Muscle building tips
Follow our top ten muscle building tips to build your muscles
Muscle building tips #1
Train with medium intensity at high volume
For the first of our muscle building tips, make sure you aim for somewhere between 12 to 15 lifts (reps) for each weight training exercise and three-sets of reps. It’s important to leave no more than 90 seconds between each set. ‘Medium intensity’ means how much weight you choose to lift, whilst ‘volume’ refers the quantity of sets and reps you manage to lift.
Muscle building tips #2
Exhaust your muscles to failure
Always aim to end each exercise set to near “failure.” By failure, we mean you’d be unable to do another single repetition in a set because of muscle fatigue. For example, a three-set exercise, you could start off with a heavy weight for 15 reps in the first set and then reduce each set by two so that your last set is 11 lifts. Even as you tire, you should attempt a maximum effort for each set. For the second of our muscle building tips, you should aim not to reach failure until the last set in the workout for that muscle. If you can’t get achieve a full set the first time around, your muscle has already failed and won’t get enough time under tension for the workout to be effective.
Muscle building tips #3
Keep the form
Building muscle is not all about lifting the heaviest weight possible. It's not cool and it's definitely not effective. You’ll make quicker progress and gain more muscle mass if you follow the third of our muscle building tips, - keep the form. In other words maintaining the correct technique. For example, when performing a bicep curl, ensure you back stays perfectly still and your upper arm stays by your side, your elbow shouldn't really move. If you are unsure of the techniques for the most popular exercises, read the Technique and Tips sections within the particular exercise within our Exercise Library. Also read our article on maintaining a neutral spine for more detail.
Muscle building tips #4
Get plenty of sleep
The importance of sleep in relation the fourth of our muscle building tips should not be overlooked. Sleep is undeniably one of the most important parts of the recovery cycle. Muscle building, recovery and repair occur at rest and during sleep. Sleep plays a major role in protein synthesis and gives you the necessary energy for another day in the gym. Ideally, you should aim for between 7-8 hours a night. Although we appreciate with busy lives, it is hard to find time to sleep in the week, make it up on the weekends – as any sleep is good sleep. Failure to do so may delay your muscle building efforts and possibly lead to illness and injury. Read our article on the importance of sleep for building muscle for more detail.
Muscle building tips #5
This may seem like the hardest thing in the world. But remember, as with our fifth of our muscle building tips, you only get out what you put in. You’ll be so pleased with the results if you do. All that hard work will pay off. Try and train three times a-week. If you do, three sessions each week should provide you with enough volume of exercise to create effective muscle building stimulus. If you are new to training, start with a couple of times a-week and build up. More experienced trainers may attempt more.
Muscle building tips #6
Stop after an hour
Your muscle building workout should start with around ten minutes of cardiovascular warm up. This could include warm-up sets of the exercise you are about to do, using lighter weights. However, once you start your weight routine, you’ll only have around 40 minutes until your body’s available energy of glycogen, which you find in the muscles and liver, is exhausted. So keep your muscle building workouts to around an hour. Added to this, the body’s natural growth hormone known as testosterone, stops secreting after about 45 minutes of high-intensity exercise. Therefore, if you continue, your muscle response will tail off and you will cease to get any further benefit. For this of our muscle building tips, you also want to make sure you take a day's rest between each session - to allow your body and muscles to recover.
Muscle building tips #7
If you are new to muscle building, or haven’t been to the gym in a while make sure you start steadily and build up. For the next of our muscle building tips, before you get too ambitious with advanced programs and exercises, prepare yourself and your body with a beginner's strength and muscle building program. Once you get into the swing of a routine and your muscle begin to gain strength, you can increase the intensity and regularity of your workouts. Remember: slowly, slowly catchy monkey.
Muscle building tips #8
Set a reasonable goal
Make sure you set yourself a reasonable goal for muscle building. Monitor your progress and above all, be patient. The best bodies are the result of hundreds of hours of effort and continued commitment. Don’t let this put you off. Start slowly, and try not to be discouraged if you don’t make progress or see changes as fast as you’d imagined. The best things come to those who are patient and wait. Certainly, the fitness and health you attain from our muscle building tips will be assets that will stay with you for as long as you keep training.
Muscle building tips #9
With the penultimate of our muscle building tips, the key is little and often. However, you need ensure you eat sufficiently to stimulate muscle building growth. Otherwise, you will struggle to muscle build if you cut calories whilst exercising at the same time. If you must drop your food intake, keep your protein intake up whilst reducing refined carbohydrates and fat. Read our article on eating for muscle gain for more detail. Try and eat some protein before and after you train. Around 10 to 20 grams of protein consumed around 30 to 60 minutes before you start will help to encourage a muscle building effect following training. One to two glasses of milk or an equivalent supplement drink such as whey or soy protein, would be ideal. Consume the same amount of protein (20 grams) as soon after completing your training session (30 minutes is ideal) combined with some carbohydrate for the maximum effect.
Muscle building tips #10
With the tenth and final of our muscle building tips, even if you train hard, the maximum amount of protein you need for muscle building is about one gram of protein per pound of body weight per day. A little more or less will not make much difference. Protein supplements are not necessary if you eat enough lean protein day-to-day. However, if you wish, you could try a creatine supplement. Although results can be variable for individuals, creatine supplements at about five grams per day may enhance your ability to train harder and longer, which may lead to increased muscle building growth. Also, a creatine supplement packed with protein and carbohydrate may have a direct muscle building effect according to latest research. Compare the best deals on creatine in the iBodz shop, Gymporium.
If you exercise long and hard with cardiovascular exercises, circuits or bodybuilding programs, you’ll need sufficient carbohydrate to fuel your body to maintain stores of glucose. Failure to do this will result in muscle being broken down for protein and then carbohydrate. Therefore low-carbohydrate diets are not suitable for this type of training. Depending on the intensity and volume of your training, you may need two to three and a half grams of carbohydrate per pound of body weight per day.
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