Whatever you do, don’t make the mistake of counting calories. “If you eat a lot of protein but not enough overall calories, you’ll struggle to be able to workout to build more muscle,” Antoni says.
Finally, let’s dispel the idea of the ‘dirty bulk’ right now. That is, the process of eating whatever the hell you want to gain size, before cutting down later. For all of our PTs, it’s a no-go. “The food you consume will affect your physique as much as your fitness routine,” says Morgan. “Heavily processed food and junk food are empty calories packed with sodium, sugar, and unhealthy fats. Initially, they may provide energy during your training, but they’re not sustainable for your athletic performance long-term.”
As we’ve said, there’s no one way to build muscle and your approach will be influenced by genetic factors, and your overall goals. That said, here we present three different approaches from three different PTs. Pick and choose between them to get started, using them as inspiration to find the muscle building regiment that works best for you.
The traditional approach
When it comes to how to build muscle, Morgan advocates a well-rounded approach to fitness with a dynamic routine that will work all angles and help supercharge muscle growth.
Six per minute for 16 minutes
“Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, arms at your sides. Push your hips back and lower your body into a squat. Place your hands directly in front of you and shift your weight onto your hands. Kick your feet back into a plank position. Lower your chest and drop all the way down to the ground with your elbows up and your arms close to the body. Push off from the ground and jump forward with your feet. Jump straight upwards with your hands behind your head, land and immediately go for the next repetition.”
Barbell bench press
4x 10 reps
“This workout specifically challenges the muscles in your upper body, including your pecs, front delts, triceps, and biceps. It’s perfect for those looking to develop their muscle mass, strength, and endurance, allowing you to carry out more physically challenging tasks during the day.
“Lay back on the bench and position your body with the bar slightly above your chest. Grab the bar with an overhand grip, hands slightly past shoulder width. Squeeze your shoulders together and press them into the bench as you pull the bar off the holder. With the bar in your hands, extend your arms, breathe in, and slowly bend your arms as you lower the bar, then breathe out and push the bar back upwards as you straighten your arms once more to perform one rep.”
Bulgarian split squat
4x 10 reps
“This workout focuses on your lower body by strengthening the muscles in your glutes, calves, hamstrings, and quads.
“Stand in front of a bench, facing away. Extend your left leg behind you and let your toe rest on the platform. Engage your hips and shoulders, keeping your chest up and back straight. Sowly lower your left knee to the floor at a 90-degree angle, then reverse the motion, return to starting position and repeat the process with the right leg to form one rep.”
The bodyweight approach
Maritato takes a calisthenics approach to muscle building, the added benefit being that you can do this workout anytime, anywhere.