Build Muscle. It seems like it's the goal of every guy out there. Some do it effectively and others have a hard time seeing results. Lucky for me I have seen great results and put on a good amount of muscle in a relatively short amount of time.
The secret is all in the amount of reps you are doing and the amount of sets you are doing. Another factor is the way you workout your body. There's many factors that go into building muscle but the two fore mentioned are some of the most important and can make a huge impact.
To build muscle you are going to have to get uncomfortable and push yourself. You want to tear those muscles down so that they can rebuild and come back stronger and bigger. You do that by applying some stress to your muscles and if you want to put on some serious size you're going to have to put on some serious stress to those muscles.
You're going to want to find a weight that is challenging for you. Nothing too easy because you're going to be not that many reps and you barely just want to be within the rep range. The perfect range for putting on muscle is 8-10 reps. Sometimes I hit 12 and sometimes I only get 6 but the point is it should be around the 8-10 range.
This will allow you to put a good amount of stress on your muscles to break them down enough where you can recover over the next few days and hit that same muscle group again.
So each exercise is divided into sets and within those sets are reps. I think the most ideal number of sets for each exercise is 3. It's the magic number. Now that number is not set in stone. Do I think you should do less than that, no. Can you do more than that? Of course, and sometimes you will feel the need to do a 4th set or a 5th set depending on how that exercise is going.
You have to get to know your body and know at what point you have "completed" that one exercise. My exercises usually end up looking like 3 sets of 8-10 reps with heavier weight. (Heavier weight is relative to who ever is lifting.)
I find that this number of sets and rep range is most effective to build muscle.
Now when you go to the gym you should not be working out your whole body every time. You need to separate it into groups. You can do a 3 day split , 4 day split, or a 5 day split depending on your goals and what works best for you. Click on the links to find out what I mean when I say split.
You want to focus on one or two body groups when you go to the gym. I do a 4 day split and it allows me to hyper focus on body groups each day and then recover to be able to hit that same group in a few days.
So you've separated your body into different groups and you're ready to get going. How many exercises should you do? I stick around 4-5 different exercises for bigger muscles like your legs, back, shoulders and chest, while I stick to 2-3 different exercises for smaller muscles like your calves, biceps and triceps.
By applying these 3 different criteria in every workout I was able to see major improvements in my physique. I think my transformation can speak for itself.
Don't take my word for it though. Go try it for yourself and experience it first hand!