A lot of people ask me the same question over and over again:
How Do I Get Bigger Muscles?
The correct term is hypertrophy, which is the growth of muscle cells. As a three-time world champion powerlifter who holds degrees in biomechanics and exercise science, I have the roadmap to get you there.
Back in 1992, I wanted to get as big as I could. As I dove into powerlifting and continued my education in and out of the gym, I developed a hypertrophy program to help others achieve more muscle mass. I built it on a foundation of decades’ worth of research; it’s used now by professional bodybuilders and others who are serious about building muscle.
You can check it out right now through my hypertrophy manual, which has helped countless people transform their bodies. I’ll share some of the information out of it right now, for free. Let’s go over six tips that will positively impact your ability to get bigger muscles.
Keep Workouts Less Than an Hour
Overtraining is never good; it’s counterproductive. But we’re also talking here about what’s happening in your bloodstream. You want to optimize testosterone while keeping cortisol levels at bay, and the amount of time you spend picking up weights plays a role in that. I know you hear about people, like Hollywood actors, talking about spending hours and hours in the gym. It’s a bad road to go down.
Don’t Train Your Whole Body At the Same Time
You can’t work your entire body and think every piece will develop the way you want. Training your entire body doesn’t give each part enough volume to achieve optimal growth, so keep it limited to two or three body parts per session. Remember, you can only grow from appropriate recovery. If you keep working the whole body at once, you’re going to push it too far and invite excess damage and a lack of recovery.
Rest 72 hours Between Training the Same Muscle
Employ a three-day training split with one day off. This allows optimal recovery for each muscle. Will you find other training programs with more frequency? You bet. However, here’s the truth: Most champions follow the 72-hour rule and achieve incredible results. Most strength athletes who follow this have longer careers. The research is pretty clear on this one, so follow this advice and you’ll grow your chances for a stronger and larger physique.
Change Your Movements Frequently
Don’t allow your body to become overly accustomed to the same movements again and again and again. The exercises I share in my manual last for about three weeks, but within that time frame I alter the intensity, volume, tempos, and executions of those movements. If you have one routine that you mindlessly repeat because you know it, can do it well, and are comfortable with it, it is not doing you any favors. That’s keeping you from experiencing the gains you otherwise could be enjoying. Always make learning new exercises a priority, and make sure you adjust the various aforementioned factors.
Get Enough Sleep
When I was at my biggest (weighing in at 317 lbs.), I was sleeping for 11 hours a day. You read that right.
I know it seems like a lot. However, it was crucial for the volume of training my body underwent. It wasn’t lazy; it was a path to achieve significant results. My dedication to proper recovery set me up to break three world records and achieve 32-inch thighs and 21-inch arms.
Every hour before midnight is twice as recuperative than the hours that follow, which means if you’re serious about experiencing significant hypertrophy, you should go to bed early: before 9:30 p.m. is a solid goal. That means winding down before 9:00. I’ve been doing this since I was a teenager.
Get Enough of the Right Food
Don’t know what to eat for muscle gain? Here’s the answer: If you want to get bigger muscles, you’re going to need a bigger amount of calories. But not all calories are created equal: we need them to be high quality. Keeping yourself in good health is critical for long-term muscle mass gains. Eat food that helps your hormones work well while allowing a large absorption of calories.
I’m a major fan of Stan Efferding’s Vertical Diet. Give it a look. I also have a Nutrition Manual that will lay it all out for you. In the meantime, here’s an important tip: Make sure you’re getting between 20 and 40 grams of protein every three hours if you want to grow those muscles.
It sounds like a lot, and that figure may be adjusted by your specific size goals, but it’s a good rule of thumb. Again, my Nutrition Manual has all the information you need. That diet helped me become a world champion powerlifter, and it can change your life.
Follow those tips and you’ll set yourself up for success. I also have plenty of free videos on my YouTube page. You can check all that content, which is updated regularly. You can also interact with me through my Patreon page.