You should always have a routine that is going to exercise all of the muscle groups. For example, males tend to do a lot of chest and arms, but neglect their back, shoulders, core muscles and their legs. If you do not have strong legs, then your foundation is weak. If you do not have balance between your chest and back muscles, then your shoulders will start to round forward creating unnecessary tension. Practice working all of the major muscles including the opposing muscles.
If you want to increase your muscle mass you have first look at what you doing right now in the gym. Are you challenging yourself when you are doing resistance exercise, or are you doing a lot of repetitions and your routine is the same. If you want to build muscle mass, here are some quick tips that you need to know:
1. You need to practice the Overload Principle – Progressively increase your weight with every set
2. Make sure that your rest periods are consistent with your goals. Since you are going to be progressively lifting heavier loads after each set, you may want to take at least 45-60 seconds between each lift. If you are doing legs, the rest times may be longer.
3. Make sure your eccentric (negative phase) & concentric (positive phase) are controlled and not jerky.
4. Make sure you have a spotter or a workout partner to make you earn those last few reps, because those are the ones that count. They will get you to the next level and you will be able to increase your weight to provide that muscle mass you want to achieve.
5. Nutrition – Make sure you are eating the appropriate amount of nutrients to support your weight and goal (Carbohydrates, Proteins & Fat)
6. Post Workout Meal/Drink – Always have a post-workout snack or drink to replenish what you have lost and to support recovery from the amount of muscle tissue you just broke down during your session.
7. Drink water throughout your workout so you will stay hydrated. Don’t drink large volumes of water while you are lifting because intra-abdominal pressure could increase.
8. You need to feed your body, so eat when you are hungry. You need to feed those muscles, you cannot get muscle mass by doing a ton of cardio and watching every calorie. You need to feed your body the right nutrients.
9. Cardio – When you want to build muscle mass, keep your cardio down in order to just get enough benefits for your cardiovascular system, but I don’t want you running marathons.
10. Ripping Up – When you want to start cutting up and getting more defined, our cardio component will increase, but our lifting is still going to stay strong. We will start looking at the diet with a fine tooth comb to make sure you are on target to get that lean look without losing too much muscle mass. Yes, you will lose some muscle mass when you are dieting down, especially for a photo shoot, etc. That is why you want to put on that mass ahead of time before you need to cut down.
Bonus Tip – REST – Make sure you have rest days. You want to rest your muscle groups, so don’t do one muscle group multiple times per week because it won’t grow, it will get over-trained and breakdown!