The aim of gym is to become stronger and build muscle mass, for this strives anyone who trains, and not only in the gym, those who train at home or street fitness. Building strength should be done during the bulk (so is called period of rising weight by calorie surplus) , because when you seek to lose weight and have a calorie deficit, you can not rise strength and muscle mass, but you should try to keep them. We already wrote an article on how to keep your muscle mass if you are in a period of calorie deficit. Тherefore we will discuss how to rise your muscle mass and strength, as the summer is nearing its end and comes the perfect time for this process.
Like with losing weight, weight gain also should not be done quickly to avoid the oiling of your body and accumulation of unwanted fat. In any case, your subcutaneous fat will increase, but the rapid rise will negatively affect your body, and is not healthy. Also, you will not achieve the desired effect and then the harder it will to cut them. For this reason, as when losing weight where we cut 15 percent of the calories you need to maintain your weight, now add 15%. For example, if you need 3,000 calories a day to maintain at the same weight, you will need to add 15% to them, which is + 450, or a total of 3450 calories per day. If you do not know how to estimate the calories you can find different calculators on the internet to help you whit this calculations. If you stop gaining weight, and you have not yet achieved the desired weight, just add 15% and will again start gaining. There are many people who think that they eat a lot, but still can not gain weight, they just fooled their selfs, if not gain any weight, so obviously burn more calories than you obtain.
Avoid eating margarine, chips, popcorn, cookies and junk food because they are rich in trans fats and focus on food rich in proteins and healthy fats. Emphasizes foods rich in protein such as meat, cheese, nuts, eggs … More about proper nutrition, you can learn in our topic of nutrition and supplements.
Training regime :
There are many effective methods that will help you to increase your strength. All are aimed at three major train exercises, squat, deadlift and bench press. In some are added Barbell Row and Overhead Press. These exercises cover the 3 biggest muscle groups, but each of them train not only one muscle, so do not be intimidated with these programs you will train your whole body. You will also need to use only free weights, no machines, because you will stabilize the weight by your self and train those muscles, while if you use machines you will not be able to use stabilizing muscles.
- Reverse pyramid
This method involves five exercises (Squat, Bench Press, Deadlift, Overhead Press and Barbell Row), and its name comes from the fact that you do 5 sets of 5 reps for every exercise, except deadlift, for this exercise it is one set of five reps. The reason for this is that you have to do squats every workout +2 from other exercises if deadlift have to be done for 5 sets, you would not endure. Our advice is to choose two workouts, one is – Squat 5×5, Bench Press 5×5 and Barbell Row 5×5 and other one is Squat 5×5, Overhead Press 5×5 and 1×5 Deadlift.
You can start using the system on Monday and alternate the two workouts by doing with a day break between them, in order to relax your muscles. Another key point is that you have to do 3 workouts a week, we believe that the optimal option is to train 12 weeks by this method.
The power increase when on each workout for muscle group you add 2.5 kg as long as you can . Also remember that you should start with lighter weight, because the weight will quickly grow and will reach your maximum . For squat, start with 40/50% of your maximum, because you will do this exercise in each workout and the weight will grow faster. If you did not train until now and have no experience with free weights, you have to start with only barbel to get used to balance extra weight and proper execution of exercises.
The weighting of the classic barbell is 20 kg and for deadlift you can start with 40 kilograms, because you will find it easier to perform the exercise. Each workout lasts about 45 minutes, where you have to perform three exercises.
For example if you start first workout with squat – 20 kg, bench press – 20 kg and Barbell Row – 20 kg, the next training you will have to train with squat – 22.5 kg, overhead press – 20 kg and 40 kg deadlifts. Your last workout for the week will be squat with 25 kg, bench press -22.5 kg and Barbel Row – 22.5 kg. The first workout for next week will be 27.5 squat, overhead press with 22.5 kg and deadlift with 42.5 kg and this is the way you have to continue to rotate them.
Advantages of the 5×5 method:
– Build muscle mass. As already mentioned, many people think that the basic exercises can not train the whole body, but this is not true, as each exercise includes at least two muscles. An example for this is the bench press where you do not use only your chest, but also the triceps, and the stabilizing muscles of the back.
– Getting stronger. This is the purpose of this method, by increasing the weight slightly you will become stronger and stronger. You start with a light weight and on each workout, add a little more, thus increasing the strength. Thanks to the few reps, you have the ability to lift more, because if you do more reps, you could not do the exercise with so much weight and won’t increase your strength.
– Losing fat. As you begin to exercise, you will build muscle, lose fat and look better. This is provided that you are taking the same calories as before, if you increase the food, which is imperative if you are weak, you can build muscle mass and gain weight.
For this method you are going to use the same exercises + pull ups, but the system of weight gain is different. The good thing about this method is that you can immediately start with bigger weight because you did not go to the next level until you earn it.
In normal pyramid you start with a lower weight and more reps, and then the weight is increased and the reps are decreased. In reverse pyramid the method is exactly the opposite, starting with a maximum weight and low reps, and taking down the weight, while increasing the reps.
Why reverse pyramid is better?
Because when you start with more weight and then take down the weight, logically you have the strength to lift more. While normal pyramid, if you start with 60 kg, then 80 kg and 100 kg finally, you will be tired and will not have as much force as early as you lift 120 kg to 6 reps, then make a 100 kg 8 reps and last series with 80 kilograms you can do 10 reps. With this method much easier you will rise your strength, instead of doing bench press with 80 kg for years.
As with the 5×5, you will also increase your weight at a little bit in every workout, but instead of wasting so much time with less weight, you will directly start from the place where you reached , so if you are a beginner it is better to start with other method (5×5), but if you have experience reversed pyramid is a better option.
As we already say the inverted pyramid is more recommended for more advanced and the 5×5 for beginners. If you’re doing squats with 90 kg, 5×5 will help you increase your strength, but if you are doing squats with 150 kg unlikely this method will help. And there comes the inverted pyramid which would help to more advanced people to make their progress. You can also invent your version of these two types of trainings that you think will be more effective, but do not forget the 3 main things lift heavily, eat according to your goals and take your rest.
The warm up is a very important part of the training. For the most effective workout and to avoid unwanted injuries you have to do a good warm-up before the main workout. Start with the movements of the joints and stretching the muscles that you will train during the workout. Joints easily wear out, which can lead to painful consequences after some years so it’s nice to stir them as pre-workout and post-workout too. In stir of the joints before training our body release fluid that plays as greases and reduces the friction, respectively the wear out of the joint.
To prepare the muscles for heavy weight, you must start with a working set. Start the set with less weight, but do low reps (4-5), in order not to get tired for heavy sets. Then you can make a preparatory set, which is closer to the maximum weight, again with few repetitions, not to get tired. Take a break of 2-3 minutes before the maximum weight. Remember to be psyched up befor going to the maximum weight for the day.
During the workout you lose large amounts of fluids and hinders for proper workouts, so drinking water is very important. Do not replace water with coffee, soft drinks or tea because they are accelerating the dehydration of the body. If dehydration is more than 5 percent of your body weight, it will lead to ineffective training and loss of the tonus. Water has many positive effects on the body during exercise, as it charged with essential minerals such as magnesium and potassium, but also cools your body.
Rest is important both between sets and after the workout. As you seek to increase your power, forget about any supersets and dropsets that will make you exhausted and will prevent you from heavy workout. As you lift heavy, you need a good rest between each set in order to restore for the next one.
Rest after workout is the time that your muscles grow. For this reason, when you use these methods to increase power and you lift heavy,it is better your workout to be 3 days a week and for the other s to get rest. It is mandatory between workouts to have at least one day of rest.
Sleep is also very important part of the rest and the growth of muscles. The recommended dose of sleep is 8-9 hours, six hours a night will not be enough for you and your rest will not be optimal. If you have time during the day, you can take naps too.
Cardio is one of your enemies during a period of muscle mass and strength increase. Long cardio is not recommended in periods of weight loss too, if you have good achievements and want to keep them. You can do cardio, but avoid long run in the gym and in parks. For comparison you can look how affects the long run to the marathon runners and how the sprinters look, like Bolt.
As already recommended if you want to clear fats you can do sprints that will not damage your muscle mass. If your city has a place with a long staircase or a stadium, is also an option to run. You have to run while climbing the stairs and then go down while walking.