Looking for the best ways to maximize your gains? Do you want to put on muscle and get stronger? From eating more protein to changing your workout routine, there are plenty of ways to increase your strength and gain size. Depending on your fitness level, you can try simple tricks like doing supersets or pyramid sets, or experiment with more advanced weight lifting techniques.
It’s important to be aware that both your diet and workout routine influence your gains. Exercise can’t compensate for bad eating. If your diet is in check and you’ve been training for a while, then it’s time to try new moves. Maximize your gains with these nutrition and training strategies:
1. Try a Different Rep Range
Training in the same rep range will eventually lead to plateaus. While it’s true that a moderate rep range stimulates muscle growth, it doesn’t mean you should follow this rule all the time. To get bigger, train in a lower rep range with heavier weights. Aim for one to five reps per set using maximum load. This way, you’ll create tension in the muscles and stimulate growth. There’s a lot of controversy regarding the ideal rep range, so you should try different techniques to see what works best for you.
2. Work on Your Weak Points
Many bodybuilders have a huge back and big arms, but lack lower body strength. Others have massive legs and small shoulders. You probably have some weak points too. To get bigger and stronger, focus on these areas. Keep in mind that what works for one person may not work for another. It’s important to plan your workout routine according to your body type, strength, and experience. Train lagging muscle groups twice a week, use bigger weights, and eat more calories on days you lift heavy.
3. Carb Up
One of the easiest ways to maximize your gains is to eat more carbs. These nutrients are stored as glycogen in your muscles and liver. Each gram of carbs holds up to four grams of water, making your muscles look full. So, if you want to look pumped on any given day, eat four or five grams of carbs per pound of body weight. Choose slow digesting carbs like those found in brown rice, whole pasta, whole grains, oatmeal, and sweet potatoes. Train head to burn the extra calories. This strategy works best if you first lower your carb intake for three days prior to carb loading.
4. Focus on Progressive Overload
Progressive overload is the most important concept in bodybuilding. It’s the principle that all other principles must step aside for. The only way to get bigger and stronger is to gradually increase the stress placed on your muscles during training. This means you have to gradually increase the load, do more reps, and work out at a higher intensity.
There are various ways to incorporate progressive overload into your workout routine. You can lift the same weight for more reps, increase workout frequency, do the same work while losing body mass, or use heavier weights. Keep in mind that progressive overload is different for beginners compared to pro bodybuilders, so you need a workout plan that is tailored to your needs.
5. Do Compound Exercises
When it comes to muscle growth, compound exercises are your best bet. Squats, deadlifts, lunges, bench press, shoulder press, pull ups and other multi-joint moves activate muscle fibers and boost your overall strength. These exercises put stress on your muscles, forcing them to grow. They also engage several muscle groups at once, strengthen your core, and burn more calories.
Compound exercises not only make you stronger, but also keep your heart rate up, improve muscle balance, and increase joint stability. Besides isolation exercises, a typical workout should include at least two compound movements.
For example, you can do push-ups and pull-ups when training your chest, arms, or shoulders. Squats and deadlifts are a must on your leg day. If you want massive arms, focus on rowing and pressing movements rather than bicep curls. For bigger legs, squat with heavy weights rather than doing five sets on the leg extension machine. Isolation exercises are important too, but compound movements are the key to muscle building.