06/19/2012 08:08 am ET Updated Aug 19, 2012

It's All About Muscle

"Frustrated" is the first word that I hear all the time from clients who are trying to build muscle. You've been hitting the gym for a few months now trying to "get big" or tone your body, but aren't seeing results.

Guys -- are you tired of your chicken legs, or envious when you see those guys with huge, sculpted biceps? Girls -- do you wish that your stomach was toned or find yourself staring when you see a woman with firm arms?

Maybe you've been skinny your whole life and always wanted achieve a sculpted muscular look that you see on other guys and girls. On the other hand, maybe you finally lost the extra pounds, hit your goal weight and want to take your fitness to the next level by starting to build muscle and get toned. Either way -- the problem is how do you do this? Luckily, I have the answer.

Men or women who are looking to gain muscle are often frustrated because it is one of the hardest things to do and most people are doing the wrong exercises.

The best exercises to do if you are trying to build muscle are compound movements including: squats, dead lifts, military press, bench press or bent over rows. Keep your repetition range between six and eight reps and do four to six sets of each exercise. You want to do these exercises ONLY three days a week -- less is more.

A lot of people think that the more they work out, the more muscle they will gain. That is 100 percent false -- especially for skinny people -- and is a common misconception about building muscle. Most people are unaware that you need time for your muscles to grow.

Here is an example workout for a three-day routine to build muscle:

Ten minutes of moderate cardio

After your cardio, start with one set of 12 reps of each compound exercise below and only use the bar or your body weight. This is just a warmup to get use to the movements that you will be doing.

Six sets of each with six reps of the each exercise below. You are able to rest for 90 seconds in between each exercise and two minutes in between sets.

Be sure to use maximal weight on EVERY set. Reps 4, 5, and 6 should be hard without sacrificing perfect form.

Compound Exercises:
  • Squats
  • Dead Lifts
  • Bench Press
  • Bent over Row
  • Standing Military Press
  • Pull-ups

Wrap up your workout with 10 sets of 20-yard sprints. You can give yourself 30 seconds to rest in between sets.

It is possible to get results, but you have to work at it. Making sure that you are doing the correct exercises is the first step. Stay motivated, stick with it and in the end you will see results. Building muscle isn't something that you can achieve overnight!

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