Question

Strength Training & Exercise

How should I start lifting weights to build muscle mass?

A Answers (2)

  • ATim Ferriss, Fitness, answered

    To start lifting weights in order to build muscle mass try out the following workouts:

    • WORKOUT A
      Pull- down: 8 repetitions (reps) × 80 lbs p 8 reps × 110 lbs
      Machine shoulder press: 8 reps × 30 lbs p 5 reps × 60 lbs
    • WORKOUT B
      Seated dips: 6 reps × 140 lbs p 6 reps × 170 lbs
      Seated leg press: 11 reps × 140 lbs p 12 reps × 190 lbs


    The first A and B workouts will be longer than subsequent workouts, as you need to use trial-and-error to determine starting weights.

    Do this by performing sets of five repetitions in each exercise with one minute of rest in between. Cadence should be fast but controlled on the raising and two to three seconds on the lowering. Do not perform more than five reps per set. If you can lift more, wait a minute, increase the weight ten pounds or 10% (whichever is less), and attempt again. Repeat this until you complete fewer than five reps.

    After you fail to complete five reps, calculate 70% of your last full five rep set. Take a three-minute rest and perform a 5/5 cadence set-to-failure using this weight. Congratulations, you just performed your first proper set-to-failure for this exercise, and this weight will be your starting point. For the shoulder press, use 60% of the last successful five-rep set instead of 70%.

  • To build muscle mass through lifting weights, you should focus on lifting for hypertrophy. Hypertrophy or muscle growth is best accomplished through using moderate to heavy loads with high volume. For example 4-6 sets of 8-12 repetitions. Further, make sure diet and caloric intake are adequate to create an environment for muscle growth.

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