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How To Set Up Your Weight Training To Build Muscle

Mar 15, 2008
If you've been weightlifting for a while, but you haven't seen the results you want, chances are, you're doing a few things wrong.

Don't worry, this article will show you exactly what you need to do in your workout program in order to build the most muscle mass possible.

1. Lift Heavy

To gain muscle mass, you have to lift big. Lifting big means going as heavy as you can with strict, form.
This is how your muscles are stressed and forced to gain more muscle.

When you lift heavy, you put stress on the muscles and your body adds more muscle tissue to handle the future stress.

2. Change Things Around

Mix up your routines and exercises from time to time, so that you don't get bored in the gym.

Stick with the same proven, basic exercises, but change the muscle groupings around or change the days you work out.

Keep things fresh and keep things interesting, so you're more likely to keep going to the gym.

3. Stick With The Proven Basics

Too many people do too many different exercises for each body part. To get the most muscle mass from your weight lifting, use basic compound movements like the squat, bench press, military press, barbell rows, and barbell curls.

These place more overload on the muscles, forcing them to grow. Since muscle mass comes from heavy and intense lifting, you want to use the exercises that offer the chance to use the most intensity and weight. Stick with the basics.

4. Warm Up Before Lifing

Warming up before lifting helps prevent injuries. You can either warm up on the cardio machines for 5 minutes or you can do a few warm up sets with light weight.

If you're going to do the bench press, just use the bar and lift it for 15-20 reps, until you feel warm enough to put more weight on.

Warming up before lifting will help you feel more energetic, so you're able to lift more weight.

5. Use Max Intensity

To train with intensity, you have to use more weight. And keep workouts short and sweet. The shorter the workouts, the more intensity you can put into your sets.

Stick with just 2 to 3 heavy sets for all exercises. This will allow you to use the most intensity, since you don't have to do a ton of sets.

6. Use Free Weights

While machines can be good for isolating muscles, free weights offer more overload to the muscles and are better for putting on muscle size.

The machines do some of the balancing for you, so the overload to the muscles will be less.

If you want to hit the muscles with more weight and overload, use free weights instead of machines.

7. Use Low Reps

For maximum muscle, keep reps in the 6-8 rep range. This allows you to use heavier weight than if you did 10 reps.

Again, building muscle comes from overloading the muscles with more weight. It's easier to do more weight when you use lower reps.

8. Don't Be Too Strict

If you're too strict and rigid, you'll have a tough time using the most weight possible. Yes, be safe and somewhat strict, but give your body the chance to move around a little when lifting.

9. Use Proper Nutrition

Eat 6 small, nutritious meals per day. Use meal replacements or protein powders if you can't get 6 whole food meals in.

You want to eat every 3 to 4 hours and that can be tough when you have to prepare the food yourself. That's where meal replacements help.

10. Use Only Proven Supplements

Forget about all the hype supplements out there, stick with what's proven to work.

Use only protein powders, meal replacements, creatine, glutamine, essential fatty acids, and multi vitamins.

All other supplements are more hype than promise.

There you have 10 ways to get more muscle mass from your weight lifting workouts.
About the Author
Shawn Lebrun is a personal trainer, natural bodybuilder, and fitness author. If you want to build muscle and lose fat, check out his simple but powerful muscle gain program:
Powerful Muscle Gain Program
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