Always try to "trick" your muscles into growth. You never want to do the same exercises, reps and sets for each and every workout. You always want to shock your muscles into growing and adapting to new stimuli, so make sure to always switch up your training routines, number of sets and reps for each training session. Also, make sure to train at a high level if intensity and really push each set to positive failure (barely getting the last rep up).
You should always focus on increasing the weight lifted. If your muscles get used to lifting a specific amount of weight, then they will never want to get stronger or grow. Always try to trick your muscles with different reps/sets and keep your intensity levels up high enough so they always are forced to make changes and grow!
To gain muscle mass use a rep range of 8-12, starting out. Then, once your comfortable switch it up to lower reps like 6-8 range. There is also an "total volume" intensity aspect which takes the overall volume of weight lifted into muscle mass gains. Such as:
10 reps with 225 lbs = 2,250 total training volume
6 reps with 275 = 1,650 total training volume
The key is to always train to positive failure on every set (after warmup). This way, you will always be taxing your muscles and applying highest level of intensity possible.
Another great way to really shock your muscles is to train with different routines. We have included a huge database of workout routines for you to choose from. Whether you're a beginner, intermediate or advanced individual, we have the workout routines that's just right for you! Choose from hundreds of different routines here:
Kris Bierek is a fitness specialist for the health and fitness site http://www.ShapeFit.com where you can find FREE fitness tools like fitness newsletters, dieting tips, weight loss help, exercise questions and a free fitness analysis to help you get into the best shape of your life!