The Single Fastest Way To Gain Muscle, Period.


What’s up, guys? Sean Nalewanyj on www.SeanNal.com – www.RealScienceAthletics.com. The title of today’s video is The Single Fastest
Way To Gain Muscle. And I’ll say up front that if you’re looking
for some sort of fancy groundbreaking never-before-seen answer to the question then you might be a
bit disappointed here, but I really wanted to get this video out there because there’s
just way too much fluff circulating around when it comes to YouTube fitness content and
Instagram fitness content. And a lot of people just end up losing sight
of what is most important in the whole equation. Now, most people who have done their research
and have some training experience under their belt already understand that progressive overload
is the primary driver of building muscle over the long term. Meaning, you need to be progressively exposing
your muscles to a more challenging workload over time if you want them to continue responding
and growing further. And this can be done in a variety of ways,
the most common method is to increase the amount of weight you’re lifting on each exercise,
but you can also perform more reps with the same weight you can perform more sets per
muscle group for the week, you can train a muscle more often, you can adjust your form
to make it exercise more mechanically challenging, you can reduce your rest time in between sets,
slow down your rep cadence, there’s also the option of applying certain high intensity
techniques during your sets, those are technically all forms of progressive overload that can
lead to improved muscle growth in one way or another. However, it’s important to understand that
not all forms of progressive overload are equal. And I’ve been seeing a lot of content where
people will list off all these different methods and say, see lifting more weight is not the
only answer look at all these other things you can do to make progress in the gym. And that’s not incorrect, you can do those
things as a way of improving your progress to varying degrees. However, unless you’re a more advanced lifter
with at least a couple years of consistent training under your belt who’s already built
up a solid foundation of muscle, the simple fact is that getting stronger and adding more
weight to the bar on all of your exercises, particularly the basic compound lifts, that
should be your primary focus by far. That is the fastest way to gain muscle no
matter how you break it down. You’re not gonna build a big chest by pressing
thirty five pound dumbbells, you’re not going to build big legs by squatting 150 pounds,
and you’re not gonna build a big back if you can’t even do pull-ups using your body weight. And on the other hand, you’re not not going
to have a muscular chest, legs, or back if you’re pressing, say, 100 pound dumbbells
per reps or you’re squatting 3 plates per side or more, or you’re doing, let’s say,
strict pull-ups with 60 pounds or more strapped around your waist. You can dabble around all you want with these
elaborate bodybuilding pump programs you see with fancy exercise variations, and drop sets,
and super sets, and Swiss balls, and bands, and all this stuff, and where all the training
variables are constantly being mixed around. That makes for good online content because
it seems new and it seems unique and you definitely can gain some muscle in the initial stages
that way. But if you’re looking to maximize your progress
to put on significant mass onto your frame to build a legitimately impressive physique
and to do it as efficiently as possible, you need to stop diluting your focus with all
this unnecessary complicated stuff and make basic strength gain your primary goal. Not only because progressive tension overload
is the most effective way to stimulate hypertrophy in general but also because most other methods
of progressive overload can only be applied up to a pretty limited point anyway. For example, when it comes to training volume,
how many sets can you realistically add to your program before it’s not practical anymore? The fact is that you can only do so many sets
per workout or per week before the overall workload gets too high, not to mention that
training volume also means a bigger time investment. So if you gradually work up to, let’s say,
doubling your training volume that also means you’re going to be spending twice as much
time in the gym. Whereas lifting more weight at the same volume
doesn’t change the time investment and so you’re able to be a lot more efficient with
your training. The same thing goes for training frequency. If you’re already hitting a muscle twice per
week then what’s next? Three times a week, four times a week, five
times a week, you can’t just keep increasing the frequency indefinitely. Whereas when it comes to strength gains, particularly
on the basic compound lifts, you really can continue to just increase in a linear fashion. And you can do that for years and continue
making gains from it and again without changing the overall time investment. And the same thing applies to the other methods
that I’d mentioned as well, you can’t just keep reducing rest time between sets, or making
exercises more mechanical challenging, or slowing down your reps, these things are all
pretty limited in how they can be applied, where a strength gain is something that can
be worked on and improved on over the long-term. Now, once you do hit that more advanced lifting
stage and you’ve gained a considerable amount of overall muscle size and strength and maybe
the amount of weight that you’re lifting on certain lifts isn’t something that your joints
can keep up with without discomfort, then, yeah, then you can start manipulating these
other variables to squeeze out some additional progress. But for anyone who isn’t in the advanced stages
yet and is otherwise healthy in terms of their joints, the single fastest way to gain muscle
is to gain strength. Make no mistake about it. It’s to gradually add more weight to the bar
on the key compound lifts over time. That’s where your primary focus needs to be
and that’s what you need to be using as the central gauge for determining whether your
program is moving in the right direction. If you’re consistently gaining strength and
your nutrition is in order then you’ll know for the most part that you’re on the right
track. Your body is continuing to make those positive
adaptations. Whereas if your strength isn’t increasing
then you’ll know that something is off and needs adjusting. And this is why your training logbook is so
crucially important because it’s going to allow you to track your strength progress
in detail. It’s gonna give you a concrete record of where
you are now and what you need to do to improve. So every time you enter the gym you want to
be thinking about beating the logbook by getting just a little bit better each time. And a little bit better is a key phrase there. People will hear this idea that gaining strength
is the fastest way to gain muscle and so they think that that means they need to be piling
on the weight and making rapid increases every week. Keep in mind that none of this stuff happens
rapidly, and it’s often going to be measured in terms of individual reps and then small
increases of 5 to 10 pounds at a time or even 2.5 pounds on smaller isolation lifts. So maybe one week you lift 100 pounds for
five reps, next week it’s a 100 ponds for six, 100 pounds for seven, and then you increase
to 105 and aim for five reps again and just continue in this fashion, making sure that
your lifting technique remains exactly the same with each weight increase. The changes from week to week are going to
be very minor but if you just write it down and you focus on improving in some way, even
if it’s just one rep, and then you extrapolate that over six months, one year, two years,
three years, over time it’s going to add up to huge increases in both muscle size and
strength. And following a basic model like this and
just focusing on getting stronger can easily allow you to achieve, I would say around 80%
or more of your total genetic muscle building potential, probably over the course of about
two to three years. And then again, at that point you can start
using some of the other methods that I’d mentioned to help take things further if you
want. And all of this, of course, assumes the other
aspects of your program, so your lifting technique, nutrition, supplementation, sleep, etcetera,
that all those things are on point as well. But the bottom line here is don’t get too
distracted by all the noise out there. There obviously are a lot of smaller details
involved in structuring an optimal program in all areas but for beginner and intermediate
lifters especially, muscle growth will come as an automatic byproduct of building up a
solid strength foundation and that’s where the majority of your focus should be placed
if you want to transform your body as quickly as possible. So, I hope this advice was helpful. If you do want to learn all those other details
behind mapping out a complete training program from A to Z in order to fully maximize your
size and strength gains including step-by-step routines for beginners, intermediates and
more advanced lifters then you can check out my body transformation blueprint by clicking
here or by visiting www.BTBluePrint.com. For those who are new to the channel, my brand
new science-based pre-workout fish oil and multivitamin are also now available over at
www.RealScienceAthletics.com, the link is in the description box and make sure to hit
that like button leave a comment and subscribe below if you haven’t already in order to stay
up-to-date on future videos. Thanks for watching, guys. And I’ll see you in the next video.

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