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Top 15 Tips for Building Muscle

Take note of these tips and you will maximize your chances of building muscle and minimizing fat.

How to Build Muscle

The following considerations and guidelines will help you build more muscle:


Genetics are important. If you ever could, you would choose your parents well. The ability to pack on muscle is at least partly determined by genetics.1 However, starting from a low base you can always improve your body shape. Being male and young also favors muscle building, due to the higher amount of testosterone that is naturally present in this group.2

Volume and Intensity

Train with high volume and medium intensity. “Volume” is the number of sets and repetitions you do and “intensity” is how much weight you choose. For each weight training exercise set, perform 10 to 15 repetitions with less than a minute break between sets.

Lactic acid causes that burning sensation in muscles when you exercise intensely and this appears to stimulate muscle growth, perhaps from an increase in growth hormone production.3

Tire Your Muscles

Push each exercise set to near “failure.” Failure means you could not do one more repetition in a set because of fatigue.4 For a 3-set exercise, you could start off with a heavier weight for 15 repetitions in the first set and then reduce each set by 2 so that your last set is 11 lifts. Even as you tire, you should attempt your best effort for each set.

Pick the Right Exercises

Utilize the “big three” weight training exercises. These are the squat, the deadlift, and the bench press. They build strength, condition, and bulk and should always be included in one form or another.

Frequent Workouts

Train at least three times each week. Three sessions per week is the minimum amount of volume needed to create a muscle-building stimulus.5 Those with significant strength training experience may attempt more sessions.

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