Just about every guy would like to have a lean, well muscled physique. We all want to look good with our shirts off and have a body that commands attention. Building muscle is not exactly rocket science, but it does require some hard work and an intelligent plan to succeed in making progress. There are three basic components of a good muscle building program; resistance training, diet, and recovery. Let’s look at each of these components in detail.
If building muscle is you goal, you’ll have to train with weights following specific parameters to make it happen. The types of exercises you perform, as well as the amount of sets and reps completed must all be optimized for building muscle. Let’s start with the best exercises to build muscle.
These are the best types of exercises to focus on, as they are compound movements that work several muscle groups at a time. They also require inter-muscular coordination and stimulate the nervous system in a way that is conducive to building muscle. These exercises will also build strength, which is required for optimal muscle gains.
As for the number of sets and reps to perform, I recommend the following parameters:
- Train each exercise twice per week
- Perform 5 sets of each exercise
- Perform 5-10 reps per set
- Rest for 60 seconds between sets
How you break up the exercises into workouts is totally up to you. Experiment with different routines to see what works best for you.
Now that you have a solid muscle building training program you need a nutrition strategy to optimize the results it gives you. You’ll want to make sure you’re eating nutritious foods including:
- Lean Proteins
- Complex Carbohydrates
- Healthy Fats
An example of a meal that includes all of these would be a roasted chicken breast with sweet potatoes, spinach and fresh avocado. All of your meals should be structured like this for best results.
Eating 4 to 6 meals like this each day is ideal. You’ll want to achieve a calorie surplus of 500-700 calories per day. For most guys this will translate into 2,500-3,500 calories per day. If you have a smaller frame, stick to the lower end of the range. Larger guys (200lbs+) will need to eat a minimum of 3,500 calories per day, with some requiring 4,000 or more for optimal results.
Once you’ve powered through your muscle building workout and followed it with a healthy, balance meal, it’s time to rest and let your body recover from you training. Muscle repair happens primarily while you asleep, as your body’s resources can be dedicated to reparative processes.
Be sure to take a couple days off of training each week. Training every day is over doing it, and will actually impede results. You should also make sure you sleep a full 8 hours each night. This will allow for better recovery; which for you means building more muscle!