Whether your New Year’s resolutions include making big gains in the gym this year, or you’re looking to push your bodybuilding goals harder than ever before, we know that it can be a big journey to your targets.
With so much information out there on the best way to pump iron and make serious gains, but so much of it contradicts itself. You know, one guy might be telling you to lift heavy to get swole, whilst a fitness influencer on Instagram might be pushing cardio to get gains.
With so many different opinions out there, how do you know what information will get you the results you want? Well, we’re here to cut through the noise and give you our top bodybuilding tips that will get you results and fast.
What could be getting in the way of your gains?
Before we jump into the top tips for getting results, let’s look at what could be getting in the way of your gains. There are three primary triggers for increasing your lean mass, aka muscles, and if you’re not hitting them, you won’t see any results.
Your muscles won’t grow unless they need to break through resistance. So, the harder you work and contract them, the higher the mechanical tension, and in turn, the bigger growth stimulus there’ll be. Therefore, the most effective way to see gains is to grab a weight and work those muscles.
Research has shown that mechanical tension disturbs the integrity of a muscle, acting as the catalyst for a whole range of changes that increase muscle size and strength and power. Generally, the heavier you lift, with good form, the more tension you’ll create and the higher gains you’ll see.
Just hearing the phrase ‘muscle damage’ makes us cringe, but it’s thanks to all the micro-traumas to your muscle and connective tissue that happens during resistance training, which begins the regenerative process, stimulating the production of new muscle cells.
Research has shown that eccentric movements (like lowering a bicep curl), which lengthens the muscle under tension, produce greater micro-trauma than concentric movements (the lifting part of a bicep curl).
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That deep burn you feel in your muscles on the final round of deep squats? That comes from metabolic stress. This is the build-up of waste products from anaerobic energy production.
Also Read: Do growth hormones really boost your gains?
Research has shown that it can be a powerful starter for muscle growth if you maximize metabolic stress.
Our top 8 bodybuilding tips for faster results
So, now you know what you should be doing to make real gains, here are our top tips on the best ways to maximize your muscle growth. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned bodybuilder, these tips will help you boost your results quicker!
Challenge your muscles
It sounds obvious, but even the best of us can fall into a rut with our workouts and keep using the exact weights, with the same reps and the same routines. This is going to make your growth stagnant.
Instead, opt for progressive overloading: this is where you increase the challenge to your muscles regularly. Lifting more weight is one approach to overloading, but there are other approaches too.
How to progressively overload:
- Do more reps
- Lift faster (or slower)
- Reduce your rest period in-between sets
- Change up your grip (for example, switch from underhand to overhand)
- Choose a more challenging variation of an exercise (for example, choose a decline push up instead of the classic form)
Whatever you opt for, basically, you need to push yourself just a tiny bit more than you did on your last workout. It might not feel like much in each workout, but these increases add up over time.
Do more than one set
Doing a single set where you go all out has become a popular (and timesaving) strategy in the bodybuilding world. And it can be effective for building muscle.
However, recent research comparing lifters that performed one set per exercise vs those who did three-five sets saw that more sets equal bigger gains.
Lift beyond the ‘hypertrophy rep range’
Traditionally research has shown that bodybuilders should use their routines to boost the ‘hypertrophy rep range’, which is 8-12 reps per set. However, research has revealed little difference in muscle growth between those who work in the hypertrophy range and those who work in the endurance range, lifting lighter weight for 20-25 reps.
As long as the lifters trained to the point of volitional failure (the point where you can’t perform another rep with good form), the lifters saw gains in size and strength.
Overall, to optimize your workouts and keep making gains, we’ve found that you should include a variety of adaptations in your strength training, including a variety of rep ranges in your training.
Include split and full-body workouts in your training
This is a bit of a hot topic amongst trainers and coaches, with some stating that full-body exercises build more muscles by working muscles more frequently. Others believe that by focusing on one or two body parts in each weekly training, you’ll maximize gains by working a muscle group extra hard and then allowing it to rest and recover.
We believe the best strategy is to include both types of workouts in your training and to alternate between the two approaches, switching between full-body workouts and some split training workouts.
Rest for longer
Lifters were recommended to leave just 30-60 seconds of rest between sets for a long time. However, new research has shown that more extended rest periods of 2-3 minutes between sets may be more effective in promoting strength and muscle growth gains.
This is especially the case between sets of isolation exercises (for example, curls) and compound moves (for example, pull-ups).
However, shorter rest periods still have their place, especially if you’re after muscular endurance and fat loss. But overall, longer rest periods allow you to perform more reps, which can lead to more significant gains over time.
A convenient way to get in your longer rest periods without dragging out your workout is to do supersets, which are back-to-back sets of two different exercises that target other muscle groups—for example, squats and bicep curls or the bent-over row and bench press.
Don’t lift until you can’t anymore
Often lifters push themselves to train until they can’t lift anymore. Not only is this unnecessary and unproven to give any gains, but it can also be dangerous. Instead of risking injury, it’s a much better strategy to keep a rep or two in your pocket.
Work out what works for you
Whilst there’s a fair bit of research out there, studies only identify training, techniques and strategy that works for a majority; there’s no individualism or flexibility in them.
Also Read: How long does it take to build muscle?
Everyone’s different, and everyone will have their recipe for success, so find out what works for you.
Support your training with the proper nutrition
Training and getting in the right workout is only one side of the coin to making gains, and the other side is down to nutrition and making sure you fuel your body correctly before and after. So, if you’re looking to transform your body or to support your goals, then you need to make sure you have the proper diet and you’re getting in all the right vitamins and minerals. Take a look at our recent blog about what’s in a bodybuilder’s fridge for some inspiration.
When you’ve got big gym goals, keeping your T levels topped up is essential for getting lean, shedding fat, and enhancing your performance in the gym (as well as in the bedroom).
All of that can be achieved with Brutal Force, our 100% natural bodybuilding supplements and SARMs are entirely safe, legal and have ZERO side effects. So, whether you’re looking to bulk up or cut down in 2022, it’s time to get BRUTAL – the right way!
Follow our top bodybuilding tips, and you’ll be smashing your goals in no time.