If you are having a hard time gaining muscle mass or, if you just want to have
a little more information on how to stay on track to continuing gains in your
muscle mass, here are 20 tried and true bodybuilding tips.
Learn these 20 tips and apply them to your bodybuilding program regularly.
1. Increase resistance regularly. Your muscles will grow in response to
increased demand upon them. You must regularly increase your weight, reps,
or intensity in order to increase your muscle mass.
2. Use Moderate Reps. Sets of 6 to 10 reps are best for bodybuilders. Sets of
five or less reps tend to build more strength than muscle mass and sets
greater than 10 reps tend to increase endurance in a muscle, rather than
cause it to grow in size. (The exceptions to this rule are calves, abdominals,
and forearms, which tend to respond best in rep ranges of 10 to 15).
3. Use Basic Exercises. Build your bodybuilding program around compound multi-joint
movements such as squats, deadlifts, barbell rows, military presses, and
bench presses (inclined, flat and decline).
4. Eat Protein Frequently. Each day you need to give your body 1 to 1.5 grams
of high quality protein per pound of body weight. Divide this intake into five or
six meals that are spaced no more than three hours apart. Try to get most of
this protein from animal sources like beef, fish, dairy and high quality protein
5. Do Not Use Shortcuts. Avoid trying to speed up your progress by working
out too much without sufficient rest, taking steroids, eating too many
unnecessary calories and using weights that are too heavy. These tactics will
end up causing you more trouble than help.
6. Evaluate Your Physique. Take a good look at yourself in a mirror and do an
honest assessment of your weak points and strong points. Structure your
bodybuilding program to prioritize the muscles that need work, and ease up
slightly on the body parts that have good muscle mass. If your shoulders tend
to be narrow, be sure to emphasize deltoid movements, especially lateral
raises. If your hips tend to be wide, you may need to prioritize your lats to
create the V- taper.
7. Get Enough Rest. You grow when you are resting, not when you are
training. Be sure to give each muscle group at least four days rest between
workouts in order to recuperate and grow. Be sure to get seven to eight
hours of sleep each night for maximal muscle growth.
8. Create Intensity. Use advanced techniques such as partial reps, drop sets,
and forced reps on most of your sets. This will all allow you to push your
muscles past failure and trigger even more muscle growth.
9. Try New Equipment. You should base your bodybuilding program around
compound free weight exercises as mentioned in Tip number 3, but don’t be
afraid to experiment with some of the machines that are available in your
gym. Some machines can stress your muscles in new and different ways which
can stimulate new muscle growth.
10. Make Periodic Changes. Every month or two alter the order in which you do
your exercises, or alter the exercises you do for a particular body part, or alter
the number of sets and reps. Your muscles will become accustomed to the
same workouts if they are repeated over and over again. Periodic changes will
keep your muscles from adapting and therefore continue to stimulate new
11. Know Your Limits. Understand what your realistic potential is in the sport
of bodybuilding. If you are unlikely to compete at a champion level, be realistic
about how much money you spend on supplements, how much time you spend
in the gym, and how much effort you put into your training. There is no sense
in going broke, alienating your family, and risking injury if there is no real possibility of ever making it to the pro level.
12. Supplement Your Diet. As a bodybuilder, you need much more protein and
other nutrients than your average person. Be sure to supplement your diet
with protein powder, creatine, multivitamins, glutamine, etc, in order to meet
the additional demands on your muscles.
13. Prevent Injuries. One of the biggest potential roadblocks to your muscle
building success is a training injury. A serious muscle tear or tending injury will
not only halt your progress in the short term, but in some cases can limit your
long term success as a bodybuilder. Always warm up and stretch before
getting to your heavy sets. Start with a relatively light weight and pyramid up
from there to your heaviest set. Be sure to use a spotter or power rack on
your heaviest sets.
14. Limit Your Volume. Don’t do more than about 15 working sets for your
larger body parts (quadriceps, back, chest) and no more than 12 working sets
for smaller muscle groups (biceps, triceps, forearms, hamstrings, cabs and
abdominals). Follow a good muscle building program for detailed workouts.
15. Prioritize your Weakest Muscle Groups. Whenever possible, train your
weakest body parts first, when you have more energy and strength. If
certain muscle groups continually lag behind, increase the volume on those
body parts, and possibly decreased the volume in your strongest body parts
until your body reaches a better balance.
16. Train Your Entire Body. Do not neglect any body part. Be sure to train your
forearms, legs, and lower back just as vigorously as you’re training chest and
17. Learn to Control Your Muscles. Practice flexing each muscle in your body.
This will help to develop the mind-muscle connection that will enable you to
apply more force in each repetition of your exercises.
18. Trust Your Instincts. After you have been training for about a year, you
should have a good idea of which exercises and techniques work best for you.
You should also have some idea about which time of day you feel the
strongest. The more closely you monitor your body and the way you feel after
a workout, the better you will be able to increase your intensity, and therefore
increase your muscle mass.
19. Set Achievable Goals. You should always have a goal you are working
towards. You should have some short-term goals such as adding 10 pounds
to your bench press, adding a half-inch to your biceps, or losing and inch
around your waist. Short-term goals should be achievable in a time frame of
several weeks to a couple of months. In addition, you should have a few long-
term goals such as gaining 10 pounds of muscle in one year, increasing your
bench press to 300 pounds, or competing in your first bodybuilding contest.
Goals are essential to keep you motivated and to give you a sense of
accomplishment as you reach each one.
20. Keep A Positive Attitude. It has been said that your attitude determines
your altitude. This is especially true when it comes to changing your body from
an average one to a powerful and muscular one.
Muscular gains do not come easy, but if you keep a positive mental outlook,
continually look forward to your next work out and apply these 20 tips, you will
see great improvements to your physique in a short period of time.