If you’re like most guys, you want to add muscle. A lot of it. And you want it now. The bad news is that building muscle takes time and consistency. The good news is that if you do things right, you can make some serious gains. The best way to add muscle is to follow a workout plan that focuses on hypertrophy. Without getting too sciencey, hypertrophy is the process of increasing muscle size (13). And while there are many different ways to achieve hypertrophy, certain workouts are more effective than others. When you understand the basics of how to build muscle, you can create your own hypertrophy workout plan. But if you’re just starting out, it’s a good idea to follow a proven program. The following workout plan is designed to help you build mass and strength. It features a mix of compound exercises, isolation exercises, and plyometric exercises. And as a plus, it’s laid out in an easy-to-follow format. But first, let’s get to the basics of how to build muscle.
What Is Hypertrophy?
Hypertrophy is the increase in the size of an organ or tissue from cell enlargement. In muscle tissue, hypertrophy results in the enlargement of individual muscle cells.
Hypertrophy is a term that’s often used interchangeably with the word “muscle growth.” However, hypertrophy and muscle growth are not the same thing.
There are two types of muscle hypertrophy:
Sarcoplasmic hypertrophy is an increase in the amount of sarcoplasm, which is the non-contractile material in muscle cells. This type of hypertrophy results in an increase in muscle size, but not necessarily an increase in strength (16).
Myofibrillar hypertrophy is an increase in the size and number of myofibrils, which are the contractile proteins in muscle cells. This type of hypertrophy leads to an increase in strength, as well as an increase in muscle size (6).
Read More: Running In Place: Is It A Good Workout?
How To Achieve Hypertrophy
Two key factors contribute to muscle growth: tension and volume.
- Tension comes from the force your muscles produce. The more often moderate tension by muscles happens, the more they’ll grow.
- Volume is from the number of reps you perform. The more reps you do, the more volume you’ll have.
This means, to build muscle you need to create tension and volume. The best way to do this is to use heavy weights and do a lot of sets (11).
You can achieve this in several ways (14):
Take a weight that you can lift for 8-10 reps or for as many reps as you can. Then, rest for 20-30 seconds and lift it again. Repeat as often as you can.
Take a weight that you can lift for 8-10 reps or for as many reps as you can. Then, lower the weight and lift it again. Repeat as often as you can.
Do two exercises back-to-back with no rest in between. For example, you could do a set of bench presses followed by a set of pull-ups.
The goal is to lift as much weight fully as possible and to do a lot of reps. This will help you build muscle.
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5 Day Strength And Hypertrophy Workout Plan
Muscles grow in response to the stress of exercise. To effectively stress the muscles, you need to lift weights that are heavy enough to cause muscle failure by the last few reps of each set. Muscle failure is when you can no longer perform another repetition with good form (10).
The number of sets and reps you do, as well as the amount of weight you lift, will determine the intensity of your workout. The more sets and reps you do with a given weight, the more intense your workout will be.
The following workout plan is designed to help you build mass by lifting heavy weights for low reps. It includes a variety of exercises that target all the major muscle groups in your body.
Do this workout four times per week, allowing at least a day of rest between each session. You can do it on non-consecutive days, such as Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
After a few weeks of following this plan, you can increase the intensity by adding more weight, sets, or reps to each exercise.
Workout 1: Chest/Triceps
- Bench Press: 4 sets of 8-12 reps
- Incline Dumbbell Bench Press: 4 sets of 8-12 reps
- Dips: 4 sets of 8-12 reps
- Close Grip Bench Press: 4 sets of 8-12 reps
- Triceps Pushdowns: 4 sets of 8-12 reps
Workout 2: Back/Biceps
- Pull-ups: 4 sets of 8-12 reps
- Lat Pulldowns: 4 sets of 8-12 reps
- Seated Cable Rows: 4 sets of 8-12 reps
- Barbell Curls: 4 sets of 8-12 reps
- Hammer Curls: 4 sets of 8-12 reps
Workout 3: Legs
- Squats: 4 sets of 8-12 reps
- Leg Press: 4 sets of 8-12 reps
- Lunges: 4 sets of 8-12 reps
- Leg Curls: 4 sets of 8-12 reps
- Standing Calf Raises: 4 sets of 8-12 reps
Workout 4: Shoulders/Abs
- Military Press: 4 sets of 8-12 reps
- Side Laterals: 4 sets of 8-12 reps
- Rear Delt Flyes: 4 sets of 8-12 reps
- Crunches: 4 sets of 15-20 reps
- Oblique Crunches: 4 sets of 15-20 reps
- Hanging Leg Raises: 4 sets of 15-20 reps
Workout 5: Rest Or Cardio
Rest day or do 20-30 minutes of moderate-intensity cardio.
What To Eat To Gain Muscle Mass
The best way to achieve muscle hypertrophy is through a combination of resistance training and adequate nutrition.
To build muscle mass, you need to consume more calories than you burn. This can be accomplished by eating a calorie-dense diet and/or increasing your total caloric intake.
In addition to eating a calorie-dense diet, you also need to make sure you’re properly hydrated. Drinking plenty of water will help your body recover from your workouts and will also keep your skin and joints healthy (22).
A calorie-dense diet can also be nutrient-dense, meaning it includes a variety of nutrient-rich foods. This type of diet is necessary to fuel your workouts and promote muscle growth (8).
To increase your total caloric intake, you can either eat more meals throughout the day or add calorie-dense foods to your diet. Some examples of calorie-dense foods include nuts, seeds, avocados, olive oil, butter, and full-fat dairy.
The main food groups needed for building muscle are:
By far the most essential macronutrient for building muscle is protein. Protein is the main building block of muscle tissue. Therefore, it’s essential that you consume enough protein to support your muscle-building goals (3).
The amount of protein you need depends on a variety of factors, such as your age, activity level, and muscle-building goals.
The general rule of thumb is to consume 0.8-2.0 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight (4). For example, if you weigh 70 kilograms (154 pounds), you would need 56-84 grams of protein per day.
You can get your daily protein requirements from whole food sources, such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy, and legumes. You can also supplement your diet with protein powder or bars.
If you’re having trouble meeting your protein needs from whole food sources alone, consider adding a protein powder to your diet.
Protein powders are a convenient and easy way to increase your protein intake. There are many different types of protein powder, such as whey, casein, soy, and egg.
Fat is an essential macronutrient that plays several important roles in the body. It’s necessary for building cell membranes, hormones, and brain tissue. Fat is also a major source of energy (1).
Despite its importance, fat has been demonized in the past, due to its high-calorie content. However, not all fats are created equal. There are two main types of fat: saturated and unsaturated (18).
Saturated fat is found in animal products, such as meat and dairy. It’s also found in coconut oil and palm oil. Unsaturated fat is found in plant-based oils, such as olive oil, avocado oil, and nuts.
The type of fat you eat is more important than the amount. Saturated fats have been linked to heart disease, while unsaturated fats are generally considered to be healthier (17). For this reason, it’s best to limit your intake of saturated fat and focus on eating more unsaturated fat.
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Carbohydrates are the body’s main source of energy. They’re necessary for fueling your workouts and promoting muscle growth (7).
The amount of carbohydrates you need depends on a variety of factors, such as your activity level, muscle-building goals, and calorie intake.
To build muscle, you’ll need to go heavy on the weights and consume more calories than you burn. This means you’ll need to eat more carbohydrates than someone who is trying to lose weight.
Vitamins And Minerals
In addition to the three macronutrients (protein, fat, and carbohydrates), you also need to consume a variety of vitamins and minerals. These micronutrients are essential for good health and play a role in many different bodily processes.
Some vitamins and minerals are more important for muscle building than others. For example, vitamin D is necessary for calcium absorption and muscle contraction (21). Vitamin C is important for collagen synthesis and wound healing (20). And, iron is essential for carrying oxygen to your muscles (15).
You can get all the vitamins and minerals you need from a well-rounded diet. However, some people may want to consider taking a supplement, especially if they’re not getting enough of certain nutrients from their diet.
Supplements To Gain Muscle Mass
There are a few supplements that can help you build muscle mass. Creatine is one of the most popular and most effective muscle-building supplements. Creatine helps your muscles store more energy, which leads to increased strength and muscle growth (2).
Another supplement that’s often used to build muscle mass is beta-alanine. Beta-alanine is an amino acid that helps delay fatigue, which allows you to train harder and for longer periods (5).
Building muscle mass requires a combination of resistance training, adequate nutrition, and plenty of rest and recovery. If you’re serious about building muscle, be sure to follow a workout plan like the one above and eat a diet that’s rich in calories and nutrients. Additionally, consider supplementing with creatine and beta-alanine to help you reach your goals.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
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