Want to know the best way to build muscle?
We have put together five key tips on how to build muscle, as well as what you have to watch out for when exercising to gain muscle mass.
1. How much weight and how many reps is best for building muscle?
Numerous studies have shown that a weight you can lift a maximum of 8-12 times produces the biggest gains in muscle size. Depending on the exercise and your fitness level, this is equivalent to 60-80% of your one-rep max (the maximum amount of weight you can lift in a single repetition).
Many people mistakenly think that the only way to trigger muscle growth is by lifting heavy weights in a gym.
Exercises with your own body weight are a great way for novice strength trainers to grow their muscles.
Only when you reach a very high level, or when you want to bodybuild, are extra weights necessary in order to maximize your muscle gains.
Muscle growth is mainly due to an increase in the size and not the number of muscle fibers.
2. How many sets per exercise are right for you? Single vs. multiple set training
The optimal number of sets is a hot topic in the strength training world.
There are big differences here depending on your fitness level.
In the first weeks, novices and beginners show the same gains with single set training as they do with multiple set training.
More advanced athletes achieve significantly better results with multiple set training because the training stimulus with single set training is too low to stress the muscles to adapt. Therefore, multiple set training is recommended in this case.
Beginners should stick to two or three sets, whereas more advanced strength trainers can do 3-5 or more sets.
3. How long should I rest between sets?
You should rest between 90 seconds and 3 minutes between individual sets.
Make sure you perform all the exercises at a steady pace and with proper form.
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4. How many times a week should you do strength training?
Generally speaking, you should give your muscles at least 48 hours of recovery between workouts.
For beginners, two strength sessions a week is enough. An all-around program that works all the major muscle groups is best.
More advanced strength trainers can work out three to four times a week.
Split training is a good way to make sure there is enough time for muscle recovery. If you do a two body-part split four days a week, each major muscle group will get worked twice a week. The most common types of split training are dividing your workout into upper and lower body or push and pull exercises.
5. How many weeks do you need to work out to see visible results?
When you start your strength training, you will increase in strength, but your muscles won’t really look any bigger.
The reason for this is that the strength gains you make at the beginning are due to improved intra- and intermuscular coordination (improved activation and interaction between your muscles). Your training block should last between eight and twelve weeks.
The main thing is that you constantly adjust the training stimulus on your muscles.
If you can do more than twelve reps of an exercise after a couple of weeks, you must increase the weight or choose a harder exercise for that muscle group.
This way you can be sure that the stimulus is strong enough to produce the desired physiological adaptation of your muscles.
The most important thing for effectively building muscle (as well as for every training goal in general) is that you continue to work out regularly.
If you stay consistent, all the hard work will pay off and you are guaranteed to see visible results.