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Workout Routine to Gain Muscle and Bulk Up. Exercises for Increasing Size.

Updated on April 29, 2013

Gaining Weight

People lose weight by burning more calories than they consume. They gain weight by consuming more calories than they burn. If you are trying to bulk up then you want to gain weight. Fat covers the muscles. It is stored energy. You can get your body to convert it back into energy but it does not turn into muscle. So if you gain a bunch of fat then don't expect it to turn to muscle when you start exercising more. You will have extra fat over the muscle or you will lose it.

You can increase your weigh by increasing your muscle weight. To do that you need to exercise and provide your body with enough food. Building muscle and exercising regularly will increase your appetite. Your body will need more food. So you should eat more food. However overeating is still overeating. Gaining muscle and increasing your body weight does not mean you need to gain fat. If you don't want to have a lot of extra fat then don't eat more food than your body needs and don't eat a lot of junk.

I started eating more because I needed to eat more food to feel satisfied.Since I was exercising and not overeating I gained muscle instead of fat. My muscle weight increased.

Good exercise equipment for gaining muscle weight.
Good exercise equipment for gaining muscle weight. | Source
Woman during a long distance bicycle ride.
Woman during a long distance bicycle ride. | Source

Burning Calories

Exercises like biking, running, shadow boxing, jumping rope and swimming are good for burning calories. I highly recommend them if you are trying to get rid of fat. These exercises can be used to lose weight. They can also be used to gain weight. I gained some weight doing intense cardio exercises because my muscle weight increased. Some of my muscles became significantly bigger and heavier. However cardio exercises burn too many calories. I ended up with a lean muscular body. The increase in muscle size was limited.

To really bulk up you want exercises that work your muscles enough to get them to become bigger without burning a lot of calories. Strain your muscles without using up a lot of energy.

Working my tricep muscles.
Working my tricep muscles. | Source
Working my calf muscles.
Working my calf muscles. | Source

Gaining Muscle

To build more and more muscle you need to keep improving. As you get better at doing the exercises compensate by making the exercises more difficult or switching to other exercises. Keep changing your routine so it does not become easier. Make sure you exercise enough to strain the muscles and make sure you rest enough for the muscles to recover. You should experience some muscle pain and discomfort during and after the exercise.

If you run out of ways to increase the difficulty try being creative. When I wanted to gain more muscle doing push ups I filled up a backpack to make it heavy and then started wearing it while doing exploding push-ups. There are lots of muscles you can workout. If you do exercises that work different muscles or work the muscles differently you can workout more and get results faster.

I find it helps to work towards a difficult goal. Think of something you can't currently do. For instance I want to bike to a provincial park that is 12 miles away, bike around the park and then bike back home. I want to do handstand push-ups and I want to curl my heavy dumbbell 12 times in a row. Those are some of the goals I am working on. Working towards accomplishing those goals will cause me to gain more muscle.

Curling a heavy dumbbell.
Curling a heavy dumbbell. | Source
Doing push-ups with a heavy backpack.
Doing push-ups with a heavy backpack. | Source

Lifting Weights

Working out in a gym or at home by lifting weights is a good way to increase the size and weight of your muscles. Your body adapts to lifting weight while standing, sitting or laying down. The exercises do not burn a lot of calories, they don't take very long to do, and being big and heavy makes the exercises easier.

Limit the number of repetitions to 12 repetitions or less and use heavy weights.That way the focus will be on strength instead of endurance. Do a set, take a break and then do another set. Stop when you can no longer maintain good form. If you go to a gym there should be lots of exercise equipment you could use. At home you can use barbells and dumbbells. You could also use a heavy backpack, a duffle bag and your body weight.

Lifting weights is very repetitive so it can get boring. People choose to lift weights when they want to increase the size of their muscles because it works better than other forms of exercise. Lifting weights is the best way to bulk up. Weight is weight. If you don't want to buy weights or go to a gym then you can use common household items as exercise equipment. When lifting weights it is a good idea to do circuits. Do an exercise and then quickly switch to another one. It makes for a longer faster paced workout.

Workout Routine

Make out a list of exercises that you can easily look at. When you have time to exercise pick out some exercises from the list and do them. I provided a list of some good exercises for bulking up. The number of repetitions and sets depends on how much you can do during the workout. Since you are working out to bulk up the workout should not last very long. It should be short but intense. The goal of the workout is not to improve your speed, endurance, balance or even strength. It is to become bigger.

Working out to bulk up is more about form than function. The exercises are good for changing the look of the body, making you heavier and for showing off. I mainly do functional exercises that prepare my body for something else. For instance I run on an elliptical trainer, or ride an exercise bike so I can go outside later and bike to a beach. I like biking to provincial parks and going to the beach. However I sometimes exercise to bulk up so I look good at the beach. If you want to bulk up a little then you can include exercises like long distance biking. If you want to bulk up a lot then limit the cardio.

I don't want to look really bulky and I like to go out and use my muscles. That is why I don't bulk up as much as possible.

Bench or Floor Press: Lay down on a weight bench or floor. Grab a barbell or two dumbbells and hold them close to your chest. Lift the weights above your chest by extending your arms. The bridge press is a variation of the floor press. Instead of laying on the floor you move your legs under you knees and lift your back so only your feet, shoulders and head are on the floor.

Bicep curls: Hold a heavy dumbbell letting it hang down at the side of your leg. Bend your elbow to move the weight towards your shoulder. Then lower the weight back into the starting position. You could lift two dumbbells at a time or alternate. A barbell could be used in place of two dumbbells.

Deadlift: Place a barbell on the floor and put your feet under the bar about shoulder width apart. Squat down so your thighs are parallel with the floor and your knees are over your feet. Bend over and grab the barbell. Stand up to lift the bar. Keep the barbell near your body. Your arms hang throughout the exercise. Hold for a second and then gently lower the barbell back to the ground. To do a stiff-legged deadlift bend from the waist more and keep the legs stiff. The legs should remain slightly bent during the stiff-legged deadlift.

Exploding push ups: Get into a lowered push-up position. Push up with enough speed and power to raise your upper body into the air. Do it while wearing a heavy backpack or weight belt to increase the difficulty. You can try to clap your hands before landing back on the ground.

Pull ups: Hold onto a bar or branch and pull yourself up. Vary your pull up routine by changing your grip. Alter the width of the grip and the direction of your palms. When the palms are facing towards you they are referred to as chin ups.

Calf Raise: Raise your heels off the ground to stand on your toes. Lower the heels after a few seconds. Do the calf raises while holding 2 dumbbells or a barbell. They work best when done on an edge so the heels don't touch the floor. You can do them at the bottom of a set of stairs. To increase the difficulty do them on one leg.

L-sit: Sit on a hard surface with your legs out. Your body and legs should form an 'L' shape. Place your hands against your thighs and push down to lift your body into the air. If you have trouble holding your feet high enough try using a raise surface. I use a chair or books.

Shoulder press: Hold dumbbells or barbell in front of you just above your shoulders. Keep the weights close to your body. Raise the weight up by extending your arms, hold for a second and then lower the weight. When using dumbbells you can alternate or do both at the same time.

Upright Row: Hold onto two dumbbells or a barbell, palms facing down with your hands close together. Arms are hanging down fully extended. Lift the weight straight up until it is front of your upper chest just below your throat. Lower it back down into the starting position. At the top of the movement your elbows sick out.

Shrug: Hold two dumbbells or a barbell with your arms hanging down fully extended. Shrug your shoulders by moving the shoulders up, pause and then lower them back down.

Lunge: While holding weights take a big step forward and move your front knee over your foot. Lower your back knee close to the ground. Then push yourself back into the standing position.

Lateral Raise: Hold two dumbbells with your hands handing down bellow your belly. While keeping your arms straight move the weights up and way from your body.

Dumbbell Renegade Row: Get into a push-ups position while holding on to a dumbbell in each hand. Row one dumbbell at a time. To do a rowing motion move your elbow near shoulder level so dumbbell is along the side of your body. Then lower your elbow. For an easier alternative do them while kneeling.

Step up: Grab some weights or wear something heavy like a backpack. Step up onto something like the bottom of a set of stairs or a chair. Then step back down. If you workout using a low step then workout using a high step during the next workout.


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