Building dense, hard muscle mass requires not only motivation, but also knowledge of the proper diet and exercise techniques required to achieve this highly desirable physique. Protein intake, hydration, rest and timing of your weight training all play key roles in your success. Design a routine and stick to it for rapid results. These factors, designed with your goal in mind, will enable you to gain dense, hard muscle.
Train with heavy weights. According to Arnold Schwarzenegger in his article "Heavy? Do it," a certain kind of thickness and density comes only from very heavy training. Decide the amount you will lift by finding a weight with which you can only do 4 to 8 reps. If you can do more reps with a weight before you max out your muscles, then you need a heavier weight. Using more weight, for fewer reps, will help you stimulate more muscle fibres to cause rapid, dense muscle growth.
Eat tons of calories. A caloric surplus, paired with weight training, results in gained muscle weight. Eat 18 to 20 times your body weight to ensure that you consume more calories than you could possibly burn. Consume nutrient-rich foods, including vegetables, carbs, fats and most importantly, protein.
Consume lots of high quality protein such as lean beef, chicken and fish. The body breaks down this protein into amino acids, which repair and build your muscles. Aim to eat one gram of protein per pound of your body weight on a daily basis. Supplement your protein intake with several protein shakes per day.
Eat constantly. Your body digests a meal after about 2.5 hours. Eat every 2 to 3 hours to ensure that your body has a constant supply of nourishment, so it can continuously gain hard, dense muscle.
Hydrate constantly. A dehydrated muscle takes longer to repair itself than a hydrated one. Drink plenty of water, sports drinks, juices and protein shakes.
Rest your muscles. During heavy lifting, your muscle fibres tear and become damaged. Your muscles become hard and dense as you rest and they have a chance to repair after a workout. Rest each muscle group for several days after heavy lifting.
Lift primarily with free weights, as opposed to machines. Free weights stimulate more muscle fibres than do machines.
When lifting heavy weights, use a spotter to help avoid injury.
Tips and warnings
- Lift primarily with free weights, as opposed to machines. Free weights stimulate more muscle fibres than do machines.
- When lifting heavy weights, use a spotter to help avoid injury.