Perhaps you have grown tired having the arms of a ten-year-old. And now you want to transform your pipe cleaners into weapons of mass destruction.
If you are on the thin side, use the following tips for building mass and transform your entire appearance.
Going from Bruce Banner to the Incredible Hulk takes quite a few steps, and no amount of gamma radiation is going to speed up the process.
Stick to the following routine and soon you will have the best dad bod on the block.
Create a New Diet
When I say “diet” for mass building, it means something entirely different than what a normal health and fitness diet would look like.
If you are on the skinny side and have a tough time gaining weight, then, to put it bluntly, you have to eat, son.
But don’t immediately run out to the nearest Chinese buffet and buy a yearly pass.
While you do want to consume more calories than what you have been doing, you want to also do so reasonably without putting on fifty pounds of fat.
Keep a level head when trying to build some serious mass.
Don’t acquire the extra calories from junk food. You don't have to consume high-calorie and high-protein drinks to get those calories either.
Remember those days when you would receive a large meal at a restaurant and only eat half of it? Kiss those days goodbye.
You are going to put on your big boy pants and eat like it is your job.
There are certain foods you should immediately stock your fridge and pantry with. They will help you in your quest.
Turkey, eggs, fish, chicken, and lean beef should be staples in your diet.
They are protein packed, and that is exactly what you want.
Also, change out that skim milk that you have been drinking for years and switch to whole milk instead. Whole milk will definitely help you gain weight, and milk is packed with vitamins, minerals, and protein.
There are great articles in our archives that can help you nail down your mass building diet.
You may feel like you are eating so much that food is about ready to erupt from your ears, but this is all part of the game.
Keep it simple by not overdoing the fats, ingest a good amount of carbs, and stack up on the protein.
Prepare Your Meals Ahead of Time
When you are eating that many times a day, those minutes will quickly add up to hours as you have to prepare each meal.
Choose two-time slots a week to cook and add your meals to containers.
These time slots may be about two hours each, but it will save you later on from scrambling for food.
Just being able to throw a prepared container of food in the microwave will keep you on your mass building ways.
You may find it handy to grill out on Sundays and Tupperware all this meat and goodness for your use later on in the week.
The struggle of gaining weight is real for many of us, so don’t let the burden of food preparation get in the way of you making some serious gains.
Mass Building Workouts
Now let’s switch gears from the diet to the actual working out. With all of these extra calories you are consuming, you have to put them to good use.
Let them fuel your mass building workouts.
Now a heavy weight is all in our perspective.
What I may think is heavy may not be what you consider heavy.
What Ronnie Coleman considers heavy on the bench press may seem like it would literally crush us if we tried lifting it.
It’s all relative.
Instead, the thing you with should be focusing on is the number of repetitions you do.
Studies have shown that 5 to 10 reps for mass building work pretty well.
However, this has to be with a weight that really makes you struggle.
You can’t just pull the 5-pound dumbbells off the rack and expect to build muscle with them. Plus, the women’s aerobics class will probably need those dumbbells at some point.
Go with the heaviest weight you can comfortably lift and complete 5 to 10 reps with good form.
Use Compound Exercises to Build Mass
If you are a faithful member of the Fit Father Project, you have probably read a lot about compound exercises.
Compound exercises are movements that work several muscles at once. This provides you with much more bang for your buck in contrast to isolation exercises that only work one muscle at a time.
With this said, doing compound exercises often will create new muscle mass for you. Listed below are two different mass building workouts. Alternating between these two workouts will have you hitting muscle groups two to three times a week.
Upper Body Mass Builder
Keeping the compound exercises in mind, here is a list of the exercises and the order to do them in.
Flat Bench Press: Remember that this is a mass building workout, so you are going to have to go heavy. Doing three sets of 6 to 8 reps that leave you struggling is ideal. Make sure you have a good spotter. I have seen too many guys eat the bar after their strength runs out.
Preacher Bicep Curl: Yes, this is an isolation exercise, but I place it here for a purpose. Flat bench was working quite a few muscle groups, so doing the preacher curl will give you a bit of a chance to catch your breath. Aim for three sets of 8 to 10 reps.
Standing Military Shoulder Press: This is a forgotten compound exercise, but talk to any old school gym veteran and they will tell you how important it is. It is basically a full-body workout. Go for three sets for 8 to 10 reps.
Seated Rows: Not quite an isolation exercise since it is working back, lats, and biceps, it does take less out of you than other compound movements. Stick with the three sets for 8 to 10 reps. Remember that you are going heavy on all of these exercises.
Dumbbell Flys: This exercise is great for the chest, but it also works your shoulders a bit. Three sets of 8 to 10 reps are ideal.
Lat Pulldowns: If you can do a good amount of pull-ups, I would suggest those instead. But most people can only do a few at a time. Do the lat pulldowns until you are ready for a full set of pull-ups. Once again, three sets for 8 to 10 reps should produce good results.
Abs: Finish off the mass building workout by strengthening your core. There are numerous ab exercises you can do. Planks are often a good one, and you are only competing against yourself. Try holding the plank a little bit longer each time.
Lower Body Mass Builder
Even though this is called a lower body mass builder, there are certain compound movements that really work most of the muscles in your body.
Deadlifts: While you might not enjoy picking up a bar loaded with heavy plates, deadlifts produce results. Your whole body will feel these. Use good form and try to go heavy with three sets for 6 to 8 reps.
Leg Machine: There are probably numerous leg machines in your gym. Find one that has strong back support and push up some serious weight. This exercise focuses entirely on the lower body, so three sets of 10 reps will have you feeling the burn.
Seated Leg Curls: This is a total isolation exercise, but it will give you a breather from lifting heavy weight. Three sets of 10 reps would be good.
Squats: My apologies to your legs because they will be hurting the next day until you get used to this workout. Squats are almost a full-body workout, so you will be exhausted once you finish. Try to do three sets of 8 reps if you can.
Calf Raises: This will be the end of your mass building lower body workout. If you would like, take some of the weight off the squat bar and just do your calf raises right there in the squat rack. Three sets of 10 reps will work.
Put It All Together
By having the right diet and mass building workout routine, you are guaranteed to put on some mass.
For an added boost, take a safe supplement that can help you gain weight and muscle as well.
In fact, there are protein shakes on the market that has creatine already in them. By attacking mass building on all fronts, it will be interesting to see how great of results you can obtain.
Writer, The Fit Father Project
Ryan is a fitness expert from Illinois with two decades of experience under his belt. Never one to turn down a challenge, he has taken every class any gym has to offer, even the Dance Kickboxing class. If 70s disco dance music starts playing, everybody should run for cover. You have never lived until you have kicked somebody in the head to Dancing Queen.
*Please know that weight loss results & health changes/improvements vary from individual to individual; you may not achieve similar results. Always consult with your doctor before making health decisions. This is not medical advice – simply very well-researched info on creating a mass building workout.