And Add Strength To Your Body
Whether your goal is to get bigger and stronger or improve power and explosiveness for sports, you want to see progress — and sooner rather than later.
Although building muscle takes time and proper training, it’s something nearly anyone can do. It involves a physiological process called hypertrophy, which stresses the tissue, breaks it down, and triggers the body to rebuild bigger and stronger tissue.
To start this process, you need a training plan that incorporates a progressive increase of weight load, as well as proper nutrition and plenty of sleep. If building muscle is your goal, understanding hypertrophy and how to train for it will help you get the job done.
But building muscle efficiently requires more than just putting in time at the weight rack. Along with your strength-training regimen, diet and lifestyle choices all play important roles.
The benefits of building and preserving muscle are just about endless, and they include better body composition and immune-system function, and faster metabolism.
For those seeking muscle-building tips, here are some tips to get you started.
1. Set Realistic Expectations
Getting jacked naturally time and lots of hard work and sacrifice. So if the Incredible Hulk isn’t staring back at you in the mirror after a month or two of bulking, don’t grow discouraged and quit.
Packing on natural muscle takes patience and persistence. A good amount of muscle gain can be achieved by gaining 10-15 pounds over 6-12 months.
While it can take years to transform your body, you’ll begin to see subtle progress sooner than that. Most beginners can expect to see noticeable muscle growth within eight weeks of starting a new program.
2. Do Strength Exercises
It would be best to start with workouts that will strengthen your muscles if you’ve never lifted heavy weights before.
Lifting light to moderate weights for more reps will help your body get accustomed to practicing proper form. It will also help your muscles develop strength and look toned. Once you get used to doing weighted exercises, you can increase the weight you lift for different exercises. Deadlifts, squats, and workouts with dumbbells can help you build strength all over your body. There are also targeted workouts, like bicep curls or leg lifts, that help develop your muscles in specific parts of the body.
It’s advisable to seek assistance when starting, so you know the right form and have someone spot you if the weight you’re trying to carry feels too heavy to lift. The best way to get started and learn more about the best workouts for strength training is taking a FREE Fitness Clinic class:
3. Don’t Forget Your CARDIO
Don’t be afraid to incorporate cardio exercises into your workout routine. Contrary to the belief that doing cardio can harm your muscle gains, doing this type of exercise can actually help you burn fat and improve overall strength. Burning fat will help make your muscles look more visible, so you need to do exercises that can help you reduce your fat mass.
4. Pump Up the Volume & Increase The Weight
Your training volume, that is. By increasing the amount of reps and sets, you encourage hypertrophy, which is the technical term for muscle growth. Mix things up on occasion by increasing weight and reducing reps. This promotes strength gains, which help you knock out more reps down the road.
5. Slow Down Your Rep Speed
The tempo at which you lift and lower the weights can affect the outcome of your workout. When you lift for hypertrophy, move slowly. Muscles grow when they are under tension for longer periods of time. Slow and controlled reps mean a longer time under tension for that muscle. Using slower reps also allows you to concentrate on using proper form and really feel the muscle working.
6. Proper form goes a long way:
A huge mistake that is seen throughout the gym with beginners is members sacrificing form for reps. You may know that progressively overloading will result in muscle growth, however, it won’t result in muscle growth at the cost of proper form!
Proper form is crucial. Not only because doing each exercise with proper form results in more muscle contraction but to prevent injuries also. Believe me, sacrificing proper form, just to feed the ego by lifting more, will cause you to eventually hit a plateau.
7. To build muscle, don’t forget to surprise them occasionally
Doing an exercise, for a long enough time period, and getting strong at it is what will undoubtedly result in muscle growth. Switching to a different exercise, after a while, that targets the same muscles as the previous one, surprises the muscle and results in even more gains.
It’s simple to understand, our muscles get used to the same movements that you’ve been doing. That doesn’t mean that you can no longer make gains doing them, but that the gains are a bit slower. Many people refer to this as a plateau, and some plateaus may even completely stop you from progressing.
Plateaus are inevitable, and to fight them, the one thing you can do, considering your form, nutrition, and rest are intact, is to switch exercises up.
8. Eat Enough Carbs
Many lifters eat low carb in the hopes of staying lean, but this approach can make gaining muscle an uphill battle. Carbs are important for two reasons: avoiding catabolism (muscle loss) and creating glycogen to fuel your workouts. Restricting carbs is one of the biggest mistakes people make when trying to build muscle. Carbs are necessary because your body will prioritize burning carb calories first, protecting protein stores.
Oh, and without adequate glycogen, you won’t be able to produce the kind of effort in the gym that turns on the “get bigger” switch.
9. Prioritize Sleep
We all lead busy lives, and often it seems like the only way to make time for one thing is to sacrifice another. Sleep and rest are very important for muscle recovery and growth. If you don’t get enough sleep, your body doesn’t have enough time to recover, grow muscle, and burn fat.
Being sleep-deprived also makes you more likely to phone in your next workout. If you have to choose one, choose sleep. Always aim for 7-8 hours per night.
10. Listen To Your Body
Never blindly follow a training plan without accounting for your body’s response. While building muscle can feel challenging, it shouldn’t cause pain. Depending on your age, overall health, and goals, your plan to build muscle will vary. Remember to make your own plan and listen to your body as you go.
If you feel a strain in any part of your body that’s not intended, you may be overloading your tissue or using postures that can lead to injury. Building muscle should make you stronger, not cause injury, so it’s best to consult a strength coach or physical therapist before beginning your muscle-building journey.
Once you decide to look more toned and build muscle, know that you won’t see changes in your body overnight. It takes time before you see the results you want, as well as a lot of patience and dedication both in and out of the gym. Remember that with the right lifestyle and discipline, you’ll be able to achieve the body you’ve always wanted.