How to build muscle using weights?
So you want to get bigger and stronger, like this guy.
Leopard print leotard optional.
Maybe you’ve always been the skinny guy and can’t gain weight to save your life (trust me, I’ve been there).
Maybe you’re a bigger guy and you’d rather have broad shoulders than a broad waistline.
Maybe you’re a female, and you’ve realized that lifting weights with the right diet will give you that “toned” look that everybody is after.
Maybe you just want to be stronger and faster.
No matter who you are or what your starting point is, I want to help get you where you want to go.
Building muscle is something I’ve been obsessed with since high school (okay, not obsessed, but it’s where the majority of my fitness research and experience has taken me). After struggling with building muscle for close to a decade, I’ve made significant progress in the past few years, packing on 20+ pounds of muscle, learning handstands, and adding 200+ pounds to my deadlift.
If you’re looking to start building muscle, getting bigger, and becoming stronger, these are the things you need to do:
- Lift heavy things
- Eat a diet based on your goals
I realize doing those three things is much easier said than done – I struggled with progress for a decade and know exactly what you’re going through.
For that reason, I created some free resources that will help you get started and remove all the guess work. In addition to our free Skinny Guy Bulk Up Shopping List and Cheat Sheet, we’ve also created an extensive free guide, Strength Training 101: Everything You Need to Get Started, that teaches you exactly how to strength train and what programs to follow in order to start building strength and muscle.
You can get both of the above guides free – along with some other bonuses – when you sign up with your email in the box below:
Download our comprehensive guide
- Everything you need to know about getting strong.
- Workout routines for bodyweight AND weight training.
- How to find the right gym and train properly in one.
Lift Heavy Things
If you are going to build muscle, you’re going to need to lift heavy things. This means you’ll need a gym with a great free-weight section. Body weight exercises can be fantastic for weight loss and keeping the muscle you already have, but if you’re serious about weight training you’ll need a gym with a squat rack, bench, barbells, and a spot to do pull ups, chin ups, and dips to be most efficient.
Got access to a decent gym? Good, now we can started.
Because we’re looking to create functional strength and size, we’ll be doing lots of full-body routines with compound exercises that work multiple muscle groups at once. They’re more efficient, they create solid growth and stimulation, and they will keep you safe. Why is that?
Well, when you spend all of your time doing stupid isolation exercises on weight machines (ugh), you’re only working those specific muscles and not working any of your stabilizer muscles (because the machine is doing all of the stabilization work). On the other hand, when you do compound exercises like barbell squats, you work pretty much EVERY muscle in your body, setting yourself up to be strong and injury free.
Each of your routines should have one leg exercise, push exercise, pull exercise, and a core exercise:
That’s IT. Don’t worry about adding in any ridiculous machine shoulder shrugs, iso-chest flys, preacher bicep curls, calf-raises, whatever. Learn these few exercises, get really good at them, and your entire body will get stronger and bigger. Focus each week on adding more weight to each exercise. For example, if you did 3 sets of 5 squats of 150 pounds this week, try for 3 sets of 5 squats of 155 pounds next week.