In this article I will explain to you how to build muscle.
I have always been interested in health and fitness, as a young boy I use to play soccer, do kung fu and tai kwondo, do push ups and sit ups and all sorts of body weight exercises at home or in the park with my friend.
My earliest memory of using weights was when I was about 10 years old, we had some dumbbells, barbells and bench press bench.
Even though I had these weights available to use in my garage, I understood back then that lifting weights as a young teen might stunt my growth so I took it easy and did mostly body weight exercises until I was 18.
From the age of 18 to 24, I used these weights in my garage. Because I only had a barbell, bench press bench, dumbbells and a multi gym, most of my training over these years was the big compound movements.
My typical workout would look something like this
Push ups (normal or feet elevated) 3 sets to failure
Bench press 3 sets x 8-12 reps
Machine flies 3 sets x 8-12 reps
Military press 3 sets x 8-12 reps
Lat pull down 3 sets x 8-12 reps
Bent over row 3 sets x 8-12 reps
Squat 3 sets 15 reps
Leg extensions 3 sets x 8-12 reps
Seated hamstring curls 3 sets x 8-12 reps
Bicep curls or hammer curls 3 sets x 8-12 reps
Triceps pull downs 3 sets x 8-12 reps
Sits ups 3 sets x failure
So this was my most typical workout, but from 18 to 24 was a period of learning, I was reading up on how to build muscle and watching YouTube videos and all that.
I was always trying new things, different workouts, doing low reps with heavy weight, high reps with lower weight, training 2-3 days a week, training 5-6 days a week, different diets, everything, it was a period of learning for me.
At the age of 24 I joined a gym, because I was no stranger to working out, I felt comfortable quiet quickly.
The first day I went in I worked out my shoulders, instead of doing my usual routine of just military press and maybe some dumbbell side raises, I did about 5 different workouts, 3 sets each for about 8-12 reps, the next day I was very sore haha.
I went to the gym 5 days a week and worked out each muscle group a day. For each muscle I was doing about 4-5 different exercises for the usual 8-12 reps to failure.
I kept up this routine of going to the gym 5 days a week for several months and besides a slight increase in tonality guess how much weight I gained? NOTHING.
Over time I tried a few things out again like different workouts, different rep ranges, one muscle group a day training, split training, high volume, low volume, I’ve tried it all.
Now the main reason it took me so long to join a gym is after trying out all those different workouts by myself I knew my body, I knew that simply joining a gym wasn’t going to be a revolution, and guess what, I was right.
Now don’t get me wrong, I have built muscle over the years, I’m currently 183cm (6ft) tall and weight 71kg (157 Ibs) which doesn’t seem like much but I use to be 60kg (132 Ibs) as a late teen.
My body type is a definitely an ectomorph, I cannot put on fat, I have never been able to put on fat no matter how much I eat and have had a six pack my whole life.
Some of you might be jealous that I have always had a six pack but think of it from my situation, it is really hard for guys like me to put on any muscle mass.
So after years of training and different diets I have managed to build some muscle and look toned and shredded.
I still go to the gym but now days I will go about 2-3 days a week, I do about 3-4 different exercises for each muscle and do about 3 sets for 8-12 reps for each exercise.
This is what my current workout looks like, I often try out other exercises as well but this is a typical example.
Chest and triceps day
Machine bench press 3 sets 8-12 reps
Inclined dumbbell press 3 sets 8-12 reps
Dips 2 sets to failure
Machine flies 3 sets 8-12 reps
Triceps rope pull downs 3 sets 8-12 reps
Back and bicep day
Machine row 3 sets 8-12 reps
Cable row (not rowing machine) 3 sets 8-12 reps
Lat pull down 3 sets 8-12 reps
Cable row for lats 3 sets 8-12 reps
Biceps can be rope curls (using the same thing for triceps just pulling from the bottom of rack instead of top)
Or preacher curls or dumbbell curls it doesn’t matter but I normally do 1 exercise 3 sets 8-12 reps
Squats 3 sets 8-12 reps (squats are overrated often I don’t do them)
Leg press 3 sets 8-12 reps
Leg extensions 3 sets 8-12 reps
Seated hamstring curls 3 sets 8-12 reps
Machine shoulder press 3 sets 8-12 reps
Reverse machine flies 3 sets 8-12 reps
Cable side raises or dumbbell side raises 3 sets 8-12 reps
That’s it, that’s my current workout, over the years I’ve tried it all with no dramatic changes to my body, I find that my current workout is perfect for me, now I will explain how to build muscle.
Why should you go to the gym and lift weights and build muscle?
Well I will tell you why I do it, I do it for health, strength, tonality, bone density and looks, make no doubts about it, girls definitely like guys who have some lean muscle, you don’t need to be a juiced up body builder, but the ideal look is athletic with lean muscle on your frame. Think channing tatum, ryan gosling, brad pitt, ryan renolds, if you are working out just to look good and be more attractive to woman, this is the type of body you should aim for.
But regardless of looking good, lifting weights is good for the above health reasons, I think every guy should lift weights on a weekly basis and I intend to for the rest of my life.
So what is the secret to building muscle?
LIFT WEIGHTS AND EAT FOOD
The amount of muscle you have is 80-90% diet because its 80-90% genetics
There are 3 types of body types
Ectomorph – (me) naturally skinny, hard to gain muscle and fat, lean, six pack, can eat anything they want and won’t put on size.
Mesomorph – the middle type, these guys are the naturals, they will join a gym and build muscle quicker, they can put on some fat and also burn it off, naturally strong, medium build.
Endomorph – naturally fat, round, soft looking, I assume these types put on fat really easy, these types of people can build muscle just as fast as mesomorphs but because they have a lot of fat it’s hard to see but they usually have massive arms and legs etc. once they actually join a gym.
So that’s the 3 different body types, which one are you?
Now since you can’t control genetics, building muscle is 90% diet, I’m going to explain how muscle is manufactured.
When you lift weights, your muscle get microscopic tears in them, then your body uses the food you eat to repair these micro tears and if there is any calorie surplus, it will build even more muscle.
Then you go into the gym next week and you tear them and the same thing happens, your body fixes the tears and if you are in a calorie surplus it will build even more muscle.
This is why it’s always been hard for me to gain muscle quickly and other guys who are mesomorphs and endomorphs gain it easier.
You need to eat more food than your body uses for energy, the body uses this stored energy to build muscle, it happens very slowly (unless you take steroids which I don’t advise) but over the course of 1 year you can gain a lot of muscle.
How many calories should you eat each day? It doesn’t matter, the weight you are now is based on the amount of calories you eat and how much you burn, so just eat more and more.
What about protein? Protein is the biggest scam, yes you do need protein but not as much as everyone says, you don’t need 200grams a day and all that bullshit.
When you eat protein the body breaks it down into amino acids which are used to build muscle however the body makes most of these amino acids itself and the rest from what you eat.
Contrary to popular belief, you only really need to eat about 60grams or so of protein a day, do not buy protein supplements, they are a scam, I will write an article about supplements soon but for now don’t waste your money, all protein powders and weight gainers are really doing is giving you some extra expensive calories.
When some guy buys a protein powder and says he gained weight because of it, it’s because he has been consuming extra calories, you would probably gain the same amount of weight from eating a peanut butter sandwich with the same amount of calories.
so if you’re like me and find it hard to put on muscle, eat more food and lift weights consistently every week until you do build muscle, but make sure you eat mostly healthy food. (I will also write an eating guide) but for now, eat mostly,
Eat whole grain carbs
Fruits and vegetables
Plenty of water
You can eat some junk food when you feel like it to just don’t go overboard lol
If you are a mesomorph and can naturally put on some fat easily, I suggest just eating how you normally do without taking protein shakes and as long as you are consistent with weekly weight training you will gain muscle.
If you are an endomorph I suggest just simply consistently going to the gym, you are also already in a calorie surplus and will build muscle over time, if you find you are still carrying excess fat, just eat less, but give this some time because as you build muscle the bigger muscle require more calories normally so you will be burning more calories(fat).
What’s your genetic potential?
Your genetic potential is when no matter how much food you eat you can’t gain any more muscle, but don’t worry too much about this, you don’t want to gain that much anyway, remember what I said about health reasons and what woman like.
Aren’t testosterone levels important?
Yes they are, testosterone is the male hormone that is responsible for the muscle building process, but I won’t go too much into test levels because you should be fine just make sure that you,
Eat a balanced healthy diet
Get some sun and fresh air
Should I take steroids?
Steroids basically trigger the muscle building process artificially. Do not take steroids, they are illegal so possession can get you in trouble.
It shows that you are not in this for health reasons and just for looks reasons which means you are disrespecting yourself.
If you are under 25 you should definitely not use steroids.
You never know what is in them or what they can do to you.
If you follow my guide you don’t need them anyway, just eat more food.
I think that’s it guys, if I think of anything else I will add it to this article but for now I encourage you all to lift weights either at a gym or at home consistently every week and manage your calorie intake depending on how much size you want.
Just remember to enjoy yourself and don’t overdo it, learn to love working out, try out different things, different reps, different workouts, find out what works for you and what you like doing.
And if you have never lifted weights before start of slow, with body weight exercises for a few weeks before you start weights.
And remember, always use good form and don’t go to heavy.
Important info, squats and deadlifts are completely overrated, yes they build total body strength but everyone hypes them up more than they should.
If you do squats, don’t go heavy, I suggest 15-20 reps each set
Deadlifts and bent over rows, I suggest you don’t do these exercises at all or go light, yes I use to do bent over rows but the last time I did them I slightly pulled my sciatic nerve in my lower back and it took time to heal but im lucky, if you completely injure your back doing deadlifts, upright rows or any other type of exercise where you are bent putting pressure on you back, you might injure it for good.
So don’t even do those exercises, you can get the same benefit just doing the other exercises I do.
One of my favourite recourses on body building and a source I have learned a lot from as well as been entertained from is the Hodge Twins, these guys are awesome, watch there videos and you will learn a lot.
Feel free to ask me any questions and post any comments in the comment section bellow,
Good luck guys!