It’s no secret that it takes time for muscle building, but what if you can do it faster by working smarter rather than harder. Well, that’s exactly what you will find out in this article. It’s not going to be the same old stuff that you’ve heard over and over again, like simply telling you to eat more protein. With that said, let’s find out the top 10 muscle building tips for beginners.
When done correctly this is one of the most powerful things you can do to improve your muscular strength and size consistently. In a nutshell, periodization is the systematic breakdown of your training plan over the course of time. It will include micro, meso and macrocycles which will essentially break down your training plan into weeks months and years. But instead of explaining to you every possible way that you could incorporate different cycles of period let’s give you guys a simple actionable plan to consistently make progress using the exact periodic strategy.
Start by finding out what maximal weight load you can lift for each of your compound exercises for roughly 9 to 10 reps. If you select the weight load that you could do for 11 reps, increase the weight load and vice-versa. If you select the weight that’s too heavy and you can only do it for 7 reps, then drop the weight. You should stick to this rep range for two to three weeks straight.
Try to increase the weight that you’re using over the course of these 2 to 3 weeks. Again, staying within that 9 to 10 rep range the whole time after those 2 to 3 weeks are over, switch over to a rep range of roughly 5 to 7 reps again. Find the maximum weight you could do for that rep range, which should obviously be higher in weight than what you were doing for the 9 to 10 reps. Stick to this new rep range for another two to three weeks.
Keep trying to increase the weight as long as you can stay within that 5 to 7 rep range. When you’re done with those weeks, do a rep range of 3 reps for all those compound exercises. Again for 2 to 3 weeks before switching back to the original 9 to 1o rep range. When you come back to the 9 to 10 rep range you’ll notice that you’re significantly stronger and you’ll be able to lift more weight. Continuously work through these cycles every time you come back to an old rep range that you did before you want to try to increase your weight load. Even if it’s by 2.5 pounds, this method will help you break through some of your biggest plateaus that you may experience with building muscle.
Generally, meal frequency doesn’t matter very much when you are working out but building muscle requires a lot of calories. Especially if you’re struggling with building muscle you’re going to need to eat a lot of food. The only way that you’re going to be able to eat enough throughout the entire day is by eating more often.
As you build more muscle, the only way you’re going to be able to continue building muscle is by continuing to up the amount of clean food that you’re consuming throughout the day. If your workout plan is very vigorous, you might be waking up in the middle of the night to have an additional protein shake to keep your body in a constant muscle building mode.
When you first start bulking up you don’t have to start with 8 to 9 meals a day. Starting with 4 or 5 meals a day will do just fine. But as your muscles grow your diet should increase. You will have to get used to being uncomfortable with the amount of food that you have to eat. It’s a necessary sacrifice that you have to make to hit your goals. Intermittent fasting is not recommended if you seriously want to build as much muscle as fast as possible because it’s only gonna make it harder to eat the number of calories required per meal.
This is a very important piece of advice that most guys are not following. Beginners are obsessed with protein consumption which leads them to completely ignore the other essential macronutrients. If you’re a hard gainer you will have to increase your carbs consumption. Examples of low glycemic healthy sources of carbohydrates are brown rice, sweet potatoes, yams buckwheat, barley. There are two reasons why you want to increase your carb consumption.
- Carbs are very insulin a genic and when you’re trying to build muscle as opposed to burning fat you actually want to increase your insulin levels. Even though insulin will transfer energy into your fat cells it is also the hormone that transfers energy and nutrients into your muscle cells. This ultimately spares muscle breakdown and it helps your muscles grow.
- Carbs help in refilling the glycogen stores in your muscles allowing you to lift more weight and have more intense workouts at the gym. Carbs help give you that push that you need to consistently make progress with your total training volume.
If you’re a natural trying to build more muscle, it’s critical for you to focus on increasing intensity over time. The best way to increase intensity is by progressively lifting heavier and heavier weights. You have to focus on incrementally increasing the amount of weight that you put on the bar or on dumbbells. This is why the first tip was periodization. You have to prioritize increasing the intensity by increasing the weight load use over time for every one of your workouts.
Increasing training frequency means that you should increase the number of days per week that you’re actually hitting the same muscle group. You should have at least 48 hours of rest before hitting the same muscle group again. If you’re normally doing chest days and you’re getting in 12 sets, by doing it twice a week you’re gonna be able to do 24 sets a week instead. Increased workout or volume throughout the week will lead to better results. To accomplish this you will have to do this in a split training style.
Split training routine
To Strictly gain size, one should follow a split training routine rather than a full body routine. Great split training routines include combining chest-shoulders-triceps, back-biceps and then on a separate day exercising legs. Or, you can do opposing muscle groups by splitting it up as chest-back, then legs the next day and then arms which would include shoulders-biceps-triceps on a separate day. If you’re trying to do this twice a week you would just repeat going back to that very first day.
Split training is going to work better because you have more opportunity to focus on one muscle group or on the muscle groups that you’re trying to break down.
This tip is to go right to the borderline of failure with every single set. Ideally, if you’re working out very often, you don’t want to fail on every one of your exercises. But on key compound lifts, you should spend at least a couple sets hitting failure.
Failure is not the point where it’s getting too difficult and starting to burn. Failure is right before you literally can’t lift the bar up anymore and the bar is one rep away from coming down and crashing down on you. Obviously, do this safely especially if you go to full-out actual failure. Keep a spotter.
Types of sets
Advanced techniques are used to boost the intensity of a workout, improve muscular endurance and shock your body to prevent a plateau. These techniques include the following:
A superset is an extended set of move incorporating back to back exercises with no break. For example, if you’re doing a superset for chest, you might do a bench press and then immediately follow that up with a chest fly on the cable cross machine.
A drop set is a process of bringing yourself to failure and dropping the weight down multiple times to fully exhaust the muscles that you’re working on. With drop sets, you start with your heaviest weight and after being right at the point of failure you wrap the weight, drop a little bit of weight off the bar and continue four more reps.
Free weights & motion
Stick to compound exercises involving free weights. If you must, use a machine that has a free range of motion. Don’t do a majority of your workout by using selectorized equipment because all those machines are locked into a range of motion.
Of course, you can throw in a little bit of selectorized equipment, but mostly just as a finisher towards the end of your workout after you’ve already broken down your muscles quite a bit. If you want the best results in terms of building muscle, then spend the majority of your strength and energy focusing on compound heavy lifts with barbells and dumbbells.
You don’t need most of the supplements that are advertised for gaining muscle. The only supplements that you’re really gonna need are gonna be a good protein powder to take after your workouts, a good pre-workout meal made up of natural ingredients and creatine. Those are the only supplements that you’ll really need for building muscle. You can also get dextrose which is just a pure form of sugar and you could use it along with your protein shake after your workouts in order to spike your insulin levels.
In order to get more nutrients, amino acids, and glycogen into your muscles, you should eat calorie surplus food. You don’t need things like BCAA’s and l-glutamine. Stay away from all those weight gain bulking powders. You can make your own by starting with whey protein and then adding coconut oil, oats, whole milk or almond milk and dextrose.