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How to Build Up Muscle Mass

Updated on February 25, 2014

If you want to know how to build up muscle on your body then you need to read this article.

When you quit your bad habits, use a proven method and always keep your body guessing then your muscles will continue to grow.

By the end of this article you will be able to build a muscular body a lot quicker than you could before.

Put Out that Cigarette!

Seriously, stop smoking! You already know that it hurts your body and your wallet but I’m about to give you yet another reason to quit, I hope you’ll listen. You see, when you smoke you are lowering your testosterone levels; studies have proven this. And if you don’t have higher levels of testosterone then your muscle development is going to stall out.

Testosterone is a hormone that is naturally in men and women. Men produce more than women, which is why it’s easier for a man to get all big and “bulky”. It’s also why some… well, idiots try to boost this hormone by illegal means. More testosterone means more muscle growth and strength.

So if smoking lowers your ability to produce this hormone then you are holding your muscle building efforts back. I know cigarettes have an addictive quality but imagine the feeling you’ll have whenever you can build muscle twice as fast with the same workout!

Smoking will also increase your heart rate which means it’ll be pumping a lot faster than it should be. This is going to drain your energy quickly, especially while you workout. And if you know anything about muscle growth, you know that in order to build muscle you need excess calories. If your heart is pumping too fast and burning up the extra calories you’ve consumed then you won’t have enough left to build the muscle you desire.

There have also been studies done that show that smoking disrupts your body’s ability to repair itself. When you workout you stress your muscles and your body is supposed to step in and repair the tiny tears in your muscle tissues so that the same amount of stress doesn’t damage your muscle next time. Well, if you’re smoking then it’s going to be a lot harder for your body to repair your muscle, which means less muscle growth! So you really do need to consider kicking this habit to the curb if you really want some massive muscle gains. But you also need to think about what type of workout you will be doing.

5 x 5 Training

The 5 x 5 training method has been around for a while because it’s been proven to work for anyone from a beginner to an advanced weightlifter. 5 x 5 just means that you will be doing 5 sets of 5 repetitions for each exercise you do. You take a 90 second rest between each set and then a 90 second (size) to three minute (strength) rest between each exercise, depending on your goal. It’s pretty simple and quite flexible for your personal goals. So decide what type of muscle you want to build. You take a shorter rest between exercises for size to really stress your muscles to the max. You take a longer rest between exercises for brute strength so that you’re fresh for each exercise and can lift heavier weight.

Why does this help you pack on muscle? There are certain rep ranges that focus on different types of muscle fibers. Your biggest and strongest muscle fibers give out pretty quickly and are called “fast twitch”. A sprinter or a powerlifter would target this kind of muscle and with the 5 x 5 method you will be targeting it too. When you go above 5 reps, your bigger muscle fibers start to give out and your other muscle fibers have to pitch in. So when your strongest muscle fibers aren’t there to help, you can’t lift the heavier weight for many more reps. That’s why you can lift a massive amount of weight for only 1 - 5 reps. So it’s all about targeting the right fibers to help you pack on the most muscle.

So if you’ve been lifting lighter weight for a higher amount of reps and then switch to 5 x 5, you’re going to see a big jump in your muscle gains. You can do full body workouts (2-3 times a week) or split things up if you like. You can focus on upper body one day and lower body on another to give your muscles more time to repair. Whichever method you choose you want to focus on exercises that are compound movements like squats. A compound movement uses multiple muscles to complete the movement rather than focusing on just one muscle, like an isolation exercise would. Not only will this help you move through your workouts quicker but you’ll get to focus on your body as a whole instead of just working on your favorite muscles. Your body needs to stay in balance to work efficiently but you don’t want it to get use to your workout or your results will stall out.

Confuse Your Muscles

If you come into the gym and do the same workout over and over again then eventually you’re going to hit a plateau. Your body knows what’s coming and is going to get to a point to where you can’t stress it enough with that workout to achieve any muscle gains. You need to “confuse” your muscles in order to make consistent gains and never hit a plateau. How do you confuse muscles? Well, you do different exercises and variations of exercises.

Not only will this help you make more muscle gains but it will keep you from injuring yourself. When you do different exercises you hit your muscles from different angles which helps completely balance your body. But if you keep doing the same exercises over and over again you’re only hitting your muscles one way, which can lead to overuse and sprains. And they don’t have to be huge changes.

You can simply switch to using dumbbells instead of a barbell or change your grip on the barbell. Little changes like this can go a long way and you’ll feel it in your muscles. You’ll be working the same muscles but in an entirely different way. This forces your muscles to grow and it keeps you from getting bored. You can even use different machines, the cable rack and bodyweight exercises. You can also have a few workouts where you target a different rep range like say 6-8 reps.

It’s recommended that you change your workout program every month but if you set up a program that is a long cycle of different exercise then you don’t have to change your workout as often. This can save you a lot of planning time and extend the lifetime of your current workout. Now you’re ready to build some muscle.

These are tried and true methods for packing muscle onto your body. When you stop smoking, focus on the right muscle fibers and keep your body guessing then you’ll never have a problem gaining muscle. You now know how to build up muscle quicker than most people in the gym.

What Tips Can YOU Give On How to Build Up Muscle?

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    • musclebuildexpert profile image


      6 years ago from California

      Another great article! Brilliant advice, and I bet you have some killer bi's and tri's just by following your own advice ;) great stuff!

    • Bendo13 profile imageAUTHOR

      Ben Guinter 

      8 years ago from Colorado Springs, Colorado

      Thanks, Hello, hello,!

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 

      8 years ago from London, UK

      A very well written hub with good, solid advice. Well done.

    • Bendo13 profile imageAUTHOR

      Ben Guinter 

      8 years ago from Colorado Springs, Colorado

      Well, have your friend read this article, chinemeremz and hopefully they'll cut down or quit smoking. It'd boost their efforts a lot!

      Then they can target the right rep range and start confusing their muscles to really make the muscle grow.

    • chinemeremz profile image


      8 years ago

      Whaoh, Bendo, I'll love to see your biceps. sadly I have a smoker friend who wants to build and tone his muscles, but from your assertion this could be a little difficult.

      Thanks for your helpful tips as ever hope to see more of this kind of hub.


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