7 Must Haves For Building Muscle

Building Muscle with weight and resistance training

So you’re on a mission to build lean muscle mass. Whether you’re new to fitness or are an experienced veteran, chances are, you’re looking to get from point A to point B as quickly as possible. You have goals to reach and the sooner you can get them achieved, the better.

This means taking a smart approach to your training. Too many people rush into the gym and just do what they think they should be doing: lifting weights.

While applying resistance to your muscles is definitely the primary focus for generating more strength as well as lean muscle mass, you can’t do it without any rhyme or reason. Every exercise you do should have a purpose and should meet a certain number of requirements. If you can do that, you’ll be on track to success.

Building muscle isn’t necessarily a hard feat, but it is one that does take precision. You need to get certain factors in place for the body to see the need to build more lean muscle mass tissue. If even one factor is missing, your results may be amiss.

So we are here today to look at the seven must-haves you’ll want to get in place so that you can see optimal muscle building results. Put these into your protocol and you are virtually guaranteed to be on the road to success.

Let’s get started.

1. Overloading Stimulus

The very first must-have to build muscle effectively is an overloading stimulus. Simply put, if you go into the gym and do the same thing day after day, you are going to stay the same.

In order to get different results, something has to change. That means applying more tension through increased resistance. When you do this that will cause the muscles to suffer small tears, which will then need to be built back up stronger than they were before.

This is what brings on progress.

While the overloading stimulus can be brought on by adding more tension, remember that you can also bring it on by adding new exercises, changing the number of reps you perform at a given resistance level, or reducing the total amount of rest that you take between sets.

All of these are going to make the workout that much harder, thus subject your body to a higher degree of stress and hence, and overloading stimulus.

2. Compound Movements

The next requirement that you’ll need to get into place is compound movements. This means exercises that work more than one muscle group at once. The more muscles you can work in any given instant, the more strength you’ll gain and the more of an anabolic stimulus you’ll create.

Good examples of compound movements include squats, chest presses, shoulder presses, and bent over rows.


These are also all exercises that can easily be performed with a variety of different pieces of equipment including dumbbells, barbells, kettlebells, cables, or the Gorilla Bow.

When structuring your workout sessions, you’ll want to put these exercises towards the start of the workout when you are feeling most fresh and can exert maximum force. As they are the primary strength builders, they’ll be the ones that will help you see the fastest overall rate of progress.

Then once these exercises are completed, you can then move on to isolation-focused exercises that work just a single muscle group at once. Examples of these might include bicep curls or overhead triceps extensions. These exercises can still be good for fully fatiguing that single muscle and helping it to see superior progress when it’s lagging behind.

Since these exercises work just that single muscle however, they won’t take as much energy to perform and therefore can be saved until later on during the workout session.

Note that if you are doing a well-rounded program with plenty of compound exercises, you may not even find you have the need to perform these isolation movements at all. The choice will be up to you and if you’re in a rush, skipping over them may help you save time.

3. Continual Tension

Another must-have for generating lean muscle mass tissue is continual tension. Now this is where certain exercises do tend to fall short. When you train with dumbbells or barbells for instance, you’ll get a high level of tension at one point during the exercise and as you continue to move through the movement pattern, the tension tends to decrease. At the very top or bottom of the exercise, you may find you have little to no tension at all.

This means the muscles can essentially be ‘resting’ at that point, not experiencing any sort of overload. It’s like a mini-break for your muscles halfway through the movement.

If you train with cables, resistance bands, or the Gorilla Bow however, this will change that. Now, the tension will be continual on the muscles throughout the entire pattern of movement.

This creates more challenge, which then means greater overall progress. The Gorilla Bow is especially good for this as the further you move through the exercise and away from the base, the harder the exercise will become. This also in essence allows you to adjust the workout based on your own skill level. The end result is a much more customized approach that will generate superior progress.

This what Gorilla Bow can do

One of the main factors that does go into determining lean muscle mass development is something called ‘time under tension’. This essentially refers to how many total seconds a muscle is being subjected to stress. If you are using dumbbells or barbells, the total number of seconds may be reduced, while if you are using resistance bands or the Gorilla Bow, you’ll have more total seconds per set, thus your total overall time under tension for each workout will be significantly increased.

This means you will either see greater levels of progress if you are doing the same total volume in either scenario or you will see the same progress in a much shorter period of time.

time-under-tensionIf you want to be able to get in and out of those workouts quickly, having more time under tension per set is really going to be in your best interest.

4. Ease Of Performance

Another thing that you’ll want to consider is the ease of performance. While this may not be a hard and fast rule for what you must have in order to get results, it sure will make things easier on you.

The more convenient it is to get in your workout, the greater the chances are that you will actually do it and thus, go on to see results.

If getting to the gym takes you 20 minutes each way and the only time you can go is during the rush hour, meaning you then need to wait for equipment for an extended period of time, it doesn’t take much to realize you may not stick with this setup for long.

This is why being able to do home workouts or even better, take whatever equipment you need with you on the go is so ideal. It’s one area where the Gorilla Bow really shines. This is just a single light-weight piece of equipment that you can perform all the major exercises you need to do with and can be taken wherever you happen to be going – the commercial gym, your home gym, to work, or on holidays.

Gorilla Bow workout outdoors
When you have this in your toolbox, there really is never a reason to skip another work again.

Click here to read more about amazing benefits of resistance band training.

Alternatively you can purchase some dumbbells, kettlebells, or barbells for a home gym, which is also quite convenient for most people, but then you are still stuck to that one environment to get the session in. If you are working long hours at the office for instance, it may be far more convenient for you to do a quick workout over your lunch break and getting home may not be an option. If your workout equipment is portable however, this makes it far more feasible.

Consistency is one of the greatest determinants of results, so you really must be doing everything you can to get that consistency is place.

Another nice thing about the Gorilla Bow is that it is simply easy to use for most people. Some find they do feel a little intimidated with free weights, so this can put them off getting started in some cases. With the Gorilla Bow, there is no external weight involved, so it’s a very easy piece of equipment to use and can still provide the resistance benefits that you are looking for.

Read everything you need to know about Gorilla Bow.

5. Adequate Nutrition

The next must-have for building muscle successfully is not a gym factor, but rather, is nutrition. Simply put, you will not build muscle properly without getting the right nutrition in. The nutrition that you eat on a day-to-day basis is what will supply your body with the raw materials you need to generate new lean muscle mass tissue. If you aren’t eating enough of those raw materials, you won’t be able to build any additional new lean muscle mass. Your body can’t create something out of nothing, so they need to be in place in order for you to see optimal results.

This means not only consuming sufficient calories, but also eating a good balanced mix of proteins, carbohydrates, and dietary fats. To build muscle effectively, all three are needed. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that you can cut out an entire nutrient from your diet plan and go with a very low carb or low fat diet.

Carbohydrates are necessary for supplying the energy you need to perform the workouts with while the dietary fats are going to help enhance your hormonal levels, ensuring that the environment you create is one that fosters lean muscle mass growth.

Finally, protein supplies the building blocks that protein is made up of, so obviously that is going to be a must as well.

It pays to also ensure that you are eating very well be before as well as immediately after each workout session you perform. It’s at this point that your body will be hungry for nutrition and will soak up any food you do feed yourself, using it to generate the lean muscle mass you desire. Don’t skip eating at this time – now is the time to fuel up.

6. Sufficient Rest

Another must-have on your list if you want to build quality lean muscle mass is sufficient rest. This is another big area where many people go wrong. They figure the more often they can work each muscle group, the faster they will see progress.

This unfortunately is not how it works however. When you perform exercises with a sufficient level of intensity, you are creating tiny microtears in the muscle. After these are created, the body then has to begin to rebuild those tissues back up again, stronger than they were before. This takes time.

If you hit the gym before this process is completed, you are essentially hitting the gym in a weaker state. This means no progress will be made and instead, you’ll just continue to tear your body down. If you do this often enough, it can actually lead to a loss of strength rather than a gain of strength. Essentially, you are overtraining yourself.

So between each workout, you need to allow for that rest and recovery process to occur. How much time do you need?

This will vary from individual to individual. Some people have great recovery abilities and can bounce back after a workout without a problem. Others do take longer. You need to listen to your own body and use it as a guide.

Generally speaking though, you should allow for 48 hours after working any given muscle group to work it again. So if you trained your shoulders on Monday for instance, wait until around Wednesday to perform another shoulder workout.

If you doing a full body workout, which you easily can using something like the Gorilla Bow, this means you’ll do three workouts per week – Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. This makes for a very time efficient workout strategy that will help you see maximum results.

Other factors that can influence your rate of recovery include your age, your current fitness level and experience (the more experienced you are, the faster you’ll tend to recover), how good your nutrition intake is, and your sleep quality. Sleep is a must for maximum recovery so never overlook this.

7. Plenty Of Variety

Finally, the last must-have for optimal muscle building results is plenty of variety. Basically, you need to shock your body on a regular basis so that it doesn’t know what’s coming.

If you are doing the same exercises, the same rep ranges, the same number of sets, and so forth each and every day, you are going to get more of the same results.

You want different results. This means changing how you workout. This gives your body something to respond to – a reason to change and get stronger and more muscular.

This could be something as simple as introducing a new exercise, using a different number of reps per set, or changing the order in which you are doing your exercises. Little changes like this can add up fast and can really alter your results overall.

One good sign that it’s time you change your program around is if you are mentally feeling bored. If you are not mentally engaged in the workouts any longer, your body definitely is not. This means you are likely going through the motions, not on track to seeing any better results.

Make it a point to do something different with your workout program every two weeks or so and you’ll avoid hitting that dreaded progress plateau you’ve been trying so hard to avoid.

outdoor training with resistance bandSo there you have the main factors that should be in place if you hope to build muscle successfully on your workout program. This may seem like a lot to satisfy, but if you get on a good workout program using a proper piece of equipment such as the Gorilla Bow, you will be on your way in no time. Most important is to never let yourself get discouraged and avoid comparing your results with other people.

Know that you will progress at your own rate and as long as you are giving 110% effort each session, you will be on track to great results.