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Before you start a new fitness regime you first must decide what it is you want to achieve. This is particularly important if you are a beginner.
What you must try to avoid is becoming confused by the endless training options available to you. There is so much information available that you may find yourself “bogged down” by it all and unable to get your routine started.
By following this simple beginners guide to muscle building you will gain the basics you need to start building that lean muscle mass.
Tip #1: Set a goal
When choosing goals you need to make short-term goals that are achievable.
Of course you should have a long-term goal but these short-term ones should enable you to slowly reach your final goal.
If these short-term goals are unobtainable you will quickly become disheartened and likely to quit. While those that are obtainable are likely to build confidence, enabling you to reach the next goal.
When choosing goals it is also important that you understand what you have to do to achieve them; for instance if you want to build muscle you need to ensure you are eating enough protein. Whereas if your aim is to lose fat or to cut then you need to ensure you cut your calorie intake enough to lose the fat without losing the hard-earned muscle mass.
Tip #2: Know your body type
There are 3 main body types:
- Mesomorph – who have a larger bone structure, large muscles and a naturally athletic build.
- Ectomorph – a light build with small joints with lean muscle.
- Endomorph – short with thicker arms and legs.
Once you find out what body type you are you will be able to customise your own muscle building program.
Tip #3: Your diet
You may have hear the expression “a six pack is made in the kitchen”, well this is true for muscle building in general.
If you are not taking in the right nutrients from the food you eat you will not see those gains you desire.
Unsurprisingly, protein is incredibly important for building muscle as it is used to help repair those muscle fibres that are broken when training.
These repaired muscles become stronger, allowing you to see strength gains too.
A quick rule is that you should consume 1-1.7 grams of protein for every pound of body weight.
Tip #4: Choose the best exercises
Before choosing your exercises you need to decide what kind of workouts you are going to do. These usually break-down into 3 categories:
Full body workouts
This type of workout do not focus on one particular area, with the aim to work as much of your body as possible. This workout is best for those who do not have time to visit the gym almost every day, 2-3 visits weekly.
The upper split will focus on the muscles of your chest, shoulders, arms and back. While the lower split will focus more on legs, lower back, bum and abs. This type of workout will take between 3-4 sessions in the gym weekly.
Body part splits
This type of workout will focus on one major muscle group and the minor muscles surrounding it. Those that perform this type of workout are able to thoroughly workout an area and are then able to rest it while working on another muscle group. With this workout you could in theory workout 6 times a week, with 1 rest day.
As for exercises the most popular and effective are as follows:
- Pull ups
- Bench press
- Overhead press
Of course there are plenty of alternatives and variations to each exercise.
Tip #5: Use proper technique
To avoid injuring yourself you should ensure you are lifting with proper technique before you starting adding too much weight to the bar.
Of course you need to be pushing yourself, but lifting more than you can manage will only lead to a loss of technique, which can cause serious injury.
This is particularly important with exercises such as the deadlift or squat, as you could cause long-term damage to your spine.
Tip #6: Get adequate rest
To see muscle growth you need to give them time to repair. This means you can’t workout everyday or the same muscle groups on consecutive days.
When training you should at the very least have 1 rest day, where you will be doing no training at all.
Tip #7: Don’t forget to supplement
The final tip, which you may find helps speed up the rate that you gain muscle mass would be to take a supplement.
At the very least you should think about taking a whey protein supplement as you may find it difficult to get enough protein into your body just through your diet.