Workout for Muscle Mass
A workout for muscle mass? Could it be? Am I really talking about building large muscles on a fitness site dedicated to building the lean, muscular, chiseled physique? DAMN RIGHT!
The truth is that most people starting out NEED to put on some quality muscle before worrying about getting lean and defined. I mean I don’t care if you have 8 pack abs if your chest is non existent and your arms and shoulders look like spaghetti. Now with that being said there is a good way to put on a muscle and a not so good way to put on muscle.
The ‘Not So Good Way’ To Put on Muscle
I see a lot of insecure teenagers who start off very skinny with the dream to get big at all costs. So they buy weight gainers, eat 4000+ calories a day and perform tons of squats and deadlifts. It is not uncommon for these guys to add 30 lbs in 3-6 months. So what’s the problem with this? Well if you take a look at the before and after pictures they probably look worse in the ‘after’ photos. They probably gained a good amount of fat and the muscle they did gain went mostly to their legs and ass. Their upperbody maybe bigger but it is most definitely softer looking. Lastly their face looks much less defined.
Example of a Poor Bulk – 180 to 220 in 4 months
Here is an example of a person who bulked up to put on 40 lbs in 4 months. Is it just me or does he look way better in the first pic? I found this transformation (if you can even call it that) on a bodybuilding forum – Link to Worst Bulk Ever. The funniest part about this ‘transformation’ were the encouraging comments. It’s ironic to think that in a world with so many overweight people struggling to lose weight that there is actually a culture (wanna-be bodybuilders) of individuals trying to get fat. The worst part is there are many more of these (transformations) around the net. If you reversed the pictures you could use them as before and afters for a weight loss product.
The Good Way to Bulk
Believe it or not there is actually a good way to put on muscle mass. Taylor Lautner is a great example of someone who effectivley bulked up. The dude went from a skinny 145 lbs teenager with 8 pack abs to a muscular 175 lbs with 8 pack abs. He didn’t have to sacrifice definition.
Another example of someone who succesfully bulked up is Chris Hemsworth who is from the movie Thor. Hemsworth was in pretty good shape to start with but then proceeded to add a bunch of muscle with minimal fat gain for his role as Thor. In fact the director had to tell him to lose some muscle because he was too big for his suit.
Another impressive bulk was done by Ryan Reynolds. The guy put on 20 lbs of muscle and lost fat. Talk about incredible.
The most impressive bulk by far was done by Christian Bale who transformed his physique from a deathly skinny 121 lbs to a strong 190 lbs in around 6 months between filming the Machinist, where he played an anorexic insomniac, to Bat Man Begins, where he played a super hero.
What is the Secret the Hollywood Action Stars Used?
Clean Bulk while adding muscle in the right places.
All of the actors mentioned added a lot of muscle with little or no fat gain. In addition the actors focused on adding muscle in the right places. By doing this a 5 pound gain in muscle can look like 15 or 20 lbs. The problem that most people make when bulking is they listen to bad advice. They wind up eating way too much food (especially junk food) and as a result they gain a bunch of fat in the process. They are told that you need to accept fat gain when bulking. The reality is you can only put on so much muscle and if your eating way over your caloric maintenance than many of those calories will get deposited into your fat cells. The second thing there told is to focus on Squats, Dead-Lifts and Bench Press. While these movements are effective they can do terrible things to your physique if over-emphasized. Squats and Deadlifts can give you a huge butt and overly big legs that are unattractive. In addition the Bench Press can overdevelop your lower chest which looks very unflattering on a man. Rusty Moore (author of visual impact muscle building) explains this in more detail in the first video on the Visual Impact Muscle Building Page.
What is the Best Workout Routine for Muscle Mass?
There is no best workout. However there are certain things that the most effective workout programs have in common.
5 Workouts Per Week
From everything I’ve read/seen the best muscle building transformations involved 5 days in the gym lifting weights. Can you gain muscle with less than that? Ofcourse. But your going to make the best gains lifting 5x per week. In addition there is really no need to lift anymore than 5 times per week. Your body needs rest to rebuild and grow so lifting 6 0r 7 times per week is counter productive.
Hit each Muscle 2x Per Week
It seems that people are starting to realize that hitting each muscle group 2x per week is much more effective than 1. By working a given muscle group twice as frequently you can literally double your progress. I like to have one day per week where I really hit a muscle group hard with tons of volume. And another day where I backoff on the volume a little bit. Here is how I like to set it up.
Monday – Chest and Triceps
Tuesday – Back and Biceps
Wednesday – Shoulders and Legs
Thursday – Rest
Friday – Chest, Back and Arms
Saturday – Shoulders and Legs
Sunday – Rest
Monday and Tuesday are high volume days. Wednesday is high volume shoulders and low volume legs. Friday is low volume. Saturday is high volume legs and low volume shoulders.
Start off Lifting for Strength – Finish Lifting for the Pump
When it comes to building muscle there are two different types of muscle growth. Myofibiliar hypertrophy (increase in size of the muscle fibers) and sarcoplasmic hypertrophy (increase of the fluid in the muscles). MH is caused by lifting heavy weights for lower reps. SH is caused by lifting lighter weight for more reps. In order to maximize muscle gains you need to target both types of hypertrophy. The first 1-2 exercise for a muscle group will be dedicated to MH and the last exercise or so will be dedicated to SH. Most people stick to the same set and rep scheme and as a result their muscle building potential is reduced significantly.
Focus on Specific Exercises and Muscles to create the biggest visual impact?
If you want to add 10 lbs of muscle and make that 10 lbs transform your physique into that of a chiseled greek god than you have to be picky with your exercise selection and set up. Over-emphasize certain exercises and you can totally ruin your physique. The key is to focus on putting muscle on your shoulders, upper chest and upper-back while keeping everything else in proportion. Most people are told to train there legs like crazy because the Testosterone Boost will help them add muscle mass everywhere. There are two major problems with this.
1. You can only put on so much muscle at a given time. If you put 80% of your effort into training your legs than you can expect 80% of your muscle growth to occur in your legs. If you were to limit your leg workouts more muscle growth would occur in your upper-body.
2. Legs tend to be a very responsive muscle group. They usually grow much quicker than your upper-body. Don’t believe me? Ask anyone that has bulked up where they got most of their stretch marks. Chances are they got them on their thigh’s and butt first. It’s all about proportion. Tree trunk legs make everything else look smaller and less impressive.
Workout #1 – Chest and Triceps
Incline Dumbbell Bench Press: 4 sets x 6-8 reps (2 minutes rest)
Flat Barbell Bench Press with feet on bench: 4 sets x 6-8 reps (2 minutes rest)
Incline Dumbbell Flyes: 4 x 10-12 reps (1 minute rest)
Skull Crushers: 4 x 6-8 (2 minutes rest)
Rope Extensions: 3 x 10-12 reps (1 minute rest)
Workout 2 – Back and Biceps
Weighted Pull ups: 4 x 6-8 reps (2 minutes rest)
Cable Rows: 4 x 6-8 reps ( 2 minutes rest)
Bent Over Flyes: 4 x 10-12 reps (1 minute rest)
Incline Dumbbell Curls: 4 x 6-8 reps (2 minutes rest)
Rope Curls: 4 x 10-12 reps ( 1 minute rest)
Workout 3 – Shoulders and Legs
Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press: 4 x 6-8 reps (2 minutes rest)
Dumbbell Lateral Raises: 4 x 10-12 reps (1 minute rest)
Dumbbell Front Raises: 4 x 10-12 reps (1 minute rest)
Romanian Dead Lifts: 3 x 6-8 (2 minutes rest)
Reverse Lunges: 2 x 6-8 per leg (2 minutes rest)
Calf Raises: 2 x 15-20 reps (1 minute rest)
Workout #4 – Chest, Back, Arms
Incline Barbell Bench Press: 3 sets x 5 reps (2 minutes rest)
Weighted Pull ups: 3 x 5 (2 minutes rest)
Dumbbell Bench Press: 3 x 10 reps (1 minute rest)
Cable Rows: 3 x 10 reps (1 minute rest)
Standing Dumbbell Curls: 3 x 10 reps (1 minute rest)
Lying Dumbbell Triceps Extensions: 3 x 10 (1 minute rest)
Day 5: Shoulders and Legs
Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press: 4 x 5 reps (2 minutes rest)
Machine Shoulder Press: 3 x 12-15 reps (1 minute rest)
Machine Lateral Raises: 3 x 12-15 reps (1 minute rest)
Squats: 3 x 6-8 reps (2 minutes rest)
Lying Hamstring Curls: 2 x 8-10 (1 minute rest)
Calf Raises: 2 x 15-20 (1 minute rest)
Record your weight, sets and reps every workout. Your goal should be to gradually lift heavier and heavier weights overtime while maintaining proper form.
30-60 minutes after the workout have a protein shake with 40 grams of protein and 40-80 grams of fast acting carbs like dextrose. 1-2 hours after your shake have a big food meal consisting of lean meat, sweet potatoes or brown rice and greens/veggies. These post workout meals are the most important.
How come you included squats, bench and deadlifts? I thought you said these lifts are not good?
These lifts are fine if used in moderation. However when people follow a workout routine like Mark Rippetoe’s Starting Strength Program (a workout centered around these 3 lifts) or Bill Stars 5 x 5 program than these lifts can cause an unbalanced physique.
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