Monday, February 1, 2016

What Works Best for Gaining Muscle in the Gym for me.

     Since I've started working out I've always been seeking new ways to gain muscle as fast as possible for me.  Some ways had fast success some slow or even none.  Let me start off by saying what works for me may be totally different than what will work for you.  I, myself rarely drink protein shakes to bring in more protein as I find it more fun to eat foods I enjoy than drink one of the shakes, that to me don't taste good, and also feels kind of like cheating for protein for 30 grams for one drink.  They don't keep me full as long as I like, and find myself an hour later having a full meal anyways.  If you love drinking proteins shakes more power to you as you can bring in more protein faster.
     Over about the last 6-7 months I've been trying different techniques for building muscle while lifting.  I've done 2 workouts for each upper body muscle every time I work on my upper body, and have been alternating reps and sets but keeping the same workouts.  Legs on the other hand I focus on squats, lunges, leg press, leg curl, hip adductor, and calves, as most of these are compound exercises working 2 or more muscles at the same time and as some work the same muscles I only do these workouts for legs.
Enjoying the sunny day the best I can even though it's still cold.What works the best and worst for gaining muscle for me?
     As I stated in the first paragraph my way of gaining muscle fast may work great for some and may work slow or not at all for others, it just depends on your body, as all of us are built different.  Over the past 6-7 months I have done 3 different styles of testing and seeing which gained the most muscle for me.  I have done 4 set of 8 reps on medium-high weights, 3 sets of 10 reps for medium weights and drop sets (where you start off at a high weight and drop the weight after a certain number of reps).  Keep in mind for each other these the only thing that changed was the reps and sets, all the workouts/exercises stay the same.  I started off doing drop sets for the first test of this for the first couple months, then 4 sets of 8 reps, and finally 3 sets of 10 reps.  During the first few moths I saw what I consider fast growth for myself while doing drop sets and 4 sets of 8 reps.  The 3 sets of 10 reps on the other hand is where I noticed little to no growth in muscle. Since I have been trying the 3 sets of 10 reps lately for the last couple months I decided to switch it up again since I wasn't seeing any result.  I decided to start back up on drop sets of 24 reps and dropping the weight down after every 6 reps, starting at a very heavy weight, which is whatever is heavy for you.  Don't be scared if you are already feeling the burn after only dropping the weight twice.
     I recommend doing these exercises with machines or dumbbells as it is easier and faster to drop weight for every 6 reps.  This way you are able to focus all of your time to the reps and time under tension instead of taking time to take off weights.  If you work out with a spotter this may not be an issue as they can take weights off the bar for you very quickly so you aren't using time to get up and take them off.  But assuming you are like me and work out alone I would stay to the machines and dumbbells. 
If you really want to use this to the best of your ability for massive gains, doing time under tension is the way to go.  The only thing about this is you will want to start with a lower weight than going full out heavy weight for the first set, since you will be lowering the weights for 4 seconds and bringing them up very fast (or as fast as you can).  The time under tension will make the lighter weights feel even more heavy.  The way I currently do it is I start with heavy weight and after the first 12 reps, then when I'm on the 12 reps of light weight I do time under tension, which makes the last 12 reps very challenging even though the weigh is so light.
Closing thoughts
     I'm glad I was able to switch things up in the gym, I was able to find what works for me and what doesn't.  Even though it may have been a couple months of a plateau, most people would see it as a waste of time, but ultimately its not, I was able to learn from this experience and bring this blog post to you guys, to give you some insight and ideas on what you might want to do if you are experiencing plateaus in the gym as well.  Give it a try see how it works for you!  I would love to hear your feedback.

Go out, live life to the fullest,


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