You can make large gains in muscle mass quickly by eating whole foods and using the compound lifts. The compound lifts are those that use multiple muscle groups such as the squat, deadlift, chin up, row, bench press and military press. By training hard and eating smart, you can achieve noticeable gains in a little bit of time. You need to plan your training so that you are fully recovered for the next workout, create your meals to help you recover and grow and use your rest periods to ensure optimal performance. Consult your physician before beginning any diet or exercise program.
Train the Right Way
Squat heavy with good technique. Firmly hold a barbell on your upper back and shoulders, not your neck. Descend by bending at the hips, knees and ankles without rounding your back, then stand back up. Always use a safety rack or spotters.
Dead lift heavy with good technique. Do this by walking up to the bar, placing your shins against it, reaching down and firmly gripping the the bar, then standing up without rounding your back or bending your elbows. Set the bar down along the same path.
Bench heavy using a full range of motion. Do not bounce the bar off of your chest, but come down all the way by flexing the shoulders and elbows. Push the bar to full extension after it touches your chest.
Military press heavy with good technique. Start with the bar firmly on the front of your shoulders and your hands slightly wider than your shoulders. Keeping your wrists straight, push the bar over your head, moving your head out of the way if necessary. Lower along the same path.
Row heavy. Do this by bending forward and gripping a bar with your hands wider than your chest, then pulling the bar into your chest. Do not round your back or bounce the bar off of the floor.
Execute a full range of motion with chin-ups by gripping a bar with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width. Pull yourself up until you have your chin completely over the bar, then lower yourself along the same path. Do not rebound out of the bottom of the repetition, as this puts you at risk of injury.
Eat the Right Diet
Eat plenty of protein from whole foods. These foods include beef, chicken, eggs, fish, milk and pork. Consume protein with every meal and snacks containing protein in between meals. Drinking extra milk in between meals is a simple way to get more protein.
Eat plenty of carbohydrates. Get your sources from fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Consume carbohydrates with protein immediately following your workout to restore depleted sugar levels.
Eat enough dietary fat to keep your testosterone levels high. Get omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids from fish, flax, nuts and seeds. If you are trying to bulk, do not worry about trimming every last bit of fat from your proteins -- enjoy the flavor.
Drink plenty of water. Aim for at least 64 ounces a day, more if possible. Your muscles are approximately 70 to 75 percent water, and if you are training hard, you are sweating out a lot of it. Replace what you have lost.
Make shakes in between meals such as milk and fruit for extra calories. If you are seriously trying to bulk, a shake made from milk, ice cream, chocolate and peanut butter is a solid way to get in protein, fat, carbohydrates and extra calories.
Things You'll Need
Plates for barbell
Squat rack or safety cage
If you have an injury that limits you from performing an exercise with good technique, substitute another and avoid the risk of injury. Ensure that you do as many sets of chins and rows as you do bench presses and military presses to achieve balanced development.
Do not over-train if you are trying to bulk. Keep your sessions short. Spending too long in the gym will cause you to burn calories, and your goal is to grow, not get smaller.
- "European Journal of Applied Physiology"; Acute Hormonal and Neuromuscular Responses to Hypertrophy, Strength and Power Type Resistance Exercise; GO McCaulley, et al; March 2009
- "Fiziol Cheloveka"; Acute Testosterone and Cortisol Responses to High Power Resistance Exercise; AC Fry and CA Lohnes; Jul-Aug 2010
- "The Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology"; Decrease of Serum Total and Free Testosterone During a Low-Fat High-Fiber Diet; EK Hämäläinen, et al; March 1983
- "The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition"; Dietary omega-3 fatty acid supplementation increases the rate of muscle protein synthesis in older adults: a randomized controlled trial; GI Smith, et al; Dec. 2010