Whenever I receive e-mails from people wanting to know what is the best way to build muscle fast and gain weight, the first thing I tell them is squats. If you have read any of my past articles or newsletters then you know that I put a huge emphasis on squats when it comes to gaining weight and building muscle mass as fast as possible. Nothing can ever substitute for squatting hard and heavy, not more exercises, supplements, nothing.
If you’ve been having trouble gaining weight and/or putting some muscle mass on your frame, then I suggest you start doing some serious squatting. If you have been squatting but still aren’t seeing results, I would then suggest that you take a look at your squatting poundage’s. Almost 90% of weight trainer’s problems with gaining weight and muscle mass can be solved just by getting serious about squatting.
However, if you have been squatting for a while and are getting good progress but want to take a break while still gaining muscle mass consistently, then perhaps you should try what I believe is the next best yet simple exercise for muscle building: parallel dips.
Next to squats, parallel dips are the fastest way to build muscle on your upper body. Now, what I am NOT talking about is how many dips you can do. This is great for athletes and muscle endurance, but I would assume that if you’re reading this article that you are looking for ways to build muscle fast.
In order to utilize dips as a tool for further upper body muscle mass development, you need to treat them just as you would treat any other exercise for the same purpose, and that is low to medium amount of reps with progressively heavier weight. If you have never done dips with added weight before, you are in for a treat. They are defiantly more demanding then most upper body exercises, but the results they produce are just as good if not better.
What I love about parallel dips is that they are one of the few exercises that will add massive bulk to your chest, shoulders, and triceps all at once. This is by far one of the best upper body exercises for strength training as well, and you can get a terrific pump from them too!
My favorite way of doing dips is from the late John McCallum’s book The Complete Keys to Progress. Here is how he broke it down on how to do them for the best possible results:
-First start out with either body weight or really light weights tied around your waist for a set of five.
-Do a second set of five with a little more weight.
-Next jump to your best poundage’s (you’ll have to experiment with this to find out what weight is good for you) for three more sets of five.
-After you finish your first five sets, finish off by doing ten more sets of eight with much lighter weight with only thirty seconds in-between each set. Continue to strip the weight off each set if necessary.
-The weight for the last 10 sets doesn’t matter, just focus on no longer then 30 second rest periods and getting a really good pump.
Try these out for a while and try to add weight to your three heavy sets for each workout. You don’t need to do this more then twice a week, even once a week for some is enough. Also, don’t do to many other upper body exercises on days when you are doing these dips, as you will soon discover, you won’t need to, let alone have enough strength left to!
As always with a weight gain and muscle building program, don’t ever forget about your diet and nutrition, and especially don’t cut yourself short on protein while doing the dips. This exercise alone will take a lot out of you and you MUST make sure to put a lot of protein and other nutrition back in.