Building blocks of muscle building

Targeted training, proper nutrition and adequate recovery time are the three building blocks of muscle building.

The rules of muscle growth

Before a muscle-packed dream body has emerged, it faces a long and consistently hard training. In addition, a conscious diet with a high protein surplus and sufficient regeneration phases are indispensable.
But what does the right training look like?
At the very beginning, you should say goodbye to the fitness strip and immediately delete most of the machine exercises in the studio from your plan. Rather, mass exercises with dumbbells and barbells are the best on the long road to an impressive body.
Next, the attitude: "With any amount of means, the muscles will already grow" is deleted. Because only with dietary supplements from the bodybuilding store alone it will be nothing with the fat muscles.
Discipline and hard training are the key!
On the other hand, overdoing it is counterproductive: anyone who spends the majority of their life in the gym now will end up in catabolic, or muscle-depleting, states with too long and overly punishing workouts.
Only in the recovery breaks the muscles grow, not in the training session!

Meaningful exercises

Undoubtedly, heavy basic exercises with dumbbells and barbells are the best exercises for building solid muscle mass. They can be usefully supplemented with some selected machine exercises.
Suitable basic exercises include:
● Biceps: dumbbell and barbell curls, hammer curls
● Triceps: double-arm overhead dumbbell press, dips, tight bench press, supine French press.
● Back: pull-ups, barbell rowing in forward bend, dumbbell rowing single arm, deadlift, seated rowing on cable.
● Chest: flying movements, dips, incline bench press, bench press.
● Shoulders and hood muscle: dumbbell press, barbell front press, dumbbell press, dumbbell side lift, neck press, shrugs (shoulder lift), upright rowing.
● Calves and legs: squats, deadlifts with legs extended, leg presses, calf raises seated, calf raises standing.

The execution

All upper body exercises should be performed in a manner that allows the athlete 6 to 10 repetitions. Sports medicine studies yield evidence that muscle tissue and strength are built in this repetition range.
In the lower body, the repetition numbers are 8 to 12 per set.
For each muscle group, 3 exercises of 2 to 3 sets each are sufficient in a training session - the prerequisite is that each set is performed cleanly, i.e. without deflection and until actual muscle failure.
The central weight training should be preceded by a few relaxed warm-up minutes on a bicycle ergometer. This warms up the muscles and gets the circulation going. The better the blood supply to the muscles, the better they perform and the less susceptible they are to injury.
The much vaunted intensity techniques such as negative reps or forced reps should be used quite sparingly - ultimately they carry more risk of injury.
However, the athlete should always be careful to use a slightly higher weight week after week or at least try to complete 1 to 2 additional repetitions compared to the previous week. This is because the muscles get used to recurring stimuli quickly. However, they only grow if they are consistently overloaded with heavier and heavier weights.

The recovery phases

Every strength athlete must be able to regenerate sufficiently. If you go to the gym every day for many hours, you will ultimately build little muscle. Productive is 3-4 times a week, intensive and well-planned training for 60 to 75 minutes each time. This is sufficient to provide optimal stimuli for muscle growth.

The smart training program

Here, 4-splits are tried and tested: Here, the entire body is trained once in its entirety in the course of an eight-day period within four different units. In this way, each muscle is directly stimulated once in 8 days. It is recommended to take a rest day after each training session:
● Day 1
Biceps: dumbbell curls seated, barbell curls, dumbbell hammer curls standing
Chest: dips, dumbbell incline bench press, barbell bench press, dumbbell pull-ups.
● Day 2: Break
● Day 3
Back: pull-ups, bent-over dumbbell rowing, bent-over barbell rowing, seated rowing on cable
Rear shoulder: bent forward dumbbell side lift
● Day 4: Break
● Day 5
Triceps: lying French press with SZ barbell, seated overhead dumbbell press with both arms, close bench press
Shoulder: upright rowing, dumbbell lateral raise standing, barbell front press.
Hood muscle: dumbbell shrugs
● Day 6: Break
● Day 7
Legs: squats, deadlifts with legs extended, leg presses, calf raises seated, calf raises standing
● Day 8: Break
The cycle is repeated.
2 to 3 sets of 6 to 10 repetitions to muscle failure should be completed, and 8 to 12 repetitions for leg exercises.

Intensity is the key!

Those who delude themselves and finish sets before muscle failure are training inadequately. Intensity starts in the mind: If you think you can only do 6 reps, you'll only do 6. If you discipline yourself and don't stop until all the muscle fibers are burning, you'll be rewarded with maximum pump and ultimately progressive growth.

The correct diet

Anyone who wants to build muscle must provide the entire organism with sufficient nutrients. From this, the body receives energy for training and muscle building. Hard and result-oriented muscle training requires the sufficient supply of proteins, calories and carbohydrates.


Protein (egg white) consists of individual amino acids and is the only macronutrient that directly builds muscles. Most amino acids can be produced by the organism itself - but in addition to these non-essential ones, there are also essential amino acids that must be specifically eaten.
Protein sources should always be high quality - egg and whey protein and meat are excellent sources of protein.
The respective absorption rate is also important. It indicates how quickly the protein can be utilized. Fast-absorbing whey protein is ideal after training to replenish depleted stores - slow-absorbing protein such as casein is recommended for nighttime consumption. Because it is precisely then that all build-up and regeneration processes run at full speed.
If you want to specifically build muscle, you should consume about 3 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight.
Recommended sources of protein are low-fat meat and poultry, dairy products, fish, eggs and protein concentrates such as whey protein for a fixed supply after waking up in the morning and after training. Three-component protein and casein are ideal suppliers during the rest of the day and at night.


They are not called muscle gasoline for no reason; carbohydrates are energy suppliers, at the same time they hydrate the muscle cells so that they are firm and plump due to glycogen storage.
The so-called glycemic index (GI) indicates the respective absorption rate: The lower this GI, the more evenly and slowly the carbohydrates are processed. Sugar chains of different lengths receive special attention in a well thought-out diet - in general, carbohydrates and proteins should be consumed every three hours. During the day, slowly absorbable proteins and complex carbohydrates are preferred.
Suppliers of complex carbohydrates are vegetables and whole grain products.


Because fat has the highest nutrient density of all macronutrients at a full 9 kilocalories per gram, many athletes consider it a no-go. However, drastic fat reduction also demonstrably lowers the athletic energy level, so that the radical fat renunciation quickly becomes a disadvantage.
Here, too, high quality is essential: vegetable fats should be preferred over saturated animal fats. High-quality oils, above all fish oils as the best suppliers of omega-3 fatty acids, are the best choice.

Vitamins and minerals

Along with carbohydrates and proteins, fats are called macronutrients; minerals, trace elements and vitamins are micronutrients. Despite their small concentrations, they are involved in all organic processes. Accordingly, deficiencies have a detrimental effect on physical and mental performance.
Vegetables and fruit should be consumed daily to cover micronutrient requirements. Supplements with good multivitamin/multimineral preparations are recommended.

Fluid intake

Water transports the nutrients. Deficiencies lower performance. For exercisers, 4 liters of drinking water or unsweetened tea per day should be the rule.

Food supplements

Hard trainers effectively support muscle building through the use of high quality supplements, especially high content protein concentrates. Vitamin and mineral deficiencies caused by a high-calorie diet and hard training are counteracted by the use of good multivitamin/mineral supplements.
More specific supplements include creatine to build endurance, strength and muscle cell volume, as well as recovery-enhancing glutamine, L-carnitine to promote heart health and protein bars as useful snacks between meals.

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