Building muscle can seem like a daunting task for a lot of athletes. For those who have a naturally skinny frame, putting on weight can be just as hard as losing weight is for others.
To build muscle, focus on large muscle groups like the chest (pecs), glutes, quads and lats. If you think you need to focus on Curls and Calf Extensions, you are wasting your time. These single-joint exercises only engage one muscle group, limiting your potential for strength and size gains.
Your best option is to perform compound exercises like the Squat, Deadlift, Bench Press and Row. These engage several large muscle groups, promoting increases in strength and size. Perform Curls, Calf Raises and other single-joint exercises at the end of your workout as accessories to your compound lifts.
Learn more about the athletic benefits of compound exercises.
Weight Training Progression
For novice lifters, one of the most important and challenging aspects of training is progression. If you don’t make progress and continually challenge your muscles, you will fail to meet your strength and size goals.
A simple way to make sure you progress through your workouts is to use the “five to ten system.” For compound exercises, pick a weight that you can lift for five reps and perform four sets. On the last set, perform as many reps as possible. When you are able to perform 10 reps on your last set, it’s time to raise the weight. Follow this plan for 12 weeks along with a nutrition plan designed to build muscle, and you will gain 10 pounds of lean muscle mass.
Start building muscle with the STACK Guide to Getting Stronger.