1.Squat and Deadlift
Squatting and Deadlifting are known as two of the Big Three exercises that are responsible for power and mass muscle building. These two exercises alone, work out about 75% of your entire musculature, including your traps, shoulders, arms, back. Gluts, hams, calves and core muscles.
Not to mention the degree of intensity, squats and dead lifts force your body to release greater volumes of growth hormone, which results in bigger muscles all over your body. This spillover effect results in strength gains in all you other lifts which translates into a more muscular you! Squatting and dead lifting are especially critical for hard gainers because of the hormonal spikes affecting the entire body.
2.Stick to Compound Exercises
What is going to isolate more muscle fibers? A bench press or cable cross over? A military press or lateral raise? A chin up or bicep curl? A dip or tricep kickback? If you ever hope to get big muscles than compound lifts are not optional, they are mandatory. Stick to squats, leg presses, deadlifts, bench preses, barbell rows, pull ups, chin ups, over head presses, and dips.
If all you do is concentrate on building your puny muscles like arms and calves, then you will end up with exactly what you focus on – puny muscles!
3.Keep Your Rest Periods Honest
Generally, the closer you lift to your one rep max, the longer the rest period and the higher the number of reps, the shorter the rest period. This is a crucial variable, which is often overlooked, yet will determine whether you create the correct training response.
For example, if you are training for maximal strength which requires at least 3-5 minutes rest between sets and you are only taking 2 minutes, you are not giving your nervous system an honest workout. If you are training for muscle size which requires shorter 30-90 second style recoveries but are gazing at the cute girl on the elliptical letting your rest periods carry over these ranges, you are not giving your metabolic system an honest workout.
Lastly, how do you know if you are truly stronger if you do not monitor your rest period? For example, let’s say last week you bench pressed 135 pounds for four sets of ten. This week you bench pressed 145 pounds for four sets of ten. Assuming the rest period was identical for both workouts, this is a tremendous improvement and a measurable sign of improvement! However, what if you took an extra minute or two between each set on the recent workout? This means that you did not actually become stronger. You just had a longer rest period!