Working Out To Build Muscle

Working out to build muscle 

When it comes to building muscle everyone just want’s to know he best workout that can get them from A to B

I don’t blame them everyone want’s quick result’s unfortunately quick result’s don’t happen, a lot of consistency, dedication and effort doing the right things over and over again is one way you can guarantee success 

Today’s blog is strictly workout chat, we will talk about reps, sets, exercises order and much more when it come’t to building muscle…


Yes we are going to start here, this is the most important thing when it comes to building muscle, just turn up thats all you have to do, turn up consistently to the gym and work hard, your body will adapt to something.

Your body just needs some sort of stimulus that will change it that doesn't matter whether it comes from machines, free weights etc. if you have pushed your body it will stimulate it to change and you just need to do that constantly 

Volume, Intensity & Frequency 

So this is a little more training chat, the basics are the majority of people will need to turn up to the gym somewhere between 2-5 times per week depending on experience, age, gender, training splits etc.

You need to have enough volume to cause an adaptation (muscle growth) and this is usually between 40-70 reps per body part twice per week (roughly) again everyones different, what is enough volume for yourself might be way too much for your training partner 

We know that volume is the key muscle driver to building muscle so the more reps you can do over time the greater the chances are of building muscle thats where consistency come’s in if someone misses a gym session per week compared to their training partner at the end of the year they will be 52 training sessions down…thats a lot of volume 

Intensity refers to how heavy the weights are, now you can build muscle with reps smaller than 5 with heavy weight, likewise you can build muscle with lighter weights with higher reps.

However heavier weights fatigue the body more so recovery is slower making it a little bit harder to get that volume in.

Simply meaning that for you to get enough volume at the right intensity to build muscle roughly 60-70% of your training should be done in the 60-80% of 1rep max range closer to failure while only 20-40% should be done at 80%+ of 1 rep max range with a little more left in the tank 


Your body comes accustomed to the stimulus you give it, so if you go to the gym and bench 50kg for 5x5 and you do that every week your body will get really good and doing that and nothing more.

You need to change the stimulus to cause an adaptation (build muscle) so you need to either increase volume or weight lifted over time (more reps or more weight).

For example week 1 of the training program you bench 5x5 @ 50kg week 2 you then do 5x5 @ 52.5kg etc. your body will constantly grow because you're constantly giving it a new stimulus.

Exercise Selection 

Now it’s no secret that compound exercises are far greater at building muscle than isolation exercises but this is not to say that you cannot use them.

Firstly compound exercises allow you to lift heavier weights, recruit more muscle fibres & improve motor skill, however injury is far more likely to happen here & recovery is slower 


Less fatiguing and you can get a lot more volume into the muscle compared to compound, however less muscle fibre recruitment and lighter weights 

Largely your program should be made up of compound exercises using the progressive overload technique with isolation exercises included to bring up and lagging body parts 

A quick note on exercise order, you want to be doing the exercises first in a program that require a larger amount of weight, more energy and more effort for example deadlift first before you military press

Rest Periods & Tempo

Firstly it is more important that you complete all reps and sets in your program to build muscle so if you need to extend a rest period to do so that is fine…

Rest should roughly be 30-90seconds for reps 8-12 & 2-3mins for reps 1-6

As for tempo…

You have three phases to pushing weight the eccentric (lengthening of a muscle) isometric (pause) concentric (shortening of a muscle) now if you complete all reps and sets at a good speed you shouldn't need to worry to much about tempo however you should aim to control all movements at a steady pace, of course the heavier weight your lift the more power you should exert but weights that you can control do control.

By lengthening the time the muscle is under tension the greater the muscle gain can be

Quick note, the eccentric part of a contraction less to a greater amount of muscle damage than the other two contractions (Isometric & Concentric) by lengthening this part of the phase you may be left very sore and can hinder overall volume due to slower recovery 

All in all the basics work when it comes to building muscle, stay consistent, progress the weights & do the basics 

John CunninghamComment