Let’s face it: Men have a lot of expectations laid upon their shoulders. The world, their families, and their partners expect them to be strong not only physically, but emotionally. While we can’t help you with the latter, we’ll be glad to help with the former. So, are you ready to get stronger? To increase your muscle mass and finally get that muscular figure you’ve always dreamed about?
If so, then read our guide to learn how to do so while getting the full-body workout that you need. We can’t promise you’ll come out looking like a bodybuilder, but we can offer you a stronger, fitter physique.
1. Understand the Process
Doing a full-body workout in the gym could get you some sneers from people convinced of their own superiority. Those who claim to have “done the research” and found that dedicated training splits work better for them. If that’s true, then good for them.
However, a full-body workout can actually get you much closer to your bulking goals if you understand the process behind how and why the human body builds muscle mass. Not sure what we mean? Let’s break it down.
How Muscle Building Works on a Mechanical Level
To understand how best to build muscle, you need to know how it works on a biological level. When you exercise and lift weights, they cause micro-tears in the muscle fiber. When this damage happens, our bodies kick into hyperdrives to start the process of protein synthesis.
The chemical cascades in the process lead to muscular hypertrophy, what we perceive as visible muscle growth. Since full-body workouts affect every muscle group, you can see the results from this much more quickly.
Somatotypes: Debunking the Common Myths
In almost every article that covers how to build muscle, experts discuss somatotypes as if they determine the destiny of your workout goals and diet plans. Somatotypes, or the general type of body structure that you have, can supposedly determine your muscle-building needs.
While they can help, in truth, they are no more a sign of predestination than astrological signs or personality quizzes. Your somatotype can give you insight into the type of diet that works best, but you must take care to listen to your body over all else.
Remember: Recovery Is a Part of Training
A key part of building muscle is to allow yourself proper time to recover. If you don’t allow yourself enough rest, your muscles will remain damaged instead of bulking up. Instead of building strength, you’ll only build pain.
2. Find the Right Diet
Everyone knows that you can’t outlift or outrun your fork. While this saying might be a bit simplistic, ignoring the tangible benefits that exercise alone can provide, it still holds weight. You can’t expect to build muscle with the same diet you’ve always had.
So, how can you find the right diet that will, in time, leave you shredded? Here’s what you need to know.
Calculate Your Caloric Needs
In order to calculate your caloric needs for your full-body workout, you need to decide how much you want to bulk. If you want to go for a lean bulk, that requires significantly less intake than an aggressive bulk.
First, you need to determine your Basal Metabolic Rate, which equates to the number of calories your body consumes for basic functions. This factor, more often than not, is based on your current weight.
After that, you need to account for your activity level to get your Total Daily Energy Expenditure. Once you have that number, you need to add 250 calories for a lean bulk and 500 calories for an aggressive bulk.
These numbers are a general measure, however, and can’t account for all variances of the human body. So, feel free to adjust them as the need arises.
Learn and Calculate Your Macros
Once you have your TDEE and expected bulk numbers, it’s time to use that information to calculate macros. Macros essentially determine the number of calories for proteins, carbohydrates, and fat that you can consume. Let’s break it down by category:
For protein, you need to consume 1 gram for every pound of weight on your body. These grams constitute around 4 calories. So, for a man weighing 200 pounds, he’ll need to consume around 800 calories of protein.
The next major part of your macros calculation is fat. You need to consume 0.45 grams of fat per pound of bodyweight. Each gram totals around 9 calories, meaning our hypothetical man will need to eat 810 calories of fat per day.
Carbs fill in the remainder of the calories between the already-calculated macros and your expected bulking TDEE. So, assuming a TDEE of 3000, our hypothetical man must consume 1390 calories worth of carbs.
Adjust Your Calories
Remember, your initial numbers will not always work for you. As you gain muscle, you will need to retool your calculations to give yourself enough energy. If you lose weight, that, too, must get taken into account.
3. Make Your Full-Body Workout Work for You
Now we’re into the thick of it. How can you make a full-body workout give you the benefits you need? How can you ensure that you’re getting the right amount of tension without wearing yourself out or falling off of the wagon? The following full-body workout tips will help boost the results you receive.
Give Yourself Some Flexibility
One nice thing about conducting full-body workouts instead of the traditional split schedule routine is the flexibility it gives you. People who lift the old-fashioned way run into scheduling nightmares if they miss a day at the gym or one workout group doesn’t get done in the previous session.
When you do a full-body workout, you just need to slot the exercise you missed into an area of your workout where it makes sense.
Choose the Muscle Groups You Want to Emphasize in Each Full-Body Workout
A key piece of figuring out how to improve muscle mass is deciding what groups you want to emphasize.
Though full-body workouts, by design, work on muscles all over the body, you need to pick 1-to-2 groups you want to focus on during each workout. This prevents you from overworking your entire body and damaging the very muscles you want to build.
Remember, you usually want to group your workouts as follows:
- Arms, legs, and glutes
- Biceps, thighs, and back
- Chest and triceps
- Chest, arms, and shoulders
- Abdominal muscles and back
While these aren’t hard and fast rules, they offer some guidelines to help you plan your full-body workout.
Aim for 10-20 Sets a Week
For a proper full-body workout, you need to train each muscle group with one to two exercises every time. Ideally, you want anywhere from 10-to-20 sets for every major muscle group by the end of the week. Though, if you have prior experience with lifting, you may have higher numbers.
Give Yourself Time to Rest Between Sets
Remember to give yourself time to rest between sets. While it’s important to push yourself, you won’t get the same results if you rush straight through. Give your muscles a moment to recover their full strength so that you can give the next group of exercises its full potential.
Stop Short of Muscle Failure
While you should feel the burn, you should not push your workouts to the point that you cannot complete a rep, no matter how hard you try. This is called muscle failure, and it’s a sign that you may be pushing yourself too hard. Try to stop yourself a rep or two short of that point for maximum results.
4. Be Smart About Supplementation
It seems like every company out there has some brand new supplement that’s ‘guaranteed to leave you shredded in no time flat!’* (*Claims not actually proven by the FDA or any existing medical science.)
With all the misinformation, powders, pills, and potions out there, it’s easy for some good supplementation to get lost in the quagmire. So, let’s talk. What types of supplements can actually help power your workouts?
Protein powders are a fairly safe option when it comes to supplementation. As long as you calculate the amount you throw into your workout shakes, it shouldn’t be an issue. Debates may rage over whether whey or plant-based protein is better for you, but either way, it makes a great partner for a good diet and your current exercise regime.
SARMs occupy a somewhat controversial place when it comes to building muscle mass. Some people believe them to be little better than steroids or other performance-enhancing drugs. Others find them to be perfectly safe.
These substances, Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators, bond specifically with muscle tissues to mimic the properties of testosterone on a hormonal level. Substances like mk2866, for instance, bond specifically with anabolic organs. It’s up to your discretion whether you feel that SARMs will do your workout more harm than good.
Certain vitamins have a marked impact on the body’s ability to build muscle. These vitamins include, but are not limited to:
- B Vitamin Complexes
- Vitamin D
Taking a few of these supplements may help you along your journey to massive muscles.
Probiotics and Digestive Help
Let’s face it: Between protein powders and the sheer amount of calories most people that do full-body workouts consume, it’s easy for the digestive system to get backed up. Incorporating probiotics and digestive aids into your supplement regimen can help keep things moving smoothly.
5. Find Ways to Stick With Your New Program
You can construct the perfect diet plan and full-body workout routine. You can spend ages building and refining it, but if you can’t implement and stick with it, then all you’ve done is waste your time.
You can’t build muscle mass if you aren’t hitting the gym and eating right. You need to find ways to get your new routine to stick.
Some of our favorite methods include:
Grab an Accountability Buddy
Hey, gym bro culture is a thing for a reason. While you should be careful not to let it become a toxic environment, having an accountability buddy can make it easier for you to stick to your workout and exercise goals. For those with more extrinsic motivation, this can be a godsend.
Find Ways to Track and Record Your Progress
One reason why many people give up halfway through their fitness journey is that they feel like they aren’t making any progress. One way to combat that is by recording each step of the process.
Measure your muscles before exercising and track those measurements. Set up reminders for your muscle strength workout and warm-up sessions. Track the numbers you can lift at the gym.
There are countless phone apps and databases that can help you stay on track these days.
Stay Prepared for Your Sessions
Don’t waste a solid 15 minutes of your workout time searching for your sanitizing wipes or weightlifting gloves. Don’t get all the way to the gym before realizing you forgot your protein shake back at home. Try to pack as much stuff as possible into your gym bag ahead of time, and make sure you know where everything is.
By staying prepared for all your workouts, you make it less likely that you’ll waste time or decide not to go at all. This will, in turn, result in greater gains.
Remember that Balance Is Key
While it’s important to stay prepared and to stick to the lifestyle changes you’ve made, you can’t let them overtake every aspect of your life. Remember, going to the gym and building your muscles is only a part of your identity, not the entire thing.
Give yourself ample time to rest and recover, and forgive yourself if you slip in your routine once in a while. Remember to enjoy yourself, and don’t become so focused on the results that you forget who those results are for.
Let’s Review How to Build Muscle and Get a Full-Body Workout That Works
So, how can you build muscle and get a good full-body workout? First, you need to understand the process.
Second, adjust your diet. No matter how hard you push yourself, you can’t outrun your food. Third, figure out how to plan a workout that complements your needs and schedule.
Choose your supplements wisely and stick with your regime. If you follow all of these steps, you can improve your muscle mass with full-body workouts that give you the results you need.
Liked our tips? Then check out the Health and Fitness segments of our blog for more content like this!