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. For more in-depth information about each strategy, click through to the related article on our site.
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. Power up with protein
Proteins are the building blocks of muscle. They assist with the rebuilding and recovery process. Shoot for 1-1.5 grams of protein per lean pound of body weight. We like these 12 protein-filled foods for your physique.
3. Don’t cut carbs
Numerous studies have pointed to the benefit of protein supplements in muscle building, but many of them also mention carbohydrates as a hormone-balancing component that maximizes your gains after workouts. Here are 7 more reasons to keep the carbs.
4. 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.
5. Work your back
It’s easy to focus on your arms and chest. However, too much training on those areas can lead to imbalances and injury, most of which can be avoided by doing plenty of rowing/pulling work.
“Most of your growth hormone release in a day comes during sleep,” says Hyson. Stick with eight hours as a guideline. Here’s everything an athlete needs to know about sleep and recovery.
7. Pump up the volume
Bodybuilders, widely known as the biggest guys on the planet, have an age-old training method that has withstood the test of time: volume training. They typically do five or more exercises per body part, four sets of 8-12 reps, amounting to approximately 200 reps per body part.