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How to gain maximum muscle when pumping iron?

I am a natural ectomorph so it’s hard for me to gain muscle. I try to exercise everyday for an hour but 3 weeks already passed by and I only see marginal changes. Should I start lifting heavier? Which is better: lifting heavyweights a couple of times or lifting lightweights lots of times?

Thanks. Sorry, I know this is irrelevant for this section but this is the most populated section.

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7 Responses to “How to gain maximum muscle when pumping iron?”

  1. Raphael said :

    Keep it varied. They say it’s best to keep your muscles from getting used to one way of working out. Shock them with supersets every once in a while.

    When I had the best results, I would go heavy weights and minimal reps for a week or two, depending on how I felt. Then I would switch to the usual 12 – 10 – 8 set without really maxxing out on the last 8.

    Keep your protein intake high too, but drink lots of water to avoid kidney problems.

    Of course you should change exercises every few months or so too: go from a regular dumbell triceps extension to a pulldown on the pulley machine, or use the Cybex machine.

  2. Alex said :

    I suggest doing low reps with heavy weights. High reps with light weights mainly increase your stamina not your muscle mass.

    I personally follow the 6-6-6 routine. 6 exercises with 6 sets for each exercise and 6 reps for each set. When you are working out the key is to stress out your muscles to the max and then rebuild them by having a protein rich diet. I suggest you buy some protein powders like Creatine. They really do help.

    Also, exercising every single day can actually cause you to lose muscle mass because you don’t give yourself enough recovery time so your muscle tissue starts to metabolize.

  3. DesireE said :

    Light weights lots of times.
    It will take decades.
    Just keep at it.

  4. CrocoDuck said :

    It’s important to understand the difference between bodybuilding and powerlifting. Powerlifters can lift more weight than anyone else, but they tend to look scrawny. They lift almost as much as they possibly can, every rep, but can’t do very many reps at this intensity. Bodybuilders lighten the load so they can do more weights. Bodybuilders look huge but aren’t actually as strong as powerlifters.

    If you’re trying to gain size, determine the maximum weight you can possibly do on each exercise. Most bodybuilders typically lift about 70% of what they’ve capable of lifting once, and do it for 10-12 reps. Do as many sets as you possibly can at this intensity level. If your muscles get sore on one exercise, go on to another exercise, then come back to the first one. If you can’t lift much weight even after taking a 2-3 minute break for the muscle in question, just lower the weight and keep going.

  5. k dawg said :

    You’re not eating enough dude and your working out WAY to much.

    Always be increasing your reps or weights. and guys like you always say “i eat a lot”. your not eating enough. if your not pre making your dinners the night before eating every 3 hours out of a gym bag its not enough.

    check out
    read up on anthony ellis and his diets

  6. The ghost of Ceiling Cat said :

    The best way to build bulk is to to low rep max exercise. i.e. use enough weight to accomplish each exercise 4 to 6 times at the absolute maximum for 3 sets. If you can lift the weight 10 times, add more weight. Don’t work out every day. 3 times a week is best. Your body needs recovery time.

    The next question is, have you been diagnosed as having an overactive thyroid. It’s pretty rare, but is the only reason that a person would stay skinny despite eating heaps.

    If you want to bulk up effectively and quickly, you need to prevent your body from catabolising protein. That is, you need to provide your body with calories from carbohydrates and fats. That way, it will efficiently use your dietary protein to build muscle mass.

    My personal preference is not to use creatine. Getting your energy from natural low GI carbohydrates (rice, oats and potatoes) is far better for your whole body and provides the far more stable blood chemistry which your nervous system requires. Your body can’t regulate creatine levels in the blood very effectively, but it can regulate blood sugar (unless you’re diabetic, but that is a whole different story.)

    Fats are essential in your diet. Polyunsaturated fats and fish oils provide the types of lipids necessary for your cell membranes to grow.

    You don’t need to eat much extra protein to bulk up. As I said before, it’s about providing alternate sources of calories. Your body will use carbs for energy preferentially to fats and protein, so carbs are key.

  7. Health said :

    Gaining weight & muscle is a two step process: you have to eat more and lift weights or engage in some sort of strength training routine.

    The most important rule to remember if you want to gain weight is to eat more calories than you burn. Only by doing this can your body use the excess energy to build muscle. If you eat less than you burn, there is no way to gain weight, it’s as simple as that. Your first step is to figure out how many calories your body burns per day. Use this calculator to get an estimate. Now eat more than you burn and you’re on your way to gaining muscle.

    Gaining weight is as simple as eat more than you burn but if you want to gain muscle, you also need to exercise. If you just ate more without lifting weights, you’d just gain fat and become unhealthy and overweight. When you lift weights (or participate in any strength training) you’re actually causing some damage to your muscles.

    When you rest, your body uses those extra calories to repair and rebuild the muscles. When this process is complete, the muscle is stronger and a bit bigger than it was before. You obviously won’t notice a difference right away, but over time you will find yourself becoming stronger and bigger.

    You need to keep your diet clean to gain the right kind of weight. Stay away from sugary and simple carb foods such as candy, foods made with white flour, soda and other junk. These foods will promote fat storage, something you don’t need. Stick to foods made from whole wheat flour, oats, brown rice, lean sources of protein (chicken, some cuts of beef, fish), nuts, beans, legumes and protein shakes – yum yum. If you need more details, go to the Straight Health Forums –


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