You want muscle FAST? Obviously… That’s why you’ve opted in to read our top 5 Muscle Building Techniques..
Now before we get into the cool stuff- I need to clarify one thing.. Training alone won’t get you the body you want; however training is the most fun part of the journey and we did promise you our top training tips for building FAST muscle.
The golden question: “How do I put on muscle?”
Depending on who you ask or what you read will determine what answer you get…
Powerlifters will tell you all you need to do is lift heavy.
The gym bro will tell you to constantly change up exercises to break down the muscles and “shock the body”.
Bodybuilders will tell you to just chase “The Pump”.
You need all of them.
There are 3 mechanisms for muscle growth.
Simply put- lifting heavy weight! Now that doesn’t mean trying to lift as much as you can for one rep, however you do want to dedicate some of your training to the 3-6 rep ranges.
To create even more mechanical tension you need to squeeze and contract the muscle as hard as possible to create the “mind-muscle connection”. Doing this under as much load as possible (while keeping good form!) is the most effective way to create mechanical tension.
You can also maximise this by adding weight to the bar each week.
We have all over exerted ourselves during a leg session before where walking up stairs, or sitting on the toilet, the next day seems impossible. This is called DOMS or Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness.
It’s not this damage that causes growth but a number of actions because of it. Muscle Damage only somewhat relates to muscle soreness. You need to find that sweet spot. Too much and this will negatively affect your training and more importantly your recovery.
Some techniques we like to use to maximise muscle damage:
- Slow Eccentrics (the muscle lengthening of the movement i.e the down phase of a Squat or the up of a Lat Pulldown)
- Using movements through greater ranges of motion (i.e deficit deadlifts)
- Weighted Stretching
- Using pauses
- Using pauses in the middle of reps
- Lots of volume per session
If you’ve watched Pumping Iron (and if you haven’t, you should) you’ve heard Arnold Schwarzenegger explain that one of the greatest feelings you get inside the gym is the “Pump” (where blood rushes to the muscles).
It’s true, it is. But what makes it even better again, is that it will help you put on muscle!
To best achieve this using standard reps without any other advanced protocol like BFR (blood flow restriction) training you want to keep constant tension on the working muscles by maintaining no rest between reps and reversing direction just short of lock out or bottoming out of a movement.
Some techniques we like to use to increase Metabolic Stress:
- Higher rep ranges
- BFR Training
- Drop sets
- Giant sets
- Short rest intervals
- Add half and quarter reps into your sets
Our Top 5 Muscle Building Methods:
ONE – Follow a Program.
I’m amazed how many people spend so much time and energy into training yet don’t follow a structured plan. It’s like trying to build a house without designs You’re leaving too much to chance without proper direction. Always remember “failing to plan is planning to fail” in the pursuit of muscle.
TWO – Choose the best “Bang for your Buck exercises”
These are the lifts that separate the boys from men. Exercises like the Squat, Bench Press, Deadlift, Military Press, Chin Ups, Dips, Barbell Rows. If these were the only exercises in your program- as basic as it would be, it would still be a bad ass program!
THREE – Get Strong in all angles
While the above exercises are essential- to maximise structural balance and thick quality muscle it is also essential to not only perform exercises from different angles but to get stronger in these angles too. Best example of this would be Incline Bench Press (I personally prefer this to regular bench press) and Decline Bench Press.
FOUR – Use a variety of loading parameters.
The standard 3 sets of 10 reps won’t cut it if you want to build muscle fast. For best results you need to get strong and work in the ranges of 6-20 reps. If you can increase your 6RM Bench Press from 100-120kg in 6 weeks I can guarantee you’ll have put on some good quality mass to go along with it!
Big Compound Movements I like to go from working in the 3-5 rep range for three to four weeks then switch to the 6-8 rep range for three to four weeks before changing again.
Assistance exercises (depending on which ones and where they are placed in the workout) can be anywhere from the 8-12 or 15-20 rep range.
FIVE – Use Tempo in your Training
What is tempo? It is the speed at which you perform each rep. For exercises with a greater range of motion I like to use a 4010 tempo. Heels elevated Cyclist Squat for example:
4 second eccentric (lowering)
0 second pause in the bottom (keeping constant tension and avoiding “bottoming out”)
1 second concentric (up)
0 second rest at top (keeping constant tension and avoiding lock out)
For a set of 8 reps this would equate to a total of 40 seconds Time Under Tension (TUT) which is the exact range we want to be in for muscle building!
Now let’s put all of this info together for one epic Bad Ass Biceps workout:
A1) Underhand Grip Chin Ups (super slow eccentric) x 3 (8010)
15 sec rest
A2) 1 & ½ rep Incline Bicep Curls x 6 (4010)
15 sec rest
A3) Hammer Curls x 12 (1010)
150 sec rest
Perform 3 rounds of this.