1. Perform the right exercises
Whilst most exercises, if performed for long enough will help you build muscle, some exercises are more effective than others if you are looking to bulk up. Big, compound exercises such as bench press, squats, deadlift and wide arm pull ups target a variety of different muscle groups. These exercises also tend to target the bigger muscle groups in the body- the deadlift for example works your lower back, hamstrings and glutes. By working these muscle groups hard, not only will you see the greatest gains to your all round strength, you will also get the greatest hormonal response.
2. Lift Heavy Weights at the right number of repetitions
Heavy weights and low number of reps are they key to putting on muscle mass. Sets of between 5 and 8 reps are very much the standard if you want to build muscle tissue. This is because lifting a heavy weight fewer times causes comparatively more micro-tears in your muscle fibres than lifting a light weight frequently. It is these micro tears that ultimately cause your body to overcompensate when it repairs your muscle tissue, leading to gains in size and strength.
There are reasons that regular gym goers drink protein shakes. Protein is the building block for new muscle tissue- it doesn’t really matter which form you take it in (shakes or in your meals), the important thing is to have a lot of it in your diet. Timing is also important- try and get a high protein meal or shake in within 20 minutes of your workout.
Protein is not the only relevant aspect of your diet- carbohydrates are also important- they give you the energy to perform well in the gym, and are also a vital part in providing the energy for your body to build new muscle tissue.
Rest is often overlooked- lifting heavy weights puts your central nervous system under a lot of strain, and regular sleep cycles will help you recover for your next session. Muscles grow when your body tries to repair micro tears in your muscles- hitting the gym is essential, but the recovery process is equally vital. Furthermore, failure to rest enough will leave you lethargic and lacking motivation for your gym sessions. Gym hard, eat properly, but also give your body time to recover- this process is key if you want to build muscle in the long run.