T Nation

Tricks for Gaining Muscle

i've read several different articles on gaining size. Triple sets (3 sets as fast as possible), 1 and a half reps, heavy and fast sets.

Which ones have u used and had any success with?

I was wondering especially about the heavy and fast sets. they say for chest for example, do heavy bench presses followed by as any fast push ups as you can do. And squats followed by jump squats. But how about shoulders, neck, back, lower back exercises? Do i just use one heavy weight and then a really light one or what can i do, lets say after some heavy shoulder presses? use leight weights and press them as many times as i can?

also, how often would u recommend doing this form of lifting? and in what form (split)? upper lower? push/pull?


Nobody can tell you what's going to work best for you. Pick something and follow it through. Learning to listen to what your body tells you along the way is the most useful skill in this game in my opinion. All the rest will follow, but you have to be able to ascertain how you respond to what and that takes trial and error.


If you are a beginner, chances are you don't need "tricks" to get bigger. Getting strong on basic exercises and eating your way up to a new size seems to work for just about everyone. If you plateau on something then maybe it's time to look into strategies to force your way up, but at this point I'm doubting you'll need anything special.


If you're a beginner who is training their legs and back, chances are you already know the secret to getting bigger.


Sounds about right ...lift to get stronger, eat to get bigger.

When you get stuck or can't even get the ball rolling ...then try this:

  • This is a simple upperbody PUSH workout. Takes less than 30 minutes. Its fast paced, so no goofin' off. (you can use this for upperbody PULL or legs ...just change the exercises.

  • Use a Barbell Bench Press & Bar Dips. You'll want to strip weight off of the bar 9 times so figure out the weights. For example: You start with 200lbs, strip 5 lbs off each set, the last set will be 155lbs.

  • Do 10 consecutive sets of each exercise with VERY SHORT rest periods, 5 to 20 seconds. Take about a 5 minute rest between the TWO exercises.

  • On the Bench Press use the 1-10 method(1 to 5 to 1 really), but it will look more like this ...1st set 1 rep, 2nd set 2 reps, third 3, 4th 4, 5th 5, 6th 5, 7th 4, 8th 3, 9th 2, 10th 1

{start with less than your 1 RM, around 90%, then sub about 5 lbs or 2% with each preceeding set}

...you'll want to go fast on the rest periods to start, then slow enough just to get up to 5 reps, then speed back up on the rest periods near the end so you can barely complete 1 full rep with roughly 1/4 of the initial weight stripped off of the bar.

  • With the dips you want to bust out about 10 reps on the first set, then keep the sets on top of each other so the rest periods are almost non-existant ...you'll be dropping off in reps but keep doing the sets, try to get 5 reps per set, or at least 3 to 4 solid ones.

***the hormonal response you'll get from working out like this is the one you'll need for a growth response. This is not easy to do(you won't be going thru the motions here), this is why your body will overcompensate and build muscle for you and make you stronger so the next time you do it ...

it will be prepaired (the body doesn't like to work; it will adapt to make it easier) ...you have to make it work.

*** don't make your workouts easier, your body naturally does that for you, you want to make them harder ...this is a basic ARNOLD philosophy ...it WORKS! Just push yourself, these are the workouts you want, the ones that push you. If you don't push the body foward, it won't do it by itself.

BEGINNERS usually don't have success because they have not yet learned how to push themselves PROPERLY. EFFORT is RESULTS. By making an effort to make your program harder and push yourself, this equates in results. There are many ways to do this ...this is just an easy one with two exercises. Short rest periods push you ...PERIOD.

Not only that, this is the perfect atmosphere to be in to build muscle ...along with the bodyweight exercise you'll be doing to release those growth hormones.



Tricks and "super secret training methods for fast mass gain" and "How to gain muscle fast"
or "stuck, we'll show you how to gain mass FAST" all belong in the enquirer with most all supplements. There are no tricks. hard work, good and adequate nutrition and rest. Repeat


lots of food and lifting heavy shit...... don't over complicate things.


Sure, when a bunch of guys are seeing steady results, they get frustrated by the ones who plateau. Youngblood, you can try anything and everything to stimulate your muscles differently. YOu could change your routine, switch between intensity/volume/frequency, use oposite motor recruitment for the same muscle group;s (replace leg press with m/c hack squat for eg) increase calories, adjust macros, anything. Just for kicks, why not try a gironda 8x8 for 12-14 weeks to stir up the pot?


Reserve those tricks for plateaus. Do them too often, and your body will surely burn out.


True, those suggestions can work. But I think what everyone else has been trying to get across is that the reason why trainees aren't getting the results they're after isn't due to them not using the latest "super secret" muscle building trick. It usually boils down to diet and intensity.

If you're not gaining weight, then you're not eating enough. It's pretty much that simple. If the weight you are gaining isn't the type that you want to be gaining (too much adipose, too little muscle), then either your diet is sufficient in quantity, but poor in quality; your calories are excessive; or your intensity in the gym is insufficient.

Like undeadlift said, you don't want to use really advanced "plateau buster" techniques right from the get go, nor do you want to use them often or for long durations. The reason being that like anything else, your body will adapt to those techniques and reduce their effectiveness.

Then, if/when you actually do reach a high level and actually are in legitimate need of those techniques, they may not work (or at least produce far inferior results than they should have).

In summary, no tricks just hard work in the gym and a good solid diet. That's the only formula you should be thinking about in terms of building muscle at this point.

Good training,



Tricks are for Kids....

Philly Wabbit! 8^D


find a half decent program and follow it to the T.


Indeed. Justified complexity and useful attention to detail exist in inverse proportion to level of experience in my view. In other words, the less advanced someone is the less minutia is called for. People who immediately want to know what tricks to use and or supplements to take are looking for shortcuts and are not likely to stick with this too long.