Explosive Muscle Growth

A Guide for Newcomers to Avoid Injuries

Welcome to 2021, with the New Year come new injuries from new people doing new exercises.

Unfortunately many people aren’t familiar that Exercise, Food, and Rest are all three equally important pillars to muscle growth. Be sure to give each an equal amount of respect if you want to gain muscle.

1. Exercise

Calibrate and get clear where your strength is.

If your goal is to bulk up and you’re not sure about your current strength, start with “5x5”s where you do 5 sets of 5 reps. Start with a weight you’re very confident in and keep adding weight until you’re getting a good idea of where your current ability lies.

For example, if you're not sure how much you can benchpress try doing the following sets, 5 reps each:

  1. Bare bar (45lbs)

  2. Too easy? Add 10 lbs. Challenging? add 1-2 lbs

  3. Still easy? Add 10 lbs. Challenging? add 1-2 lbs

  4. Still easy? Add 10 lbs. Challenging? add 1-2 lbs

  5. Still easy? start at 75 lbs next time. Challenging? good job!

5x5 are a great way to benchmark where your strength lies while getting a good workout. Feel free to replace 10 lbs with whatever is appropriate from the previous set. Don’t commit to a set if it feels too much, especially if you’re starting out.

The point of doing this for the first few work outs is to to get clear about your current strength and ability. Once you're clear about where you are, get into doing 6 reps for 3 sets with weights close to your limit. In general, when trying to bulk up you're going to want to be doing less reps and more weight.

Also, note that muscles grow faster than joints do, so be careful not to injure your joints (elbows, knees, etc). So slow and steady reps are better than explosive ones when you're growing initially.

2. Food

Regarding food it's going to depend on your body type. If you already eat healthy, then listening to your body and its natural cravings is the best way to go. Otherwise, you should be eating enough proteins so that the soreness goes away fast enough. (If you're sore after 3-4 days, then you most likely overworked yourself and you're now bulking WAY slower than you normally would).

With food, I like the baseline of 50% carbs 50% protein. You can later modify the 50-50 ratio towards how your body is reacting towards it. Not healing fast enough, more protein. Feeling light headed and dizzy or weak, then possibly needing more carbs.

Make sure to eat as much fiber and greens as possible to poop it out smoothly. Your organs are also getting a workout from the new demands of nutrients and you’re going to want to keep them as well oiled as possible.

Also, Remember that you have a recovery window of 90 minutes after an intense work out. If you skip it, you’ll feel drained, weak, and you’ve pretty much thrown away your workout. Not to mention you’ll be sore for no reason for a few days. You don’t need to eat like a king every time, but make sure your body isn’t denied the bare minimum snacks either.

3. Rest

Your muscles actually grow when resting. If you want to bulk up, the bulking up action happens at rest. Working out is when muscles get torn. Food is the just the supplies to make sure you heal. It’s being at rest where the magic actually happens.

Take sleep seriously. Sleep earlier for natural benefits of healing. People who sleep early give testimonials about how each hour before midnight has a huge boost on their performance.

Sleeping early is best, but whatever fits your schedule ty to keep long blocks of hours for rest. If that’s not possible, you may want to resort to taking naps to keep your momentum up.

That’s it!

In a nutshell, exercise food and sleep are all you need to bulk up. If you must obsess over things, obsess over not denying any of the pillars and getting ‘good enough’ while you’re learning and improving. Benchmarking yourself, evaluating, and revising is the best way to go. Keep tweaking as you’re improving and getting more efficient each time.

Also, remember that the strongest people are the ones who stop themselves before an injury actually occurs. It takes a big person to recognize what they can’t do just yet, even if they can do a couple reps of it now.