What Do I Need To Do To Build Muscle?

November 12, 2012

What Do I Need To Do To Build Muscle?

The average person needs to use a different method in order to build muscle to that generally presented in fitness magazines. Most of us want to build muscle fast whilst avoiding too much too soon and running the risk of overtraining.

The first step should be to start some kind of strength training – always learn the proper technique. Weight training is probably the easiest way to get started – the initial weights will be light but it is possible to increase those weights ad infinitum. In order to build muscle it is important to keep pushing our body out of its comfort zone. Using free weights is the best and most versatile way forward – the heaviest weights can be lifted this way. In order to build muscle we need to cause stress. Machines should be avoided – free weights cause us to move naturally unlike machines, they are also more efficient and the strength developed whilst using free weights to build muscle will transfer to real life. Using a bar bell, for example, means a wide variety of exercises, plus saving both money and space.

Once you have started to build muscle it is important to move on to compound exercises using several muscles at the same time. Try to avoid endless bicep curls, leg extensions and tricep kickback, use instead a variety of pull-ups, barbell rows, dips, squats and dead lifts.

Squats are probably the most important exercise when we want to build muscle, squats work the whole body – working it as one piece and tensing all muscles. Once you can do a 300LB squat it is possible to move onto full body workouts.

As a beginner in the quest to build muscle it is important to make proper use of recovery time. Avoid the temptation to jump straight into working out 5 or 6 times a week – this will lead to overtraining when we are looking only to build muscle.

Rest is an important part of recovery, as a beginner the focus should be on the intensity of no more than three full body workouts a week rather than on time spent in the gym. We build muscle when we sleep as a result of the release of growth hormones – eight hours is the minimum requirement for most.

Recovery also means being correctly hydrated and fuelled. Training is rendered useless if we don’t eat sufficient calories during recovery.

Eating a wide variety of whole foods will help us to achieve a lower body fat index as we endeavor to build muscle; lower body fat will show off our muscles. The vitamin and mineral content of whole, fresh foods will also aid recovery. In order to build muscle the diet should include a plentiful mixture of the major food groups – protein, carbs, fruit and vegetables, and fats. Whilst training is more important than diet when seeking to build muscle our body needs the right fuel for a good recovery. Breakfast should never be skipped – get into the habit of eating a good breakfast within an hour of waking. It is important to eat after working out – using protein and carbs to replace the lost energy and help recovery. The body needs a steady intake of all major food groups throughout the day – eating every three hours will help to increase our metabolism and provide our body with the nutrients it needs. It is important to maintain weight and so daily calorie intake should be monitored.

When seeking to build muscle it may be beneficial to also gain weight – this can be done by eating calorie dense foods, by increasing strength through exercise, whole milk is an important part of the diet for all those seeking to gain weight and improve muscle tone and content. In order to build and maintain muscle whole proteins must be eaten with each meal. Whole protein is found in red meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy products etc.

The main thing to do is to persist – keep on getting stronger, keep on improving diet, track progress and persist!

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