- Best Methods To Increase Muscle Development [EXPERT GUIDE]
Best Methods To Increase Muscle Development [EXPERT GUIDE]
How long have you been working out for? Most of the people reading this will have a common answer – I’d be willing to guess around 6 months, right?
Now, consider how much work you have put in every day – and how much actual muscle you have put on.
If you’re a hard worker and you have kept a very keen eye on your diet you might have found that you put on some muscle, went through periods of a plateau and steadied your pace.
One of the most unfortunate aspects of physical training is that we will all hit a plateau in our training. It really doesn’t matter how hard we train, how good our diet is – we all hit small plateaus in our training and these really hold us back.
If you have hit a plateau in your training and have been looking for a complete guide to help you build more muscle in less time this could be the article for you.
In this guide we will walk you through the best methods that anyone – at any skill level can use to increase muscle development in the most effective way possible.
Best Methods To Increase Muscle Development
1. Train for Hypertrophy
This is the biggest aspect of training that many people seem to forget. In order for you to grow stronger and lift heavier, you should be training for hypertrophy.
This does not mean simply going to the gym and just lifting heavy every day – hypertrophy is all about stimulating the fibre and allowing it to recover.
Generally, your best bet to achieve hypertrophy (increase in cell size) is to train in the 5-7 reps per set range for higher sets, around 4-6 sets.
The weight you will use is around 70-85% of your max weight which will make it so that you are not training for complete strength but always maintaining complete form and perfect balance.
Keep in mind – training for hypertrophy will require large amounts of rest. This brings us to our second point.
2. Always Emphasize Complete Rest
When we say rest we do not mean sitting on the couch all day.
Rest comes in many ways – through sleep, mobility work, myofascial release and many more.
The biggest aspect to remember when you start looking into your rest times is to ensure that whatever load you are putting onto the muscles is compensated with rest.
In other words, if you train for an hour – you should rest those same muscles, intentionally for an hour. This could mean stretching and mobilizing the muscles the following day after a training session or ensuring that you get 8 hours of sleep each night – all aspects of rest are important.
Perhaps the biggest part of rest that many people forget about is deloading.
3. Use Deloading Weeks
This is a personal favourite of mine. Deloading weeks are ways for you to decrease the amount of stress on the muscle while still training.
Deloading weeks can only be completed if you are collecting information about your lifts and weights (which you should be doing), but it is important to remember that any conscious rest is better than none.
If you are interested in using deloading weeks it is as simple as completing close to, if not the same exercises you completed the week before but with less weight or fewer reps per set.
The idea here is to still stress the muscle and allow it to build connections in movements, but not enough stress that you need to recover or feel sore.
The workouts should be built in a way that you are still strong the next day. Remember, you are deloading the muscle.
4. Supplement Well
Supplements are a huge industry that many people seem to shy away from. If you are a strength athlete there are definitely some products you should try.
The gold standard in strength training will always come with a complete creatine supplement. Creatine works to increase the amount of cell volumization while restoring lost phosphate stores. I’d go as far as saying if you are not taking creatine you are not a strength athlete at all.
This supplement is a personal favourite of mine as it can drastically increase the amount of endurance you have in a workout.
Beta-alanine works to increase your training potential by buffering the production of lactic acid – this is the stuff that makes you feel tired and fatigued halfway through your workout.
Supplementing with beta-alanine will help you to push your workouts further and achieve a higher level of strength.
This is perhaps one of the most complete sources of nutrition you could provide your body and muscles. Amino acids have so many benefits and very few downsides – making them one of the best supplements you can use to grow stronger while you are training hard.
The best amino acids are L-Leucine and L-Glutamine as both have been shown to increase muscle mass and limit muscle wasting.
A perfect combination for anyone who is unsure which supplements they should be taking for strength as you can never really go wrong with an amino acid mix.
If you have been looking for a complete source of sports nutrition we would highly recommend trying one of the stacks at Black Wolf Nutrition. They provide the best of all worlds by covering your workout with a pre-workout, intra-workout and a post-workout shake.
Bottom Line – Increasing Muscle Size
Whenever you are looking to optimize your performance the biggest area of concern is to always look to a complete source of nutrition and a conscious effort at training.
The process to grow stronger is not a difficult one, but it will require time and dedication to your practice. You will need to train every day – whether that be in physical workouts, recovery, mobility or low-impact cardio.
At the end of the day, you must consider that your goals will not accomplish themselves.
If you are to grow stronger you should follow proven methods for success (like the ones laid out above), ensure your body has the fuel and nutrition to recover and start to look into what is possible in human performance and periodization so that you do not hit more training plateaus.
Most importantly, remember to have fun with your training.
If you do not enjoy your quest for fitness you likely will not stick with it. Be smart and find workouts and processes that help you to stay engaged. Do not just jump on any fancy workout you see online without knowing the purpose and how it fits into your goals.
Find a structured workout system that works for you and will keep you motivated – then work your butt off. Over time, you will grow stronger.
Related: Turn your body into an anabolic machine with the power of nutrition!
Gabriello is a writer and strength expert best known for his science-based and practical approach to Exercise Physiology, Nutrition and Strength. After serving in a directors position for The Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology Gabriello moved towards writing to help more people understand the importance of living a healthy life. Gabriello’s writings have been published in several languages on some of the largest health and fitness websites helping people learn, grow and understand the complex components of optimizing human performance in a simplistic way.
Gabriello also takes on specialized, high-performance athletes who are in need of strength, mobility and conditioning programming to optimize their fitness through his Earned Fitness program.
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