Building Muscle Mass

Do you want to build Muscle Mass?

Do you know how to realistically achieve it?


What training principle to follow?

I can give you some encouragement and tell you that it isn’t complicated and the only prerequisite necessary is having reasonable expectations and determination. When I say to you that your expectations should be reasonable I mean this from the context that not everyone will be gifted with the body type that will build and sustain large muscle mass. You have to face facts and accept the body type that you have and work around its limitations.


No matter who you ask there is always going to be two sides to every story and it’s not different when it comes to theories on hypertrophy and what’s best. But no doubt the main consensus would be that your training would fit into two fundamental categories, High Intensity, Low Volume and Moderate Intensity, High Volume methods.

Did you know that the human body has a magnificent capacity to cope with physical stress? Through training no matter which approach you take, when you attempt to increase Muscle Mass, you voluntarily stress your body with the hope that this self-induced strain will trigger such a response.

Because of the body’s ability to adapt and cope with this added stress being presented unless the stress is constantly in progressive overload (greater intensity or volume) the adaptation process will begin to slow or even stop. In other words when you choose to overload your muscles through resistance training, you have to periodically change your intensity or volume to continually stimulate the body for muscle growth.

However successful this approach will not last in the long term, as you will eventually reach your limits to how much overload you can take before over training and injury risks take over. There is a way to effectively offset this exercise staleness and that is with the use of what’s called Periodisation.

Periodisation is the answer to gaining and maintaining quality hypertrophy training. Periodisation is the intelligent manipulation of a variety of training methods over time. Intelligent in this context means to take advantage of various Workout methods and manipulating them into distinct phases of training.

As previously stated to achieve quality Muscle Mass your training must include some degree of both Intensity and Volume. Too little or too much of either will result in compromised results. When both elements are applied in a manner that takes advantage of their qualities your results will be optimised.

As an example, your first phase would last 6 - 8 weeks and have an emphasis on Volume. Your training would typically be 3 – 4 exercises per body part, 3 – 5 sets per exercise and 10 – 12 reps per set. It would be expected that this training phase would stimulate lean muscle growth.

Your second phase would last 2 – 3 weeks with an emphasis on Intensity. This training would utilize 1 – 3 exercises per body part, 1 – 3 sets per exercise and 4 – 8 reps per set. The expected outcome of this phase would be increased strength with limited to no muscular growth.

This second phase may not contribute directly to increased lean muscle growth but what it will achieve is refreshed approach and increased strength to apply to another volume oriented training phase.

Compound Exercises should be chosen for your major muscle groups’ as this will also stimulate assisting and stabilizing muscles, this muscle recruitment will call on an increased amount of your muscles and be more beneficial.

Along this cycle of Intensity and Volume you should introduce differing training techniques to add to the stimuli and to keep your enthusiasm high. From a psychological point of view performing a repetitive training route in itself will diminish intensity and impair your results.

This phase of training would be only recommended for the experienced and advanced participant. A beginner to intermediate should concentrate on the fundamental basics and build experience and knowledge.

One final word of warning that cannot be denied. This training will produce an increase in muscular growth (hypertrophy) but this is wholly dependent on individual factors. These include your basic body type, your intensity, the use of correct lifting techniques and duration to name a few.

To be successful at building quality muscle mass, accept your body type and concentrate on what muscular improvements it will allow. Have a program in place and follow it, because quality results take time (believe me when I tell you there is no such thing as seven minute Ab’s) and keep in mind that your training has to be enjoyable, challenging and sustainable for the long term.

Because the minute you stop training your body, it is going to gradually revert to its predetermined genetic blueprint and that’s a fact.

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