Training

Highly effective exercises for growing muscle fast (part 1)

By April 5, 2011 9 Comments

Due to popular request, I’ve had a stab at compiling a list of 5 highly exercises that I commonly use and will continue to use to grow big muscle fast until my hips break, my nuts touch my ankles and I speak with that highly coveted ‘lisp’.

By ‘commonly use’, I don’t mean week-in and week-out. That would be highly counter-productive. I’m meaning they are my go-to exercises when I write someone a program, or when I come back from holidays with a mid-section that resembles a one-pack.

A quick disclaimer

First things first — these bad-boys aren’t gender specific nor will you find magical leg-spreading machine curls or vibration plate excercises on this list. My fiancée trains along-side me pumping these exercises out and she’s half my size. No excuses!

5 highly effective exercises for growing muscle fast (part 1)

This exercise is BRILLIANT for burning brain-cells.

If you’re looking for exercises that I would consider ‘easy’, or ones that you could knit a sweater whilst doing — you best look somewhere else.

5 highly effective exercises for growing muscle fast

The following aren’t in any order, nor in any particular grouping of muscle. So put away your magical critiquing wand and listen up, or go somewhere else and checkout porn.

You know the drill.

#1 Incline dumbbell bench-press

Good for: Smashing your pecs (particularly in the upper-chest area).
The rundown: It’s hard to cheat with dumbbells and you’ll find your dominant side won’t affect muscle development in comparison to a regular barbell chest movement. This will also give your chest that ‘full’ look that is often hard to achieve with a flat bench-press. Keep in mind that it will also activate your shoulder muscles, and even more so if the incline is too steep.
Note: Varying the angle week-to-week is a great way to make sure you’re targeting your entire chest for overall development.

Example: Incline dumbbell bench-press

#2 Arnold press

Good for: All-round shoulder development.
The run-down: Arnold used these for a reason, and his shoulders are proof of that (besides the obvious anabolics :)). Make sure you go deep, but not too deep that your break form and cause yourself a shoulder injury.
Note: Prepare yourself to drop some considerable weight. Check your ego at the door for this exercise.

Example: Arnold press

#3 Weighted pull-ups

Good for: Developing serious v-taper in your back and for building epic biceps
The run-down: These bad boys rock as you can change the weight and rep ranges week-to-week for continual muscle stimulation. If you get to a sticking-point, drop the weight and do more reps, partials or negatives. Even change your grip to a chin-up or close-grip set to set to stimulate muscles you probably haven’t used in ages.

Example: Weighted pull-ups

#4 Wall-supported bicep barbell curls

Good for: Total bicep annihilation
The run-down: If you want big muscle development in the biceps, you gotta isolate those f*ckers and take the rest of your body out of the movement. Too often I see first-timers doing bicep curls of all sorts using their backs, shoulders and even legs to lift the weight. Using a wall to support your frame will take all of these ‘cheating’ movements out of the lift.
Note: Again—check your ego at the door for this one and be prepared to drop some serious weight from your regular barbell curls.

Example: Wall-supported bicep barbell curls

#5 Stiff-leg dead-lifts

Good for: Hamstrings from hell coupled with a core made of iron.
Why I like it: Nothing isolates the hamstrings more effectively than this lift. I see too many folks relying on squats for their leg development leaving them with lop-sided legs (small hamstring-syndrome). You should be able to go pretty heavy on these for low reps (3-5) without causing your lower back any trouble.
Note: Don’t go guns-blazing here and throw your back out. Use good form, starting with lighter weight if you have to and work your way up.

Example: Stiff-leg dead-lifts

Other tips for growing muscle fast

  • Change your rep ranges. Don’t stick to a 5×5, 10×3 or any other range for too long. Your muscles are clever and you’ll eventually hit a wall.
  • Watch your form. The above exercises can potentially harm you. Use a spotter if you have to.
  • Eat properly and get your sleep. NO lift will benefit you without these two essentials.

Just the tip of the iceberg for what I’d recommend you incorporate into your regimen

More of my favourite exercises for epically big muscle development coming soon…

Clint’s Note: Got any killer exercises for growing muscle fast? Comment below.

Clint Nielsen

Author Clint Nielsen

Clint is a dad and husband trying to stay in shape. He's also a highly opinionated fitness enthusiast and author of Reveal The Steel. Follow him on: Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Google+

More posts by Clint Nielsen

Join the discussion 9 Comments

  • smokinZOMBi says:

    more great info as usual.
    thanks.
    :)

  • Cassie says:

    Pull-ups scare me. Not quite at that level yet.. one day :)

  • Bryan says:

    Good stuff. I consider almost all of these a show of strength for a particular muscle group. The only one that I have stopped doing is the bicep curl. For arm bicep strength I have switched entirely to pull-up, chin-up, and dips. I hope to see the OHP sometime soon. That is one of my favorite exercises so far. I can feel my whole upper body working on that lift.

    @Cassie, I was scared shitless with squats. I pushed myself into them and now they are a staple in my routine. I say go for it. Nothing like impressing yourself. :D

    Thanks again Clint. Keep them comin!

    • Clint Nielsen says:

      Often the harder the exercise (squats as an example), the more muscle will be activated during the lift.
      Someone mentioned a reverse-dip at some point. I’d like to see an example of that:)

  • That weighted pull ups video was ridiculous! 5 reps at 300lbs, wow. Nice set of exercises overall.

  • Good Exercises !;-)
    I would personally also use Standard Deadlifts and Squats for sure, as well as leg press for the lower (if hypertrophy is the only concern)

    Good Going!

    Mark

  • Clint,
    Pull-ups are a must, no other exercise will develop your back and arms the way pull-ups do. I get a great sense of satisfaction when I do weighted pull-ups, because most people can’t pull-up their own body weight. It has taken me years to get to the point of doing weight pull-ups but the results are worth it.
    Niko

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