When starting from scratch and having no idea about gaining muscle let alone training, we realize it is hard to get a general point of view on how to achieve that great muscle body. This article provides a general overview on what you need to consider achieving such a goal.
Obviously to increase muscle mass you're going to need to work out with weights. The question is what is your purpose? If you are looking at creating more bulk within your body then you need to focus on lower repetitions and more strength building exercises such as bench presses, dead lifts, and squats. These 3 exercises give you the ability to build good quality thickness throughout your body. If you are looking at getting more toned and ripped then focus on a higher set of repetitions such as 15 reps and above.
If you walk into a gymnasium today you will notice that they are filled with so many machines. If you are looking at gaining some serious size you need to understand that the machines are assisted by cables and in a way can prevent you from gaining that thickness. Free weights ensure that you must balance the actual weight and there is no assistance what so ever. In most exercises free weights ensure that you can really go deep into the exercise and all strands of your muscles are targeted.
A training partner is another important feature in getting the best results possible. If you want to get serious you need to push out those extra couple of repetitions on the exercise and with a training partner not only can they spot you but they can also motivate you. Try finding a partner who is experienced so you can learn from them and have somebody to look up to. Nothing can substitute experience!
How often should I be training? This is a very common question. The main question you should ask yourself though is am I over training? Your body's muscles need rest after a workout in order to grow and recover. The answer will depend on how good your nutrition is and whether you are consuming enough of the good foods to actually be able to train as often. If you are just starting out in weights then your body is not going to be used to the pain and therefore it's recommended that you take your time and rest more regularly.
The actual weight training is only a small part of getting the dream body you want. The fuel you are taking into your body is so important, and if it's not what is supposed to be going into your system then you are not going to see the right results.
Used to develop and maintain muscle. Protein is broken down into amino acids and then turned back into protein to produce and repair our muscles after your training session. During exercise your amino acids can be burnt and it's very important that your muscles are supplemented to help them repair faster so you can begin your next workout quicker.
A question asked by many is how much protein should I be consuming? As a general guideline if you are exercising heavily it is recommended that you consume between 0.8 to 1.8 grams of protein for every kilogram of your body weight. For example if you weighed 80kg then your daily protein intake should be around 64 grams to 144 grams. Obviously you will be looking at 144 grams of protein if you are training extremely hard and up to around 5-6 times a week. When consuming your protein you must understand that excessive protein intake can actually be harmful where strain is put on your kidneys to process all that protein.
There are many great sources of protein such as lean red meat, lean white meat: fish, chicken or turkey (no skin), eggs (preferably egg whites), beans and legumes (which are high in carbohydrates). In a realistic world consuming a good amount of protein each day can be very difficult as we all have busy lifestyles. So besides the actual food sources there are protein powders/supplements which can actually help you when you are unable to receive the protein intake required. There are so many protein powders on the market and a few things you should look for in each one are: a low fat content, low carbohydrate content, and low sugars and salts. Just check the label on the back of each package and ensure they fall into this category. A little bit of research also will help you find protein powders that actually taste good. Most protein supplements can be mixed in either water or milk; if you are looking to stay lean I suggest water as you won't be getting the extra calories from the milk.
When should you be taking the protein to become one of the muscle men? It is recommended that the most important time to take protein is after you finish performing your physical activity. After working out this is the time when your body is most vulnerable since your amino acids have been burnt, and the faster you replace them the faster your body will be recovering.
If you are looking at putting on some serious mass then you need good quality carbohydrates. Example of foods that are high in carbohydrates and low in sugars are pastas, rice and breads. If you are looking at putting on serious mass then these foods are very important. Another important fact is that you should target these high carbohydrate foods that are low in GI which is a scale that ranks carbohydrate rich foods by how much they raise blood glucose levels compared to glucose (sugar) or white bread. All of the foods mentioned come with low GI alternatives. For example when eating breads go for whole grains rather than white bread, basmati rice, and whole meal pastas which are a whole lot better for you. If you are serious about getting that muscle body then it will take a bit of planning and extra research from you to get those results.
What happens if I eat too many carbohydrates? The actual value of too many will depend on how hard you are training. The harder you are training the more carbohydrates your body requires as fuel. People involved in not just weight training but heavy cardiovascular training will require an extra amount of carbohydrates. If you are taking in more carbohydrates than you are actually burning you will find that these carbohydrates will actually become stored as fat. This is what you want to avoid ensuring that you maintain that lean hard look and become one of the muscle men.
Resting is just as important as training and nutrition as it helps your body recover faster. You need to be receiving an adequate amount of sleep each night. Try to avoid having continuous late nights where you are waking up tired the next day. How can your body recover if you are continuously tired? You definitely won't be training at your best!
About The Author: Michael Ward is the business owner of Australia's leading fitness equipment store called Unbeatablefitness.com.au.