Building muscle means you will more efficiently burn fat, look more toned, and even decrease the likelihood of future injuries. As we age, those of us with better developed muscles will appreciate improved health and agility.
Basically, there's no downside to prioritizing muscle building. Young or old, male or female, it's something everybody should be doing.
Knowing how valuable muscle building is, we put together a list of tips for you to consider. Whether you're new to the game or a seasoned pro, there's something for everyone here.
Check out our collection of over 100 tips, and reap all the rewards that come from building that muscle.
Best muscle building tips
- Wanting to build muscle? Focus on performing compound exercises. These are your best tools for muscle growth.
- Best exercise for building muscle? Squats! Make sure your form is correct to protect your back and knees.
- Deadlifts are a great compound exercise that helps you build muscle all over your body. Definitely incorporate these into your workouts!
- Building muscle isn’t rocket science! Be consistent, eat enough food and get stronger, and you will see results.
- Stay balanced and make sure you work your whole upper body. Equal training on the chest, back and shoulders will keep you healthy, strong and will help to stave off shoulder issues.
- Thinking about mixing up your workout? Learn to evolve your training based on needs rather than making random changes.
- Tricep dips can be a secret weapon in your muscle building journey. Don’t underestimate their ability to pack on chest and tricep mass.
- Remember! Training to failure is not necessary, and can involve more risk than reward. The time to stop a set is when you feel like you might fail on the next rep.
- Make sure to eat a variety of foods that contain protein…meat, chicken, fish, eggs, milk etc. Each protein source has a different amino acid profile, so they are all important!
- Looking for advice on rep numbers? Train most compound exercises between the 5-12 rep range.
Muscle building tips for beginners
- Step one for building muscle? Get strong! You don’t have to become a powerlifter overnight, but your aim should simply be to dramatically improve your strength over what it is now.
- Make sure to leave time for recovery! You don’t need to do endless sets day after day on the same muscle groups.
- Most important tip for building muscle? Stop missing workouts. The key is consistency.
- Although you can aspire to train like advanced lifters, don’t try to do the same straight out of the gate. What you need is to get strong on the basic compound lifts, before you move on to the more complicated moves.
- Remember that proper muscle building nutrition is much more than chicken and rice! Make sure to eat a variety of whole foods each week.
- Do NOT avoid healthy fats! Your body needs fat to function properly. Fat is not bad.
- Even if your goal is simply to build muscle, don’t forget to do cardio regularly. It won’t limit your gains and better heart health never hurts!
- Looking for the perfect back workout for building muscle? Combine the deadlift, a row, and a lat exercise.
- Trying to build the perfect workout to build muscle? Perform your compound exercises first while you are fresh.
- Do NOT train with poor form. During a workout, if your exercise form deteriorates due to fatigue or lack of concentration, stop the set immediately.
Muscle building tips for men
- Do you want big arms? Remember that the triceps make up two-thirds of your arm size, so make sure to train them appropriately.
- Don’t forget that the heavier the weight, the more challenging keeping proper form becomes.
- Eat big, but clean! You have to take in lots of food, but that doesn’t mean you can eat whatever you want. You don’t want to be the biggest and fattest guy!
- To build muscle, focus on compound lifts. They are the most basic, but they are also the most important! Bench presses, squats, deadlifts, rows, pull-ups and dips should all be staples in your routine if you want bigness.
- Machines or free weights? Machines mean your core muscles don’t work as much, so stick to free weights instead.
- Train large muscle groups, such as legs and back. Your body releases more muscle building and fat burning hormones when you train large muscles like your legs and back. These hormones also stimulate growth in your smaller muscles.
- There are roughly 4 different male body types. Make sure you determine which type you are, so that you can find what workout routine is the most adapted to your own body type.
- If there’s any piece of equipment you want to become totally familiar with when building muscle, it’s the barbell. Barbells let you stack a lot of weight at a single rep and lift heavy, and heavy lifting is the secret to building muscle.
- Here’s a trick: Keep adding weight to your reps over time to build muscle mass fast. Do it gradually. Once your muscles start to get comfortable with a particular weight, keeping adding additional pounds.
- Remember! Doing endless reps won’t help you maximize muscle size. In fact, beyond a certain number of repetitions for each muscle, muscle tissue starts to break down. Do 6-12 reps for each exercise set until failure.
Muscle building tips for women
- Remember! Muscle soreness is not the sole indicator of workout effectiveness.
- Ladies! Do not be afraid of bigger weights. It will help you to build lean muscle, not get bulky.
- Stick to low-impact, light cardio. You should always be lifting more often than doing cardio if you want to increase your muscle mass.
- Make sure to eat more carbohydrates at breakfast and immediately after your workout in that half-hour anabolic window to maximize muscle recovery.
- Ladies, you must sleep! This is where the magic really happens. After a workout, your muscles use the nutrients and water you've ingested during the day, and will work during your sleep to build and grow your muscles. So don't skimp!
- Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Drink half of your bodyweight in ounces of water daily so your muscles stay full and saturated.
- Stay within the 8-12 rep range. It is low enough to help you gain some strength, but high enough that you’ll feel that crucial mind-muscle connection – the feeling that helps you ensure you're working the right muscle fibres and getting the most from each exercise you do.
- Replenish your stores of glucose and protein within 30 minutes post-exercise. Low-fat chocolate milk and bananas with peanut butter make up easy options for a protein and carbohydrate-rich post-workout meal. These foods contribute to lean body mass building.
- Remember, not all women have equal capacities for gaining muscle. Don’t compare yourself to other ladies; concentrate on the strength YOU can gain, and the muscle YOU can build.
- Increase your protein and don’t fear fat! They will not make you fat. In fact, they will help you gain muscle.
Muscle building tips for skinny guys
- Make sure to increase your daily caloric intake and try, switching to whole milk, adding butter to your veggies and snacking on almonds and nuts.
- Maximize your muscle building potential! Make sure your protein intake is sufficient so that you can build and store new proteins faster than your body breaks down old proteins.
- Before working out, drink a shake combining amino acids and carbohydrates to increase your protein synthesis.
- Do a full-body workout followed by a day of rest. A challenging weight workout increases protein synthesis for up to 48 hours immediately after your exercise session, and your muscles grow when you’re resting, not when you’re working out.
- Feed your body carbohydrates after your workout. It will help you rebuild muscle faster on your rest days.
- Make sure you eat something every 3 hours! If you don’t eat often enough, you’ll limit the rate at which your body builds new proteins.
- Eat a combination of carbohydrates and protein 30 minutes before you go to bed. The calories are more likely to stick with you during sleep and reduce protein breakdown in your muscles. This will help you build muscle.
- Instead of traditional weight-gain powders, drink protein shakes before every workout. Weight-gain drinks are usually primarily sugar and will not help you put on muscle in the long-term.
- Hoping to finally build muscle? Make sure you challenge yourself each time you work out! Although the weights that challenge you may be warming up to others, you have to just go for it each time you train.
- Water, water, water! Learn to love it. It makes up as much as 70% of your muscle, so if you want bigger and stronger muscles, you need to drink much more water.
Tips for building lean muscle
- To build lean muscle, you will need to increase your training frequency to 4-5 times per week. Even though these sessions may need to be a bit shorter to allow for recovery, the increased exposure to a training stimulus can be helpful in packing on mass.
- Use targeted isolation movements, such as bicep curls or calf raises, to add volume to your program and bring up lagging body parts.
- To build lean muscle, eat lean proteins! Fish, chicken and eggs should be your go-to sources.
- Make sure you consume at least 30 grams of protein within 45 minutes of finishing a workout.
- Routine weightlifting focuses on toning muscles, rather than building them, so that you have a leaner figure. At the same time, it burns fat and encourages weight loss. What could be better.
- The best results will happen when you push your muscles until they can no longer do the lift or exercise on the last rep. You will tear and rebuild a leaner physique with this method.
- Aim to perform 1 repetition every 2 seconds. This timing seems to be more effective at building lean muscle than 1 rep every 4 seconds.
- Rest for 1 minute or less between sets. You can rest for longer between different exercises, but studies have shown that short rest times, especially with light weights, are better.
- The best lean muscle exercises are compound exercises. They are designed for a full body workout, so make sure you rest the muscles and do cardio the day after you do them.
- Eat plenty of veggies! They should cover half your plate at all meals. Spinach is an excellent source of glutamine, which encourages lean muscle growth. Beets are a source of betaine, which helps repair joints.
Tips to gain muscle fast
- If you’ve been lifting for a while, you’ll build the most muscle quickest if you focus on the large muscle groups, like the chest, back and legs.
- If you don’t consume enough calories, you’re not going to gain muscle. Fact. A good rule of thumb is to take your bodyweight and multiply this by 10 or 12 depending on how in shape you are. Then add on 1000-1500 calories per day.
- Up your protein intake. Let's face it, muscle is protein and protein is composed of amino acids. You can't build big muscles without an adequate supply of protein.
- Use supplements to speed up muscle gain. Stick to the basics such as protein powders, creatine, glutamine and multi-vitamins, and you’re sure to see fast results, as long as you put in the work.
- To gain muscle faster, focus on compound exercises. They recruit lots of muscle mass, making for efficient training and a big release of hormones such as testosterone that promote growth.
- Sleeping longer will help you gain muscle faster. Recovery is imperative for muscle growth, and there’s no better way to recover than by simply sleeping more.
- If you’re looking to gain muscle fast, drink a shake with protein and carbs during your workout. Mid-workout nutrition will give you a quick shot of carbs and calories that can keep your energy up and help you train harder.
- Want to gain muscle fast? Try to work each muscle 2-3 times per week, but keep the volume low to moderate to avoid overtraining.
- Remember! Just because you’re not training today doesn’t mean you shouldn’t eat big. Your off days are when most of your muscle growth takes place—the recovery phase—so it makes sense to keep plenty of nutrients on hand for the body to make the most of.
- To gain muscle fast, make sure you make each workout tougher than the last one. Do more sets, do more reps or lift heavier weights, or all three.
Tips on how to build muscle
- Try to eat your biggest meal of the day 30-60 minutes after you lift weights. This will help you build the most muscle.
- To build muscle, forget about pump and soreness. Instead focus on adding weight on the bar. Try to lift more than last time. You’ll get stronger which will increase your overall muscle mass. If you don’t lift more today than last month or year, you’re not building muscle.
- Do exercises that work several muscles at the same time. You’ll be able to lift heavier weights which will trigger more muscle growth. The bulk of your routine should consist of these compound exercises.
- Barbells involve more muscles and trigger more growth, because you have to balance the weight yourself and you can lift heavier weights with barbells.
- Your body uses protein to build new muscle, and recover damaged muscle tissue post-workout. You need 2.2g protein per kilogram of body-weight (1g/lb) to maximize muscle recovery and build muscle.
- Eat more! Your muscles can’t recover and grow if there’s a shortage of food. Most men need at least 3000 calories a day to build muscle.
- Be consistent! Most guys gain 0.5lb of lean muscle per week if they do an effective training program and eat well. It takes a year to gain 24lb of lean muscle and see dramatic change. Consistency is key!
- Creatine is an excellent ingredient for increasing strength, building muscle size and training intensity. It makes a great pre- and post-workout shake.
- Don’t let stress ruin your muscle-building goals! Catabolic hormones which are released during times of stress can quickly put the brakes on muscle growth. Find ways to alleviate your stresses to avoid the number one progress killer.
- Be smart and choose the most effective muscle building exercises. Your core exercises should be compound ones and these will stimulate muscle growth and strength like no others.
Muscle growth tips
- Don’t burn away your muscle gains with too much cardio. Keep your aerobic exercise light but regular, to make sure your fitness doesn’t suffer.
- After a cardio session, make sure you consume protein and carbs soon after. This will offset any potential muscle loss.
- Take advantage of the vital post-workout muscle-growth period. Be sure to consume a suitable recovery drink as soon as possible following your workout.
- For muscle growth, calories are key, but they’re not everything! A mass-gain program isn’t an excuse to gorge on fast food and sweets all day. Make sure your diet is balanced and full of the proper nutrients needed to aide muscle growth.
- Remember that muscle growth and mass gains vary by individual, and it doesn’t have to be uniform. Don’t think you have to gain a set amount of weight each and every week!
- Stay within the optimal rep range that builds the most muscle. Do no more than 20 sets per muscle group, and 6-12 reps per set.
- To maximize your muscle growth, in lieu of more volume, use heavier weights and move through each rep at a controlled speed.
- Try to make your sets last between 40-70 seconds. Any less and you’re not tensing your muscles long enough to shock them into growth.
- Eat regularly! You should have 5-6 small meals a day to keep good-quality fuel coming into your body, so that you have the calories to build muscle and the metabolism boost to lose fat.
- When lifting weights, focus on the eccentric phase. This will better trigger hypertrophy, and will improve muscle growth.
Muscle building workout tips
- For most isolation exercises, train between the 8 to 15 rep range.
- Log your workouts! Make sure you have some way of tracking your progress so that you know you are headed in the right direction.
- Leg presses are a good exercise, but they are not better than squats. If you want a great leg blasting tag team that builds muscle, use both.
- Focusing on building muscle? If you’re going to train to failure, do so only on your last set of an exercise.
- Always try to improve! If you performed 8 reps last week, try for 9 or 10 reps this week.
- Train your abs last. They are a small muscle group. Blast bigger muscle groups first.
- To maximize strength and muscle gains, stick to compound exercises that will minimize the time you need to spend in the gym, whilst working multiple muscles.
- Make sure you stretch it out! Stretching of any kind, using a foam roller and getting massages will all help keep you flexible, prevent injury, and improve recovery between your muscle-building workouts.
- Every 4-6 weeks, alter some part of your routine. This may be the number of reps you do, the amount of time you rest, or the exercises you perform.
- Try to incorporate full-body exercises into your workouts. This will ensure balanced training, allowing you to grow quickly and safely, avoiding injuries and preserving flexibility.