23 March 2008 ~ 1 Comment

Train to Build Muscle

Too often we are given the wrong information regarding the most effective way to build muscle. There is a lot of bull that makes building muscle seem like an impossible task to ever achieve. However, I am all about being efficient, simple, and realistic. I believe that many people make building muscle far more complicated that it needs to be, but it really is not. If you are consistent, knowledgeable, and dedicated then you will get your results, I don’t care who you are. This is the all you need to know article about training to build muscle.

First, keep in mind that this article will focus strictly on the training aspect of building muscle. Remember, that diet and training work synergistically to build the frame you desire. With that in mind, let us begin by first explaining the exercises that build the greatest amount of mass. I will name the top 3 exercises for every major muscle group.


  • Decline Bench Press
  • Incline Bench Press
  • Parallel Dips


  • Military Press
  • Lateral Raises
  • Clean and Press


  • Bent over Barbell Rows
  • One Arm Dumbbell Rows
  • Deadlifts


  • Chins
  • Preacher Curls
  • Incline Seated Dumbbell Curls


  • Decline Tricep Extentions (Skull Crushers)
  • Dips
  • Close Grip Bench Press


  • Squats
  • Leg Extentions
  • Hack Squats


  • Stiff Leg Deadlift
  • Standing Leg Curls
  • Lying Leg Curls


  • Seated Calf Raises
  • Standing Calf Raises
  • Donkey Calf Raises

Ok, there you have it. These are proven to be the best mass builders per muscle group. Do you notice that the best mass builders are the ones that work multiple muscle groups in one exercise? Good, because these are the compound lifts. They should be included first in your workout, and make up most if not all of your workout. Your workouts should be quick and efficient.

When you do a weight lifting session, always keep it at least under 75 minutes. Afterwards, your body starts to release stress hormones to adapt to this load, you start to burn muscle and hold fat, and your workout goes to crap. Do not waste time in the gym. Get in, get out and post workout.

Before we go into actual training programs, there is much more to be said about training.

I am going to list the main reasons why people are not making muscle gains. The best program in the world is useless without these essential elements in check.

  1. Variety – Make sure that your workout is not redundant and perfunctory. Your body is an adapting machine, so your job is to keep it guessing, otherwise it will cease growing. Doing the same lift, in the same way, with the same weight will not be productive after about two weeks. Good ways to keep this from happening is to increase the weight every workout, do different exercises first, change up your rep scheme, modify your rest time between sets, and change up your repetitions that you perform for each exercise.
  2. Overtraining – Make sure that you are getting enough sleep and are eating enough calories to support muscle growth. If you want to get bigger, you have to eat more than you burn. There is no other way to build muscle other than injected hormones. A good way to prevent overtraining is to take a week off of training every 8 weeks of working out.
  3. Not enough compound exercises – Make sure that you are doing more compound lifts than isolations. These are your mass builders. To build muscle the fastest, stick to those exercises.
  4. Squat and Deadlift – These exercises are critical to building muscle the fastest. Why? Because they require your body to use 70-80% of its muscles to complete these lifts. They are also the hardest to perform for these reasons. Curls use maybe 5% of your body’s muscles. To adapt to this intense stress, our bodies will release natural Growth Hormone and will also synthesize protein faster. Your body grows as a unit, like a tree, so make sure that you are not neglecting these vital lifts.
  5. Stick to Free Weights – Unless you have some injury preventing you from using free weights, utilize them. These exercises build up your stabilizer muscles. You don’t get stronger by getting your bigger muscles stronger; it is by getting your smaller muscles stronger. Build these stabilizers and you will notice a more complete build in the mirror and weight stacks.
  6. Your Micronutrients are Out of Whack.  Read my article about vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to discover how important these things are.
  7. You train as hard as my grandma – Turn your phone off, leave your cohorts alone, do what you need to do and get out. Get in the zone when you workout, you are only cheating yourself if you decide to lag around.
  8. You have no goals – I understand that you want to get bigger, but set a measurable goal. You could say that I want my arms to increase by an inch or even I want to bench 30lb more. There is a strong correlation between strength and size. Get stronger on your big lifts on a constant basis by setting both short and long term goals and you are sure to see results in the mirror.
  9. Inconsistency – Stick to your plan. Don’ go for a few weeks, burn out, and then stop going for a while. Stay consistent and don’t give up. I understand that life can sometimes be busy and time is an important resource that you cannot waste. But you have to prioritize. If you cannot commit then maybe you should wait to another time.
  10. 10. You have no plan – Go to workout knowing what you are going to do. I always write down what I am going to lift and how many times I will lift it. I record all of my workouts, so if I ever do a similar one that I did a few weeks back, I make sure and do more weight or more reps. Don’t make up a routine when you make it in there. Plan and execute.

Now you are almost ready to hit the gym. However, we need a plan.

This is the part where you decide which program you feel like doing. These are the best of the best programs and will get you results. Don’t try and make your own program because these are the proven, effective, and time-tested workout programs that have succeeded over and over again and will continue that trend.

I don’t want you to waste your time in the gym, so here I have listed the best programs for building muscle. Be consistent and you will consistently see results.

I have used most of these programs and read positive reviews about all of them. Stick to the proven methods before venturing out to your own program. Hope this clears up some questions that you have regarding to training for muscle growth. Enjoy

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