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Learn How to Build Lean Muscle Quickly With These

There are many different techniques and ideas when talking about how to build lean muscle. Some are effective and some aren't. The key is to understand some of the basic fundamentals so that you can put together, and use, programs that will help you build muscle mass as quickly and easily as possible.

Here are some tips you can use to build lean muscle and develop effective weight training programs.

It's important that you use a training program that is designed to help you gain weight and build muscle. I know this sounds obvious but many people miss the point.

I've had people ask me for training advice because they can't seem to add weight. Then I find out they are eating only two or three meals a day, not getting enough protein, not getting enough total calories, and they are extremely active, participating in endurance, calorie burning sports such as basketball and soccer.

Not to mention the problems with their weight training routine - wimpy isolation exercises on machines, two hour workouts, not training with enough intensity, etc.

Use Multijoint (compound) Exercises

This seems like an obvious tip but I'm reminded every time I step foot into a gym that very few people understand it. It amazes me how many people who are trying to build lean muscle are toiling away on machine dominated weight training routines and isolation exercises with wimpy weights.

And when I say wimpy weights, I'm not knocking anyone. We all start somewhere and we all have limitations. Heck, there are a lot of people that can lift heavier weights than I can.

What I mean by wimpy weights are based on exercise selection. Anyone can use a lot more weight on seated shoulder presses with a barbell than they can on a lateral raise machine. If you want to learn how to build lean muscle, remember this tip. Always substitute multijoint exercises for isolation exercises.

Basic compound movements are an essential key when it comes to how to build lean muscle. This means exercises like squats, deadlifts, bench presses, stiff legged deadlifts, bent-over rows, close-grip bench presses, chin ups, lat pulldowns, close grip bench presses, and barbell curls.

When your focus is on how to build lean muscle, stay away from isolation exercises. This means exercises like flyes, concentration curls, leg curls, leg extensions, lateral raises, etc. Stick to the basics.

There's a reason the basics are hard and a reason the guys who avoid them don't gain muscle mass the way they want. You can devise a fantastic muscle building weight lifting program with a handful of the big, basic exercises.

Stick To A Limited Number of Sets

You're not training for a marathon. You want to build muscle mass. Forget two hour workouts with an endless number of exercises and sets. All you'll do

is burn out, overtrain, and NOT build muscle!

It's just not necessary to go to the gym every day, do 20 set body part routines with a gazillion different exercises to "blast the muscle from all angles." What a joke! Forget the routines of the "champion's", or the big guy in your gym who gains muscle mass just by thinking about training.

Workout hard, heavy and infrequently on the big basic exerices, get enough rest and good nutrition, add weight to your exercises whenever possible, and you'll build muscle. Some of you will learn how to build muscle and build a lot of it and fast, and some of you will take a long time to add a measly five pounds. That's where genetics come into play. But you can maximize your potential as quickly as possible by following these rules.

Use Heavy Weights

When I say use heavy weights, I mean what's heavy for you. I mean stick to lower rep sets. Forget the high rep "pumping" sets for now. If 100 pounds on the bench press is heavy for you, then that's a heavy weight. Don't compare yourself to anyone else.

Sure, you'll probably want a little variety but you can get that when you stick to low reps. You can use such weight lifting techniques as the five-sets-of-five system (2 warm-up sets of five, and then three sets of as heavy a weight as you can use for five reps per set); the three sets of three format; the five, four, three, two, one system; progressively heavier singles, and, when you crave something really different (not to mention brutally tough and very effective try the eight by eight system (you can read about it at

Get Some Rest!

Your muscle grow when you are resting, not when you are working out. You need to give your muscles enough rest and recuperation to allow the building process to take place. If you head back to the gym too soon, you won't build muscle. Eventually, you'll get weaker, lose muscle mass, feel like crap, and stop working out. And you definitely don't want that to happen.

Your whole body needs rest. Working back one day, chest the next, and legs the day after that may give your individual muscles some rest but this is definitely not how to build lean muscle. Why? Because each workout puts a systemic stress on your entire body, no matter what muscle groups you are working. Your kidneys, etc. don't understand or care that you are working different muscle groups each day. So get out of the gym, get some rest, and grow!

About the author:

Gregg Gillies is the founder of Build Lean His articles have appeared in Ironman Magazine. He has written two books and writes for Body Talk Magazine. He publishes a free newsletter available at his site. See how you can get a customized nutrition plan at

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