Whatever level of commitment you may have to building muscle, you need to go about it with a plan. If you don’t have a plan, you’ll end up taking too much time, putting in too much effort and getting injured. Here are a few tips to help you put a plan together.
Aim for plenty of healthy calories
People interested in losing weight constantly worry about cutting down on the calories they take in through their food. When you’re trying to build muscle, you need to aim for at least 2500 calories a day. This isn’t necessarily the very opposite of what people on weight loss do, though. When doctors tell obese people to cut down on their calorie intake, they simply mean that they should cut down on sugar-rich foods and other such sources of empty calories. Just as people trying to build a great, muscular body, they need to take in plenty of nutritious calories -dairy, meat, fruits and vegetables and so on.
Make sure that you get all the protein you need
For your body to respond to all the workouts that you put it through, it needs enough protein – the muscle building material that your body uses. Whatever you weigh, you should aim for about 2 g of protein in your diet each day for each pound of body mass. Even if you only have a casual muscle building plan in mind, getting yourself more than the stipulated 2g sometimes makes sense.
- If you’re a growing teenager, your body will usually need a great deal of extra protein to keep your muscles growing.
- If you’re just starting out working out at the gym, your body will need extra protein to jumpstart muscle growth.
- If you’re vegetarian or vegan, protein supplements will help make up for whatever protein your diet doesn’t provide you with.
You can find protein supplement products for every budget at outlets like OnMuscle.com.
The exercise routine
Once you make sure that your body has all the fuel it needs to grow muscle, it’s time to concentrate on adding bulk through the right kinds of exercise.
The warm up
Whatever kind of exercise you have planned, you need to start it off with a low-intensity warm-up routine. Warm-up routines stretch the muscles gently, get the blood flowing and ensure that you don’t sustain muscle injury going too fast too soon.
Try intense workouts for short periods of time
You can give your body excellent endurance by doing a large number of reps with low weight levels. Such endurance exercises, though, do not help give you bulk or strength. You need to aim for no more than 8 sets of 10 reps for each muscle group. It isn’t necessary to go beyond 45 minutes, either. You need to try to constantly push up the intensity of each workout, though.
You don’t need much cardio training
Aerobics and other cardio exercises are excellent fat burners. They tend to use up your body’s supply of amino acids and glycogen, though, and make adding muscle difficult. You do need cardio exercises – but no more than five minutes each day.
Target specific muscle groups with these exercises
For the big arms and broad shoulders that you dream about, you need specific, targeted exercises.
Chest exercises can give you big pectorals
The bench press is the best way to help build up chest muscle. If you’re only starting out building up bulk, you need to begin with no more than 20 pounds. You need to know the right form, though. With your arms stretched out straight, you need to bring the weighted barbell down gently until it touches your chest. Then, you need to raise it with explosive force. Push-ups are an excellent way to help you build up chest muscle, too.
Use arm exercises for your biceps and triceps
Dips, dumbbell presses and dumbbell curls are the best way to improve bicep strength. While these exercises may seem simple, though, you need to do them in exactly the right form to gain from them. It could be a good idea to get a trainer in on your workout the first few times.
Jeremy S knows not everyone lives for the gym. He often uses his experience as a personal trainer to help the everyday person take control of their fitness and improve overall health.