A beginners guide to building muscle

As with most things, there is a right and a wrong way to achieve the best results.

Building muscle is an art and when done properly, the results can be amazing; aesthetically and physically.

Understanding how your body works is probably a good place to start. Every body is different. Some are very lean, also known as hard gainers or ectomorphic. Some have broad shoulders and a classic V shaped upper body also known as easy gainers or mesomorphic, and then you will have the ever more common pear shaped individual with a larger waist to shoulder ratio than the rest, also known as endomorphs. Endomorphs respond quite well to weight training as their energy supplies are very high.

For ectomorphs, building muscle will usually be quite difficult as the muscles are long and thin, without much mass. To convert them into bulging shorter, fuller muscles takes time. The biggest mistake I encounter with those wanting to build muscle, is giving up after not seeing results within a week. To carve an impressive physique takes a long time; years in many cases. You will see significant changes after a short time but that depends on the consistency, duration and more importantly the intensity of your training. This is probably the most important factor in building muscle.

It is said that when lifting weights to build muscle you should aim to do between 6 – 12 repetitions or reps using sufficient weight to achieve failure on your last rep. This means you physically can’t lift any more on your last rep. After resting for a short while you will be able to complete another set of reps. It is recommended you complete as many sets as possible to achieve the best results.

Recovery

A crucial component to progress. You will feel very sore after lifting weights to failure and might struggle to move at all. This is known as DOMS, delayed onset of muscle soreness. This will usually come about the day after training and really hit home the next day. DOMS can last up to a week or more depending on how hard you have worked and your familiarity to this type of training. Never train muscles that aren’t fully recovered as the repair process is not complete. Breaking muscles down again will result in cancelling out the previous session and reducing the efficacy of the next session.

Diet

Diet is an important part of recovery as your muscles will need to repair. Muscles are made up primarily of proteins and the process of body building is continually breaking down and repairing these proteins and increasing the amount of proteins in the muscles. Therefore a protein rich diet is required to build muscle and assist recovery. Carbohydrates in small amounts are also needed to facilitate muscle action and a good balance of vitamins and minerals will also assist the process of building muscle and keeping cells healthy. Protein shakes are a good way of getting protein into your system very quickly after training, thereby speeding up the recovery process. Together with a good balanced diet including vegetables, fruit and clean sources of protein, recovery and overall progress will be achieved correctly.

I would always advise warming up before lifting heavy weights as this will reduce risk of injury. Lifting light weights to begin with serves as a perfect warm up for lifting heavier weights as the muscles and joints will have a good blood flow meaning nutrients are supplied to the muscles and joints will move more freely.

Lastly, form is crucial in lifting weights. Using poor form will result in little or no gains. The correct form will make a huge difference in sculpting those guns and massive leg muscles. As always the internet has a huge amount of videos showing correct form. One of the best websites I have seen isĀ https://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/

here you can choose the body part you want to train, then be given a tonne of exercises to choose from, all with ratings to show which ones work best.

Check it out. Train hard, give it your all, and then some more and watch the magic happen!

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