George Hackenshmidt, Famous Estonian Strongman, Bodybuilder and Wrestler. He Understood Muscle-building. “If I wasn’t president of the United States, I’d want to be George Hackenshmidt.” – Teddy Roosevelt The Two Keys to Building Muscle
- Higher Volume of Weight Lifted
- Lower Rest time Between Sets
Volume of Weight Lifted
I’m a big proponent of total volume of weight lifted when it comes to building muscle. An added benefit is that the higher the volume of training, generally speaking, the greater the health benefits.
Total Volume Formula
Weight x Reps x Sets
100 pounds x 10 reps x 4 sets= 4000 pounds of volume
More volume = more muscle
(Versus dumbell flys, 40 pounds x 10 x 4 = 1600 pounds lifted)
In this example, it’s easy to see why bench press is so much better for building muscle than flys.
If you pick exercise like squats which you can do more weight on, then your volume will be higher and you’ll build more muscle.
3-5 sets of 8-12 reps per exercise for building muscle, using compound (multi -joint) lifts.
If you do less than 5 reps, you’ll lift lesser volumes. If you do more than 15, the same thing occurs.
Rest Time Between Sets
Lactic acid accumulates and thus growth stimulation occurs when muscles are fatigued, which means lowering the rest time between sets to 15-60 seconds. Never rest longer than 60 seconds between sets when you’re trying to focus primarily on building muscle.
So to build muscle:
Focus on high volume training (a lot of sets) and short rest between sets.
The type of training needed to focus primarily on building strength (versus mass) is different, involving longer rest times and heavier weights with fewer sets. For endurance focus, 15-20 reps or more is appropriate.
Alternate compound (multi-joint) exercises with little or no rest and do multiple sets:
Squats / bench press
Rows / deadlifts
Leg press / pull up
Lunge / overhead press
Dips / bar curls
I enjoy writing and helping people, and write on all sorts of health, wellness, nutrition, and fitness topics.
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