Building muscle or getting ‘hench’ as the bro’s say can be difficult. There are 3 main things that need to be addressed:
- Increasing calories (you wont build muscle without adequate calories)
- Correct exercise selection and programming
- Progressive overload – increasing the weight lifted and overall training volume
In this post i’m going to focus on point 2 and give you a run through of the 8 Exercises You Need To Master To Bulk Up. I’ve also put together a 12 week muscle building program for you to follow so that you can slap on some serious muscle mass.
8 Exercises You Need To Master To Bulk Up…
#1 Wide Pull Up
The wide grip pull up is one of the best exercises for developing a wide v-taper back shape. The pull up done correctly will help you build back width and also help you gain some serious size on your biceps.
If you are unable to complete a full body weight pull up then try using an assisted pull up machine or lateral pull down – so that you can eventually build up to full pull ups. For those of you who can do 10 or more body weight pull ups then try adding some extra weight using a dip belt.
#2 Bent Over Row
The bent over row works on building up the mid back muscles and will also help increase the size of your biceps. It’s an especially good exercise for thickening up the back muscles and for improving posture (especially for those with rounded shoulders).
#3 Bench Press
In terms of increasing the size of your chest, shoulders and triceps there’s no better exercise than the bench press. It’s a compound lift that works multiple muscle groups and if done correctly will lead to a massive improvement to your arms and chest.
The key is to keep your shoulders pinned back, and to focus on contracting through the chest muscles. The arms (shoulders and triceps) will naturally engage but it’s harder to stimulate the chest, especially for beginners. If you have rounded shoulders and always feel your shoulders fatiguing more than your chest then check out this video I’ve done to help you activate your chest muscles more during the bench press.
Stay clear of the cable machine and all of these light weight tricep kick back exercises! They will not grow your triceps! Instead focus on getting strong on exercises like dips and you will see your arms and chest grow in no time.
The ultimate leg builder. The squat can add inches to your legs and will also help to raise testosterone levels so that you can build more overall muscle. Alongside building the legs it will also help thicken up your glutes, hamstrings, back and core muscles.
The deadlift pretty much hits every muscle group in the body and will leave your muscle sore for days! It’s brutal but will help you develop a thick pair of legs, back muscles and a strong core. There are quite a few deadlift variations but my favourite is the conventional deadlift.
#7 Barbell Romanian Deadlift
Two of the most neglected muscle groups are hamstrings and glutes and the barbell Romanian Deadlift hits both of them! It’s a fantastic exercise for building up overall leg size and strengthening the glutes and the hamstrings. As you improve on this exercise you will also notice your strength improve on the squat, conventional deadlift and any pull up movements.
#8 Military Press
If you want boulder shoulders then this is the absolute Mac Daddy of shoulder exercises!
12 Week Muscle Building Plan
- Bench press – 4 sets x 6-10 reps
- Military press – 4 sets x 6-10 reps
- Dips – 4 sets x 6-10 reps
- Wide pull ups – 4 sets x 6-10 reps
- Bent over rows – 4 sets x 8-12 reps
- Deadlifts – 4 sets x 5-8 reps
- Squat – 4 sets x 6-10 reps
- Barbell Romanian Deadlift – 4 sets x 8-12 reps
- Seated calf raises – 4 sets x 20-25 reps
For all exercises rest 2 minutes in between each set
Rest 1 day inbetween sessions e.g.
- Monday – session 1
- Tuesday – rest
- Wednesday – session 2
- Thursday – rest
- Friday – session 3
- Saturday – rest
- Sunday – session 1
- Monday – rest
- Tuesday – session 2
- Wednesday – rest
- Thursday – session 3
- Friday – rest
- Saturday – session 1
- Sunday – rest
Thanks for reading,