Effective Strategies to Build Muscle
More strength is more muscle and more muscle is more strength. The key element of this process however remains lifting heavier weight’s. As you progressively add to your lifting capacity your muscles get stronger and also grow in size. Many people try and build muscle with high rep workouts which mostly leads to pumped but sore muscles but does not help with increase in size. However if you are already strong the isolation exercises can help you significantly.
This article presents an overview on the strategies that can help you pack serious muscle
Build Muscle Naturally: If you are a professional preparing for a competition then probably this is not the page for you, but for everyone else who is looking at adding muscle for lifelong fitness, remember, fast cycles work only for athletes whose bodies are used to such regimens and they also do not mind using supplements which include drugs and compounds which border on risky. So pick up workout routines and intensity that your body allows naturally. Keep as much as your nutrition possible from natural sources.
Getting Strong is the Key: The best bodybuilders have always believed that more strength is more muscle and have always focussed on increasing their strength with muscle growth being an equally strong incidental. So focus on increasing your strength, this will lead to an increase in overall muscle mass and a more defined look when you decide to chisel down.
Lift Heavy: Low weight high rep regimens give you a nice pump and sore muscles which make you feel this was a great workout, which it indeed could be but it might not help you add lean muscle. The sure shot strategy to muscle growth includes adding more weight on the bar. Your focus should be on adding more weight than your last workout however small that increase is.
Compound Exercises Help Most: Compound exercises engage multiple muscles at a time which will not only allow you to lift heavier but also trigger muscle growth. Compound exercises also allow you to add variety which will one keep you from getting bored but also help trigger the long and short fibres for better growth. So your ideal workouts should include exercises like Squats, Bench press, Overhead Press, Barbell rows and Deadlifts.
Dumbells vs Barbells: Barbells allow you to lift heavier weights, help engage multiple muscles and with the flexibility of being able to add free weights in proportions help you squeeze the maximum from your workouts. Starting light and focussing on proper form will not only help you progress faster but also avoid injury.
Frequency is Important: Old school philosophy said don’t train muscles too frequently as you might end up injuring them but latest research indicates the higher the frequency that you train a muscle group, the more you prime it for growth. So aim to include your compound movements like squat, bench press, pullups etc three times a week instead of once for better results. Our bodies have an amazing way of adapting and within a few days you will see your strength and agility increasing.
Rest & Recover: While frequency is important, proper rest and recovery is also important. Make sure you get 7-8 hours of sleep everyday. If your body is signalling it needs to rest, listen to it and alter your workouts accordingly and sometimes even the mind needs a break so don’t sy away from taking a day or two off from the gym as with a rested comeback you will be able to perform better rather than working out with fatigued muscles.
Eat For Your Goal: Adding muscle and dieting don’t go together, your food is the primary fuel to power your workouts and help muscles grow. If you are skimping on food you will not be able to get muscle growth. Most people need 3000 calories and above to add lean muscle and if you are already skinny then you need even more. So keep track of your nutrition and ensure its from healthy sources so that you don’t end up with sore muscles that are not growing.
Eat Enough Protein: Protein is primary building block of muscles. On a serious workout regimen you need more protein as your body will need some to repair and regenerate the existing muscles and a surplus to add new muscle. The recommended dose goes around 2gm per kg of body weight which for an 80kg person comes to 160 grams of healthy protein which could be sourced from lean sources like whey, egg whites, chicken breasts etc
Consistency is Vital: With a good workout, proper nutrition and rest its not difficult to add 0.25kg of lean muscle per week. It is very difficult to gain beyond this so be patient and consistent, sudden spurts will not help gains and the frequent breaks will hamper gains so be consistent and by end of the year you could have added 12 kg of lean muscle.