I hope you all had a great holiday season. I want to wish you a Happy New year full of joy and success. December was very busy for me. I have a lot going on this year and I will be spreading myself thin, yet effective.
This month I'm going to touch on how to effectively build mass and how to avoid the pitfalls. Building a solid foundation can be quite simple if you apply the proper techniques.
In order to build solid muscle, you have to incorporate a few necessary factors in your lifestyle.
Eat quality food - To build muscle mass and density, you need to eat whole food rather that processed junk, which just sits in your system and weighs you down. Whole food is actually used by the body to build muscle or act as fuel. In addition to eating quality food, you must eat enough to support muscle growth. This means eating several small meals throughout the day.
Eat to fuel your body - Eat enough food to fuel your body and your workouts. You must supply your body with sufficient calories and macro nutrients so it can perform in the gym and prompt muscle recovery. Lack of food equals lack of muscle.
Use free weights over machines - Free weights are more effective for building muscle, as they cause all the stabilizers to come into play, forcing you to use balance and form, and putting you in a natural position to execute the movement properly.
Incorporate partials - Partials are a shoe-in in the mass building department. They allow you to focus on strength and power to build muscle and density because you can handle double the workload.
Employ compound movements - A compound exercise is a multi- joint exercise, where all the muscles and joints of that specific area are called upon to execute the movement. Such exercises include the bench press, dips, shoulder press, squat, leg press, dead lifts, and rows. A compound movement allows several different muscle groups to come into action, permitting you to lift heavier poundage and is best suited to pack on mass.
Utilize proper form - I don't care how much you can lift, it means nothing if your form is bad. If you have to use your entire body or other muscle groups to move the weight, the poundage is too heavy and your form is poor. Bad form destroys muscle gains and causes injuries.
Balance your body parts - Assess your body and focus on developing weak body parts. The body part you want to put emphasis on should be trained first of the week, when you are fresh, rest- ed, and focused. Begin with a compound exercise and add one to two auxiliary movements.
Rest between sets - Resting between sets is crucial. When you are in your mass building phase, take two minutes rest between sets to ensure proper recovery so you can put an additional 100% into your next set.
Supplement accordingly - When you want to build muscle size and quality, you should supplement to support that. Quality supplements that aid in muscle building and strength are creation, glutamine, and whey protein.
Keep training to a minimum - When it comes to increasing your muscle size, sometimes less is more. Do not knock yourself out with endless sets and repetitions. Keep your sets limited to three and your repetitions in the 4 to 6 and 6 to 8 range. Your time in the gym should be restricted to 45 minutes to an hour. Any resistance training over 60 minutes is over training and catabolic.
Vary your training when needed - While minimal training with low repetitions and sets and heavy weight builds mass, power, and strength, you will eventually hit a stalling point. This is simply a red flag to toss a shocker into the mix to keep your body responding. Rather than applying the many training principles, try adding a high set/repetition day, such as four exercises, 4 to 5 sets in the 12 to15 repetition range. This will completely throw the body off guard and allow it to respond again to the mass training.
Include Cardio - When you are in mass building phase, it is perfectly fine to do cardio. However, you must limit it so you are not over taxing the body and killing muscle gains. Your cardio needs will depend on your body type, but essentially, three days a week for twenty minutes should be sufficient. It is best to do your cardio on your days away from resistance training. If you must do them in the same session, weight train first and implement cardio afterwards. Keep cardio and training combined limited to 75 minutes total training time.
Conclusion to Daily Mass
To build mass you just have to keep it simple. I made my best gains when I began eating to fuel the body and activity, cutting training back to three days a week with minimal sets and repetitions, adding partials, and incorporating a compound movement as the sole exercise for the given body part.
For more ground breaking bodybuilding information, check out my e-books: Iron Dolls, The Competitive Edge, and Killer Quads.