Three Training Tips for Building Muscle

Three Training Tips for Building Muscle

It's pretty simple to build muscle! Damage the muscle tissue through training and give those damaged muscles the required nutrients, rest, and time to recover bigger and stronger. In this article we are going to address the training side of things where our goal is to break down the muscle tissue as much as possible to stimulate it to repair itself as well as produce as much of our bodies naturally occuring anabolic hormones as possible. These simple tips will serve as a starting point for your training when looking to build muscle:

Time Under Tension is King

When looking to break down the maximum amount of muscle fibres in your weight training it is the time under tenstion or time under load which dictates the amount of fibres you are reaching. This can mean overall volume of your training via a high volume rep scheme, (e.g 5x10 or 6x8) or the literal time under tension of a set through controlling the tempo (or speed) to make each set last 15-20 seconds. You could do this with a heavier load and simply lower the weight (eccentric) for 4 seconds, pause for a second and lift (concentric)for 2 seconds. This produces a similar effect to the higher rep schemes but with an even heavier load so as you can see there is more than one way to increase your time under tension with your weight training. If your looking for proof that time under tension is king for building maximum muscle look at the biggest bodybuilders around and you will notice they do everything under control (tempo) and focus on mostly five reps and upwards to guarentee maximum muscle fibre damage. Try some higher rep training or simply controlling every rep for increased time under tension and feel the pain tomorrow!

Squat for Size

If you want to be adding maximum muscle to your frame then there are much worse things you can be doing than increasing the amount of time you spend squatting. This is not only going to add tons of muscle to your legs but also to your body as a whole because of the magic ability of high rep squats to just make you grow. Don't believe me? You can either increase your squatting frequency up to three times or even better give heavy high rep squats a go. Dan John in his fantastic book "Never Give Up" speaks at length about the benefits of high rep back squats for adding maximum muscle and recommends 2-3 sets of 15-20 reps with a respectable weight. Do this and watch your self grow.

Crank up the intensity..Sometimes

Training to add muscle involves pushing your muscles above and beyond what they have done before and sometimes cranking up the intensity using dropsets, supersets, forced reps, and rest pause sets can be a great way to overload your muscles for maximum growth. The caveat with these methods is they should be used sparingly to force overload maybe once every 2-3 workouts . If you dont do this you will soon find yourself burnt out, injured, or simply not making any progress due to entering an overtrained state and therefore dreaded catabolism.

There you go, three quick tips to use in your training when looking to build muscle, give them a go and let us know how you get on.