by fellow weight training blogger: Joe
Many beginners who want to gain muscle and strength fall into an all too common trap as soon as they begin. They train too often and never seem to get anywhere. Muscle growth is minimal at best, strength doesn’t seem to increase much, and finally they give up, thinking that they will simply never be able to get a great physique.
Mostly this is down to the fact that genetically average people believe what they read in muscle and bodybuilding magazines. They think that the routines performed by the hugely muscled men within the pages of these publications are the right ones for them. Nothing could be further from the truth.
If your average person performed a weight lifting routine almost totally opposite to how huge bodybuilders train they would see progress like they couldn’t imagine. But this is not what sells magazines, they need constant new routines to engage readers, and to allow average people to believe that if they follow the latest fad they will be able to transform themselves in just a few weeks.
The reality is very different.
Let’s look at a weight lifting routine that is actually going to deliver results for everyone that tries it, if they put the advice in this article into practice on a regular basis.
How To Build Muscle Quickly
Use compound Movements -The best routine to build mass is going to be made up of just a few exercises that involve a lot of different muscle groups. We only need to perform 3 or 4 exercises. 1 for the lower body, ideally Squats or a form of deadlifting. These type of exercises and the quantity are perfect workouts for skinny guys and guys where their muscle growth has plateaued.
For the upper body we can use either chin ups or the bent over row, and either perform dips or the bench press.
And to finish off our routine we can perform the barbell curl if we are so inclined.
That is it. Super simple, and very abbreviated. Leg work should be done in a higher rep range, ideally 10-20 reps a set. And upper body work should be done in a rep range of 6-12.
A maximum of 3 sets should be done for each exercise.
And this routine should be done no more than twice a week.
BUT… i don’t like to set those numbers in stone. There isn’t one workout that suits everyone! This is a good starting point for your first workout in the gym. Then adjust it to your bodies needs. Some of you guys will find this isn’t enough (although i think this is the limit) and some guys will think this is too much and will find even more gains with reps in the 6-8 range, going with the heaviest weight you can manage for 2 sets. That’s right! 2 sets of 6-8 reps using the heaviest weight possible. If you want to learn more on the reson why this is the case then the King of Muscle gain, Jason Ferruggia is a great man to listen to. I dont’t recommend to much stuff but his book is just a world of information. Read it here.
Why Is Training More Than Twice A Week A Bad Idea?
Let’s get to the crux of this article. Why should you train only twice a week, and why should it be so abbreviated?
Once we have mastered the techniques needed to train with weights safely then we will be using weights that make inroads into our body’s ability to recover. The stress and strains of performing workouts with weights that fatigue our muscles are often under-valued.
The reality is that it takes a lot out of us, and we need to allow sufficient time for us to recover.
And once past the beginners stage, you should start to figure out how far you can push yourself and make gains in strength and size.
If we perform a workout again before we have systematically recovered, and allow for individual muscles to recover and grow, then we will get nowhere. And we may even end up losing muscle and strength. This is often overlooked by most trainees, who believe that more is better. Many will work out 6 days a week, trying to blast their muscles with too many exercises and too many sets.
The reality is that if they minimized how often they train then they would make much better gains.
Without Rest And Nutrition Your Wasting Your Time In The Gym
We must train hard and take our sets near to failure, if we want to gain muscle quickly. But we also need to ensure that the hard work we do in the Gym is not ruined by not taking care of the other factors. Rest, sleep and nutrition. Many people turn to weights to gain weight fast, but they don’t take care of the requisite out of the gym factors.
We need to rest enough for our muscles to recover fully and to grow. It means getting more rest days than training days. It means sleeping 8 hours a night if we possibly can, and it means eating lots of good quality food. With the full package results will be minimal at best.
A simple way to gauge if you are training too much and to often is to ask yourself if you are getting stronger each and every week. This is why it is important that you always have a training journal. You need to write down the weights you use, and the number of reps you can perform in each set.
If you have not made an increase in either the poundage used, or the number of reps performed, at least once a week for each exercise then you might be training too much.
At the heart of gaining muscle is eating enough calories to gain weight, and ensuring that you are constantly getting stronger. If you get stronger then you get larger muscles. So always make sure that you are progressing every week for your chosen exercises. If you are getting stronger then you are on track. If not then you are not going to get larger muscles.
Train a maximum of twice a week in the beginning and you should see excellent gains
You may even find that to start off with you only need to train twice a week. I have reached the point in my training where, actually only training every third day is seeing improvement, and it is down to the individual to gauge how often they need to train. If you havent recovered from your last workout then there is no point training. You will be doing more harm than good. So if you do not progress at least every other workout add in an extra rest day, until you reach a point where each workout, or every other workout, sees you adding a little bit of weight to the bar.
Train hard, give it your all, rest well, get plenty of sleep, and eat lots of good quality food. This is the way to maximize the hard work that you are doing in the Gym, or at home, and the way to gain large amounts of muscle in the shortest possible time-frame.