To get you started, here are our top ten tips for building muscle:
1. Learn The Three Weight Training Exercises
The squat, the deadlift and the bench press. These three exercises will be your best friend as they will increase strength, condition and will help you pack on muscle bulk so be sure to implement them into your routine.
2. Lift Lighter, More Reps
Never be afraid to lift lighter. While heavy weights do indeed pack on muscle, lifting lighter weights with more repetitions can help to increase the level of lactic acid, this stimulates muscle growth. You should aim for 10-15 lifts at a time and resting for no more than a minute.
3. Hit The Gym At Least Three Days A Week
Don’t think one session a week in the gym will cut it – it won’t! Building muscle is serious business and if you seriously want to see results you need to be consistent. Beginners should start with two gym sessions a week.
4. Don’t Forget The P Word
That’s right, Protein. Even the most hardened weight trainer needs to consume the right amount of protein for optimum gains. The maximum amount that is recommended is one gram per pound of body weight per day. If you include a lot of protein in your diet there will be no need for protein supplements.
5. Decide Exactly What You Want To Achieve
Knowing what you are ultimately hoping to achieve is essential. For example, trying to build solid lean muscle while living off a lettuce leaf and going for a5 milerun everyday will not get you the results you desire. Knowing what you want, setting yourself realistic goals and following the appropriate steps can help you achieve it.
6. Push Yourself
As your strength increases, push yourself with each set, aim high, do more repetitions, take shorter breaks, reach your limit before stopping. Start heavy, gradually reducing weight before stopping.
7. Think Big, Eat Big
It’s no use cutting calories, no matter how hard you train in the gym; your body needs a sufficient amount of protein, natural fats and complex carbohydrates to build muscle. Chicken, Brown rice, oats, potatoes, whole grain cereal, Olive oil, Flaxseed oil and nuts are all good choices. Eating small amounts of Carbohydrates more often is preferable to large amounts of carbs because this causes an insulin spike in the body. Insulin puts your body into an anabolic (muscle building) state.
For your main lifts you want to be lifting free weights. For those who want to build big muscle, barbells cause more stress on the cells so therefore more muscle gain. Dumbbells are excellent for lean muscle but for big muscle gains, barbells are essential.
9. Sleep Well And Don’t Overdo It!
Don’t skimp on your sleep, you will need at least 8 hours of sleep a night. Sleep is vital for muscle growth, recovery and the repair of cells. Always give yourself a day off, don’t overwork your muscles to the point of excess, this not only interrupts the muscle building process but will put you at risk of injury and possibly illness.
10. Include A Creatine Supplement
Creatine supplements can be highly beneficial in increasing lean muscle growth and stamina, allowing you to train more efficiently for extended periods of time.5 gramsa day can greatly boost your muscle building efforts, particularly when combined with protein and carbohydrate.