Building muscle is not an issue of just lifting weights. There is quite a bit of science behind putting together a good muscle regimen. Beyond the workout itself, you need to take into consideration your rest periods and even your nutrition.
The following 5 tips will help get your workout on track and get you the results you’re looking for.
- Be aware of genetics. Unfortunately, if no one at your family reunion has great pecs, it probably means you will have a harder time building muscle. That’s not to say it will be impossible for you to get some mass, but you will definitely find it harder than others who come from more muscular families.
- Lift heavy. While it is important to warm up with a weight that you are comfortable, it is important to follow up with a weight that you find challenging. Choose a weight that will allow you to maintain good form for 6-8 reps, at which point you should be near failure, or no longer be able to do any more reps.
- Don’t focus too much on losing weight if your goal is to gain muscle. People who weight train and then spends hours doing cardio are doing more harm than good. Once your body has burned fat during cardio, it will then begin to break down muscle so any gains you’ve made during your resistance training will be eliminated.
- Pay attention to nutrition. Being on a diet while weight training is similar to doing excessive cardio. If your body doesn’t have enough calories to maintain daily functions, it will turn to stored fat and muscle for nutrients. Not only do you have to eat enough food to gain muscle, but you have to eat the right foods at the right times. Protein is vital to muscle growth. Make sure you are eating about 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight every day to maximize your results. Carbohydrates are also needed to provide the sufficient glucose needed for energy. You should eat 10-20 grams of protein in the hour before your workout and another 20 grams within an hour after your workout. Also add carbohydrates to your post-workout drink. Believe it or not, chocolate milk makes an amazing post-workout drink because it contains both protein and carbs.
- Rest. This last tip is crucial as muscle is not actually built during your workout, but while your body is at rest. You need to rest muscles 48 hours before working them out again. This means that if you want to do daily workouts you have to split your routines so you’re not working the same muscles on consecutive days. Your body also needs at least 8 hours of sleep to recuperate each night. Failure to get enough sleep will stress your body and prevent it from functioning properly, which will also impact your muscle gains.
Shifting your focus beyond just lifting weights will help you increase your strength and muscle gains like never before.
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