Lift Smart & Get Big
Have you ever met a big guy whose primary exercise is wrist curls? To add size fast, do not waste your time on exercises devoted to small body parts, like biceps or calves. Keep it simple. Use big exercises first and add finishing touches later.
Compound Vs Isolation Exercises For Mass
There are two primary types of movements: isolation and compound.
- Isolation exercises emphasise movement at one joint. Isolation training is inefficient and won’t help you gain the quality of size you are after at this stage. If you're a relatively new or inexperienced lifter, you need to establish a base level of strength and development before worrying about muscle isolation.
- Compound exercises incorporate movement across many joints.
Training For Size Gains
Focus on compound movements such as squats, deadlifts, bench presses, military press, push press, overhead press, bent over rows, T-bar rows, chins (wide and medium grip), clean and press, hang cleans, push press, straight leg deadlift, and close grip bench press.1 Keep each training session to 40-60 minutes maximum. Perform 3-4 sessions a week, with 3-4 exercises per bodypart, with a rep range of 6-12 per set.
The Right Exercises Build Mass
Doing these sorts of exercises will stress your body more than just doing a simple single joint exercises. As a result, you need to ensure you achieve adequate recovery. Big exercises such as bench presses and squats have shown that they increase testosterone.2 If you want to add size fast, there is one rule that applies. Employ the K.I.S.S. principle – Keep It Simple Stupid. You are only as strong as your weakest link. Ensure that you are training the main muscle groups in your training programme, with compound exercises.3 When training for emphasis on gaining size fast, avoid exercises for smaller muscle groups like rear deltoids or calves. At this stage of your training ensure that the effort to benefit ratio is high.3 As well as managing the right exercises, you need to manage their volume, intensity, frequency, as well as what you do outside the gym. Without proper food and supplements, good sleep habits, and sensible recovery between workouts, it doesn't matter which exercises you choose. 4 Ensure that you're not doing too much volume. Remember that you want to stimulate the muscle, not destroy it.
1 The Best Exercises for Size and Strength, by Tim Henriques
2 Essentials of Sports Nutrition and Supplements, Jose Antonio, PhD, Douglas Kalman, Phd, RD, Jeffrey R. Stout, PhD, Mike Greenwood, PhD, Darryn S. Willoughby, PhD, G. Gregory Haff PhD., p. 55
3 Five Reasons You're Still Skinny, by Mike Robertson
4 The 4 Pillars of Strength Training by Dan John