Muscle Building Workouts-39 Tips You Need To Know

Smart muscle building workouts accomplish multiple goals each session to progressively drive you toward a more muscular and strong physique.

  1. Make sure you’re mentally prepare for your muscle building workout. If you just head into the gym because you feel like you have to then you’re not going to have a good workout. Make sure that you’re mentally ready to lift heavy weight.
  2. Have every muscle building repetition planned out. Knowing what you’re training is 10x more effective then just heading into the gym and training specific bodyparts and using whatever equipment is available.
  3. Start out focused and don’t lose it. Public gyms are attempt to rob you of your training focus every chance they get. The music there sucks, some guy will always ask you for a spot or some trainer will always get in your way. I hate to sound like a bodybuilding supplement ad but you’re there to lift weight. Use an Ipod.
  4. Your muscle building split doesn’t matter if your workout isn’t progressive. While pundits will argue the difference between a bodypart split and a powerlifting or athletic training approach, the truth is that they all work if you’re progressing every workout. Beat your log book.
  5. Your goal is to either perform one extra rep or lift one extra pound per session. Muscle is built slowly and progressively, you should NEVER thrive to gain 15 pounds in a few months. That actually would be pretty painful. Think Bruce Banner turning into the Hulk.
  6. Less is better then more. While volume (higher reps, more sets) is directly linked to muscle size that doesn’t mean that volume is the only signal for muscle growth. There are numerous signalling pathways including neurological, hormonal and metabolic. Most people overtrain and use too much volume more often then people don’t train enough with not enough volume. Muscle building workout advice has been skewed forever with the proliferation of bodybuilding magazines. There is a time and a place for volume.
  7. Train in four week blocks. Don’t focus on long term goals, focus on four week training blocks assessing your bodyfat levels and strength gains. If after four weeks you’ve seen noticeable muscle increases then you know you’re on the right path. Stay there.
  8. Commit to 3-4 training days per week. You can get everything accomplished that you want to get done in 3-4 days blocks. Listen, I love going to the gym but some days I hate it. Knowing that I only have 3-4 days per week to accomplish my goals makes my workouts a lot more intense. Plus you’ll recover better with less workouts.
  9. You’ll see faster results by training individual bodyparts. You’ll also be able to hit more muscle groups frequently by focusing on compound movements while training individual bodyparts.
  10. If you can finish your training session off with some sort of anaerobic cardio like sled pushing or pulling or kettlebell swings do it, you’ll increase your nutrient partitioning.
  11. While you may hate it, any types of cardio increases your muscle building efforts. Cardio increase your calorie burning which increases your appetite. Generally speaking, most people just don’t eat enough.
  12. Maintain rigid rest intervals. I don’t care if you take the same walk to the water fountain after every set, just make sure you keep the same rest intervals. I hate when I see people just talking or walking around in between sets. You’re creating immeasurable time intervals and resting longer after one set then the next.
  13. Use intra rest pauses during your most difficult lifts. Intra rest pauses of 10 to 15 seconds allows your body to replenish its ATP-CP system, our short burst power. When you’ve reached a sticking point during a lift just rest for 15 seconds. You’ll notice that you can use the weight that you JUST fatigued on for another two to three reps.
  14. Take an combined electrolyte and branch chained amino acid drink thirty minutes before your workout. I prefer Ultima for the electrolyte powder and N’Gage for the BCAA’s. As you break down muscle during your workout your body will need those BCAA’s for intra workout recovery. Ultima will supply your body with base electrolyte to prevent dehydration during your training session to keep your energy up.
  15. The best muscle building workouts are the ones that you routinely repeat. There’s no magic time when a workout stops. As long as you’re making progress you can use the same workout for years.
  16. Dynamic warm ups prime the central nervous system for the upcoming workout and they’ll activate your central nervous system for greater muscle contraction.
  17. Wear as many pieces of clothing as it takes for you to warm up. Don’t be that guy that’s in a sleeveless shirt in the middle of winter during his first set. Get some inexpensive cotton sweatshirts or long sleeve shirts to wear over your fancy workout gear. Get warm and start sweating first.
  18. Take as long as you want on your warm up. Don’t underestimate the long school method of getting ready for a workout. If you need to do five sets of progressively lift weight to feel ready for three all out sets of the bench press then so be it. You should be using compound movements anyway. Take your time getting ready.
  19. R-Alpha Lipoic Acid and Cinnamon is a very cost efficient supplement stack for increasing both the effectiveness of your muscle building workout and your overall physique due to it’s glycemic control.
  20. Consider incorporating CDP-Choline and extra decaf coffee into your diet. Both are strong somatostatin blockers, somatostatin is an opposing hormone to growth hormone. The more you can block somatostatin the more growth hormone you’ll have available to fuel your muscle building.
  21. The longer you’ve been training the fancier the exercises you can use.
  22. If you’ve been training less then five years you should rotate through a base of ten compound movement primarily.
  23. If you’re having trouble increasing your muscle size try dedicating one day to a specific compound movement like dips. Perform a speed workout instead of a typical muscle building approach. Focus on using lower weight and moving your body faster while adding in assistance exercises for shoulder, chest and upper back health.
  24. Use a few weighted stretches after each workout. Stretching a muscle with light weight has been shown to stretch the fascia that surrounds and limits how big a muscle can grow.
  25. One of the better and more effective method of muscle building is an accumulation and intensification periodization block. Accumulation references a 4 to 8 week training block of higher reps and more sets. Intensification refers to a 4-8 week training block using the same movements as the Accumulation block but with lower reps and sets and heavier weight. It still works very well.
  26. Using bodyweight exercises one day per week can correct postural issues which cause pain and limit muscle growth.
  27. Get outside, buy a TRX and do your bodyweight workouts outside. The fresh air helps you relax and frees your mind.
  28. Lower your protein. There comes a point where large amounts of protein turn into carbohydrates in our body. All we’re doing there is gaining fat, not muscle. Around 40% of your daily macronutrients should come from protein.
  29. Fill in the gaps. Finishing off your workouts with direct calf, forearms and trap work will increase overall muscle growth. Your body will slightly limit your muscle building if you’re trying to stuff large amounts of hamstring muscle on calves that look like toothpicks.
  30. If you can, do one explosive movement per workout. Most public gyms don’t have medicine balls. If they do you’re in luck, try to do some explosive throws or slams. If they don’t try to perform some bench jumps, bodyweight squat jumps or jump push ups. Explosive training stimulates your central nervous system slightly differently then other training methods.
  31. Give your joints a week off. Taking a week off will save your joints and when you head back to the gym ease your way back in. Use more isolation exercises for one week to further allow your joints time to heal.
  32. Use systemic enzymes. Not only is systemic enzyme therapy great for arthritis and other inflammatory issues but they also allow you to train heavier more consistently.
  33. If you’re going to use the barbell row do them Dorian Yates style with a 20 degree or so inclination in your trunk. Traditional bent over rows will wear your low back down quickly especially when you use heavier weight. A higher trunk angle allows you to cheat slightly more and use heavier weight while sparing your low back.
  34. Make sure all your minerals are chelated with glycine. The amino acid glycine increases absorption of the minerals such as magnesium and zinc while binding and removing toxins and heavy metals from the body.
  35. Finish off your muscle building workouts with sprints at least once per week. Sprinting hammers your fast twitch muscle fibers while increasing your caloric output. Another advantage by only training 3-4 days per week is that you can hammer the sprints post workout then have a full 24 hours to rest.
  36. If you want freaky, thick big arms like “Ravishing” Rick Rude you must perform reverse curls. As a matter of fact, ditch all regular curls for 8 weeks.
  37. If you’re struggling to get strong, use some bands for accommodating resistance to push through a plateau. You’ll be surprised how much muscle you build when you get really strong.
  38. Never underestimate the power of unilateral movements for muscle building. Unilateral movements are fantastic core builders while also decreasing any strength deficits that may exist.

The Most Important Muscle Building Workout tip is….

Just enjoy the experience. Muscle building is a marathon, not a sprint. Take your time and enjoy the experience and don’t try to rush things because you’re comparing yourself to an ideal that a fitness magazine states. You’ll get there and you’ll be healthier in the long run. What’s the use in committing to your diet and training if you’re not experiencing something worthwhile?

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