There is so much conflicting information out there when it comes to the topic of building muscle, and sometimes it can be very difficult to know where to start.
If you’re an average beginner looking for some basic guidelines to follow in the gym, the following 8 points will start you off on the right track.
1) Practice Free Weight Movements With Weights And Emphasis On Compound.
If you want to make strong, significant muscle size and strength improvements, you simply have to practice with free weights and concentrate on simple, compound exercises. A compound exercise is any lift that activates over one group of muscles at a time.
The squat, deadlift, bench press, chin up, barbell arc, overhead press, dip, and lunge are examples of those lifts.
Compound movements allow you to bear the most weight and activate the maximum amount of total muscle fibers.
2) Ready To Train Hard.
One of the biggest factors distinguishing those making modest gains from those making serious gains is their level of intensity of preparation. You must be willing to take every set you do in the gym to the point of muscle failure to stimulate your muscle fibers to their fullest potential.
Muscular failure: The stage where no further repetitions can be done using the correct form.
You’ll be left with sub-maximum training intensity with sub-maximum results, plain and simple.
3) Track Your Progress From Week To Week In The Gym.
Due to an adaptive response to the environment, our bodies build muscle. You break down your muscle fibers by weight-training when you go to the gym. Your body senses this as a potential threat to its existence and will react accordingly by restoring bigger and stronger weakened fibers to defend against any future threat. Therefore, to make continual gains in muscle size and strength, you must always focus on progressing in the gym from week to week.
This could mean having 1 or 2 more reps done for each exercise or adding more weight to the bar. Keep a detailed log of training to track your progress as your power develops over time.
4) Don’t Overtrain.
Your enemy number one is overtraining when it comes to building muscle size and strength. They’re left with the misguided notion that more is better when most people start a fitness program.
They believe that the more time they spend in the gym, the better results they receive. Nothing could be farther from the truth when it comes to building muscle! If you’re spending too much time in the gym, you’re going to take yourself away from your goals rather than closer to them. Note, your muscles are not growing in the gym; they are growing out of the gym as you rest and feed. Recovery is vital to the process of muscular growth. If you don’t give your body the proper recovery time between workouts, your muscles will never have an opportunity to grow.
5) Feed More Often.
The main area where most people fail miserably on their muscle-building mission is on the all-too-important task of proper nutrition. Weight training is only half the equation! You break down your muscle fibers in the gym, but if you don’t deliver the right nutrients to your body at the right times, the process of muscle growth will be nearly impossible. You can eat 5-7 meals per day anytime, spread out every 2-3 hours to keep the body in an anabolic, muscle-building state at all times. Every meal should have high-quality protein and complex carbohydrates.
6) Increasing Your Intake Of Protein.
Of the 3 main nutrients (protein, carbohydrates, and fats) protein is probably the most important for those looking to gain strength and muscle size. Protein is found in every single of the 30 trillion cells that make up the body, and its main role is to build and repair body tissues.
Without enough protein intake, the body will be physically unable to synthesize a significant amount of lean muscle mass. If your body was a building, think of protein as the bricks. A general guideline is to eat 1-1,5 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight daily from sources of high quality such as fish, poultry, eggs, beef, milk,
peanut butter, and cottage cheese.
7) Make Your Water Consumption Higher.
If you want a fast, quick and highly effective way of optimizing muscle gains, it is to drink more water.
Water plays so many vital roles in the body, and can not be overestimated in its importance. Your muscles alone actually consist of 70 percent water! Drinking more water not only will make your muscles look fuller and more muscular, but it will also increase your strength. Research has shown that only a 3-4 percent decrease in water levels in your body can have a 10-20 percent effect on muscle contractions! Try to eat 0.6 ounces each day for maximum benefits for every pound of bodyweight.
8) Demonstrate Continuity!
Consistency is all it takes. Those who make the greatest muscle size and strength improvements are the ones who can execute the right techniques on a highly consistent basis.
It’s not enough just learning, you have to submit!
Muscle building is a product of the small steps cumulative effect. Sure, doing 1 extra rep on your bench press won’t make a big difference to your overall results and won’t eat a single meal either. All those extra reps you do and all those little meals you eat, however, will determine your overall success over the long haul.