So you’ve just spent the last few weeks glancing at your reflection. You aren’t going to admit it to anyone, but you’re feeling a little bit self-conscious. You’ve just starting working out and realise that you don’t want to be stick thin anymore. Or maybe you’d just like a bit more muscle on your frame. But how do you do it?
After several years of combined experience dealing with this issue, we would like to share our knowledge with you. Luckily, it’s straight forward and easy to implement. There’s 3 main areas that we need to address, and to get the best results we’d suggest you follow them all.
Eat more food
- How much more? Well download yourself the myfitnesspal app and start tracking your calories along with your weight. You want to find the balance where you are eating a few hundred calories more than your maintenance calories (this is essentially the calories you need to maintain the same weight).
- This should mainly consist of carbs, and should be as healthy as possible. If you start gorging on chocolate bars and snacks you will add a lot of fat: we’ve been there, and it isn’t pretty.
Lift between 6-8 reps
- Ignore the common phrase “low weight high reps” for hypertrophy (size). This just simply isn’t true, and training the traditional 12+ reps is only good for endurance and minimal increases in size.
- This rep range is scientifically proven to be the best area for muscle hypertrophy. Not only that, but training in this range will also contribute to increased strength.
Stick to the compound movements
- One huge issue that most of you suffer with is an obsession with isolation exercises and “chasing the pump“. Isolation exercises have their time and place, but when new to lifting (less than 2 years training) you should focus at least 80% of your workout to compound lifts.
- The big four compound lifts are bench press, overhead press, deadlift and the squat. These should be the foundation of your training programme.
- Compound movements give you the most “bang for your buck“. This means that they recruit the most muscles in the shortest amount of time, not to mention you can lift the heaviest weight with these movements.
So now you know what to do, go on and bulk up! Come next summer, you’ll see all of the hard work pay off. Fitness is a long term game, so don’t give up if you haven’t added those 2 inches to your arms in a month: it doesn’t work like that. Enjoy what you’re doing and you’ll reap the rewards. If you want a great workout to follow, check out ours and put into practice what you’ve learned.
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