If you’re a hardgainer who had been weight lifting for a while now and you’re still not gaining the muscle growth you’re hoping for, what you’re doing is obviously not working. There are many factors that you could improve: maybe you’re simply not eating enough, maybe you’re not getting enough recovery time, or maybe you need to change your weight lifting routine altogether.
When it comes to weight lifting for muscle mass, you must be prepared to train smarter as well as harder. Here are a few tips to execute your weight lifting workouts more intelligently. Practice these along with proper nutrition and adequate rest, and you will reap bigger muscle growth – guaranteed.
Weight Lifting for Muscle Growth Tip #1: Go Heavy
Pick a weight that you can lift for a maximum of 10 reps and 10 reps only (with proper form, of course). That means if you can push it over to 11 reps with proper form then it’s still not heavy enough. From now on, when you’re training big muscle groups, see that going beyond 11 reps is for wimps!
See, if you’re weight lifting beyond 10 reps then you are training your slow-twitch muscle fibers more than the fast-twitch ones. Slow-twitch muscle fibers have the smallest opportunity for muscle growth. As a hard gainer what you need to emphasize in your training is the recruitment of the maximal amount of muscle fibers in every set.
Lifting heavy is your big ticket to muscle growth. Practice this principle in every single gym session you do. Heck, practice this in every single set and every single exercise you do!
Remember to train safely though. Because you’ll be lifting really heavy weights and constantly challenging yourself, it’s always a good idea to have a spotter or training partner. Having a training partner is also a great way to motivate yourself to constantly push your limits.
Weight Lifting for Muscle Growth Tip #2. Train with High Intensity
If you lift really heavy weights and train with high intensity then you shouldn’t be able to go beyond 3-5 sets per muscle group.
Your first and second set can usually be performed at about 85% effort. By the time you do your third to fifth set you should be operating at 100% effort. Remember that the first few sets are just stepping stones to get you to the last set. It is the last set that really contributes towards muscle growth. So when you perform your last set, always try to outperform your previous personal best. Try to lift 1 or 2 reps more or go a bit heavier. This is what it means to train with intensity. If you can do more than 5 sets it means you weren’t lifting a weight heavy enough for you.
Weight Lifting for Muscle Growth Tip #3. Always Work Towards Increasing Your Capacity
Work capacity means the total amount of weight, set, reps and duration of rest you get per gym session you do.
One great way to boost your muscle growth in less and less time is to get your workout done in less and less time. That means resting less in between sets and exercises. Train yourself to do more and more in less and less time, and you will increase your capacity, which will then result to increased muscle growth.
Next time you hit the gym, take shorter rests, do the exercises much quicker (but always maintain good form!) and lift heavier weights. This is particularly good for those whose muscle gains are starting to diminish, and will guarantee to take your fitness to a new level.
Weight Lifting for Muscle Growth Tip #4. Do Only One Exercise Per Muscle Group
If you’re following Tip #1 to #3 properly then you need not do a complicated weight lifting workout comprised of 3 to 5 exercises per muscle group. Try to lift more weight with each successive set and you will reach your muscle’s exhaustion level. This is enough to stimulate the muscles to grow. If you do it this way then you would have used the maximal number of muscle fibers – and that’s all you need to do really to initiate your muscles into growth.
Doing more than one exercise per muscle group using such high intensity levels is what your target should be, not exhaust your muscles till they blow up. There’s no need to fully annihilate your muscles. All you really need to do is give it enough stimulation that will force it to adapt to be able to handle the stresses you’re placing on it. Once your muscle recovers, it will be bigger and stronger, but if you continually place enough stresses on it it will just keep on adapting. That’s all there is to it.
Weight Lifting for Muscle Growth Tip #5. Progressive Overload is Key
The secret to progressive overload is tracking your work capacity. It really is advisable to jot down how much weights you were able to lift per muscle group, how much reps you did, how much more you were able to push yourself last time, etc. This will give you an idea where you are now and will allow you to keep track of your progress.
If you see that after 4 weeks, you’re still lifting exactly the same weight and it’s not getting easier, you’ll know you need to adjust something. If you’re not progressing to being able to lift heavier and heavier weights you will NOT gain any muscle growth at all! It’s as simple as that.
Keeping track of your current capacity will give you a new target to aim for. This is a very useful trick because oftentimes our “limits” are only in our minds. If you KNEW for a fact that last week you did 250 lbs for your bench press, then you will have a certainty in your mind that will make it possible to go slightly beyond 250 lbs.
A healthy aim is to increase your strength by 5% strength every two to three weeks. So for example, if you’re bench pressing 100 lbs now, 2-3 weeks from now you should be aiming to lift 105 lbs. That shouldn’t be too much if you’re consistent and focused. Do this and your muscle growth will also increase accordingly – guaranteed!
One Last Reminder
At the end of the day you really should allow your body to be the judge. You could read and research all day long about how to get bigger muscles but ultimately it’s only by committing to a specific structured program will you know what works for you and what doesn’t. So get off your bum now and get to work, push yourself beyond your limits, listen to your body, track your progress and make the necessary adjustments.
If you’re still not sure where to start, I can help get you on the right track. Simply go to the top of this page, sign-up to my newsletter and I will send you 2 free e-books about muscle building plus Vince DelMonte’s 4-week Upside Down Training Program (UDTP). This program will help you address several common issues like postural problems, muscular imbalances, weak core muscles, etc. The beauty of this program is that you can do it right away and it will set your foundation right, allowing you to make the most muscle growth from your muscle building program.