The  bulking up process. It is not easy. It requires consistency over time to generate major gains. Here are five things you simply must do get muscles like a 100m sprinter.

1 – Major compound lifts are the way to go. Squats, deadlifts, pull ups and presses are the kind of lifts you need to use to activate large areas of muscle. Studies have shown that these lifts stimulate release of higher levels Human Growth Hormone, leading, in time, to bigger muscles.

2 – Eat well. To gain weight you must have a calorie excess (more going in than out). However, too great an excess and you are also likely to increase you body fat levels. An excess of approximately 500kcals per day, maintained for a period of 8 weeks should be enough to make significant gains, hopefully without adding too much fat. High protein content will also help repair muscles after training and stimulate growth.

3 – Avoid long slow cardio sessions. Not only do they lead to atrophy (the opposite of gaining muscle) but long slow sessions can also increase stress levels, which will promote fat storage and may interfere with muscular gains. If you want to do some cardio – short interval sessions to ramp up the intensity is the way to go.  Try this Full Body HIIT for an effective muscle building and fat burning session.

4 – Giant muscles – Giant Sets!  Quite simply a giant set is a lifting strategy that puts four exercises back to back, all targeting the same muscle group. And example would be:



Reverse Lunge with Trunk Rotation (alternate leg)

Body Jump Squat

5 – 8 reps per exercise. Move quickly between exercises. Perform the giant set as a circuit and complete four times. 2 minutes rest between circuits.Slow the tempo to generate growth. An advanced form of training, often used by body builders is to slow the tempo of each repetition. You may see Tempo written as 4-1-4-1 in a training session. This essentially means that you will lower a weight for 4 seconds, pause for 1 second, lift slowly for 4 seconds and then pause again for 1 second. A total time per repetition of 10s for each rep and 80s total for a set of 8 repetitions. A big increase in time under tension to stimulate the physical adaptation. If you are going to try this please make sure you have a spotter for safety who can remove the weight if you reach failure.  You will also need to reduce the weight on the bar from your normal training weight. If you would normally bench 80kgs for 8 reps, start with 60kgs and adjust as needed. It is tough, but it works.

For other information on adding muscle mass check out our article on German Volume Training or alternatively get stuck in to one of our muscle building training programmes.