Building muscle does not come as easily as they make it seem in the magazines. Most of the people featured are professional bodybuilders; individuals who were genetically gifted and generally people that have been training for years. The average person intending to build muscle and hoping to do so fast, will need to take an alternative approach. Follow these top ten tips on how to build muscle without over doing it both physically and mentally.
The stronger you are, the more muscle you will have, so strength training should be an important factor. Weight training is probably the most effective method as it allows you to begin lifting light weights and increase the load as you improve to keep pushing your capabilities. Body-weight exercises are also effective, starting with an empty bar and be sure to be fully educated on how to use equipment.
Free weights such as barbells are a great way to build muscle and all kinds of free weights are much more preferable to machines. Injuries are more likely to occur when using machines as they force you into a fixed and unnatural movement and do not follow the same patterns of movement that we use in real life. Free weights also require you to control them yourself rather than relying on machinery, which also encourages faster muscle development. Not only this but free weights are also incredibly versatile as one barbell for example can be used for hundreds of different exercises, saving both money and space if you are working out from home.
In order to build core strength and muscle mass, compound exercises are essential. These exercises work several muscle groups at the same time and once strength has been built you can then begin to build muscle in isolated areas.
The legs can often be neglected but squats are a great way to incorporate the legs into a full body exercise. As the exercise becomes easier, increase the weight you are holding and aim to continuously push yourself outside of your comfort zone.
Full body workouts are essential in order to effectively build muscle. It may be tempting to limit yourself to isolation exercises on the areas that you would most like visible muscle. Mix isolation exercises up with 1-hour sessions of a full body workout doing exercises including squats, deadlifts, pull-ups, dips and other compound exercises.
As your body gets used to it, you will be able to increase the number of times you train per week. However, in the beginning you should limit it to 2-3 sessions a week. In order for muscle to grow, it needs time to repair between workouts. For the fastest recovery be sure get plenty of rest, at least 8 hours of sleep, and lots of food and water.
Whole foods will ensure that you keep body fat to a minimum, which will give your muscles more definition. Also the high vitamin and mineral content will speed up recovery time. Try to eat a balanced diet of proteins, carbohydrates, fruits, vegetables and healthy fats.
Heavy training sessions require lots of calories, so it is important to eat more than you would normally. Make sure that you eat breakfast, immediately after workouts and every 3 hours.
It may seem obvious but in order to significantly build muscle, your body weight will need to increase. You can do this through eating high calorie foods such as pasta and oats and by drinking whole milk.
Proteins are the most important food source when it comes to building muscle. Eat foods such as red meat, poultry, fish, eggs and dairy products.
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