How do I increase my muscle mass

Training goal: to maximize muscle growth

Perfect for building muscle: isolated training on multi-gyms

If you want to build up all the large muscle groups intensively, you should not only pump dumbbells, but also train on a multi-gym. You can train several parts of the body in isolation on these multifunctional fitness machines. The big advantage of a multi-gym is that you don't need a different fitness machine for every muscle group. The guided equipment training is also particularly gentle on the joints and productive.

An example: The FINNLO multi-gym Autark 6800 also offers the demanding strength athlete countless workout options. The multifunctional studio training tower is a "power turbo" for professional training at home. Including leg extension / leg curl function, separate butterfly unit and further developed leg press.

The station has a separate butterfly unit that can be folded away to the side. With this, you train the outer chest area in a targeted manner. The additional bench press unit enables exercises to strengthen the entire chest muscles, the neck and, thanks to the adjustability of the handles on the row unit, also strengthens the broad back muscles. This effectively builds up the muscles of the upper back into a broad V-cross. With the latissimus bar, you can do lat pulls either in the neck or in your chest.

Overcome the training plateau and maximize muscle growth - this is how it works

Especially those who have been doing strength training for a long time often notice that they will eventually reach a training plateau. There is simply nothing moving forward, neither performance nor muscle mass increase noticeably. The reason for such stagnation is very simple: Your muscles have got used to the same stimulus over and over again. And since the body's general goal is to avoid energy consumption, it switches to "service according to the rules". The muscle fibers work off the demand efficiently, but no more. And they react to even small increases in weight with excessive exhaustion.

If you want to overcome this training plateau, you have to change your strategy now. The motto is not simply "more", but above all "different". Give your muscles new, unfamiliar stimuli. Then "according to the rules" is no longer possible and the body reacts to the new requirements with increased muscle growth.

There are many effective types of exercise that you can use to upgrade your strength training:

1. Intensive volume training

Classic volume training is the most popular form of training for strength athletes and bodybuilders. The training becomes even more intense if you increase the number of sets as much as possible. Experienced strength athletes train with up to 30 sets per muscle group in order to optimize muscle building. Large muscle groups such as the quadriceps, chest, shoulder, back and neck are trained in 20-30 sets. Small muscle groups like biceps, triceps, forearms, calves with 9-14 sets. The intensity is 70-80% due to the high number of sets and is slowly increased from set to set. With the last sentence, everything can be given to get the maximum training stimulus.

For everyone who is new to volume training, our training experts have created a free training plan. If you are already more practiced, you can increase the number of sentences according to the description above.

Training plan volume training:


2. Partial repetitions

Partial repetitions are a popular training element from bodybuilding in the 1970s and are back on the rise today. This is how it works: Divide a movement, for example that of the biceps curl, into 2 parts. Do 5-10 reps in one section, then 5-10 in the other. At the end, you do another 5-10 complete repetitions. Because of this technique, partial repetitions are also called sets of 21: 7 movements up, 7 down and 7 full. For partial repetitions, bench presses, squats, pull-ups, rows, and arm isolations such as curls or triceps extensions are ideal. For example, you can use partial repetitions for a specific muscle group over 4-6 weeks in which you want to build muscle mass in a targeted manner.

3. Supersets

With the superset, you train a muscle group and its opponent (antagonist) at the same time. This has the advantage that you are stressing two areas at the same time. Supersets enable particularly intensive training in a short time. The training works in a similar way to compound sets, only with two muscles opposite one another. Examples of supersets are: bench press and horizontal rowing, French press and SZ curls, quadriceps and hamstrings.

4. Reduction rates

With reduction sets you really give everything and bring your muscles to total exhaustion. And that gives the muscle fibers the decisive kick to grow. This is how it works: You lengthen a set after muscle failure by reducing the weight that can no longer be moved properly by 10-20%.

5. HIT (High Intensity Training)

With high intensity training, or HIT for short, you can quickly increase your muscle growth. The principle is simple: you put maximum strain on your muscles and push yourself to the limit with just one sentence. Due to the high intensity, a workout of only 30 minutes is usually sufficient - but they are tough!

Important for all intensity techniques: Don't do exercise over a long period of time and don't do it too regularly. Otherwise they will literally lose their charm for your body.

A question of goal: more reps or more weight?

There is always heated debate among athletes as to whether they should do more repetitions of a movement to build muscle or whether they should increase the weight. The rule of thumb here is: if you want to gain visible, voluminous muscle mass, you increase your weight. And if you want to increase strength endurance, train for more repetitions.

There is no maximum muscle building without proper nutrition

Even the toughest workouts won't produce the results you want if the diet isn't right. The body's energy supply must be optimally tailored to its loads and the goal of muscle growth. As a strength athlete, you naturally know that proteins are essential for building muscle mass. But not only the quantity, but also the quality is very important. To build muscle, you need protein-containing foods with a particularly high biological value. That means: How many grams of body protein can be made from 100 grams of dietary protein? The biological value is optimal when the essential amino acids are found in the food in a similar ratio as in the human body. For milk, lean meat and fish it is in the range of 80 to 90. For every 100 grams of protein ingested, 80 to 90 grams of muscle can be built up. Plant-based foods have an average biological value of 60 to 80.

But even if the value of plant-based foods is lower than that of animal-based foods, you should not only rely on meat and dairy products. Because animal foods contain a lot of unfavorable fats and a lot of cholesterol - but at the same time not all essential amino acids. You can achieve the best protein supply with a balanced mixture of vegetable and animal proteins.