How you pack on muscle isn’t as hard as it seems. People, for some strange reason, make muscle development a string of meticulous calculations. They pick apart every conceivable element. To add to the punishment, they read every bodybuilding web site online that makes building muscle seem instant and literally effortless. Do you really think you can easily pack on muscle in a mere six weeks with the latest bodybuilding fad?
How to Pack on Muscle Naturally
To pack on muscle size and strength it takes only two easy and simple rules. But those rules come with some work. Here they are…
Rule #1 – Toss the fitness magazines and start reading quality books on the basis of nutrition and training.
Rule #2 – Design a program and stick to it. Don’t do any more or any less than outlined.
Your body is not going to pack on muscle per will. You have to force it to grow by subjecting it to increased levels of stress that it is not accustomed to. When the average person who doesn’t workout begins a fitness program, he or she will see fairly good results pretty quickly. Be warned, the human body will adapt quickly to the fitness program and it won’t be long before a plateau hits. The real challenge starts at the point of the plateau.
Step One – Assess Your Physique to Pack on Muscle
Your first task in building muscle is to take a complete look at your body and find your weak areas as well as your strong points. Ask yourself a few honest questions. If you have trouble answering them have someone else with a trained eye help evaluate you.
1.) Is my upper body balanced in relation to my lower body?
2.) Are my arms balanced?
3.) Do my shoulders need more work?
4.) Does more attention need to be paid to my chest training?
5.) Is my back development below par?
6.) How are my calves in relation to my upper legs?
After you identify your weak and strong body parts, create a training program based on that. The idea is to train your weakest body part at the beginning of the week so you can give it 100% focus and attention.
Step Two – Use Free Weights
Yes, cables and machines can provide a good pump, but nothing really compares to using free weights to pack on muscle and build extreme strength. Free weights allow for all the muscle fibers to come into play and to be utilized completely. The Training Station at bodybuilding.com states, “Free weights involve more muscle fibers and more contractions, because you use stabilizing muscles not used when exercising on a machine; therefore free weights are more effective.” If you really want to pack on muscle, then it’s recommended that you use free weights more often.
Step Three – Use More Compound Exercises
Compound movements are multi-joint exercises such as the bench press, military press, squats, etc. These and other power movements are the core builders because they work all the muscles of that muscle group at one time. For best results, use compound exercises at the start of your training so your muscles get fully stimulated before muscle fatigue sets in. Follow up with isolation movements as finishers.
Step Four – Use Proper Training Form
Be sure to use proper training form when lifting if you really want to pack on muscle. Poor form is not only dangerous, but it’s ineffective for building muscle. If your form is poor, you might use machines for a few weeks so you learn the proper form, then move on to free weights.
Step Five – Keeps Sets to a Minimum
Avoid participating in countless reps and sets to pack on muscle. Muscle growth is an outcome of a stimulus forced on a particular muscle group. Once the muscle has been stimulated, it can’t stimulate any further, the work is done. The actual muscle growth process takes place away from the gym when you are feeding your muscles nutrients and allowing it to rest.
Step Six – Use Lower Reps With Heavier Weight
To pack on muscle you must constantly challenge your body. This means to use heavy poundage with few exercises, sets, and repetitions. Heavy weight and low repetitions target the growth fibers. The ideal growth rep range is 6 to 8. If you can’t do 6 reps, then the weight is too heavy. If you can do more than 8 reps, then the weight is too light.
Step Seven – Challenge Your Body
The body can adapt to stress rather quickly. Therefore, it’s important to constantly challenge your body to force it to grow. You need to increase your reps or poundage each and every training session. Once an 85 pound bench press goes beyond 8 reps, it’s time to add a 5-pound plate on each side.
Step Eight – Eat to Pack on Muscle
Your diet, what you eat each day, is the priority to your overall health and fitness level. You can’t pack on muscle eating burgers and fries. Toss those for organic chicken and potatoes. Eat more fiber from non-starchy veggies and be sure to include essential fats. You have to eat foods of quality to build a body of value.
To really pack on muscle, see the next step below.