Workout Tips

The Fast Lane to Hypertrophy

Trouble building muscle? Use these five tips to get growing.

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Los Angeles-based trainer Eric Fleishman knows that people can hamper their efforts for a better body by overcomplicating things. Exercise selection, intensity, weight load, frequency, diet—it's a lot to think about. By boiling it down to a few simple rules, he says, anyone can start experiencing new gains in muscle size and strength. Here are his top five rules for hypertrophy.

1) Don't get off the train

The first step to ensure size is the commitment to train on a regular basis. Despite your size and genetics, an extended layoff causes a decrease in size and strength. Atrophy can take hold in less than 72 hours. So to preserve hard-won muscular development, hit it hard and hit it often, hitting every body part at least once per week. Eight-time Mr. Olympia (1984-1991) Lee Haney recommends hitting each bodypart at least twice per week, although this may be a bit much for a great deal of us mere mortals.

2) Master the dead

To make serious muscular gains, you must challenge your body to seek its growth potential. By mastering the deadlift, you put your body in a position to be challenged beyond the norm, which spurs on incredible growth. When executing a deadlift, make sure to keep your head in a neutral position and your back flat. This will allow the glutes, leg muscles, and lower back to drive the weight upward through your heels with maximum force. This move recruits nearly every major muscle group.