Looking for a few new techniques to induce new muscle growth? Whether you’re just starting out or have been lifting weights for years, you can always learn more about how to build strength and mass. Here are three new ways to build massive muscle that may not have considered. Give ‘em a try!
If you’ve never set foot in a weight room, then your best bet is to spend at least a few months doing nothing but the basics – squats, deadlifts, presses, and pulls. These exercise are your ticket to quick progress when you haven’t even built a base of strength, muscle mass, and coordination.
However, not everything works the same for everyone! We’ve all got different bone structures, insertion points, leverages, and other genetic factors to work with. If your primary goal is to build muscle mass – not lift a certain weight or compete in a sport – then you need to tailor your exercise selection accordingly. A lot of experienced lifters get caught up in the dogma that says they “must” do this or that exercise, but you need to keep an open mind to make continuous progress.
There is a near-limitless number of exercises you can do, but a few pointers will have you well on your way to picking the right ones. Just think about what you really need to improve. If you’re still pretty weak, then you should focus on exercises that allow you to hoist plenty of weight. Maybe you don’t feel your chest working when you bench press, but that doesn’t mean you should abandon heavy presses! Pick some kind of dumbbell press or smith machine movement that allows you to feel your pecs but still make consistent strength gains. The same idea applies to legs, back, and other muscle groups. Find different exercises that involve the same basic movement patterns you’re already performing.
Also, if you’ve got one body part that’s particularly small, then you should pick exercises that provide additional work to that weaker muscle. For example, you might bring up your weak triceps by using a closer grip on your presses for chest and shoulders. You’re still getting good work done for your pecs and delts, but the new variations will give your tris the extra stimulation they need to grow!
Finally, don’t shy away from machines just because some guys claim they’re less effective than free weights. Your muscles don’t know the difference between a barbell, a cable, or a machine – they simply respond to resistance! Experiment with the machines around your gym to find the ones that allow you to use plenty of weight while really feeling the target muscle doing the work. Because they only offer one fixed movement pattern, some will feel great, and others won’t do a thing for you.
While it’s true that soreness and “feeling the burn” aren’t necessarily indicative of muscle growth, a little pain now and then can do wonders for your development. This is especially true for calves, quads, and other muscles that respond well to high-volume, high-intensity, just-plain-crazy training techniques. It’s also the case for stubborn body parts that just don’t respond to “normal” routines.
For calves, you might combine heavy weights with long pauses in the stretched and contracted positions. A set taken to failure in this way will be long and agonizing, but FAR more effective than the 10-12 regular reps you probably do now.
If your shoulders are a weak point, you might do giant supersets of presses, side raises, rear raises, and upright rows. Again, these sets will be long, painful, and especially taxing on your recovery abilities – but they may induce far more growth than normal methods.
In general, a good method for bringing up your weaker body parts is to focus on strength gains AND soreness. Using heavier and heavier weights is important for making long-term progress. However, spurring rapid growth in stubborn muscles often comes down to how much blood and sweat you can pour into the workout. Supersets, giant sets, pauses, stretches, and other intensity techniques can mean the difference between stagnation and growth.
You didn’t think these tips were going to be ALL about lifting weights, did you? Even if your training needs some tweaks, proper nutrition is still the most important aspect of building muscle. If you’re having trouble making progress, or if you think you could be gaining mass at a faster rate, your diet is the first place to look.
Most trainees could stand to eat more protein. For one thing, protein is made of amino acids – the building blocks your body uses to build NEW muscle tissue! Not only that, but protein is a highly thermogenic nutrient. While carbs and fats are easy to digest, lean proteins actually make your body expend lots of energy to break them down. Overall, making protein a higher percentage of your overall caloric intake can help you stay lean while you gain weight! A good baseline is one gram per pound of bodyweight, but you might want as high as twice that amount.
You might also need to change up your actual sources of protein. Far too many lifters rely on shakes and meal replacement bars. These products are fine in a pinch, but quality animal proteins are the way to go for serious gains. Set aside more time to shop, cook, and eat lean meats, poultry, and eggs. When it comes to muscle growth, not all proteins are created equal!
Article by Sixpackfactory’s Muscle Building Expert and Top Fitness Model Justin Woltering. Get more info on Justin at: http://www.justinwoltering.com/