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Add 20 Pounds of Muscle

It is very possible to gain 20 pounds of muscle in three months without using steroids but you need to be prepared for some real discipline and structure. You need to take extra care of your daily eating pattern and plan your workout down to a fine point of progression.

The first step is to make sure you are doing three full body workouts per week, focusing on the compound mass movements for each muscle group. For example, train Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Use bench presses for the chest, lat pull downs for the back, upright rows for the shoulders, decline close-grip bench presses for triceps, barbell curls for biceps and squats and deadlifts for the legs.

The second step is to follow each compound movement with one or two sets of a contraction exercise for that muscle group. For example, after a heavy set or two of bench presses (compound), do one or two sets of dumbbell flies. Use concentration curls for biceps, kickbacks for triceps, lateral raises for shoulders, under-grip lat pull downs for back, leg extensions for quadriceps and leg curls for hamstrings.

Research shows that you should do 9 to 12 repetitions on every exercise. Lower and higher reps emphasize power and endurance muscle components respectively. The medium, 9-12 rep range has been shown to induce the maximum amount of muscle hypertrophy.

The third step is to make sure that you stop each exercise at the point of positive failure. This means continuing until you can no longer perform another controlled repetition. Train progressively by increasing the weight every time you reach the upper range (12 reps) of the prescribed repetitions.

For example, if you get 12 reps with 135 pounds on bench presses, increase the weight by 10 pounds for your next set. Progression is one of the pillars of strength-training, and forces the muscles to continuously adapt to new stresses by growing bigger and stronger.

Drink a post-workout protein shake including 50 g of whey protein, 100-200 g of carbohydrates (fruit juice) and 30 g healthy fats, such as flax seed oil or medium-chain triglycerides. But this is only the start of watching what food you take in when putting on 20 pounds of muscle in three months.

You need to plan and eat five to eight small meals throughout the day, with at least 20 to 30 g of protein at each. In addition, have a serving of low-glycemic carbs, such as oatmeal, brown rice, sweet potatoes, whole-grain bread or pasta or fresh fruit. Each meal should also contain a serving of healthy fats, such as flax seed oil, avocado, peanuts butter, olive oil, nuts and seeds or egg yolks.

As far as supplementation is concerned there are some great products on the market if you can afford them like conjugated linoleic acid, creatine monohydrate and whey protein. These three natural supplements have been shown to increase lean mass in training individuals compared to placebo.

For more information go to Gain 5 Pounds of Muscle in 2 Weeks


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