One: You Have to Eat More
If you want to significantly increase you muscle mass, you cannot do so while dropping lots of weight, or eating to lose weight. No, you have to be eating enough food—calories and protein—for your body to build the muscles that you want.
Many people who are into lifting and fitness worry that if they eat too much, they will gain weight and lose their physiques. This should not concern you at all. As long as you are working out and lifting, those extra calories will go to muscle mass, not fat. So get out your peanut butter and other proteins, and dig in.
Two: Pick Up the Free Weights
If you want to build muscle, you are never going to do it with exercise machines or Nautilus equipment.
Those machines are great for getting minimal amounts of muscle mass, or building up strength if you are just beginning to lift. But if you have been lifting for a while, Nautilus machines simply won’t provide the amount of resistance and weight that you need to get stronger. Head for the free weights.
Three: Keep to the Classics
When you are lifting, don’t get too fancy. There are lots of great exercises you can do to fill out various parts of your physique, but if you are still building a foundation layer of muscle, you should not worry about those lifts. Instead, focus on the classic, canonical lifts—these are the lifts you see weight lifters doing in the Olympic Games. The clean and jerk, the dead lift, the bench press, and squat will develop muscle groups all throughout your arms and torso, and a few months of those routines will have you looking very buff.
Four: You Have to Feel the Burn
If your lifting routine isn’t really hard, then you are not doing it right. To build muscle, you have to lift a lot of weight, and it should really challenge your muscles and make you sweat. If you feel yourself coasting, add a few more pounds and make it more difficult. You will feel yourself progressing quickly, but don’t stop adding weight and increasing the resistance.
Five: Remember Your Supplements
There are lots of supplements targeted at men who are trying to get in better shape. There is no need to use any one particular supplement, but you should certainly be taking one. If you don’t, you run the risk that you will not get enough of an important nutrient or mineral for a stretch of time. If you go even a week without getting enough of your vitamins, that can really throw off your workout routine and sidetrack your progress. So get a supplement and take it every day. It will ensure that you have the basic biochemistry need to keep yourself strong and always getting stronger.
If you follow these five easy tips, you will gain muscle mass, and you will look strong with your shirt off, or when you are only wearing a tank top. Not everyone can look like the bodybuilders on TV or in magazines, but everyone can build a healthy, muscular physique.
Dan Clay is a Sydney personal trainer and owner of Dangerously Fit. If you would like to book a bootcamp in Coogee, click here.
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