Well, its almost the fall season again and for most competitive bodybuilders, you know what that means....mass time and I'm always asked this question in the gym..."how did you get so big??" or..."how do I put on weight?". There are lots of ways, but only 10 ways to achieve that massive...thicker look for the next summer season. For the sake of this article we'll call them the 10 Commandments of Muscle Mass!
These are just ways you can achieve results in the gym through these ten ways. But you have to have that "itch" to be huge or they won't work.
1. Start Lifting Heavier Weights Progressively
There's no way around this one. This one is universal for mass. You have to train with heavy weights in order to put on thick-dense muscle mass. Keep track of what you do from week to week and if it felt easy from one week to the next, up the weight and if it didn't stay at the same weight until you do. Never, stay at the same weight for too long. If its too heavy, back off about 10-15 pounds.
2. Utilize long rest periods
The power lifting aspect. Who says that building mass takes too long? Hey, you have to spend some amount of time building mass or you won't at all. Keep that in mind! Use a 30-45 second rest (upper body) and 45 seconds to 1 minute or more (lower body except calves). This is enough time for that lactic acid to get out of the system so you can attack another set.
3. More Power lifting and less Bodybuilding
This means that your rep ranges should be anywhere from 3 reps to 8 reps and your number of sets should range from 3 to 6 sets. This is for all body parts included. This also doesn't mean that you shouldn't do any bodybuilding movements. Its just that you should do more power lifting or mass-builders than you should bodybuilding movements. I would say one bodybuilding movement per body part.
4. Love The Hard Exercises
You pretty much knew this coming into this article. This includes dead lifts, squats, heavy benching (most of you don't have this problem) barbell rows, barbell calf raises, pull-downs, leg presses, barbell curls, behind-the-neck shoulder press, front shoulder press, dumbbell bench press, dumbbell shoulder press or anything that has nothing to do with a machine (except hammer strength..they are good for mass and for going heavy too).
You won't build mass on machine, you have to work the stabilizers on dumbbells and barbells too. Oh, and don't be afraid to use a power rack as well.
5. Give 120%
Train as if you life depended on being massive. With what you have to work with in the gym, it will require you to be more focused and intense. Talk to you buddies at the gym later, when your in there, you have to be focused and determined on being a "freak" no matter what and go through your workout like your a cyborg.
6. Use Belts, Wraps, Partners and Straps
Hellooooo...heavy training means more protection. You have to use belts, wraps, and straps to hoist the heaviest weight possible. Don't try and do something you know you can't do without any of these. These things should be tied to you if they aren't in your bag. I don't go anywhere in the gym without these.
For some of you, this should cut you excuses for not doing none of the big boy stuff. You'll need a partner for when you go insanely heavy to be a freak. Partners will help with spotting and keeping you safe and you'll need one that just as or more intense and focused as your are.
7. Do Not Stick To The Same Workout...change it up every two weeks
I know by the textbook, you should stick with the same workout, but your body is going to get used to the workout in someway. Change up the exercises every two weeks since your training for mass.
Change them up in one of two ways: change the exercise itself....or change how you do that exercise as far as reps and sets are concerned.
8. No Limits
Don't limit yourself in the gym as far as weights are concerned. Believe that you can and will be big as a house by the time summer get around. Use visualization techniques (like benching 600 or having 23" arms) and motivational techniques like posting pics of strong guys benching heavyweight or massive bodybuilders...anything that will give you a reason to be the freak of the gym.
You should do nothing more but eat, sleep and think not big..but like freak 24-7. Think nothing more than eating iron (like my friend Shane says). Heck, I recommend all of the above techniques and getting a training partner.
9. Take a good supplement stack....ONE FOR FREAKS THAT IS
No joke! Creatine and protein should be at the top of anyone's list. I recommend taking two caps of amino acids during each set of each exercise. I also recommend Nitro-Tech, Cell-Tech, and Prolab's Amino 2000. Taking these three you'll be on your way to being a freak in a matter of weeks..with hard training of course.
10. Eat like a FREAK
This does mean..eat everything, but eat smart. Junk foods are still out and you can eat those on the days you can cheat, but during the week, its red meat (steak, chicken, beef, and turkey), complex carbs (breads, cereals, etc.), diet drinks, and anything else that's game. Rice, baked potatoes, etc. Look at my nutritional and supplement articles for more foods.
Well, those are the ten commandments for Muscle Mass. With these ten commandments printed out and in your bag, you'll have a guide with you in the gym. Take the time to plan out the workout and nutrition plans for the week. Oh, and if I have to say it....keep cardio down to a minimum. You're building mass..you know becoming a freak. You can do cardio once a week only and not as long. But remember, you're in construction until next summer. Well, until next time fellow freaks...stay big!