8 TRAINING TIPS FOR MUSCLE GROWTH
Time to read 6 min
Time to read 6 min
If there’s one thing we want when we’re training hard at the gym, it’s to build muscle. Growing your muscles is great for a number of reasons. Firstly, you’re going to look great in photos. Secondly, you’re going to look great in photos. Wait, we already said that.
Beyond having a killer physique to boost your confidence, growing muscle is great because it will make you physically stronger, promotes greater mobility, strengthens your bones, boosts your mood and can even reduce the risk of injury. Basically, the better you look, the better you will feel. We don’t see an issue here.
Let’s not waste time. Here are our best tips for muscle growth. Try them out next time you train.
Multi-joint movements are very straightforward. They are literally just exercises that involve more than one of your joints. Sometimes referred to as compound exercises, multi-joint exercises include squats, bench presses, deadlifts, dips and overhead presses.
The best way to assess whether you’re performing a multi-joint exercise is to consider what parts of your body you use in a particular workout. Exercises that involve bending or moving multiple parts of your body, for instance, using your shoulders and elbows in the same routine, are examples of multi-joint exercises. The more joints you move during exercise, the more muscles you engage (Boly, J. 2021).
Time under tension training plays an enormous role in muscle growth, yet it tends to go under the radar when it comes to how to build muscle mass.
Gym-goers usually have camera-like levels of focus when it comes to following through with the specific amount of sets and reps that they have programmed into themselves. Still, nobody seems to pay attention to the time they actually dedicate to performing each repetition.
Time under tension refers to how long a muscle is under strain during a set, and for most trainers, that is anywhere between 15-25 seconds. By putting your muscles under longer pressure, you can cause extensive muscle breakdown, leading to bigger muscles. Increasing the duration to 30-40 seconds can optimise muscle growth by ensuring your muscle receives enough stimulus to increase growth (DuVall, J. 2022).
To learn more about time under tension, check out our blog on Time Under Tension for Hypertrophy.
This is one of the oldest, but best muscle training tips. Increase the weight.
Lifting heavier weights and increasing the amount of weight over time is a well-known method for building muscle mass and increasing growth. Lifting heavier activates Type 2 muscle beres, which plays an important role in developing strength and promoting hypertrophy.
While bodybuilders and powerlifters lift 90-95% of their one-rep max (1-5 reps), you should generally aim to improve the weight moderately and lift approximately 70-75% of your one-rep max while lowering your overall reps. Where a lighter, more controllable weight may allow you to perform 12-15 reps before fatiguing, training heavier should generally see you perform 8-12 reps (Genesis Health Clubs. 2022). With this said, we wouldn’t be the experts in the industry if we didn’t preface this by telling you to always lift according to your abilities so you don’t injure yourself.
Progressive overload is about gradually increasing the weight, frequency, or number of repetitions in your strength regime in order to strengthen your musculoskeletal system (Chertoff, J. 2020).
Progressive overload is a great way to prevent yourself from plateauing during training by changing things up and improving your workouts. This will help you keep your muscles challenged and stimulated, which is essential in facilitating muscle growth. If you keep performing the same sets, reps and routines at the same weight, you’re going to plateau. And this means, no progress essentially.
The best way to practice progressive overload is to increase the volume of sets or reps, the weight used or the distance when training cardio. Increasing resistance, endurance, tempo and reps can help you put more demand on your muscles, helping you build strength and increase muscle growth (Chertoff, J. 2020).
Just like we talked about above with progressive overload, if you don’t vary your exercise, then there’s a good chance your training will plateau. But why? Our bodies are adaptable and when we repeat the same movements over time, this decreases its effectiveness. By switching things up, you force your muscles to adapt and get stronger. And again, like multi-joint movements, switching up your routine challenges new muscle groups that may be missed otherwise.
As the saying goes, consistency is key. And it’s true.
The process of building muscle takes time and effort, and it requires a lot of dedication. You cannot expect to gain muscle mass overnight or within a few training sessions. Consistent training with proper form and intensity is necessary for muscle hypertrophy, and this process can take weeks and months of hard work and discipline.
That consistency doesn’t just apply to the exercises themselves, but it means building consistency with your routine. Just showing up to the gym with a regular rhythm shows consistency and will go a long way in helping you grow muscle.
If you’re looking for a hot tip for muscle growth, try full-body exercises.
By working out your whole body, you’re not prioritising one muscle group over another. You’re covering multiple bases at once, which can help you build a more well-rounded physique. While that weekly split where you train a different muscle each day is undoubtedly effective, incorporating total-body training into your regime can help you build muscle and enhance strength (Davies, D et al. 2023).
Some of the best full-body training exercises include:
Back to that point about plateauing… you should consider changing your training program every 3-6 weeks to ensure your muscles are continually adapting. This doesn’t mean drastic changes, either. Changing a few things and adding different exercises will ensure you are continuously challenged when you train.
Changing things like the type of equipment you use, the number of sets & reps you perform in each exercise, the tempo you follow, and the amount of time you rest can all ensure you continue to stimulate your muscles, which in turn promotes growth.
And don’t just think about your training program; consider your supplementation game too.
If you’re training to grow muscle and you’re not supplementing with creatine, you’ve missed a massive opportunity to fuel your muscle growth. Creatine is arguably the best supplement on the market for muscle building and is found naturally in your body within the muscles. Switch Nutrition’s Creatine is a 100% pure creatine monohydrate formula that can increase your muscle strength, power and growth while supporting your recovery.
Similarly, if you’re trying to build muscle, a reliable protein is your best friend. International Protein Extreme Mass is a powerhouse protein formula that delivers a high dose of five different types of protein and a blend of complex carbohydrates to support lean muscle growth. With a combination of fast and slow-release proteins to nourish your muscles, this blend can fuel you after intense training.
Your muscles won’t grow overnight, but if you commit to consistent training and make an effort to incorporate these muscle growth tips into your routine, you should be able to improve your results and get closer to achieving your physique goals.
If you need more advice on how to improve your muscle growth or need help finding the right supplements to help you build muscle and achieve your performance goals, you know where to find us. Reach out online or visit us in-store, and our friendly team can help you find what you need.
Until then, incorporate as many of these tips into your routine as you can, and your muscle growth should improve.
Boly, J. 2021, ‘Single Vs. Multi-Joint Exercises - What They Are And When To Use Each’, BarBend, accessed 17 May 2023, https://barbend.com/single-vs-multi-joint-exercises/
DuVall, J. 2022, ‘Get big with ‘time under tension’, Men’s Journal, accessed 17 May 2023, https://www.mensjournal.com/health-fitness/gain-big-with-time-under-tension-training
Genesis Health Clubs. 2022, ‘Building Muscle Mass: More Weight or More Reps’, Genesis Health Clubs, accessed 17 May 2023, https://www.genesishealthclubs.com/blog/fitness/building-muscle-mass-more-weight-or-more-reps.html#:~:text=Lifting%20heavier%20weight%20(approximately%2070,the%20size%20of%20muscle%20cells).
Chertoff, J. 2020, ‘What Is Progressive Overload Training?’ Healthline, accessed 17 May 2023, https://www.healthline.com/health/progressive-overload
Davies, D et al. 2023, ‘Become the Strongest, Leanest Version of Yourself with These 5 Full-Body Workouts’, Men’s Health, accessed 17 May 2023, https://www.menshealth.com/uk/building-muscle/a28433729/full-body-workouts/