There's no shortcut to building muscle; it requires dedication and regular workouts.
The beauty of working out with dumbbells is that you have the option of working out at home with a minimum of equipment instead of spending the time and gas to go to the gym. Although there are no shortcuts to bulking up super-fast, you can optimize dumbbell workouts to build muscle as fast as possible with a few simple tips.
The Advantages of Dumbbell Training
Besides the distinct advantages of not having to go anywhere to work out and having minimum equipment to store, there are physical advantages associated with dumbbell training. Barbell and machine training that use both sides of your body at once make it easy for the stronger side of your body to compensate for any weaknesses on the opposite side of the body. Dumbbell training uses each side of your body separately, meaning you'll get big equally fast on both sides of your body as any weaknesses get exposed right from the start.
The beauty of working out at home using dumbbells is that you don't need to dedicate an entire room to large fitness equipment. You will, however, want to be able to add or lower weight to build muscle at maximum speed. For example, heavier weights deliver the best results for things like dumbbell chest presses and deadlifts. Split squats and rows are best done with lighter weights to maintain form.
If you're just starting to work out, choose a heavy pair with each dumbbell 15 to 20 percent of your body weight and a lighter set that is 10 to 15 percent of your body weight. That means if you weigh 150 pounds, your heaviest dumbbell should be not more than 30 pounds and your lightest not less than 15 pounds. At an intermediate level, go up to 35 percent of your body weight for heavy bells and 20 percent for the lightest. Once advanced with the techniques, you can push the weights to up to 45 percent of your weight for the heavy bells and 25 percent for the light bells.
A set of adjustable dumbbells can solve the problem of buying multiple sets to cover the heavy and light options through each stage of your journey. But, if you don't want to stop to adjust weights and collars during your workout, consider getting two sets. A bench is useful for exercises like bench presses, and lying rear delt raises, but you can adapt your posture to do them lying on the floor or seated on a sturdy chair.
Set Your Goals
Plan to work out three to four days per week with rest days in between. Certified strength coach and bestselling author David de las Morenas suggests alternating between two workouts to allow muscle groups to rest and rebuild, creating maximum bulk. Each workout consists of six exercises that involve eight sets of eight repetitions.
Eat Up - Calories and Protein
Make sure your body is getting enough calories to build muscle, not put on fat. If you're on the skinny side, multiply your body weight times 18 to get the calorie target you'll need for muscle building. For example, if you're a lean 150, make sure that, in addition to working out, you're consuming 2,700 calories per day to build maximum muscle.
Also make sure you're getting enough protein, especially after working out. A recent study by Maastricht University's Department of Human Movement Sciences in the Netherlands found that the key to maximizing muscle mass and strength is supplementing with about 27.5 grams of protein before bed.