36 Explosive Ways to Gain Muscle Mass
It’s time to get on the gains train. If you’re feeling flat in the gym and need a good kick in the back end, these 36 tips are tricks are proven winners.
Please let me know in the comments section below if you implement any of these tactics into your workouts.
How to Gain Muscle Mass Fast
#1 – Decrease rest between sets to 30 seconds. This method is known as rest-pause training, and it is a highly effective muscle building method.
#2 – Crazy 8’s. Start with dumbbells that are about 25 to 30% of your max. Perform a set of 8 reps and move up to the next heaviest set of dumbbells. Continue to perform 8 rep sets, moving up in weight until you cannot complete a full set.
#3 – Road to destruction. Grab a weight that is 50% of your one rep max. Perform a single rep, rest, then perform two reps. Keep adding a rep to each set, and climb the ladder. See if you can reach 20 reps per set. Rest intuitively between efforts.
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#4 – Turn those heavy compound lifts into brutal beat down sessions. Perform 20 singles in 20 minutes 80% of your one rep max. Make sure to use good form, performing a single every minute on the minute.
#5 – Superset each chest set with push ups. Immediately after knocking out your bench press or dumbbell flye reps, hop on the floor and perform as many push ups as possible.
#6 – Pre-fatigue each chest set with as many push ups as possible. Perform this combination as a superset.
#7 – Try 50 reps of pain using 75% of your one rep max. Pick an exercise and just try to get to 50 total reps as quickly as possible.
#8 – Now try 100 reps of pain using an isolation exercise. Work your way to 100 total reps as quickly as possible, resting as needed.
#9 – Sandwich a compound movement with pre and post-fatigue. For example, perform a 10 rep set of lunges prior to your squat set. Immediately after squatting, perform 10-15 reps of goblet squats.
#10 – Instead of hammering a body part with multiple exercises, destroying it with an 8×8 or 10×10 set and rep protocol using a single exercise.
Use straps when training your back. Never let a weak grip prevent you from using more weight on back day.
#11 – Perform a double drop set after each dumbbell compound movement effort. For example, let’s say you just performed a dumbbell overhead press set with 75s. Immediately grab the 60s and knock out as many reps as possible, then move on to the 45s and repeat.
#12 – Get negative. Slow each negative (eccentric) aspect of a movement down to 4, 6 or even 8 seconds.
#13 – Specialize in 4 weeks blocks. Utilize a twofold set volume for a specific body part during this time period. Rotate your specialization focus each month to a different area of the body.
#14 – Find yourself in an empty gym? Cycle between exercises instead of training each exercise for multiple sets at a time.
Related: Fast Gains: A Quick Start Muscle Building Workout Plan
#15 – Perform a 3 second static hold after each deadlift rep, and look at them there #trapgains.
#16 – Trap results suck? Slap some weight on the bar, drop the mind-muscle connection weak a$$ shrugs, and perform some power shrugs for the love of Pete.
#17 – Superset power shrugs with static holds for max time. Bonus #trapgains.
#18 – Break out of the 5×5 squats only mold and add some brutal 10-20 leg press reps to your leg days.
#19 – Stuck with a crappy bench press max? Double your bench press volume each workout and add 750 calories to your daily diet. Do this for a month and see what happens.
#20 – Can’t perform pull ups? Try inverted rows. Place a bar in the squat rack right below chest level. Prop your feet up on a bench and perform pull ups, trying to get your chest to the bar.
#21 – Instead of performing conventional sets try timed sets. Grab a weight and perform as many reps in you can during a 5, 8 or even 10 minute block. Rest as needed.
#22 – Focus on making every set count. Push each set for as many reps as possible, stopping that set when either your form starts to break down, or wen you feel like you might fail on the next rep.
#23 – Try timed deadlift singles instead of repped sets. This allows you to minimize form break down as you fatigue, while still receiving potent muscle building benefits.
#24 – Go heavy, go light. Work up to a max triple for bench press or squats, then drop the weight by 15% and perform as many reps as possible. This back-off weight will feel extremely light and you will crush out reps.
#25 – Use straps when training your back. Never let a weak grip prevent you from using more weight on back day. If you feel your grip is weak, train it after back work. Never let a weak body part prevent you from properly training a major body part.
#26 – Aim to train each major body part in a myriad of rep ranges. Start with strength-focused work at about 80-85% of your one rep max for 3 to 6 reps, follow it with conventional sets using weights between 70-80% of your max and rep ranges of about 6-12. Complete your workout with pump work, or rep ranges around 12-20 per set.
#27 – Try twenty-eights. Perform 7 full range reps, 7 bottom portion half reps, 7 top portion half reps, and finish off the set with another 7 full range reps.
#28 – Pyramid up in weight by 7.5% increments. Start with 60% of your max for 15 reps. Move up to 67.5% for 12 reps, then 75% for 8-10 reps. Finish out with 82.5% for 6-8 reps, and 90% for 3 reps.
#29 – Go partial first. Perform 5 partial half-reps before rounding out a set with as many full range reps as possible.
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#30 – Use static heavy overload supersetted with a lighter drop set. This works well on movements like the bench press and squat. Load up 110% of your one rep max, unrack it and hold for 10-15 seconds. Rack the weight, strip down to 80% of your max and immediately perform as many reps as possible.
#31 – Finish sets with 3 forced reps. This technique will require a training partner or spotter.
#32 – Become a cheater. Towards the end of a set on exercises like leg extensions and bicep curls, put a little English into your reps and cheat then up as needed. This is a good way to finish off a muscle, but this technique should only be used on exercises that do not put you at risk of injury.
#33 – Use a mechanical drop set, which does not involve a dropping of weight but rather a switch to a more leverage-friendly exercise variation which allows you to prolong a set. On squats and bench press, for example, you could lead with paused reps, and then finish with conventional reps. When performing dumbbell flyes, you could work until near failure and then finish out with dumbbell bench presses for max reps.
#34 – Use antagonistic supersets, which work opposing muscle groups back-to-back without rest. These muscle group pairings include chest and back, triceps and biceps, quads and hamstrings, etc.
#35 – Perform either box jumps or body weight jump squats in between sets of squats.
#36 – Make your chest work “complex.” Start with an explosive movement like clapping push ups for 3-5 reps, next move on to a strength exercise like the bench press for 5-8 reps, immediately perform an isolation exercise such as dumbbell flyes for 8-12 reps, and round out this complex with a max effort bodyweight movement such as standard push ups for max reps.