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The 6 Best Workouts to Gain Muscle

by Sammy Nickalls
best workouts to gain muscle - kettlebells

Working out is great. It can fend off disease, help keep you happy, raise your energy levels…the list goes on and on. But let’s be honest here: one of the main reasons people start working out initially is because they want to look good. No harm there! It’s nice to feel comfortable in your own skin.

If you find yourself nodding in agreement, you might be looking for the best workouts to gain muscle. After all, running is good to keep you slim and trim, but it won’t exactly tone your arms. Have no fear! There are plenty of routines out there that can get you that sexy definition you’ve been pining for.

best workouts to gain muscle - kettlebells

Here’s Some of the Best Workouts to Gain Muscle

1. CrossFit

If you have friends who are all about the latest and greatest in fitness and health, you’ve probably heard a good deal about CrossFit. But what is it? One of the best workouts to gain muscle, that’s what!

CrossFit is a strength and conditioning program that involves body weight exercises, aerobic exercises, and weight lifting. You can attend CrossFit workouts at your local gym that include a warm-up, a section where you develop your skills, and a high-intensity workout of the day (WOD) posted on their site. CrossFit is an immensely popular workout and a great way to get toned.

Related: How to Get More Fit with Less Exercise

2. Burst Training

If you’re looking to get muscle and burn fat, burst training is another option—especially if your’e quite busy, as it doesn’t take much time to complete. Also called high-intensity interval training (HIT), burst training involves short bursts of high energy, give-it-all-you-got exercise, followed by a minute or so of recovery periods (i.e. walking).

Doesn’t sound too hard, does it? Try it—you’d be surprised. Burst training is a great way to blast fat quickly so that you can tone up.

3. Olympic Lifting

Want to look like the athletes in the Olympics? Well, why not do what they do? Olympic lifting is exactly what it sounds like: lifting weights as Olympians do. There are only really two official Olympic lifts: the “snatch” (which Men’s Health defines as being like a deadlift, barbell shrug, jump squat, and overhead squat in one fluid motion) and the “clean and jerk” (deadlift, upright row, front squat, and push press in one).

Two moves? That’s easy!

“Simple,” perhaps. “Easy,” not so much. But it’s certainly an excellent way to get toned and ripped like an Olympic athlete!

Related: 7 Ways to Get Motivated to Exercise

4. Bodyweight Exercises

Don’t have the time or money to go to a gym? Have no fear: bodyweight exercises are here. Bodyweight exercises are an excellent way to get that tone you want, and all you need are a few minutes, an empty room, and your body. Your body provides the resistance for the exercise.

By developing and personalizing your own routine, you can use bodyweight exercises such as squats, lunges, Russian twists, and push-ups to get a full-body workout in the comfort of your own home.

5. Bodybuilding

Bodybuilding might seem obvious on a list of best workouts to gain muscle, but many people tend to discount it altogether, thinking it’s not for them. However, it’s an excellent way to get toned, because the main objective isn’t simply to be able to lift a lot of weight, but rather to physically get muscle.

If you’re looking to look ripped, give bodybuilding a try.

Related: Health Tips from a World-Champion Bodybuilder

6. Yoga

Okay, is this a joke? You just mentioned bodybuilding and now you’re saying yoga is one of the best workouts to gain muscle?

I know, it sounds crazy. Many people associate yoga with meditation and flexibility only and not as a real workout. However, nothing could be further from the truth. Many of the positions focus on strengthening your core because you need to use the deep abdominals.

Plus, it’s just as effective as bodyweights in that you have to lift up your entire body weight. Have you ever seen an experienced yoga teacher who wasn’t completely ripped?

The Takeaway

Exercise is fabulous for so many reasons, but one of the big ones people think of is a sexy body. You can get great benefits from lots of workouts, but the best workouts to gain muscle are undoubtedly CrossFit, burst training, Olympic lifting, bodyweight exercises, bodybuilding, and yoga. Try one of these exercises, and you’ll be able to lift anything. (Well, please don’t try to lift anything. Trucks belong on the ground.)


sammy nickallsSammy Nickalls is the Content Manager at She is an avid health nut and a lover of all things avocado. Follow her on Twitter or Pinterest.

Photo by stoermchen

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