Adding Muscle – Do’s And Don’ts
Adding muscle can be enhanced by following a few simple steps, and also avoiding some common mistakes. This article runs through the main “do’s and don’ts” of adding muscle, which should prove a useful read for beginners, or those who have been going to the gym for some time without noticing the desired results.
Adding muscle – do…
1. Eat plenty of wholesome foods. The key to building muscle mass is a frequent intake of quality wholesome meals. Many gym goers will put 110% effort into their gym activities, yet will pay little attention to their diet. A surplus of calories and protein is required to add muscle mass, with quality carbohydrate and fat sources important for energy and bodily functions.
2. Train quick and intensely. A quality training session does not have to last any longer than sixty minutes. A quick and intense workout will not only be of greater convenience, but can also be more demanding and effective. Aim for no more than fifteen sets per workout, with two minutes rest between each set.
3. Rest. The body needs sufficient time to repair itself between each session, as well as relax mentally. So, resting is important on two fronts; a) ensure sufficient rest between each session so the body part can recover, and b) sleep for a minimal of eight hours each night.
4. Periodically change the training plan. Following the same routine for a prolonged period of time will lead to stagnation. The muscle needs to be placed under an ever increasing demand, and switching up the training plan is a way of achieving this. Changing things around can also avoid boredom.
Adding muscle – don’t…
1. Over rely on supplements. Supplements are not the holy grail of adding muscle, and nine times out of ten the money would be better spent on quality food. Some supplements, namely Whey protein and possibly creatine, would be wise choices, but there is no requirement for supplementation. Effort should always be focused towards a diet of wholesome foods.
2. Perform endless isolation exercises. Gaining muscle mass requires significant stress to the muscles of the body. Whilst exercises such as the biceps curl will stimulate the arm flexor muscles effectively, there is minimal additional involvement (the exercise is therefore known as an “isolation” exercise). An effective training plan will incorporate the major compound exercises, such as squats, bench press, shoulder press, deadlifts, rows, chins ups, and so on. These exercises recruit a large number of muscle groups and are highly effective.
3. Stick religiously to a meal plan. Whilst there will be a requirement for a sound nutrition plan for maximum muscle gains, any meal plan should not be stuck to intensely. A varied food intake provides a wide spectrum of nutrients, optimal for health and well-being.
4. Give up. Adding muscle takes time, effort and patience. A quality physique may take many years to achieve, and constant effort to maintain. Take each day at a time, following a sound nutrition intake, training hard, resting, and the results will soon speak for themselves.