What if I told you that almost everything you have been taught about how to build muscle mass is completely wrong? You see, most hardgainers make their way into bodybuilding sites or mainstream fitness magazines looking for tips to increase mass in the shortest time possible. Unfortunately, the common advice will bombard you with supplements, some kind of bodybuilding hardgainer workout, muscle building meals, etc…but in the end it will ultimately ruin your look. Don’t make this mistake.
(Daniel Craig is a good example of having a decent amount of mass without looking cheesy. Building the right amount of muscle in all the right areas will help you look great in a suit. Not the other way around )
The Best Advice Is Not Mainstream
I have come across many young guys over the years who have experienced a tough time adding muscle mass. They lift weights regularly but don’t seem to be able to increase in size. Now if they do get bigger, it is usually from excess body fat because they have been sucked in to thinking that they can increase muscle gains by eating more. The problem…gaining mass has nothing to do with nutrition and excess calories but has everything to do with training. I know that it’s going to upset a lot of people but it’s true. Don’t worry about what magazines and supplement companies are telling you. This is why you will see a lot of big guys in the gym with little to no definition.
Understanding The Difference Of Lifting For Mass And Lifting For Strength
When you are strictly training for mass, stay away from low reps. Lifting in the lower rep range (2-4) with heavy weight is useful for creating great muscle tone and density. However, mass is achieved in the high rep range(8-12) but with a lower weight and lifting to failure. Lifting in this range will create a pump. I’m sure you are familiar with this term. This is where your muscles swell and become fuller during your training. The increase in muscle size during high reps in the is due to the increase in volume of the cellular fluid in the muscle. This is what is commonly known as sarcoplasmic hypertrophy. This fluid can account for almost 1/3 of the muscle size when training in this fashion. It is almost a faux muscle growth because the size can increase and decrease very quickly.
Hardgainer Workout: Typical Mass Building Routine Done Strategically
There are plenty of workouts and approaches to building muscle mass so I am not saying that this is the only one that works well. There are 3 and 5 day splits, pyramids, reverse pyramids, and many more. The problem with most of these workouts is that they are designed to pack on a lot of mass no matter where it ends up. I don’t want to do this to you. I want to strategically add the right amount of mass in all the right places to create a visually appealing physique.
Day 1: Chest, Shoulders, Triceps
1) 3 Exercises for each body part (chest, shoulders, triceps)
2) Rep range of 8-15
3) 4 Sets per lift
4) Pyramid Set & Rep for incline bench, standing military press, lying tricep extension (12,10,8,6,12-15)
5) Train to failure, use the same weight (except for the pyramid)
Note: Exercises for Day 1
Chest: Incline barbell bench press, dumbbell flyes, incline dumbbell press
Shoulders: Standing military press, dumbbell lateral raise, seated shoulder press machine
Triceps: Lying tricep extension, cable pressdowns, dips/dip machine
Day 2: Back, Biceps, Forearms
1) Rep range of 8-15
2) 4 sets per lift
3) Pyramid set & rep for seated cable rows, straight barbell curls
4) Train to failure, use the same weight (except for the pyramid)
Note: Exercises for Day 2
Back: Chin ups (may have to be weighted), seated cable rows, nautilus pullovers
Biceps: Straight barbell curls, seated incline dumbbell curls, standing dumbbell curls
Forearms: Reverse barbell curls, wrist curls
Nutrition: Eating More Food For Bigger Muscles??
It is a common misconception that “if you want to get big you have to eat big.” What people don’t realize is that the push to consume more protein, supplements, shakes, etc is merely hardcore advertising to sell you more….everything I just listed. Like I mentioned before, eating more food to increase muscle gains simply doesn’t happen. The added weight is almost always from excess fat and not muscle. The faster you understand how to build muscle mass with the right training, the less you will stress over nutrition. Even though mainstream fitness will have you think otherwise, trust me on this. Your waistline will thank you too! Don’t believe me? I highly recommend you read “How Much Protein.”
What To Keep In Mind So You Don’t Overdo It
A lot of young guys will want to put on a lot of mass in a hurry but end up getting carried away with it. Don’t make the mistake in thinking that you have to keep training for mass because you just don’t feel big enough. Mass building for too long will make your muscles look soft and bloated and not hard and angular.Your physique will have a more visually stunning appearance with a combination of low body fat levels with toned and dense muscles. Woman prefer this look over the massive bodybuilder look any day.
Bonus: Perfect Addition To A Hardgainer Workout