Muscle Building Tips
Whether you are trying to lose weight or bulk up, building lean muscle mass is an essential part of any fitness goal. Regardless of age or gender, you will benefit from gaining more muscle mass. Your muscles support good posture, make you more mobile, and burn more calories than fat. To get that lean and toned look you need to build muscle. Building muscle, also known as hypertrophy, happens when muscles are placed under load (resistance training) in a progressive manner over time. This results in an increase in muscle fiber size, both in diameter and length. It is important to make a plan to make sure that your training habits and diet coincide with your goals. There are many variables responsible for muscle growth. First, incorporate more multi-joint movements that work the bigger muscle groups into your routine. For example, moves like dumbbell row, squats, or bench press. If you are concerned with having bigger biceps or losing the "bat wings" (underarm flab) you will make more progress with diet and multi-joint exercises. Isolation exercises, like bicep curls, serve a purpose but should not be the bulk of your program. Next, choose a weight that allows you to do the first 10 repititions with moderate difficulty. To exercise safely and effectively try to keep your rep range between 8-12 reps. For greater muscle gains stick with the 6-10 rep range and choose and increase your weight. To make sure you have added enough volume to your routine, beginners should do 1-2 sets of each exercise per training session, then progress to 3-4 sets of each exercise after training for two months. Limit your total workout sets to 12-16 total sets to avoid overtraining. When it comes to diet, the first thing to do is avoid dieting. Restricting carbs and fats will result in muscle loss and low energy. You need these essential macronutrients for muscle growth. Stick with healthy carbs and fats like whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and avocado. It is also important to consume enough protein. Protein contains the amino acids that repair muscle. With resistance training the muscle breaks down in the form of micro tears. It is the amino acids that heal the tears making the muscles bigger and stronger. The American College of Sports Medicine suggests 1.4-1.8 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight to enhance muscle building. It's also essential to drink plenty of water. Water moves blood into the muscle cells helping the muscles contract and swell. If you are the least bit dehydrated, water is moved from the muscles to the bloodstream to maintain blood pressure and help circulation. This compromises your muscle endurance and strength, keeping you from doing more reps . The American Council on Exercise recommends drinking 17 to 20 ounces 2 to 3 hours before working out, 7-10 ounces every 10-20 minutes while exercising, and eight ounces post workout. If you would like more guidance on how to begin a resistance training program to put on lean muscle mass we can help. Contact us to set up your free assessment today.