Muscle Growth: How to Train For Best Results


Making sure your workout program is tailored towards muscle growth is essential for you to truly see results. It is not as easy as simply going into the gym and doing whatever workouts you want–in fact it goes past the gym. What makes you gain muscle mass? Intensive strength training, proper dieting, and sufficient rest. These are the three main areas you will have to pay attention to. Muscle building, however, is a never-ending subject, so let’s look at a few of the basic points of each so you have a better understanding on how to train for maximum muscle growth.

How to Train for Maximum Muscle Growth

The Best Workouts for Muscle Growth

How to train for muscle growth

Most weightlifters looking to increase their muscle mass will follow a regimen that incorporates two workouts per week for each major muscle group. Many bulking programs include two days with squats, even if they are different variations. Exercises such as the bench press, shoulder press, and deadlift are all commonly found in strength building workout programs. You can choose a routine that targets specific muscle groups each day, break down the whole body into three days of training, train upper and then lower the next day, etc. Clearly, there are many options, and in regards to the best exercises, you should stick to compound movements as much as possible.

You will be doing low rep, heavy weight for compound movements (i.e. deadlift, squat, etc.) as you will be putting the most energy into these exercises. You can finish off the WOD with some accessory workouts, which are typically isolated movements. These can be lighter in weight and higher in reps. You can also do these to failure if you wish, as you will be able to tap into as many muscle fibers as possible that have not already been hit with the compound movements.

Another popular option for a muscle growth program is the 5×5 workout. This incorporates five sets of five reps on your major lifts – deadlifts, squats, bench press, etc. You will be incorporating warm-up sets and then heavy working sets. The idea with the 5×5 workout is that you move the bar up a bit every week and create a solid base each week at the new weight. It is also in the lower rep range with heavy weight, so you are sure to stimulate maximal muscle growth.

How to Diet For Muscle Growth

muscle growth dietDieting is where many fall short and it is a major reason for many bulking diets’ failure. You need to make sure that your diet is as clean as possible, even if you are a hard gainer looking to get bigger. If that is the case, simply eat in larger proportions with an already healthy diet plan. You can incorporate mass gainers (or make your own) to make it easier to create an excess of caloric intake each day. Having plenty of high protein, calorie-dense and non-filling foods around is particularly good (i.e. peanut butter, oats, cottage cheese, olive oil).

You will have to create the base of your diet first. It is suggested that you create a maintenance diet and then add to it as needed. You will want to take in at least one gram per pound of body-weight. However, it is recommended that you have a gram per pound of body-weight based on your target weight. Some will eat as much as two grams per pound, but this is hardly necessary. Your macronutrient breakdown for other nutrients, such as carbs and fats, is very important, too. You can do some more research on macronutrients and how to incorporate them into a clean bulking diet.

The most important thing is to make sure that your diet is clean. This means avoiding foods that you would not eat if you were cutting. The few exceptions are healthy carb-rich and calorie-dense foods. Some examples of great foods to have in a bulking diet include chicken breasts, canned tuna, ham, turkey, salmon, tilapia, lean beef such as Chicago USDA Prime Beef, and whole-grain pasta. Basically, you need to make sure that you have what would be a healthy cutting or maintenance diet and throw in some healthy bulk-friendly foods to make sure your calorie count is always sufficient for growth. Keep in mind, we don’t particularly recommend eating meat and fish at

Proper Rest for Muscle Growth

Rest is very important in two different perspectives.

First, there is the rest that you need while you are doing your workout. This is the time you spend stationary in between sets. The amount of time that you should rest for depends on the particular exercise. As a general rule of thumb, rest for about one minute between sets of isolated exercises and two minutes between sets of compound exercises. You can rest longer when switching between muscle groups in the same workout and when in between very heavy compound lift sets. When doing ab exercises, you should keep rest to only 30 seconds unless using heavy resistance, and no more than a minute of rest in either case.sleep for muscle growth

Second, you have your resting period when you are outside of the gym. This is when your body gets to recover from the workout and actually grow. This makes it important to have sufficient time in between workout days of the same muscles, and also between days with heavy workouts. For example, you may not want to do deadlifts the day after doing squats. Workouts of the same muscle group are often spaced out at least 48 hours apart, but should be kept within 72 hours. Training the muscle only once per week will not provide optimal growth.

There is also the rest that you have while you are at home. This is when your body is in the best mode to recover and grow, especially when you are sleeping. As a result, you will want to make sure that you are getting sufficient sleep every night. Try for eight hours if possible so your muscles have the opportunity to grow as best as they can. As a side note, also make sure to eat or have a Vi Shape – protein shakes for healthy weight loss after a workout as your body goes into recovery very quickly and you do not want to tear away at muscle that could have been maintained or grown more.

Training to get bigger is not easy and the results cannot occur overnight. You must create a workout plan that will provide you with muscle growth results. You should also make sure that your diet is perfect and you are getting sufficient results. Ultimately, this article covered some of the basics for you to know about three of the important variables for muscle growth.  However, you may want to take the time to research further on each so you are in the best position possible for muscle growth.

    • Joe
    • November 23, 2012

    First Time on Site. Along with trying to lose weight I am desperately trying to gain some muscle as well. I like the idea of the 5X5 workout. Short and intense.

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