a long way.
The first is change things up week to week. Do more reps, one week, less, the next, and less the week after. As you decrease the reps you are going to increase the amount of weight you are lifting. This keeps things different for your muscles. When you’ve dropped your reps down so low that you are maxed out for weight, start the cycle over and go back to high reps and lower weight.
When you start the cycle over you will find that you are able to lift heavier than when you first started. Continue to repeat this cycle. Ideally set your cycles up on 4 week cycles. So high reps the first week and continually decrease them over the next 3 weeks, then repeat the cycle.
Stop Being Skinny and Get Ripped
It’s important to not get complacent in the gym and push ourselves harder, but how exactly do we do that? I mean it sounds good in theory but in reality how do we push harder? What does that really look like?
The first step is getting outside of your comfort zone. We live for getting into routines and being comfortable, or at least as comfortable as we can get. But comfort is not only the enemy of progress.
If you look back at some of your best memories they probably are times when you were outside your comfort zone, when you did things that were scary but worthwhile and you look back glad that you went through the difficult for the good.
It’s the same way with your workouts. So for starters pick something that scares you in the gym. Maybe it’s moving from machines to free weights, maybe it’s implementing cardio into your workouts, maybe it’s going for a new personal record on a lift. Regardless, pick something hard that is going to stretch you..
If it’s not hard, pick something else. Second go hard. You should be sweating when you leave the gym. Your workout should have you out of breath on multiple occasions while you are in the middle of it. If not do more reps, lift more weights, increase the speed on the treadmill, or the difficulty on whatever cardio machine you are on. That’s how you hit your fitness goals and gain lean muscle like we talk about at Bones to Bulk.
So when it comes to your workouts, what exactly should you be doing? After all there is a lot of equipment and workout programs out there. There certainly are and a quick stroll through a gym and you will see a ton of different varieties of workouts that people are doing. So what are some musts when it comes to lifting?
For starters you want a well rounded routine. Don’t focus only on one muscle group, but hit all of them and do different muscle groups on different days. Legs, chest, bicep and tricep, back and shoulder. But one thing that keeps you solid is your core.
Most of your strength stems from your core. Lower back pain, poor posture, and weakness can all stem from a weak core. So if I had to pick one thing to work on, it would be core. Any abdominal workout is going to target your core, sit ups, planks, stretches that target your core, squats (can’t say enough about these except DO THEM!)
As you improve your core you will find that your strength will increase in many of your other exercises as well. So don’t neglect it!