Gain Muscle Weight Fast With the Correct Number of Sets and Reps

Are you finding yourself often confused with how many sets and reps you should be doing if you want to gain weight and build muscle as fast as possible? If you are, you are definitely not alone. There are some general rules for this, but there are about just as many exceptions for this rule. But if you’re concerned with bulking up and slapping on pounds of muscle on you frame, then I’ll make it simple

The general rule for size and strength is to use a relatively high number of sets with low reps; 5 sets of 5, 6 sets of 3; something that looks like this. The amount of reps means that you will fail at around that number, so you’re going to use heavy weight.

One thing to keep in mind is whenever I say “heavy” throughout this article, I use it as a relative term. What is heavy for one person is completely different to another, so make sure you understand that.

So, if you want your shoulders to look like you got a pair of football shoulder pads under your shirt, you would do about 5 or 6 sets of between 3 to 6 reps each. Remember, this is only a general rule. The point of low reps is to build strength. If you have read any of my past articles then you know that strength is a big key to size. The low reps means you focus on heavy weight and allow enough rest to increase the weight on a weekly basis.

In a nutshell, if you want to get bigger, you have to get stronger in ALL of the major muscle groups. So structure your sets and reps with this purpose in mind.

Here are some important points to remember:

-Keep it simple; training for size means getting stronger, so don’t do too many exercises per muscle group so you can allow enough time and rest to recuperate and get stronger in just one or two compound exercises per muscle

-Use as much power and force in good form during your reps, DON’T do them slow so you can “feel the burn.” This will only limit the speed in which you will get stronger. Lower the weight in a controlled manner, but push/pull with all your might to get the weight back up.

-Take your time in between reps – that’s right, I said reps. Don’t rush them. If you need, take a few quick breaths between reps to gather your strength and focus. This will help you push the extra rep or two that will really boost your size and strength.

-When building up your strength, you will need to rest longer then the normal 60 seconds. For upper body exercises, take 2-3 minutes rest between sets to recover your strength and 3-5 minutes for your legs.

Remember, if you’re a hardgainer you need to train with heavy weights. Push the weight up with all the power and muscle you can, take a couple deep breaths, lower the weight slightly slower then when you lifted it, and do another rep. You don’t have to count the seconds, but try not to rush your reps or go too slow. You’re not trying to run a 50 yard dash but you’re not doing tai chi either.

Derek Manuel is the author of the best-selling How to Gain Weight and Build Muscle for Hardgainers. If you want to learn how you too can gain 20 to 30 pounds of solid muscle in as short as 8 weeks, or if you just want more quality information on how to gain weight and build muscle, please visit

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