How To Gain Muscle Mass
There are different techniques and approaches to build muscle, but the primary thing they all have in common is time and absolute dedication.
If you’re not committed it doesn’t matter what you do, your hopes of building muscle mass will fail, or at least you will not reach your goal.
There are a lot of scammers out there that try and convince people there’s a way to get muscle fast. That’s a flat out lie, building muscle mass takes work, absolute dedication, and time. I wouldn’t be surprised to hear someone saying, “Sure, you can be taller if you take this pill.”
Aside from that, it has been proven, that the brain-body connection in bodybuilding can change the speed of muscle growth, as well as the efficiency and strength of the muscle built (Youtube: Mind Muscle Connection).
Also, a person’s age makes a difference in both the rapidity of muscle growth and the stalwartness. Yet, heavy bodybuilding is not recommended if the bodybuilder hasn’t reached full musculoskeletal growth. The perfect age to start building muscle mass is between 20-29.
Here’s My Story
From 167 Pounds of Nothingness to 217 Pounds of Solid Muscle
Bench Pressing Less Than 80 Pounds to 300 Pounds in 18 Months
I had been one of the stupid teenagers of the 70s, the era of “Sex, Drugs and Rock-n-Roll.” I drank, did drugs, didn’t believe in God, and slept with any girl that was available.
To make a long story short, my favorite sport was the infamous Cocaine of the 70s (much different than the cocaine of today). At the age of 21 I found myself in the beautiful horrid McNeil Island, nice view of Mount Rainier. I weighed 167 pounds and couldn’t even bench press half my weight.
At the age of 23 I started pumping iron. I had two different weight lifting partners (Gordon and Terry), huge weight lifting partners. I worked out for an hour twice a day, five days a week.
Gordon and Terry made me eat as much as I could, but made sure I had good eating habits (the best possible with prison food, yeah, right). When we worked out each set ended with forced-reps.
Shortly after my 25th birthday I was weighing in at 217 pounds and my max bench press was 300 pounds (that’s one time).
They didn’t have universal machines (they do now), it was all free-weights and they were not the best so sometimes we had to manipulate them to make them work the way we needed them to work, which may have been beneficial for us.
I no longer pump iron. To stay in shape, for a while, I took classes in martial arts and kickboxing. I also had the Total Gym XLS for a couple years. The Total Gym is good for toning and keeping your muscles active, but you can’t really build muscle mass with it.
If I ever decide to get back into building lean muscle (very unlikely) I would still use the free-weights because you get a lot more out of it. For one thing, when you use free-weights you have to balance the weights and doing that builds other muscles you don’t necessarily realize you have.
Today, at the age of 57 (at the time of this writing), I dig up rocks to stay in shape, big rocks like those near the wheelbarrow.
The fact that I was still young certainly helped my rapid muscle growth, but I believe there were two other main factors:
- Free weights and
Proper diet and the right vitamins/nutrients plays a big factor as well.
The world has changed drastically in many ways. I liked the 70s and I wish it was still like that, but then again, I don’t know what I would do without my laptop. The world may have changed, but the body has not.
As I had said before, you will hear a lot of different techniques on how to “build muscle quickly,” that doesn’t happen unless you’re Popeye. There are many people trying to sell you something whether you need it or not and whether it will work or not.
One of the big things that have been on the market for decades is supplements. Supplements can help a great deal.
I have read a lot on what people are saying in regards to how to build muscle, some of it goes all the way back to the deceased Jack LaLanne. I’m not going to disagree with any of it, but I’ll stay with how I learned how to build muscle, in the joint:
- Stretch before the workout and when you begin to ache shake it off, literally.
- Work on one muscle at a time and let it rest for at least 48 hours before you work it again, 72 hours is better.
- Isolate the muscle you are working on.
- If you want to tone, do 8-10 reps of 3 sets per exercise.
- If you want to build muscle mass, do 4-6 reps of 3 sets per exercise and raise the weight.
- Do forced reps.
- Calorie intake – Some say that how many calories you need a day depends on your age, gender, current weight and how active your lifestyle is and I agree with that.
They also suggest the following which I do not agree with: multiply your current weight in pounds to 20. If you weigh 130 pounds, that’s 130 x 20 = 2,600 calories daily. I’m 6’2” and weigh 190 pounds. If I ate 3,800 calories a day I’d be obese real quick.
Supplements have been around forever. They ARE NOT needed to build muscle, BUT they sure help. I never had them when I was in the joint, but now I use The Muscle Maker.
I take two in the morning, even if I don’t do any workout because of the amino acids in it and Phosphatidylserine (it covers and protects the cells in your brain and carries messages between them). L-Arginine builds protein and releases nitric oxide in the blood. Nitric oxide widens blood vessels in the blood stream, which can help aid certain circulatory conditions or extracurricular activities 🙂 .