Everyone who spends time working out with weights wants to build strength and muscle mass. Increasing muscle mass makes you healthier and helps you burn more calories as well as look better. If you want to get the most benefit out of the time you spend working out, these tips will help you do just that.
- Use free weights whenever you can. There are some good machines that you can use for exercises that you can use to do exercises that are prone to causing injuries, but for the majority of exercises you do free weights will make you use some smaller stabilizing muscles that you don’t work on many machines.
- Use compound exercises. Compound exercises will work on more that one muscle at a time and help you gain mass faster, while not expending much more energy to perform the exercise. Do as few isolation exercises as you can when working out.
- Do a weekly assessment on your body. See which muscles need the most work and do the exercises for those muscles first in your workout so you have the most energy and least muscle fatigue.
- Change your routine every 4 weeks. Change the exercises for each body part and change the order in which you do the exercises. Making changes to your routine will keep your body from adjusting to the routing and stop muscle growth.
- Be careful. A bad muscle injury can set you back several months. It’s much better to be safe and take the precautions to avoid the injury in the first place. If you are using heavy weights or doing exercises that can easily cause injuries, make sure you use a spotter or a machine so you can get out of the lift if you can’t complete it.
- Do 3 or 4 sets per exercise and do 4 or 5 exercises per body part so you end up doing 16 to 20 sets per body part per workout. This will allow you to stimulate the muscles enough to get real growth and not over fatigue your muscles.
- Use a weight that will allow you to do 8 to 12 reps per set with the last rep being the last rep that you can do with good form. If you have a training partner, adding 1 or 2 forced reps at the end of the set can make a difference as well.
- Every once in a while, go heavy and do sets with 3 to 4 reps to failure. Also every once in a while to sets with 20 reps per set to failure. This is one more way to not allow your body to get used to your routine and to always keep it changing and growing.
- Do a couple of light weigh warm up sets, or 10 minutes on a stationary bike to get your muscles warm before you start lifting heavy weight. You can injure yourself vary easily if you start with heavy weight with cold muscles.
- Eat a good diet that includes enough protein to promote muscle growth. If you want to grow mass fast, protein intake should be 1gram per pound of body weight or more. It is hard to get enough with just food so you will likely need a protein supplement.
If you have a good bench and enough weights, you can do a lot at home, but if you really want to gain mass, you will likely need to find a gym that has more variety and more weight than you likely have at home. If you live in Minnesota and you need to find a good gym, here is a great place to find one.
If you follow these tips, you will maximize your workout time by getting the most bang for you time spent in the gym, if your going to work out, you should always get the most payback for your effort.