Every guy who walks into the gym has an aspiration to get bigger. That presents the gym-going guy with an age-old problem: How do you do it?
To help simplify the process, we’ve compiled a list of the 25 best ways to get big—and we’ve kept each method short and sweet, so you can get on to your workouts.
1. Eat more
“Extra calories combined with training leads to growth,” says Sean Hyson, C.S.C.S. It’s really that cut and dry. More muscle comes from more food. The right kind of food, that is—like the 9 best foods for effective clean-bulking.
2. Use dumbbells
Andrew Sakhrani, C.S.C.S., a Montreal-based strength coach, encourages occasionally swapping out barbell work with dumbbells. Why? “Dumbbell presses open up the chest and recruit more muscle fibers.” This works for other exercises, too.
3. Move with multijoint exercises
The foundation of a big, muscular body comes from big, compound lifts, defined as motions that incorporate at least two joints. One example: the chinup/pullup. “The chinup is the original biceps curl,” Sakhrani says. This principle holds true for all muscle groups, he adds.
4. Change things up
Although we follow workout “routines,” there’s always a need for variety. A workout shouldn’t just be a weightlifting challenge—there should also be a level of complexity and variation to each move. Alternatively, try to work in a little bit of high-intensity interval training or cardio moves into each workout to make sure your body is constantly adjusting.
5. Don’t limit yourself
If you’re stuck at a weight and unsure if you can make that jump up to 225 from 215 on the bench press, don’t just walk away from it. Grab a spotter who knows what they’re doing, and give it a shot. Worst-case scenario? You fail, then you can try again next week. Best case? Boom—you’ve got a new PR.
6. Be intense
Joking around, texting, and being social are great—just not in the gym. Focus on your workout, that’s what you’re at the gym for. If you have to respond, keep it short and do it during your rest interval.
7. Always warm up properly
Every time you lift, you’re waging a war on the weights. However, you won’t see any benefit without preparing properly for that war. Take care of your joints, ligaments, tendons, and muscles. Warm up!
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