The best way to build serious muscle mass, is to stick to the basics. This is how Schwarzenegger did it thirty years ago, and it’s still the best way today. The human body has not changed in thousands of years, neither has the way in which it functions.
Men who want to gain weight need to perform compound movements in the gym, eat a high calorie, nutritional diet and supplement their meals with protein and several other muscle building powders and legal pills!
The only differences now to thirty years ago, and the thousands – is knowledge, technology and supplements! Weight training for big gains has not changed either. Think big, train heavy and you’ll pack on a mountains of muscle.
Every newcomer I meet asks this same question – ‘what is the best way to build muscle mass’ – and I will probably get asked it on my last bodybuilding day in a gym, which I hope is not for at least another thirty years. I’ll be seventy!
Forget about using the smooth movements of the machines and pick up a set of heavy dumbbells and a barbell. These are the tools you need to build serious mass, by performing compound movements.
I’m not advocating that isolating muscles with concentration movements is wrong. Of course not, I use them a lot – but only for ‘shaking’ things up a little during a plateau, or because I’m bored do the same exercises day in day out!
Compound exercises give your muscles more stimulation by telling your nervous system that you are not playing around any more. And that you are serious about your workouts.
When your nervous system gets this message, it’s almost like a steam train is driving more mass into your muscles on a track! And I mean truck loads of the stuff, so this really is the best way to build muscle mass.
You won’t get the same results using machines either. Again, I’m not saying machines are a bad idea (I do use them), but only swap say the barbell bench workout, for a chest machine workout every couple of weeks for a change.
Remember, your body thrives on regularity (working out regularly) but it also needs to be a little confused, where exercises and poundage used are concerned.
If it expects the same movements, using the same weight every time you get to the gym – expect a plateau (periods of none growth), and along with that comes a heap of frustration. This is what I believe, however you may or may not agree with it. Let me know by leaving a comment below.
But this is how I’ve built my own serious mass over the last twenty years, not by jumping from machine to machine, like some kid in a playground full of toys.
Doing Less is the Best Way to Build Muscle MassI don’t mean cut your workout in half, I mean cutting the number of reps you do in a typical workout. Using machines and isolation exercises, will take more reps and sets to get a reduce results (you’ll never achieve the same results with machines).
And the less time you spend in the gym, the better. You don’t grow in the gym, it is the workshop where your tools are stored for you to build your machine!
The fine tuning (repairing and growing) is done every minute, of every day outside of the gym.
I’m a huge fan of getting in the gym, and getting out as soon as I’ve fully completed my workout goals for that day. I don’t hang around once I’ve finished, and I certainly don’t socialise there.
If you’re serious about building quality muscle mass, you’ll follow a similar guideline too. Don’t become a ‘gym rat’ and hang around once you’ve finished working out – get home and GROW!
Here is a list of basic (compound) movements which you should be using.Chest Workout
Bench press – flat, incline (and decline occasionally), alternating with dumbbells
Rowing – with dumbbells and barbell
Alternate dumbbell curls
Close grip flat bench
Lying EZ-bar triceps press
Barbell and dumbbell shrugs
Squat – front and back
Lunges (my preference is walking lunges with dumbbells)
Stiff leg deadliest
Weighted standing calf raises
Donkey calf raises
After you’ve downed your muscle building tools, it’s time for fine tuning your muscle growth with a mass building diet that Arnold would be proud of, lots of rest (where your job allows) and supplementation.
If you avoid rest and you don’t replenish your body with the right nutrients after a workout, YOU WILL NOT GROW.
I think the article I wrote on the subject of how to build muscle mass fast will help you with your serious mass building diet plan. I recommend following the guide in that article, because it’s a diet that actually worked for me and I believe it is the best way to build muscle mass. Combine that with a strict weight training regime, where you are generally performing basic compound movements and you will see hard gainer results. Good luck.