How To Build Muscle Mass With 10 Great Exercises
If you have ever wondered how to increase muscle size then here you will find the 10 very best ways to make you bigger in the key muscle areas. These exercises have been proven to work and if you are doing anything else to build mass and have not seen any results then ditch them for these.
It Starts In Your Mind
You need to banish any negative thoughts from you mind about making your muscles bigger. Any negative thoughts will have a dramatic impact on your ability to pack on more muscle. Do not dismiss this as it will certainly bite you.
How To Gain Mass Using The Right Approach
To build mass successfully you will need to put a lot more effort in. Don’t like the sound of that? Well you need to get your head straight on this. Go for a good balance of three workouts a week and be motivated to train hard.
Three workouts a week is ideal as you need a good deal of recovery time to build muscle mass. Remember that your muscles will grow during your recovery time so you need to resist the urge to go for more workouts each week.
Don’t overdo your workouts from a time perspective. If you limit your workouts to 45 minutes then you will maximize your muscle building hormones (anabolic) and the hormones that destroy your muscles (catabolic) down to a minimum.
The idea here is to focus your energy on the workout and this will be at its highest during the first half an hour. Your aim should be to start with a warm up and then get into some hard work and then finish in 45 minutes.
Forget small isolation exercises and go for heavy exercises instead. If you don’t have access to a gym then you can still build muscle in your own home. There is no excuse. There are plenty of big guys around that train at home.
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expect to see different results. This is certainly true when it comes to building muscle. You will have to make changes to keep the gains coming.
You need to be prepared to add more weight or more resistance and go for more reps with the same resistance. Watch the quality of the sets that you perform and go for higher quality as you progress and put more energy into your sets.
With the time that you have available work harder or you can do the same amount of work in a shorter time period. The ideal scenario is more work in a shorter time frame. With each exercise that you do you need to feel the effect that it is having on your muscles during the motion.
A lot of people underestimate how powerful bodyweight training is. This will pack on the muscle more than you think. With all of your training you need to aim for around 85% intensity. If you go crazy then you will quickly tire and this will do you no good. You need to be smart and train hard.
You have to keep in mind that enhancing muscle mass takes time and you will not see significant gains in the first week. You need to have a great deal of determination here and realize that it will take time to see some visible results.
Be prepared to change up the exercises that you do after a while. One of the key reasons to do this is to avoid injuries due to overloading. These changes do not have to be big; you can change your grip or the number of reps that you perform.
There is also a requirement to pay attention to your diet. Eat enough protein and up your clean carbs intake to around 300-350 grams a day with potatoes and rice. You may have to force feed yourself if you are really thin.
And finally get a good deep sleep every night. Your testosterone and growth hormone levels will greatly benefit from this and greater control over your cortisol levels. You cannot replace good sleep with supplements. Ignore this advice at your peril.
Which Exercises For Mass Building?
You will want to target the important muscle areas so this range of exercises will do that for you. It is likely that you will be familiar with a lot of these exercises. They are not in any particular order of importance. Good form is essential so this is covered for each exercise.
1. The Bench Press
This exercise needs no introduction as it is one of the most popular mass building exercises out there. The most important thing here is that you use the right form or you will not get the results that you are looking for.
The setup starts with you lying on a flat bench and keeping your eyes beneath the bar. Keep your feet flat on the floor and then lift your chest and then squeeze those shoulder blades.
Keep your wrists straight and grab the bar with your little finger on the bar ring marks. Use the base of your palms with a full grip. Now you will need to take a deep breath and straighten your arms to un-rack. Drive the bar over your shoulders and make sure that your elbows are locked out.
Now it is time to lower the bar down to your mid chest. While doing this your elbows should be tucked 75°. Hold your breath here and keep your arms vertical. Now press the bar to above your shoulders and lock your elbows and maintain your butt on the bench.
2. Military Press
The military press is great for building a strong upper body and it is a great workout for your shoulders. It is a great compound exercise that will work several of your muscle groups at the same time.
You can either go for the seated military press or the standing version. The setup and movement are similar. To setup your feet should be shoulder width apart with knees and toes turned out slightly. Use a similar grip on the bar as you would a bench press. Don’t go for too wide a grip.
Breathe deeply and begin to push the bar up and at the same time press your chest upwards and tighten your glutes and abs. Lower the bar to your clavicle keeping your elbows tucked under your hands.
At the bottom of the lift you should feel a slight arch in your lower back. Now raise the bar straight and give your glutes a squeeze once the bar has passed your forehead. Continue to raise until you can lock your elbows and squeeze your shoulder blades.
3. Barbell Pullover
The barbell pullover is a great exercise for the development of your lats and will also work your pectoralis muscles and your triceps, deltoids and rhomboids. Do this exercise properly and you will develop that classic “V” shape that everybody wants.
To setup you need to lie on a flat bench with your head over the end of it. Make sure that your feet are flat on the floor and your hips are slightly flexed. The barbell will be on the floor behind you so grasp it and raise it over your chest keeping your elbows slightly bent.
Take a breath and keep your elbows slightly bent and tighten your abs. Then lower the bar so that it goes over and beyond your head and stop when your upper arm is parallel to your torso. Then exhale and bring the bar back to the starting position.
Deadlifts are right out there when it comes to building muscle mass. It is great for overall strength and it will build thickness to your mid to lower back. It is also good for your legs as well. Once again it is all about the correct form so here is what you need to do.
For the setup place the middle of your feet underneath the bar and be careful that your shins do not touch it. Go for a wide hip stance and point your toes out about 15°. You should grab the bar using a narrow grip which is approximately shoulder width apart.
Your arms should be hanging just outside your legs and be vertical if looking from the front. Now you need to bend your knees until you touch the bar with your shins. Be careful not to move the bar here.
Straighten your back and lift your chest and don’t squeeze your blades or drop your hips or move the bar at this point. Now you are ready to pull by first taking a deep breath and then standing up. The bar should be against your legs as you pull up. Lock your knees and hips to complete.
5. Bent Over Barbell Row
If you want a more muscular back and larger biceps then the bent over barbell row is for you. It will also exercise your arms, hips, lower back and upper back. It is a compound exercise that is great for packing on mass.
For the setup place the middle of your feet underneath the bar and be careful that your shins do not touch it. With your toes pointing outwards go for a medium stance. Use a medium width grip on the bar that is not as wide as the bench press and wider than a deadlift.
Your hips should be higher than they would be for a deadlift and now you need to unlock your knees by bending them. Be sure to keep them back so you don’t hit them with the bar. Still in this position, straighten your back and lift your chest. Don’t squeeze your blades or drop your hips.
Now it is time to row. Take a deep breath and pull the bar up to your lower chest by leading with your elbows.
The squat is a great strength building exercise and you will force your muscles to defy the weight of the bar on your back which will really help you to build more muscle mass. It will work a lot of your muscles including your upper body and your legs.
For the squat setup you will need to be facing the bar and use a medium grip on it. Then you will lift the bar on to your upper back by dipping under it. Be sure to raise your chest when you do this.
With your feet under the bar you can un-rack it by making your legs straight. Then take a step back maintaining straight legs and lock out your knees and your hips. Now breathe in and go for the squat by moving your hips back and pushing your knees out. There should be no strain on your lower back.
You want to get your hips lower than your knees by breaking parallel. Then it is time to squat back up and when you do this keep your chest up and your knees out. When you reach the top lock your knees and hips and exhale.
7. Bicep Curls With Barbell
Bicep curls are a very simple exercise to perform and when they are done properly they can bring you tremendous benefits. You want bigger arms don’t you? Well read this carefully so that you do your curls right. These curls are using a barbell but you can do them with dumbbells too.
Your setup for this starts with a shoulder width grip on the bar and a slight bend of your knees. Be sure that your abs are braced and that you keep a flat lower back.
Now you want to bend your torso forward a few degrees by pushing your hips back. Then extend your hips strongly so that you build up the necessary momentum to start the curl and force the bar up to the halfway point.
Once the bar has passed the sticking point keep your knees slightly bent and your abs braced and lean back a little. As you reach the top of the curl be sure to straighten your torso. While you are doing the curl, don’t let your elbows and shoulders drift forward as you will transfer the stress from your biceps to your front delts.
8. Pull Ups
OK it is now time for those great bodyweight exercises and we start with the pull up. A pull up is a compound exercise that targets a number of muscle groups and will stimulate growth hormone. Your upper body will benefit here.
The setup starts with a bar (strangely enough). If you don’t have a power rack then a doorway pull up bar is just as good. Go for shoulder width grip on the bar with your palms facing down.
Now it is time for you to hang on the bar and you do this by bending your knees to lift your feet off of the floor. When you hang keep your arms straight. You are now ready to pull and you do this by pulling your elbows down to the floor.
You need to keep your elbows close and continue to pull until you pass the bar with your chin. Once you have achieved this you can then lower yourself down to the starting point where your arms are straight.
9. Chin Ups
The chin up will help you to build great upper body strength and there are tremendous benefits for your biceps. It will build your back muscles too as well as other muscles. Your biceps will get bigger if you work the chin up hard.
To set up grip the bar with a less than shoulder width grip and your palms need to be facing your body for this exercise.
Be sure to keep your body as straight as you can and stick your chest out while you create a curvature on your lower back. You want to minimize the involvement of your back with chin ups. Pull up your body by using your biceps so that your head is level with the bar.
Your elbows should be close to your body as you pull your chin above the bar. Once this is achieved you need to slowly lower your body back to the start position so that your arms are extended fully at this point.
The dip is often overlooked by bodybuilders but if you are serious about strength gains and building mass then you need to do them. Dips will overload your muscles and they are guaranteed to build mass if you use a progressive overloading approach.
To setup properly for dips you need to grab both of the bars and then jump up and maintain your balance with your elbows locked out.
You can now start the dip by lowering your body through the bending of your arms and leaning a little forward. You need to go low enough so that your shoulders are below your elbows. This is the bottom point.
Once the bottom point is reached you will need to raise your body up to the start point. Do this by straightening your arms and once you are back up lock your elbows out again and maintain your balance before starting the next dip.