Muscle Palace

Friday, November 03, 2017

Top 10 Exercises To Build Muscle Mass - Gain Muscle Mass Fast

Gain Muscle Mass Fast

When it comes to building strength and size, one should focus on performing compound movements that work more than one muscle at the same time. If you are looking to build more muscle mass you don't need any of those fancy equipment and machines. You can build muscle by only using a barbell loaded with plates, believe me.

That means that you don't even have to go to the gym if you want to get bigger and stronger. You can buy barbell and couple of plates and build muscle at your own home. 

Some of the best mass-building movements are exercises that need to be performed with a barbell. Those exercises are always first on every list of best muscle-building exercises. Dumbbells are great, they work, but you can't overload them like a good old barbell. To gain muscle mass you need to get stronger, to get stronger you need to lift heavier. That is the whole thing.

But before you even start lifting, make sure that you read all about muscle-building nutrition. You won't grow your muscles without consuming enough calories and protein.

                                 Foods That Are Highest In Protein

I already mentioned that best muscle builders are compound exercises. Why? The reason is very simple, compound exercises engage multiple muscle groups at the same time, unlike isolation exercises that isolate a muscle group by concentrating on that one group of muscles. 

When you perform compound exercises, more muscles are recruited per exercise which stimulates the bigger release of the muscle-building hormone. Also, compound movements such as bench press and squat allow bigger loads of weight. 

1. Barbell Deadlift

2. Barbell Squat

3. Barbell Bench Press

4. Wide Grip Pull-Up

5. Barbell Shoulder Press

6. Barbell Bent-Over Row

7. Parallel Bar Dips

8. Lat Pulldown

9. Biceps Barbell Curl

10. Standing Calf Raise

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

The Best Back Workout For Mass - Target Every Muscle

Back Workout for Mass

In this article, I am going to discuss tips for building a big back and best back exercises that are essential for building a powerful and attractive looking back. It is very important that you not only choose the right exercises when performing a back workout for mass but to also perform these exercises with the right form to target the right muscles.

Building a strong and big back is the foundation for big gains.  Back is one of the largest muscle groups and having strong and fully developed back will increase your power in all compound exercises such as squat, deadlift, bench press, and barbell row. I guess that you already know the importance of compound exercises for building muscle mass.

In addition, the stronger your back muscles are, the more your opposing muscle groups (such as chest) can fully develop.

Back Workout for Mass

There are four main groups of muscles in your back - erector spinae, latissimus dorsi, rhomboids, and trapezius. You need to make sure you are performing the back exercises that focus on building each component of your back.

1. Deadlift

Deadlifts will develop your entire back like no other exercise. But be careful when performing deadlifts, make sure that you have learned the correct deadlift form to avoid back pain and injuries. 

Deadlift is more than a back exercise, it is one of the best mass-building exercises that hit the entire posterior chain from your upper calves to your upper traps. It is the absolute best back exercise for mass and strength, so don't avoid it. I recommend performing deadlifts as your first exercise in your back workout as heavy deadlifts require much more energy than many other exercises.

Tip: Go heavy with deadlifts in a 6-8 rep range or perform drop sets.

2. Bent-Over Barbell Row

Bent-Over Row is probably the second-best exercise when it comes to building a thick and big back. Performing bent-over barbell rows will work larger muscle groups of the upper and lower back muscles equally which makes barbell row a great overall back builder.

Same like deadlift, bent-over barbell row requires an excellent form.

Tip: Perform bent-over rows as one of the first exercises in your back workout in lower rep ranges (6-8).

Also read: The Best Chest Workout For Mass - Build A Bigger Chest Fast

3. Pull-Up

Pull up is a great exercise for putting emphasis on the upper lats. Work your way up until you can perform 8-12 reps per one set which is the best rep range for building muscle. If you master this exercise with your own bodyweight you can start adding more weight to force your body to adapt and grow. 

Don't forget to perform pull-ups with a good form. In the starting position, you should pull your shoulders down and toward each other for a better lats activation. 

Tip: Do pull-ups with varying grips to hit all upper back muscles. If you are trying to hit your lower lats, a wide-grip pull-up is the best variation and close-grip chin-up is a great variation for hitting the upper lats.

4. Lat Pull-down

After performing first 3 exercises from this list which are the three best and hardest back exercises you can do lat pull-downs in a higher rep range (8-12 reps). This is also a great muscle-building back exercise. 

Tip: Slow down the rep tempo, squeeze hard at the bottom of each rep, and allow a good stretch at the top.

5. Single-Arm Dumbbell Row

This exercise will be a great finisher in your workout, but you can do it anywhere from the middle to the end of your workout with a relatively higher rep range (10-12). One-arm dumbbell rows emphasize the whole lat, the upper back and trap muscles. Try to perform this exercise without using the momentum, lift the dumbbell as slowly as you can. Don't use a too much heavy dumbbell and perform it with a bad form, that can screw your back and that won't help you build a bigger back.

Here is an example of a back workout for mass that includes these five exercises:

- Deadlift, 3 sets of 6-8 reps

- Bent-over row, 3 sets of 6-8 reps

- Wide-grip pull-up, 3 sets of maximum reps

- Close-grip pull-down, 2 sets of 8-12 reps

- One-armed dumbbell row, 2 sets of 10-12 reps

Saturday, October 14, 2017

How To Eat To Gain Muscle Mass - Diet Strategies For Hardgainers

Muscle Building Diet Plan for Hardgainers

Hardgainer is a person that works out hard with weight but has a hard time putting on muscle. Hardgainer is often referred as an ectomorph. It is much easier to create a bulking diet program for someone that does not struggle to gain weight, but what about hardgainers? What diet strategies should they follow?

Due to physiological and metabolic differences between ectomorphs and other two body types (mesomorph and endomorph), ectomorphs need to train and eat differently to gain muscle mass more easily. 

There are three different phenotypes when it comes to body composition:

    - Ectomorph is naturally skinny and has a hard time gaining muscle and weight.

      - Mesomorph is naturally built and has the tendency to gain weight easily and can also lose weight fairly easy.

    -  Endomorph is naturally heavy and has an easy time gaining weight (more fat than muscle) and very hard time losing weight.

Hardgainers Ectomorphs Body

In most cases, endomorphs and mesomorphs need to eat less food than an ectomorph in order to gain weight or muscle mass. But even if you're a real hardgainer you don't need to eat everything in sight if you want to gain muscle. I don't agree with the "bulking" approach. Your goal should be to gain lean mass, not fat mass. The diet strategies in this article will help ectomorphs gain lean muscle mass, not fat.

It can be very frustrating for ectomorphs to train hard and eat right and not progress. Perhaps the biggest roadblock to reaching their bodybuilding goal is getting enough calories. This article will outline strategies to get enough calories for ectomorphs to build muscle mass.


Undereating is one of the main reasons why some hardgainers don't gain muscle mass. In this case, you just need to increase your caloric intake. It is possible for everyone to gain muscle no matter what their genetic predisposition may be. It might just be harder for some people and that is why they are called hardgainers. 

While the typical person gets great results on a caloric intake that equals their lean body mass times 12, the hardgainer is better served by taking is as much as 24 calories per pound of bodyweight. Therefore, if you are a hardgainer and weigh 150 lbs, your caloric intake should be about 3600 calories (150 x 24). 

The key thing for a hardgainer to increase muscle mass is to minimize their caloric expenditures and maximize their caloric intake. This is very important because the metabolism of a hardgainer is a furnace that burns calories at all times and there is a risk that the muscle will be consumed by the body for energy purposes if not enough calories are supplied.

Simply put, you are going to have to eat a lot to grow. There is no way around that. The main factor that determines whether you will gain muscle mass is your caloric intake (how many calories you consume every day). 

In order to maintain your current body weight, take your total body weight and multiply it by 15. For example, a 200-pound person would consume 3000 calories a day. This is a basic way to determine your maintenance caloric intake. A good starting point for ectomorphs is to set your calories to 500 calories over maintenance.

Remember, you want to gain lean muscle mass and not fat. It would be easy to gain weight by just eating junk food all day, but you would most likely gain more fat than muscle. Instead of eating everything that is high-caloric, try to eat clean, nutrient-dense foods. In case you don't gain weight at 500 calories over maintenance then increase your the number of calories you consume.


1. Eat protein with every meal - Chicken, lean beef and turkey, tuna and other fish, egg whites and protein supplements. 

2. Eat unprocessed carbs - Unprocessed, low glycemic carbs such as oatmeal, sweet potatoes, rice, whole grain pasta. 

3. Eat good fats - Dietary fat is very important for proper body functioning and hormone production. Good sources of fat include almonds and almond butter, peanuts and peanut butter, avocado, olive oil, and eggs.

4. Eat several smaller meals - It is not healthy to eat to the point of vomiting. Instead of eating three huge meals, eat 6-7 decently-sized meals that will make you feel full but not bloated.

5. Your macronutrient ratio should be 50:30:20 carbs/protein/fats - You need to consume at least 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight. Rest of macronutrients you consume would be carbs and fats.

If you are consuming 3000 calories, this would equate to:

   a. Carbs = 375 grams
   b. Protein = 225 grams 
   c. Fats = 67 grams

6. Consume carbs around your workout - Lifting weights increase body's need for glucose, that is why you need to eat carbs before and after your workout.

7. If you aren't gaining weight increase your caloric intake - While some people might be able to gain muscle mass on 3000 calories, you may need to eat more than that. Monitor your weight and body fat percentage so you can tell whether or not you need to consume more calories every day than you are consuming now.

8. A cheat meal from time to time won't kill you - Having on or two cheat meals in one week will not kill you and can be psychologically refreshing. Remember that you are a hardgainer so a little excess of calories here and there most likely won't be stored as fat. 


Homemade mass gainers could help you to reach a total number of calories that you need to consume to gain muscle. You may not have the appetite to eat 6-7 solid food meals a day, so in order to get the caloric intake you need, you can implement shakes. I am not talking about just a whey protein shake, but rather a meal in the form of a shake. A healthy high-caloric meal that consists of protein, carbs, and fats. 

Here are ingredients that you can use to make your own mass gainer:

   - Whey Protein
   - Oatmeal 
   - Skim Milk
   - Peanut Butter
   - Banana
   - Eggs
   - Honey

These shakes can be used for 2-3 of your daily meals. An example daily meal schedule could be:

Meal 1 - Solid Food Meal
Meal 2 - Homemade Mass Gainer
Meal 3 - Solid Food Meal
Meal 4 - Homemade Mass Gainer as Post-Workout Shake
Meal 5 - Solid Food
Meal 6 - Protein Shake

If every of these meals consists of 500 calories you could easily reach a 3000 calories goal. 

Supplements as part of your diet could of great help and speed up the process of muscle building. Anyway, there is no need to waste your money on unnecessary supplements. Check out the list of 3 Best Muscle Building Supplements.

If you are following a good muscle building routine and adapt all these diet strategies then you will start gaining muscle mass without problems, even as a hardgainer. 

How To Get Bigger Shoulders - Tips and Shoulder Workout for Mass

Shoulder Workout for Mass

One of the most important things for a great V-taper is big shoulders and the main mistake that lifters make is doing the same workout over and over and many of them are neglecting one or two shoulders heads.

You need to focus on all three heads, front, medial and rear shoulders because if one head of the muscle is lagging you won't build proportional good-looking shoulders.

The best way to force your shoulders to grow is to mix your workouts from time to time. Don't let your muscles to adapt to the same exercises and weights over and over. Make some changes from time to time, shock your muscles. 

How to get bigger shoulders:

1. A lot of heavy shoulder presses using a barbell or dumbbells (80 - 85% of 1 RM) in the first place. Don't forget to lift with a good form.

2. Do more side laterals - it is a great exercise for building up your shoulder muscles. 

3. Perform upright rows with a wide grip which allows you to work the muscles on the outer edges of your shoulders which will help you build wider shoulders.

4. Hit rear shoulders with bent-over lateral raises which is very similar to side lateral raises, but you perform them while bent over.

5. Perform more wide-grip pull ups on your back day which will also work your shoulders along with biceps and back muscles. 

6. Focus on the medium number of reps (8-12) instead of a higher reps number.

One very common mistake that lifters make when training their shoulders is that they are using too much weight and perform the exercise with very poor form. Try to improve your form, use a full range of motion. 

When performing lateral raises don't just swing dumbells at your side, slower the eccentric phase and try to focus on hitting your muscle with lighter weights. Leave your ego at home, you are in the gym to build muscle, not ego.

 Check out this great tutorial:

Mass-Building Shoulder Workout:

1. Standing Military Press - 3 sets x 6-8 reps

Exercises for Bigger Shoulders

2. Side Lateral Raise - 3 sets of 10-12 reps

Mass-Building Shoulder Workout

3. Upright Barbell Row - 3 sets of 8-10 reps

Shoulders Workout for Mass

4. Bent Over Lateral Raise - 3 sets of 10-12 reps

Shoulders Workout for Mass

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Sergio Oliva 'The Myth' - Workout For Big Arms

Sergio Oliva Workout

Sergio Oliva is one of the greatest bodybuilders of all time, the only bodybuilder to ever beat Arnold Schwarzenegger at Olympia. Even he was known for his rivalry with Arnold, they were good friends and the Austrian Oak always respected him a lot. In one interview after Sergio's death Arnold said:

"Sergio Oliva was one of the greatest bodybuilders of all time and a true friend. A fierce competitor with a big personality - one of a kind"

'The Myth'  as people often call Sergio Oliva, is still well known for the incredible size and perfect definition he had. Sergio had the biggest arms among all famous bodybuilders of that time.

As a huge fan of Old-School Bodybuilding, I recently got a very old bodybuilding magazine in which I found his old photos and arms workout.

Sergio loved doing supersets on arms days and he recommended them to all lifters that didn't try doing biceps and triceps supersets. He favored supersets because they are a time saver and as he said they made him attack his arms more fiercely and forced them to grow faster.

He considered a Barbell Biceps Curl as the most effective exercise for biceps. Doing heavy curls with a rep range from 6 - 10 and with a good form was his secret for building a big biceps. The key is in performing the curls using a full range of motion and without using a momentum to lift a barbell.

Sergio Oliva Biceps Curl

To get a pump he used to do a superset of Barbell Biceps Curls with Dumbbell Biceps Curls which he performed with lighter weight and from different angles.

Sergio Oliva Arms
Seated Dumbbell Biceps Curl
Sergio Oliva Arms Workout
Triceps Pushdown on Lat Machine

Sergio Oliva Workout
Lying Barbell Triceps Extension

Another exercise that he used to build his huge biceps was Preacher Curl either using Barbell or Dumbbells.

Some of the exercises that he used for building his triceps were Triceps Pushdown and Lying Barbell Triceps Extension.
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