Bodybuilding Tips – What are the Best Ways to Build Muscle?
Muscle growth, otherwise known as hypertrophy, is a highly discussed topic. Many of us work out to change the way our bodies look, but many people struggle with finding the right formula to build muscle fast. Building muscle fast takes the right weight lifting program coupled with the right cardio program, the right diet, and ample rest to achieve top notch results. Without the right combination, it can take much longer to see the changes you want. Before we get into the best exercises for muscle growth, let’s talk a little bit about what actually happens as your muscle are growing.
What is Hypertrophy?
“Muscle hypertrophy is an increase in muscle fiber size, observed as a muscle achieves a larger diameter or cross-sectional area” (Kravitz). In other words, new muscle fibers are not created, rather the contractile proteins in muscle grow in size. Muscle growth can also occur with an increase in fluid interspersed in the muscle. This is known as sarcoplasmic hypertrophy. There is a lot more to bodybuilding and the science of muscle growth than this, but this is a simple explanation of what’s happening to the muscles on a cellular level. Now that you have a basic understanding of hypertrophy, let’s move on the the top 3 bodybuilding tips!
My Top 3 Bodybuilding Tips:
1. Muscle growth, or hypertrophy, relies on three factors – mechanical tension, muscle damage, and metabolic stress. Mechanical tension is the intensity of the exercise. Muscle damage leads to soreness of the muscles, which leads to repair by satellite cells, which leads to hypertrophy (Kravitz). Metabolic stress (that nasty burn in the muscle) triggers hormonal influences which lead to muscle growth. To tie this in to bodybuilding tips, your workout should consist of exercises that yield these three factors. While each person’s body is different, to optimize muscle growth, you need to find exercises that trigger all three of these events.
2. Maximal growth occurs between 80%-95% of 1RM. If you want to build muscle quickly, get rid of the 5 pound dumbbells and start lifting heavy. While drop sets or burnouts can be an effective part of your overall routine, you have to incorporate heavy lifts to stimulate muscle growth (mechanical tension).
3. Get enough rest and fuel. This is technically two tips, but I’ll give you a bonus bodybuilding tip! Rest is seriously underestimated in the fitness world. By rest, I don’t mean time between sets (although that is an important aspect of weight lifting). Muscle growth occurs outside the gym. Every time we exercise all we’re doing is tearing our body down. If you don’t get adequate (7-8 hours) sleep, you will stop seeing results. Hypertrophy can’t happen if your body doesn’t have time to repair. The same goes for days in between lifts. You should never work the same muscle groups two days in a row. If you want to exercise every day, set up a split program. For example, work the chest, triceps and abs on day 1, back, biceps and legs on day 2 and rest on day 3. Nutrient timing is also crucial to maximizing muscle growth. If you get in a badass workout and then wait 4 hours to replenish your body, you’re missing out on critical growth times. It is absolutely imperative that you consume carbs and protein within the 45 minutes after your workout to see the best results. Check out this article by Dr. Len Kravitz to learn more about the importance of nutrient timing. Muscle growth is a common goal for many people who exercise, however, few actually achieve the results they really want. As a trainer, I hear every day about how peoples’ bodies have always been a certain way, or they just don’t have the right metabolism to get good muscle definition, or a plethora of other excuses. While some of these may factor in to how easy or difficult it is to change their bodies, it’s usually a lack of effort or know-how that leads them to failure. With the right workout routine in place, a proper diet, and ample rest, just about everyone can achieve the body they want with a little hard work and dedication.
So What is the Best Bodybuilding Workout?
The best bodybuilding tips I can give are great bodybuilding exercises. The best bodybuilding workouts utilize multi-joint exercises. Multi-joint exercises stimulate hormonal changes that increase muscle growth more than single joint exercises. For some examples, check out my article about the best full body exercises. Another good bodybuilding tip for your exercise program is to incorporate a lot of your larger muscle groups. If you really want to put on a lot of muscle quickly, target some of the biggest muscles like the chest, triceps, and lats. For example, the bicep is a much smaller muscle compared to the tricep, so if you want your arms to look bigger, be sure to hit your triceps!
For a bodybuilding workout I’ve used myself and with my clients that has been proven to get results, “Like” my Facebook page and leave a comment about which part of your body you’d like to change the most or subscribe to my Fitness Pipeline to receive a FREE Bodybuilding Workout!