It’s no secret that it takes time to build muscle. But what if you can do it faster by working smarter rather than harder?
Well, that’s exactly what I want to go over today the 10 tips to building tips for beginners and naturals. And you might be thinking, well, who the heck are you to be giving me advice and tips on building muscle?
1. Incorporate Periodization.
When done correctly, this is one of the most powerful things you can do to improve your muscular strength and size consistently. In a nutshell, periodization is the systematic breakdown of your training plan over the course of time.
And it will include micro and macrocycles, which will essentially break down your training plan into weeks, months, and years. But instead of explaining to you every possible way that you could incorporate different cycles of periodization, I’d rather give you guys a simple actionable plan to consistently make progress using the exact periodization strategy that helped me the absolute most.
You’re going to start by finding out what maximal weight load you can lift for each of your compound exercises for roughly nine to 10 reps. This means that if you select a weight load that you could do for 11 reps, you should up that weight load. And the same thing goes vice versa. If you select the weight that’s too heavy, and you can only do it for 7 reps, then drop the weight.
You’re going to stick to this rep range for 2-3 weeks straight, and you’re going to try to increase the weight that you’re using over the course of these 2-3 weeks. Again, staying within that 9 to 10 rep range the whole time. After those 2 to 3 weeks are over, you’re going to switch over to a rep range of roughly 5-7 reps.
Again, find the maximum weight you could do for that rep range, which would obviously be higher in weight than what you were doing for the 9 to 10 reps. Now you’re going to stick to this new rep range for another 2 to 3 weeks. Once again, you’re going to be trying to hold time to up the weight whenever you can, as long as you can stay within that 5-7 rep range.
Finally, after you’re done with those weeks, you’re going to do a rep range of 3 reps for all those compound exercises again, for 2 to 3 weeks before switching back to the original 9 to 10 rep range. When you come back to the 9 to 10 rep range, you’ll notice that you’re going to be significantly stronger and you’ll be able to lift more weight.
And you just continuously work through these cycles every time you come back to an old rep range that you did before. You want to try to increase your weight load even if it’s by 2.5 pounds. This method helped me break through some of my biggest plateaus that I’ve experienced with building muscle literally do exactly that.
And I promise you, you won’t be disappointed with your results.
2. Increase Meal Frequency.
Building muscle requires a lot of calories. Especially if you’re struggling with building muscle, you’re going to need to eat a lot of food. The only way that you’re going to be able to eat enough throughout the entire day is by eating more often.
As you build more muscle, the only way you’re going to be able to continue building muscle is by continuing to up the amount of clean food that you’re consuming. throughout the day. When I was at my biggest at 230 pounds, I was eating eight to nine times a day waking up in the middle of the night to have an additional protein shake to keep my body in a constant muscle-building mode.
When you first start bulking up, you don’t have to start with eight to nine meals a day, you could probably start with four or five meals a day. But as your muscles grow, your diet will have to grow as well. So I need you to get used to being uncomfortable with the amount of food that you have to eat.
And I want you to get used to the feeling of being really full. Just like feeling hungry when you’re cutting. It’s a necessary sacrifice that you have to make to hit your goals. I know right now intermittent fasting is very popular and I’m actually a big fan of intermittent fasting but I don’t recommend intermittent fasting if you seriously want to build as much muscle as fast as possible because it’s only going to make it harder to eat the number of calories required per day.
3. Increase your carb consumption.
Most beginners are obsessed with protein consumption, which leads them to completely ignore the other essential macronutrients. Of course, protein is important, but 3 to 6 ounces of a protein source per meal should be enough carbs, you’re going to want to increase higher, especially if you’re a hard gainer.
And when I say increase your carb consumption, I don’t mean eat more sweets, I’m talking about only eating low glycemic healthy sources of carbohydrates like brown rice, sweet potatoes, yams, buckwheat barley, you get the idea.
There are 2 reasons why you want to increase your carb consumption.
- Carbs are very insulin genic. And when you’re trying to build muscle, as opposed to burning fat, you actually want to increase your insulin levels, even though insulin will transfer energy into your fat cells is also the hormone that transfers energy and nutrients into your muscle cells. This ultimately spares muscle breakdown, and it helps your muscles grow.
- Constantly be refilling the glycogen stores in your muscles, allowing you to lift more weight and have more intense workouts at the gym. carbs will help give you that push that you need to consistently make progress with your total training volume. As easy as it might sound to simply eat more carbs.
When you’re having the types of carbs that I just laid out for you multiple times a day, you’ll find that it’s definitely not easy. But it’s worth it because those carbs will allow you to have more intense workouts.
4. Increasing Intensity Overtime.
The best way to increase intensity is by progressively lifting heavier and heavier weights, you have to focus on incrementally increasing the amount of weight that you put on the bar or on dumbbells.
This is why the first tip that I started with was periodization, where I laid out exactly what to do to consistently increase your strength and your muscle size. But even if you don’t follow that exact method, you have to prioritize increasing the intensity by increasing the weight load us overtime for every one of your workouts.
When you make lifting heavier and heavier weights over time a priority, you’re setting up one of the best situations to build more muscle as a natural.
5. Increase Training Frequency.
This means that you want to increase the number of days per week that you’re actually hitting the same muscle group or the same muscle groups. Of course, you want at least 48 hours of rest before hitting the same muscle group again, and some people need even more time for a full recovery.
However, you’ll be able to double your volume by working your chest, for example, twice a week instead of just once a week. An easier way to understand this is if you normally if you’re normally doing chest days and you’re getting in 12 sets by doing it twice a week, you’re going to be able to do 24 sets a week, instead of just the 12 sets you would get by just doing it once a week.
More overall work or volume throughout the week will lead to more overall results for naturals. Try hitting each of your muscle groups at least twice a week.
6. Split Training Style.
For muscle building purposes. To strictly gain size, you’re going to be better off with a split training routine rather than a full-body routine. Great split training routines include combining chest, shoulders, and triceps. Then on a separate day, you could do back and biceps. And then on a separate day, you would do legs.
Also, you could do opposing muscle groups like you could split it up where you would do chest and back one day, then legs the next day, and then arms which would include shoulders, biceps, and triceps on a separate day.
Then if you’re trying to do this twice a week, you would just repeat going back to that very first day, split training is going to work better because you have more of an opportunity to focus in on one muscle group or on the muscle groups that you’re trying to break down and completely break them down.
7. Go Right To The Borderline Of Failure With Every Set.
Ideally, if you’re working out very often you don’t want to fail on every one of your exercises. But on key compound lifts, the lifts that you’re trying to get your strength up in, you want to spend at least a couple sets hitting failure.
Failure is not the point where it’s getting too difficult and starting to burn. So you just rack the bar that is not a failure. Failure is right before you literally can’t lift the bar up anymore and the bar is one rep away from coming down and crashing down on you.
Obviously, do this safely especially if you go to full out actual failure you will want a spotter.
8. Incorporate Training Styles.
Incorporate training styles like supersets and drop sets. a superset is when you do 2 exercises back to back with no break and for muscle building purposes. You’ll typically want to focus on the same muscle group for both of the exercises that you select.
For example, if you’re super setting for chest, you might do a bench press and then immediately follow that up with a chest fly on the cable cross machine. With drop sets, you start with your heaviest weight and after being right at the point of failure, you rack the weight, drop a little bit of weight off the bar and continue for more reps.
You can repeat this process of bringing yourself to failure and dropping the weight down multiple times to fully exhaust the muscles that you’re working on.
9. Compound Exercises.
Involving free weights. Or if you must use a machine that has a free range of motion, you don’t want the majority of your workout to be made up of selectorized equipment. Because all those machines are locked into a range of motion, you won’t get the kind of results you can get from using barbells dumbbells, and just free-range equipment. If you’re using selectorized or machinery.
Of course, you can throw in a little bit of selectorized equipment but mostly just as a finisher, towards the end of your workout. After you’ve already broken down your muscles quite a bit. Let me repeat that if you want the best results in terms of building muscle, then spend the majority of your strength and energy focusing on compound heavy lifts with barbells and dumbbells.
You will not need most of the supplements that are advertised for gaining muscle. The only supplements that you’re really going to want are going to be a protein powder to take after your workouts a good pre-workout made up of natural ingredients and creatine. Those are the only supplements that you’ll really need for building muscle. You can also get dextrose which is just a pure form of sugar. And you could use it along with your protein shake after your workouts in order to spike your insulin levels to get more nutrients and amino acids and glycogen into your muscles.
Since you’re looking to put on muscle and you’re going to be eating in a calorie surplus, you don’t need things like bc double A’s and l glutamine. You’ll just need things like protein, creatine, and pre-workout definitely stay away from all those weight gain bulking powders, you can make your own by starting with whey protein and then adding coconut oil, oats whole milk, or almond milk, and dextrose.