The Ultimate Guide to Muscle Gain and Hypertrophy: A Comprehensive Resource for Bodybuilders, Powerlifters, Olympic Weight Lifters, Strongman Athletes, MMA Fighters and Anyone Else Who Is Looking To Build Muscles
Muscle gain is one of the most sought after goals in bodybuilding. There are many different ways to achieve it but there is only one way to build muscle – strength training! Strength training will increase your muscles’ size and strength. If you want to look like Arnold Schwarzenegger then strength training is what you need to do.
However, if you just want to get bigger arms or legs without building any new muscle mass, then you’ll have better results with other types of exercises such as compound movements (squats, deadlifts) and isolation movements (biceps curls).
In this guide, you’ll learn how to build muscle and lose fat at the same time using the best combination of weightlifting, cardio and dieting techniques. You’ll also learn how to maximize your gains while minimizing your losses. You’ll see exactly which supplements work best together to give you the biggest bang for your buck. And finally, you’ll discover some of the hidden secrets that make all these strategies possible!
What Are Muscle Gains?
Muscle gains are the result of strength training. As your muscles become stronger and bigger, they will continue to gain size if you put more stress on them. This is known as “muscle memory” and it is the reason why even after you stop lifting heavy things your body will still remember how to build muscle and will keep doing so for a while.
How Can I Maximize My Gains?
To maximize your muscle gains, diet is almost as important as lifting weights. To build serious size and strength you need to eat a lot. You will also need to cycle your calories and carbs on and off throughout the week to keep your body in an anabolic (muscle building) state as much as possible.
You can gain muscle without losing fat but you will make much faster progress if you do everything right.
What Supplements Should I Take?
The supplement industry is a multi-billion dollar a year business and there are literally thousands of different products on the market all claiming to be the best. The fact is, most supplements are a complete waste of money. Unless you are an athlete in a professional sport or a bodybuilder preparing for a competition, you probably won’t see any benefits from taking anything.
While it is possible to build a great physique without supplements, here are the guidelines that I follow:
Weight Gaining Program
Rule #1: You can never eat too much food if you want to build muscle. If you find it impossible to gain weight even when eating 5000+ calories then take a week off from working out and eat as much as you can. When you start working out again you will find that you have gained weight!
Rule #2: Aim for 1g of protein per pound that you weigh. Try to eat high calorie, high protein food like meat, eggs, and peanut butter. If you want to, you can also take weight gain supplements. I recommend Size On or Muscle Fuel Pro Series Vitamin Mineral Intake Supplement (less than $1 per serving).
Rule #3: Try to eat more carbohydrates when you are working out and less when you are not working out. You need to supply your body with energy during your workouts and you do not need to worry about losing weight (unless you want to look ripped with 6-pack abs). Types of carbohydrates include potatoes, oatmeal, pastas, fruits, and juice.
Rule #4: Take a week off from working out every 2 months or so. During this week, eat as much as you want and don’t do any exercise at all (even light walking or running).
I rarely do cardio except for the first 3 months when I am focusing on losing fat. After that, I prefer to build muscle instead. However, if you are doing the weight gaining program above then cardio will help you a lot because it helps you burn more calories and lose fat.
Here are some guidelines for cardio:
1. Do low intensity cardio first thing in the morning (while fasting).
Your body burns a lot of calories while your stomach is empty. If you put anything into your stomach (even a protein shake) then the calories will just get stored as fat because your body will think that it is not in a state of starvation anymore.
2. Do not do high intensity cardio.
High intensity cardio will burn muscle and you want to try to keep the muscle that you have worked so hard for.
3. Keep your heart rate at about 120 (or below).
This is considered the “Fat Burning Zone”. This is the ideal heart rate for maintaining muscle and burning fat. This is the ideal range for cardiovascular workouts because it trains your heart muscles without overworking them.
One of the most common mistakes in cardio is doing high intensity cardio for long periods of time. This is actually very bad for you because it trains your heart to handle a large amount of work, but this work is not sustainable when you go back to your regular lifestyle. So when you stop doing high intensity cardio, your heart rate keeps going up because it’s used to working at a higher rate. This leads to increased heart rate and increased risk of heart disease.
4. Walk very slowly uphill.
If you see a very steep hill then walk up it because this will increase your weight and therefore increase the benefits.
5. Increase the incline on the treadmill (or find a steep hill that you can walk up).
Once you can walk up a steep hill without having to go slow then move to an incline that is even higher.
6. Aim for 45-60 minutes of walking (or other cardio) per day.
This may vary depending on your current condition, but this is a good average goal to reach for.
7. After the first 3 months then you can focus less on cardio and more on weights (provided you are gaining weight successfully).
After your weight gain phase (the first 3 months) is over then you can focus less on cardio and more on weights.
Weight Training Program
The key to a good weight training program is PROGRESSION. You want to constantly be pushing yourself by using more weight or more repetitions than you did before. If you are not making progress, then your program isn’t working for you and you need to tweak it somehow. Here are some guidelines:
1. For each exercise you should aim to increase the weight that you are using by at least 5% after you can do a certain number of repetitions with it.
So let’s say that you are doing dumbbell curls and you can do 12 repetitions with a certain weight. When you can do 12 reps, you should add weight to your dumbbells so that the next time you do the exercise you will be only able to do 11 reps.
Sources & references used in this article: