Follow these tips to pack on pounds of lean muscle mass.
1. Compound movements
You may have heard it before, and it’s absolutely true – compound movements build strength and muscle. Exercises such as the squat, deadlift, bench press, barbell rows, standing shoulder presses, chin ups… will make you bigger and stronger. One reason for this is that you are able to load more weight on the bar while doing these exercises. The body compensates for the bigger damage done with bigger weights by building more muscle mass.
2. Increase the frequency
Training a couple of times a week is not a bad thing if you want to maintain your shape. However if your goal is to build muscle you might consider hitting the gym a little more often. Hitting the gym four to five times a week may look like it’s going to be counterproductive, but if you limit your training sessions to 40-45 min, this may be the right thing you need to build some lean muscle mass.
3. Vary your reps (and weights) once in a while
Even though the range of 8-12 reps is widely used for building muscle, take into consideration that your body has the ability to adapt to stress. This is why you should vary your reps (and weights) once in a while. For example you can try to do some strength training for 5-6 weeks, where you will do 4-6 reps per set with heavy reps. After the strength phase you can increasing your reps (with lower weight) to 15-20 and do another phase of 5-6 weeks before returning to the standard 8-12 reps.
4. Targeted isolation exercises for the lagging body parts.
We’ve just said that big compound movements build muscle, but that’s not a reason to completely ditch the isolation exercises. Isolation exercises are a good way to pre exhaust your muscles or finish them after you have completed the heavy lifting. High reps with moderate weight on the biceps curls or calf raises can really pump blood into the muscle worked, stretch the fascia and spark new muscle growth.