25 Ways to Get Yourself Bigger

Every guy that’s ever stepped into a gym, at one point or another, has had some aspiration to getting bigger. However, the age-old problem has always been—how to do it. To help simplify the process, we’ve compiled a list of the 25 best ways to get big and kept them short and sweet, so you can get on to your workouts.

1. Eat more

“Extra calories combined with training leads to growth,” says Sean Hyson, the group training director for Men’s Fitness. It’s really that cut and dry, more muscle comes from more food.

SEE ALSO: The Ultimate Clean Bulk Meal Plan>>>

2. Power up with protein

Proteins are the building blocks of muscle. They assist with the rebuilding and recovery process. Shoot for 1-1.5 grams of protein per lean pound of body weight. 

SEE ALSO: 7 Protein Hacks When On the Go>>>

3. Don’t cut carbs

Numerous studies have pointed to the benefit of protein supplements in muscle building, but many of them also mention carbohydrates as a hormone-balancing component that maximizes your gains after workouts.

SEE ALSO: 5 Reasons to Stop Fearing Carbs>>>

4. Use dumbbells

Montreal-based strength coach Andrew Sakhrani, C.S.C.S., encourages occasionally swapping out barbell work with dumbbells. Why? “Dumbbell presses open up the chest and recruit more muscle fibers.” This works for other exercises, too. 

SEE ALSO: 7 Advantages of Dumbbell Training>>>

5. Work your back

It’s easy to focus on your arms and chest. However, too much training on those areas can lead to imbalances and injury, most of which can be avoided by doing plenty of rowing/pulling work.

SEE ALSO: 6 Ways  to Row Right>>>

close-grip bench press

6. Sleep

“Most of your growth hormone release in a day comes during sleep,” says Hyson. Stick with eight hours as a guideline.

SEE ALSO: Sleep It Off to Shed More Fat>>>

7. Pump up the volume

Bodybuilders, widely known as the biggest guys on the planet, have an age-old training method that has withstood the test of time: volume training. They typically do five or more exercises per body part, four sets of 8-12 reps, amounting to approximately 200 reps per body part.

SEE ALSO: German Volume Training: Chest Workout>>>

8. Go heavy

Circuits might get the blood flowing, but heavy lifting skyrockets testosterone levels throughout the body. Hyson recommends using the heaviest load possible for “sets of five or fewer reps.”

SEE ALSO: Lift Heavy for More Muscle>>>

9. Move with multi-joint exercises

The foundation of a big, muscular body comes from big, compound lifts. (multi-joint). Sakhrani says, “The chinup is the original biceps curl.” He adds that this principle holds true for all muscle groups.

SEE ALSO: Compound Moves for Total Body Gains>>>

10. Ease back at times

Just like a car having maintenance done, some of your gym days should look the same. Decrease the weight, up the reps, and slash the last two sets. Occasionally scaling back allows for full recovery.

Leg Press

11. Change things up

Although we follow workout “routines,” there’s always a need for variety. A workout shouldn’t just be a weight lifting challenge, there should also be a level of complexity and variation to the moves.

SEE ALSO: 3 Switch-Up Moves for 6-pack Abs>>>

12. Work your legs

Squats and deadlifts release massive levels of testosterone resulting in total-body growth. These two moves alone will add muscle everywhere.

SEE ALSO: 7 Reasons Your Legs are Still Skinny>>>

13. Use your body weight

Remember, Bruce Lee was ripped and his muscles certainly weren’t small. He always touted the importance of body-weight exercises.

14. Train with a partner

“Competition in the weight room boosts testosterone and makes you enjoy your workouts more, so you’ll stick with them. You’ll also be forced to train harder,” says Hyson. So grab a buddy and get after it.

SEE ALSO: How to Choose a Good Training Partner>>>

15. Take creatine

Creatine has been linked to muscle gain in almost every study that has been performed on it. Don’t believe us? We’ve got plenty of great reading material on the benefits of creatine.

Straight Up Biceps Workout

16. Always focus on form

Being out with an injury sucks, and it kills your progress. Keep your form strict and you’ll build more muscle and while reducing the risk.

SEE ALSO: 10 Ways to Avoid Injury>>>

17. Be consistent

Going to the gym once a week won’t get you bigger. Pick a number of days to work out (3-4 is optimal), show up, and work hard, and you’ll see results quickly.

18. Chill out

Tension and stress cause the release cortisol, a stress-hormone that inhibits muscle-building and promotes muscle breakdown. Try and breathe easy, keep stress at a minimum to maximize your muscle.

19. Don’t limit yourself

If you’re stuck at a weight and unsure if you can make that jump up to 225 from 215 on the bench press, don’t just walk away from it. Grab a spot and give it a shot. Worst-case scenario? You fail, then you can try again next week.

SEE ALSO: 5 Ways to Boost Your Triceps Growth>>>

20. Use a spotter

Spotters help you get that extra rep, and when done consistently, those extra reps will lead to muscle gains in the long run.

SEE ALSO: How to Be a Good Spotter>>>

squat-back-spotter-hero

21. Consult a professional

There’s a reason that most trainers are big—they know what they’re doing. Search out an educated trainer and have a session or two with him or her to learn some new moves or some new nutrition tricks to employ in your fit lifestyle.

SEE ALSO: 7 Reasons You Need a Personal Trainer>>>

22. Find your “zone”

Whether it takes a certain playlist on your iPod or you have to wear that weird pair of shoes, it’s important to have the right mindset when you enter the gym or you’ll be distracted and feel like you can’t get anything done.

SEE ALSO: Pump Up Your Playlist with Music that Motivates>>>

23. Be intense

Joking around, texting, and being social are great—just not in the gym. Focus on your workout, that’s what you’re at the gym for. If you have to respond, keep it short and do it during your rest interval.

24. Always warm up properly

Every time you lift, you’re waging a war on the weights. However, you won’t see any benefit without preparing properly for that war. Take care of your joints, ligaments, tendons, and muscles. Warm up!

SEE ALSO: Save Your Shoulders>>>

25. Experiment…

If you’re following a program, be sure to give it at least 6-8 weeks. If you’re not happy with your results, don’t be afraid to try something completely different. Change the exercises, amount of weight, reps, rest periods, amount of days, you name it.