What exercises will help me bulk up?

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Eric Beard
Sports Medicine

Start with your diet. Eat about 10% more calories than you burn each day with enough protein to grow your lean muscle. As far as specific exercises go, total body exercises or exercises that recruit the major muscle groups are the way to pack on mass.  Barbell deadlifts, squats, push-presses and cleans done with high volume will do the trick. Perform 6-12 repetitions for 3-6 sets (maybe more sets depending on your exercise routine, nutrition and training experience).  Rest only 30-60 seconds between each set and train each muscle group 2-3 times per week resting 48-72 hours between each training session for each muscle group. The exercise selection is really the third most important thing when trying to put on mass. Total volume of your workout program and proper nutrition are the first two. Supplementation can be very effective when you eat right and lift right as well.

There are a number of exercises that can help in bulking up. Exercises performed in more stable environments, such as on a bench, seated, or in a machine, will help in providing you the ideal environment for you to target specific muscle groups as well as lift heavier loads. However, ultimately it comes down to how you perform these exercises, rest periods between training sessions and your nutritional status that will determine how "bulked up" you become. In general, from a resistance training perspective, to increase muscle you should perform 3-4 sets of 6-12 repetitions per exercise at a load where the last couple of repetitions are challenging to complete. This is assuming that you have progressed to being able to handle these types of stresses and you have ample amounts of stability strength and control to handle these types of loads. So make sure you gradually increase the amount of training you do so you can safely handle this amount of stress to ensure you don't injure yourself and end up regressing versus progressing.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.