Building muscle requires a combination of proper nutrition, sufficient rest, and effective workouts. When it comes to structuring workouts for muscle growth, there are several key factors to consider, including exercise selection, training volume, intensity, and frequency. In this blog post, we will explore the best way to structure workouts for muscle growth and provide you with some helpful tips to help you achieve your fitness goals.
The first step in structuring workouts for muscle growth is to choose the right exercises. Compound exercises such as squats, deadlifts, bench presses are the most effective exercises for building muscle mass. These exercises work multiple muscle groups at once and allow you to lift heavy weights, which is essential for stimulating muscle growth. Isolation exercises such as bicep curls and leg extensions can be useful for targeting specific muscle groups, but they should not be the main focus of your workouts. When picking exercises you should listen to your body and do what feels best to you because you are then more likely to progress on them over the weeks. Another thing to consider when picking exercises is injuries. For example if you have a knee injury it may not be optimal to perform a squat.
Training volume refers to the total amount of work performed during a workout. To achieve muscle growth, you need to perform enough work to stimulate the muscles to grow. The best way to do this is to perform multiple sets of each exercise, with a total of 10-20 sets per muscle group per week. Aim to perform 3-5 sets per exercise, with 5-12 reps per set. Rest for 1-4 minutes between sets to allow your muscles to recover, depending on the intensity of the movement.
Intensity refers to the amount of weight you lift relative to your one-rep max (1RM). To maximize muscle growth, you need to lift heavy weights that are challenging but still allow you to perform the exercise with proper form. Aim to lift weights that are 70-90% of your 1RM. As you get stronger, you can gradually increase the weight to continue stimulating muscle growth. The gym should only take up roughly 4% of your day so try your best to train with intensity and really push yourself throughout the sessions.
Frequency refers to how often you train each muscle group. To maximize muscle growth, you need to train each muscle group 2-3 times per week. This allows you to provide enough stimulus for the muscles to grow while still allowing sufficient time for recovery. Aim to perform full-body workouts or split routines that target different muscle groups on different days.
Progressive overload is the principle of gradually increasing the weight, reps, or sets of an exercise over time. This is essential for stimulating muscle growth, as your muscles will adapt to the stress of exercise and stop growing if you do not provide them with enough stimulus. It is common for individuals to go to the gym and do the same exercises at the same weight every week and they wonder why they aren't seeing progress. If you don't give a reason for your muscles to grow, they won't.
Should you do Cardio for muscle growth
It is a common myth that cardio kills muscle gains. Cardio is just a tool to burn calories and improve endurance, this means that if you want to include cardio in your program alongside the weight training, you will have to eat more calories to build muscle. On the other hand, some forms of cardio can be counter intuitive to do alongside weight training. If you are doing intense cardio your body is likely to need a rest which will then have a negative knock on effect to your weight training. This is why you see people walking as a form of cardio as it doesn't negatively affect the gym sessions.
In conclusion, structuring workouts for muscle growth requires a combination of proper exercise selection, training volume, intensity, frequency, and progressive overload. By following these guidelines, you can maximize muscle growth and achieve your fitness goals. Remember to also focus on proper nutrition, adequate rest, and recovery to support muscle growth and prevent injury.