Encouraging muscle growth is a skill in its own right. It always requires plenty of exercise, but not all exercise is created equal. The best results come from mixing the right exercises with healthy lifestyle choices. There are a lot of different ways to do that, and most athletes find that it is best to try all of them so they can find the one that works best for them.
The Bulgarian Method
The Bulgarian Method is ideal for people who want to quickly build a huge amount of strength in a small number of muscles. It originated among Olympic weightlifters, who only needed to excel in a few situations in order to get the gold. The modern version is only slightly less specialized. You shouldn’t expect all of your muscles to grow while you use it, but it will grow a few of them very effectively.
The method is fairly simple. Start by selecting a few exercises at which you want to excel. Most people will choose four to six of them. Try to focus on compound exercises that work multiple muscles to make sure that your results are as broad as possible. Perform your chosen exercises until failure, usually with eight to twelve repetitions. Strive for constant improvement by adding more weight or more reps whenever you can handle them. Do this four to six times per week.
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Time Under Tension
You can encourage muscle growth by making sure that your muscles are handling the weights for an appropriate amount of time. Most people do their reps pretty quickly, but taking things slowly will make the muscles do more work. This is called time under tension training, and it’s a powerful tool for modifying a routine.
Applying this technique is simply a matter of lifting slowly. That may sound easy, but there are a few things to keep in mind. It’s important to focus on the parts of the exercise that do the most good, especially when the muscles are elongating. Form is still crucial, and you should be careful not to ruin it by accident when you adjust your timing. Getting this right will take a little bit of practice until you build the right habits, but most people can figure it out pretty quickly.
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Most people do all of their sets fairly quickly, with only a short break between them. That’s fine for a normal routine, but it can be useful to mix in longer breaks every now and then. That forms the core of rest-pause training, which can be used to either focus on raw muscle growth or on building strength.
The basic technique is to add a rest period of about fifteen seconds between each set. Focus on deep breathing while you rest so that you can feel the effect that the workout is having on your muscles. If you do this to a normal workout routine, you’ll boost your muscle growth. If you’d prefer to build general strength, you should use a weight that is slightly below your one-rep limit and rest between each rep for about thirty seconds.
This method is far more exhausting than it sounds, so you should use it with care. You’ll need to experiment to find your limits, but you shouldn’t expect to use it every week. Start slowly and experiment to find out how much you can handle.
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Your muscles are machines. Like all machines, they need fuel to function properly. That fuel is your diet, and you need to optimize it if you want to boost your muscle growth. Protein is the most important component because the human body uses it as a source of amino acids. Muscles need those amino acids to repair themselves and grow, so it is impossible to gain muscle without them.
Raw energy is also a necessity. You burn it when you exercise, and your body also burns it while it builds new muscle. It will even cannibalize your muscles to get more energy if it isn’t getting enough from your diet. That means that you can actually lose muscle by exercising too much if you aren’t supporting that exercise with a diet that offers enough energy.
There are plenty of foods that can help, but it’s important to remember that there are no perfect foods that fulfill all of your needs. It’s better to focus on building a blend that offers just enough calories to match your needs without leaving a surplus while also offering plenty of protein and other nutrients. Supplements can help with that, but even they need to be considered as part of the complete diet. Getting your diet right is just as hard as picking a workout, so it’s often best to consult a nutritionist or an experienced trainer to help get your diet plan right. Putting in a little effort to build a good diet will reap big dividends down the road, so it’s worth getting help.
German Volume Training
German Volume Training is one of the most intense workout plans, but it is a powerful tool for surpassing plateaus and making gains. The core of the system is performing ten sets of ten reps, with a weight equal to about sixty percent of your maximum. Most people choose to perform compound exercises, so that they can work their muscles as efficiently as possible. Break up the sets with rest periods of a minute to a minute and a half.
This is a huge workout, so you need to be careful to get your rest days right. You should expect to wait somewhere between four days and a week before you exercise a muscle group again after a day of this program. You will want to work different muscle groups on different days, so you’ll still hit them gym fairly frequently. Your diet is just as important, and you should watch it carefully as you progress so you can tweak it as necessary. If you do everything right, you should expect quick and significant muscle growth from this method.
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