How to Make Muscle Growth easierOct 18, 2023
In my previous post, I talked about how it's never been easier to get and stay in shape. Today, we'll be talking about how to make muscle growth easier, regardless of whether you're struggling to build any, just want more results, or are somewhere in between.
Five tips to make muscle growth easier
Today, I'll be sharing these tips with you:
- More intensity
- Proper Frequency & Reps
- Effective exercise selection & order
- Proper rest
- The importance of form
With that out of the way, let's dive right into it so you can get more results in the gym.
More intensity makes muscle growth easier
Remember in school how they tried to make you memorize things by making you repeat them over and over? Remember how it never really worked? Contrast that with touching a hot stove. How many times did you have to touch that to know not to touch it? The same concept applies to exercise.
To kick things off, let's go with the most important factor by far: Intensity. The fact of the matter, no matter how you spin it, is that the majority of people do not exercise hard enough.
Obviously, avoid pushing yourself to the point of injury. Being injured means no exercise, which means possible muscle loss. However, not going hard enough is just as bad since that too can lead to no results even with effort.
Intensity is the most important factor to make muscle growth easier because proper intensity gives your muscles a reason to grow. When you give a proper stimulus to the body, it reaches the conclusion that building more muscle will be the best thing for you.
Generally, the best way to add more intensity is to push to failure. An easy guideline to follow is when you have around 1 rep left before you're done, you've done enough. You can go further than this, but only if you have the confidence that you can stay safe when you go that deep.
The rest of the tips in this post are meant to be synergized with this one since each one you apply alongside proper intensity will accelerate your results even more.
Proper Frequency and reps to ensure intensity
As the old saying goes, practice makes permanent. The more you do something, the more results you get from the habits formed. This is why practice is so essential to things like playing an instrument or learning a language. The same can be said for making your muscles grow. You need to build the habit of growing muscle.
Full disclaimer, there is no right or wrong amount of workout days or number of reps. Whatever amount you decide upon is what works best for you and your goals.
The more you go through the motions of a certain exercise, the more you get used to doing it right. The more you do an exercise right, the better the results you'll get. The better the results, the more motivation you get, and that motivation will make you do it right again and again.
The other part of frequency and reps is getting in proper intensity.
By exercising enough, you are ensuring that your muscles are getting enough stimulus in order to be convinced to grow. Some people need to go multiple days a week or they see no results, some people go every day, and some people go every 5 days. It's very likely you'll need to do some experimentation to figure out what makes muscle growth easier for you.
By striking a balance between your exercise intensity, the frequency of your workouts, and the number of reps per exercise, you form the basis of your routine. From this base, you build upon it with the rest of these tips.
Make sure you have proper exercise selection & order
I bet you've gone to a restaurant before with somebody who took forever to order their food. Just like that person, if you don't know how to choose your exercises and in what order to do them, it will take longer before you will be satisfied. For this reason, it is vital that you know how to choose your exercises and order them.
Let's start with selection. Some exercises are just more effective for stimulating certain muscles than others. A push-up can give you some shoulder stimulation, for example, but it's nothing compared to a shoulder press or lateral raise.
For each muscle you want to make grow, you need to choose an exercise that effectively targets it and the parts of that muscle you want to grow.
As for order, there are two parts to it.
The first part is the order you do your exercises on a certain day. The importance of this is that the muscles you work out first are the ones that generally get the best stimulus.
If your aim is to grow your biceps more than your shoulders, it wouldn't make sense to do your shoulder exercises before your biceps.
The second part is the order in which days you do what muscle group. There are multiple strategies for this, but the key is to find one that works well for you.
One strategy is to group by motion, like putting all your pulling exercises into one day, which generally targets the biceps, back, and rear delts. Another strategy is to group by antagonistic muscle groups, such as the biceps and triceps.
Whatever strategy you come up with, make sure it's one that works for your routine.
Proper rest is necessary to make muscle growth happen
How many moments of genius have you had in the shower? Or maybe moments where you finally found the answer after stepping away from the problem? This concept not only applies to building muscle, but it's when muscle building happens. If you don't give yourself enough time to step away from your exercise, you won't build muscle.
As mentioned before, exercise is simply the stimulus. To ensure that you see results, you need to let the body do its work, and the body does its work when you rest.
If you look up any popular fitness routine these days, you'll notice some kind of rest for the muscle groups that were worked on a certain day. For example, a push pull legs split spaces out your push days 4 days from each other.
Or, if we took the bro split as our example, even though you exercise every day, you only work a certain muscle group once a week. This gives each muscle group an effective rest time of one week.
Despite rest being so important for building muscle, it isn't something to really worry about if you're a beginner. If you are a beginner, the most important thing is to build the habit before you focus on building muscle.
Once you've gotten the habit rolling and a routine down, you can modify if you need to in order to accommodate for rest.
The importance of form
There's a reason why the basics are emphasized so much in so many professions. That's because the basics are truly the most important for performing well. In exercise, form is the most important of the basics, as it can determine whether you injure yourself or get in an amazing workout session.
When it comes to exercise, it is much more important to use proper form than it is to lift as heavy as possible. Lifting too much is called ego lifting, and only dweebs do that.
Form is made up of multiple elements. Each one is as important as the last.
First off, form lets you know whether or not you're doing the exercise properly.
When you use proper form, you will feel it in the right muscles. Do it wrong, and you'll feel it in muscles you shouldn't feel it in.
Doing a bicep curl shouldn't activate your shoulder, it should activate your bicep. If you can feel muscle activation in muscles other than the ones the exercise is meant for, check your form.
Second, form ensures that you are getting the most bang for each muscle's buck.
Going back to the bicep curl example, a proper bicep curl isolates the tension to just the bicep so that the bicep is effectively stimulated. If the shoulder were to activate during your bicep curl, it would take over the movement and divert the tension.
This leads to a result where the bicep isn't stimulated as much, which will make the muscle grow less. If you aren't getting the growth you want, your form is most likely off.
Finally, proper form prevents you from ego-lifting.
When you use proper form, you are using only the muscles being stimulated. This means that the strength lifting that weight is limited to just that muscle group.
If you lift too heavy when isolating your muscles, it's very possible to injure yourself. I don't know if you've ever seen footage of a bodybuilder tearing their muscles while working out, but it's pretty gruesome.
By using proper form, you only end up lifting what you can handle, which leads to a lot faster growth.
Muscle Growth Made Easy
It's never been easier to get results in the gym. From easier access to quality food, to access to key knowledge, building muscle has never been easier. So take these tips, go out there, and build that body!