Add compound exercises to your workout
When you do big movement exercises that require multiple muscle groups to perform, you will see greater results. By doing exercises like squats, deadlifts, chin-ups or bench press, you are promoting the activation of more muscle fibres and, with proper technique and tempo, you will increase the tearing in muscle fibre. When you tear a muscle fibre it will repair itself to be bigger and/or stronger, however, each time you repair yourself you need to increase how difficult the exercise is the next time you perform it.

By starting with bodyweight and focusing on form, you will increase the recruitment of as many muscle fibres as possible; from there, add weight to make it challenging while still focusing on form. Isolated exercises can still be performed to work on a specific area, however, they should be done as a complimentary exercise to a compound exercise.

For example, if you want to focus on your triceps, you would add triceps exercises to the end of your workout on a day that you have emphasized pressing exercises such as the bench press or dips. Working multiple muscle groups at once means you’re breaking down more muscle fibres. While you’re in recovery mode, more are being repaired and grown so you’re doubling your gains.

Compound muscle exercises include moves like squats, lunges, deadlifts and plyometric moves like jump squats and box jumps. If you’re new to these kinds of moves, start off with just body weight and then progress to adding weights once you’re comfortable with the move. This doesn’t mean that you can’t cut out isolated moves altogether, as a mix of both should ensure you’re building muscle while also focusing on any areas you feel need attention.

To see results, you need to add weight
When looking to gain muscle, you need to follow the theory of progressive overload. It is important that every session that you increase the demand on your body in a small, incremental way. The easiest and most commonly used way to do this is by adding weight, however, you can add reps, decrease rest time or increase time under tension.

When your body is lifting heavy weights but still following good form, it produces many hormones such as growth hormone to help the body build muscle. If you forget about form and just add weight, you will end up injured; so it’s important to lift the most weight you can safely use while not compromising your form.

If you’re looking to add muscle, it’s time to challenge yourself. When your body is under physical stress it produces testosterone to help build muscle. This doesn’t mean you should go from back squats with the bar to adding multiple plates in one go. If it’s too much weight you’ll either hurt yourself or overexert your muscles, which can lead to more serious injuries.

Recovery is just as important as the workout
While using the right exercise template for your goals is a necessity to see results, so is proper time to recover. Compound movements and the proper intensity are good places to start, however based on your experience in the gym, the number of workouts and time you need to recover will vary.

If you are a new exerciser, working a specific movement pattern or muscle group 1-2 times per week will be sufficient. However, as you gain more experience and the body gets more used to lifting, you can add more sessions per muscle group to your week.

No matter how many times you work out, recovery is vitally important.  There are many different ways to promote proper recovery, but some of the most important ones are sleeping, nutrition, hydration and stretching.

Making sure you are getting adequate sleep is imperative to allow the body time to repair from the muscle that has been broken down. Proper nutrients and hydration provide the body with the right materials to make the repair happen; if you aren’t giving your body the proper nutrients, recovery will suffer.

Also, it is imperative to implement stretching into your week as it stimulates the calming portion of your nervous system and allows the body to relax tighter muscles and activate muscles that are turned off.

Add a shake to your post workout routine
If you aren’t eating enough protein from quality sources in your diet, a very easy and effective way is to add a protein shake post workout. Protein is the building block of muscle, so making sure you have sufficient protein intake will be very important in making sure you see results. If you are adding a protein shake post workout it is important to know what your goal is from the gym.

If you want to add muscle, it is important to have some carbs incorporated in your shake. An easy and healthy way to add carbohydrates is the incorporation of fruit into your shake. If the goal is weight loss, only having protein in your shake is a more effective way to go. Making sure you are getting adequate nutrition in your diet is very important in building muscle, and the use of a simple shake is a very easy and convenient way to help get the nutrients you need for your body.