How to build muscle

Are you finding it difficult to put on muscle mass nomatter how hard you train?

Confused about how to train to build muscle quickly?

Unsure about what supplements would work for you?

In this 3 part series, I am going to talk about how you can build raw lean muscle

purely for aesthetic reasons. Lets face it, we are all vain to a certain degree and want to look fantastic don’t we?!

First we will look into the fundamentals of muscle building. The hurdles and habits you would first need to break and then employ the correct strategies to ensure that you are on your way to building a lean, strong and muscular body.

In the second part, we will discuss how to train to get results and leverage the different types of training principles in order to ensure constant progression.

And the third, training nutrition. The key to building hard quality muscle. I will also reveal the real truth about supplementation, what works and what doesn’t, and what the supplement industry do not want us to know!

Being an Ectomorph like myself (a system known as somatotyping that describes the build of an individual; an ectomorph is always thin in torso and limbs, carry little body fat or muscle), gaining muscle was an uphill struggle for me. However, with the right mindset, training and nutrition, no matter what your body type is, it can be primed to grow! 

What about genetics you might add? Although it does play a part in determining how your body turns out but it is never a limiting factor. If you prime your body in an anabolic environment enough it is just not possible for it not to grow. Although we all hold a limit to our genetic potential of how much mass we can put on, it will take a while before you reach this ceiling and chances are by that time you would have fully realized most if not all of your fitness goals!

Now, I could easily give you a handful of the best and most effective training systems to build raw muscle quickly but they would be rendered useless if basics are not addressed first. Once the fundamentals are taken care of, you could leverage the powerful periodization techniques to ensure continual progress in gaining mass & strength and keep platues at bay.

If you are doing one or more of the following, your progress would stall or worst still, you could lose muscle.

Here are the 10 most common problems and must be avoided:


– Under eating and/or eating the wrong types of foods.
– Eating infrequently/ skipping meals.
– Training with too much weight and bad technique.
– Training with insufficient intensity.
– Overtraining and imbalanced training.
– Insufficient rest and recovery.
–  Improper training nutrition.
–  Doing the same exercises for months on end.
–  Improper or no warm-up leading to injuries.
– Lack of discipline, commitment and patience – they give up before they even get started properly.


If you are serious about your progression, here are some of the points you need to get to grips with:


1. Get the idea in your head that you can build the physique that you aspire.

This may seem trivial and often overlooked but is the driving force behind what you set out to do. Training is as much mental as it is physical.


2. Set yourself specific goals of where you want to be and by when.

Set yourself specific goals such as how big you want your arms, chest, etc. How much lean body mass you want to build and percentage bodyfat. Setting target that you can aim at will keep you focused and keep you in momentum. So set your destination before you set sail!













3. Have a detailed periodised programme of which exercise to work on which muscle groups and on which days and keep a training log.

A fully structured programme will ensure that your training is balanced, keep you on track and provide feedback with your progress.


4. Monitor your progress weekly (circumference, weight and body composition measurements) and make changes to diet and/or training if required.

Its difficult to see how far you have come from sight alone. Detailed metrics will reveal how far you have come and provide a positive feedback loop. It will also highlight any changes that may be required to your diet and/or training where appropriate to ensure continual progress.





5. Get your training nutrition in order.

Without the appropriate nutrition to support your training, you can train till you go green and you will not get any results. Worst still, you could lose muscle mass from overtraining and malnutrition which is a commonplace. 


6. Rest & recovery.

One of the most common mistakes that people make is overtraining and under resting. We don’t build muscle by tearing up iron in the weight room, instead muscle gets broken down. When you lift that monumental dumbbell, blood boiling through your bursting veins, sweat seeping out of your fatigue ripped muscles, you cause micro-tears in your muscle fibres. As your body repairs itself through the supporting nutrition and recovers from the release of growth hormones during rest, your muscles are rebuilt. Each time it becomes tougher, increasing in density and size in order to prepare itself so it can cope with the stresses placed upon it in the future. Rinse and repeat. This is how muscle is built so start training smart and give your body what it needs!



Stay Healthy & Strong,
Steven Wong – CPT, Pn1

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