One of the main causes of failure when it comes to gaining weight and building muscle mass is lack of strength. A key basic principle when it comes to weight training and bodybuilding that should never be forgotten is the concept of progressive overload. In other words, you have to constantly be lifting heavy weights to build muscle.A basic law of nature that applies in bodybuilding just as much as anything else in life is that growth can only occur when there is resistance. In weight training, if you stop adding weight to an exercise your weight and muscle mass gains will soon come to a halt, sooner if you are an advanced trainer.

So if you are wondering what is the best way to build muscle fast and you haven’t seen any measurable results lately, you may want to take a second look at your poundage’s. If this is the problem, then the quickest way to bridge the gap between where you are now and where you want to be (bigger and stronger) is to engage in a workout that focuses strictly on boosting your strength levels way up.

The best way to do this is to pick 3 to 5 of the most basic and demanding compound exercises for both your upper and lower body and focus on just increasing your strength on these exercises. This is because when you increase your strength on basic compound exercises, you also increase your strength on the dozens of other exercises with those particular muscles.

For example, if you increase your bench press strength for a while, you will also be increasing the amount of weight you can use for other chest and tricep exercises such as fly’s, incline and decline presses, tricep push-downs, and so on.

The five best compound exercises on the planet are squats, deadlifts (both regular and stiff-legged), the bench press, bent-over rows, and shoulder presses, preferably all with the barbell. Focusing on adding weight on these few exercises two to three days a week will add tremendous strength and power to your frame, setting you up after for muscle mass building routines. In fact, this is a great workout program for hardgainers who are having a hard time gaining weight and building muscle.

One key point is that your strength program should be used as a means to build momentum for your workouts for muscle mass after. So after you have built your strength and power for a couple of months on these few exercises the worst thing you can do is take a long break. Just take 7 to 10 days off and get right into your workouts for muscle mass.

Your new and improved strength will be a huge leverage tool for many other exercises enabling you to stimulate more muscle fibers and ultimately build a mass of muscle like never before.

: article by Derek Manuel