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The Process of Building Big, Strong Muscles

Updated on October 26, 2015

Building Big Lean Muscle

Strength Training

We have all seen these type of people at some time or another. Those "guys" that go into the gym and workout for a day or just for a couple of weeks, develop half of a muscle and then all of a sudden they think their comparable to Arnold Schwarzenegger, walking around the gym with a tank top or an extra medium t-shirt on all the time (with no muscles at all) and attempt to try to assist you with your training regime.Then they will offer to train you to be big, muscular and strong in a very short period of time. I say guys because approximately 99% of the time, it's the men who do this type of stuff. I'm not really sure why they do this, maybe it's an ego thing, high testosterone or some serious self esteem issues. Unfortunately the human body does not work that way or that fast for that matter. Building muscle, just like losing weight is a process that takes time. When you need or want to lose an excessive amount of weight or gain large amounts of muscle, you should think of it as more of a marathon rather than a sprint. It's going to take you some time. If you are currently pushing up 225 lbs on the bench press right now and you have been working out for 8 years or more to get to where you're at right now, how do you figure your going to add 100 lbs to your bench press in just a couple of months? That's simply not logical. Some people also have the misconception that injecting steroids into their body will automatically turn them into a muscle bound monster with little or no effort put into it. Sorry to burst your bubble, but the body doesn't work that way either. Even if you have already been enticed to try PED's (performance enhancing drugs/steroids) with their incredible body/strength changing capabilities will not turn you into a huge, lean, muscle monster in a couple of months, especially without putting in the necessary hard work, dedication, along with a proper diet. If you can follow some simple steps, you will proceed to make consistent gains in your power, strength and size.

Using free weights versus machines

Free Weights versus Machines

Most of the gyms/fitness centers of today will have some brand of super high tech, state of the art machine style equipment for you to use. Which are for the most part, they are pretty cool and work well for many of the toning, high rep, isolation exercises. But when it comes to you making strength and mass gains, the free weight areas definitely are King of the gym and the way you will want to go. Don't get me wrong, I am not saying that machines will not work effectively or you can not make good progress by using them, however if strength and mass is your primary objective, there are a lot more benefits in the usage of free weights. When you're using free weights, your body is what creates the necessary stability and balance during any given exercise movement. Strength, agility, and balance are all positive side effects of working out with free weight movements. When you chose to use the machines, it's the machine or whatever type of exercise apparatus your using that will provide the stabilization and isolation for you.

Well Developed Female Muscle

The Best Compound Movements

Compound Movements

Building more strength and muscle mass will require multi-joint movements that can involve half or almost all of the body when executed and impose a great deal of exertion on you. Exercises such as the bench press, military press, squats, dead lifts and barbell rows will all enlist the maximum amount of muscle fibers. By progressively increasing the amount of weight being used during each workout session, this will give you a steady and consistent strength progress. Even if it's just 2.5 lbs, you must always push yourself further than you did in your previous training/workout session. When you start getting up into the heavier weights, you will learn that even adding one pound will make a huge difference. The repetitions being performed should be kept relatively low if your main objective is strength/mass building. Increasing the weight gradually and keeping your reps to around 5X5 during a strength building cycle will enable you continued growth and progress.

Blackberry-Mango breakfast shake

Ingredients for Blackberry-Mango breakfast shake

  • 1 1/2 cups Blackberries, Frozen
  • 1 cup Mango slices, Refrigerated
  • 1 cup Tofu, Lowfat
  • 1 cup Orange Juice
  • 3 tablespoons Honey

Directions for Blackberry-Mango breakfast shake

  1. Combine all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Serve and enjoy

Blackberry-Mango breakfast shake

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1 serving
Calories 155
Calories from Fat9
% Daily Value *
Fat 1 g2%
Carbohydrates 36 g12%
Fiber 4 g16%
Protein 4 g8%
Sodium 39 mg2%
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

Blackberry-Mango breakfast shake

1 star from 1 rating of Blackberry-Mango breakfast shake

Complex Carbohydrates and protein

Strength and Power Gaining Diet

There are some people that are just genetically blessed and are still able to have bad eating habits/a poor diet while still staying relatively lean all year round. However for the average individuals, your diet/eating habits is 85% of your fitness/weight loss success. Strength and mass training will require a lot more calories eaten and not just any calories, a certain type of calorie. Understand that a calorie is never just a calorie. A good percentage of your diet (dependent upon your weight) should come from good complex carbohydrates and protein. When your strength or mass building, you should be working so hard and intensely enough to be able to add an additional 15% of the calories that you are already consuming on a daily basis. With that being said, you will also need to understand that the human body can only gain approximately 12-15 lbs of lean muscle per year. Yes, I said per year. The operative words being "lean muscle". You can easily gain large amounts of weight (muscle along with fat) if the husky, power lifting look is the image you want and are looking for. In bulking stages, you will actually gain more fat than muscle. So it really is dependent on the look that you are going for/your fitness goal.

Compound Movements

What supplements are you taking?

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Popular Sports Supplements

Sports Nutrition Supplements

Strength and mass gains require heavier lifting. Lifting heavier needs increased anabolic activity in the body. In order to obtain the higher anabolic activity, a supplement must influence regulatory factors to a positive protein balance. In layman's terms this simply means that the supplements assists in making protein synthesis exceed protein breakdown. BCAA's (branch chain amino acids), nitric oxide boosters, creatine, pre- and post workout nutritional sports supplements are all supplements that will assist you in stimulating anabolic activity. Remember that too much of anything is bad for you, so supplements should be cycled on and off (time frame depends on the person) to prevent your body's receptors from becoming resistant to the supplement being taken.

The human body is extremely complex, so your strength/mass building cycle should last approximately 4-6 weeks (again depending on the person). Everyone's body is different and will adjust/recover from exertion in a different manner and time frame. You have to keep shocking your body with different workouts on a regular basis, otherwise your body will grow accustomed to your routine and you will be like that little mouse in the wheel going in circles. Consistently keeping your body guessing at what's coming next will prevent it from acclimating itself to your training regime and hampering your strength and muscle gains.


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    • Alphadogg16 profile imageAUTHOR

      Kevin W 

      8 years ago from Texas

      Thanks for feedback guys, I really appreciate that.

    • profile image

      Olde Cashmere 

      8 years ago

      Thank you for speaking the truth on this. I've been steadily becoming more and more disciplined with my diet and fitness over the years and this is of great help. Voting up and sharing, also rated useful and awesome.

    • greeneryday profile image


      8 years ago from Some tropical country

      Interesting and really make a lot of sense when you use free weight during work out you are forced to keep your body in balance thus different muscle areas are also get the impact perhaps the lower back, legs and stomach when you are doing squats for instance.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Thanks for sharing these valuable information.:)


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