When it comes to muscle gain there is one technique that is leaps and bounds above others.
In fact it also works for speed development, fat loss, maintenance, power and everything else you can think of. I call it the “AAR Technique” and it is so incredibly simple it’ll make you mess your pants.
First thing you do is….take ACTION. Easy enough in theory, but most people are lazy as shit and even that’s too hard. But since you’re reading this it isn’t an issue for you….RIGHT?!?!
Right. Moving on.
Step 2 is to ADJUST. More often than not you will not get the desired result on the first try. And that’s OK, but you need to understand why you didn’t and adjust so you’re closer to what you need to do.
That brings us to the last step and that is to REPEAT the initial acton that you’ve adjusted.
Action, Adjust, Repeat. Too easy right. Now for the actually actions you can and should be taking…
Action steps for muscle gain
If you’re not doing compound movements that’s the first thing you need to adjust. Spending any more than zero seconds on a machine is a waste of time in terms of muscle gain. The only exception to this is the Glute-Ham Raises and maybe a few others.
The four movements that I will always do are squat, deadlifts, dips and pull-ups.
If I don’t have access to a bar and any weights then I’ll substitute squats and deadlifts for jump squats and pistols. Do a circuit of those four exercises and try to tell me they’re worthless.
Next up is intensity for muscle gain…
If you are not pushing yourself and always feel refreshed after a workout you are screwing yourself over when it comes to muscle gain. That’s the simple truth. When you’re workouts consist of walking in, casually lifting some weight that is easy and then walking back out without a single drop of sweat you are failing miserably.
Last, and probably most important is eating your face off.
Ok, maybe it’s not smart to go that far, but this is an often overlooked part and is as simple as 1) making sure you were eating enough calories to maintain muscle in the first place and 2) increasing the calories so you can start to BUILD muscle.
Putting it all together, muscle gain in 3 steps…
The AAR Technique is incredibly easy to apply. For compound lifts…if you’re current program doesn’t include them then you NEED to add them. That is you’re adjustment. Switch out any useless isolation exercises for the four compound lifts above and then be amazed at how much those simple movements work your entire body.
As for intensity you need to seriously evaluate your approach and be honest with yourself. Take some time to increase the intensity by either lowering your rest periods or, if you’re form is perfect, adding weight. The only time I’ll ramp up the intensity by raising the reps is if I’m doing a conditioning day.
Now for eating your face off. Since you’re goal is muscle gain, you’re going to take your baseline calories and add 250 to it for each day. After 2 weeks if you haven’t put on weight just add another 100 calories and reassess in 2 weeks.
If you put on weight but it was mostly fat then you need to increase the intensity. A good way to avoid quickly going from 2300 cals to 4000 cals a day and getting fat is to alternate which one you adjust. It’d look like this:
- Week 1 – Add 250 cals
- Week 3 – Lower rest periods 10 seconds
- Week 5 – Add 100 cals
- Week 7 – Increase weights/lower reps (dependent on what you were already doing)
- Week 9 – Add 100 cals
That example is obviously someone who was eating wayyyyy less than what they needed, but it perfectly sums up the AAR Technique.
That’s it. Stop making things so complicated and just stick to the basics. That’s the best way too approach everything, muscle gain especially.