Posts belonging to Category Build Muscle



How to Build Muscle Fast

BarbellOne of the most commons questions asked at the gym is “How to build muscle fast” Is there a way to speed up the muscle building process naturally? Yes, there is a way and it’s called “Compound Movements”. Compound movements work multiple muscles / joints at once rather than isolation movements which just target a single muscle / joint.

Compound movements should be your staple exercises. They should be the foundation of your exercise program. Here is a list of the main compound exercises that should be part of your routine. You should not be going longer than two training days without hitting a compound movement if you are looking to increase muscle mass.

Back:

Pull-up, Bent over Row, Deadlift, Pull downs

Chest:

Barbell Bench Press, Dumbbell Bench Press

Quads:

Squats, Lunges, Leg Presses

Hamstrings:

 Stiff-Legged Deadlift, Lying Leg Curl

Calves:

Standing Calf Raise, Donkey Calf Raise, Seated Calf Raise

Deltoids:

 Press behind Neck, Dumbbell Press, Military Press, Shrugs.

Biceps:

 Standing Barbell Curl, Seated Alternate Dumbbell Curl, Preacher Curl

Triceps:

Lying Triceps Extension, Close Grip bench Press, Push-downs, Seated Triceps Extension

The above compound exercises should give you plenty of compound movements to include in your program. Remember to keep mixing up your routines to avoid plateau and to keep training fun!

Does Muscle Turn Into Fat?

Weighing ScalesIt’s one of the oldest theories about resistance training and building muscle. Well it’s a load of old bull! Muscle does not turn into fat. If that is the case why do a lot of retired sports men or women lose muscle and gain body fat? It’s simply down to them being retired. They no longer train the way the used to. They may have stopped resistance training altogether. Muscles are like skills. If you stop working them they will decrease with time. Just like if you’re great at playing a sport. Stop practicing and your skills will decline in time.

Why the Increase in Body Fat?

What tends to happen is the same amounts of calories are still being consumed but the training that used to burn them off has stopped. That means only one thing – increased body fat! So in conclusion, the muscles have reduced in size because of the lack of resistance training and the body fat has increased due to roughly the same amount of calories still being consumed.

The Solution

If you reduce your training then reduce your calories consumed to keep the balance right!

7 Beginner Muscle Building Mistakes

Building muscle when starting out can take time but you can reduce that time by avoiding the below beginner muscle building mistakes.

Dumbbell

1) Lifting Too Much Weight To Fast

I was guilty of this one. If you are starting out with a friend you tend to try and keep up. If they are stronger than you and can lift more weight you will tend to try and lift the same. The problem is if you are a beginner trying to build muscle, you will not lift with the proper form and develop bad habits. There is nothing wrong with cheat reps when you have been training for some time as you will have a solid base from using the correct technique in the beginning.

2) Not Eating Enough

This is a very common mistake when starting out. Your normal calorie intake will keep your muscles the same size. Training will break down the muscle to grow back bigger and stronger so you need more calories to fuel this process and keep hold of the new muscle. Make sure you include protein with each meal and cut down on the junk food calories. We are building muscles not waistlines!

3) Overtraining

You don’t get bigger muscles by the putting in workouts that last hours and hours. Train smart. Intensity is the key. Avoid training the same body part the following day. Muscle growth is done outside the gym so get plenty of rest.

4) Not Getting Enough Sleep

This is another I have been guilty of in the past. The body needs to repair after an intense workout. If you get a good 7-8 hours sleep you will be raring to go next time you are down at the gym. Your body will be fully recovered so you will be able to have a great workout.

5) Not Working The Full Body Every Week / Week And A Half

This is a mistake a lot of beginners make. They only train the parts they see the most like the arms! The main body part that gets skipped is the legs. It’s crazy because the legs are the biggest muscle in the body and help the most in gaining muscle.

6) Binge Drinking

Yes, unfortunately building muscle and binge drinking don’t go well together. The protein synthesis that takes place in the creation of muscle growth is severely hampered by excess alcohol. There is nothing wrong having a drink but make sure you do it in moderation.

7) Too Much Cardio

You don’t see too many long distance runners carrying much muscle mass. Keep your cardio down to 15-20 minutes of intense cardio about 3-5 times a week. We want to use the fuel we put into our bodies for building muscle and not for energy needed for hours of cardio.

Avoid these common muscle building mistakes and you will be well on your way to building muscle more quickly.

100 Training!

Adding 100 training to your training program can be a great way to beat plateau and re-energise your training routine. What are 100s? 100 training involves doing one set of 100 reps for each exercise. If you are able to do 100 reps without stopping then you would increase the weight by a small amount for next time.   If you cannot do 100 reps without stopping, rest 1 second for each rep you have left. So if you have 30 reps left, rest for 30 seconds. Keep repeating this process until you reach your 100 reps. You can rest for 1-2 minutes between sets. Always remember, 100 reps using good form is more important than increasing the weight.

Doing 100 training increases the number of capillaries and also increase the density of current capillaries. Capillaries are like tiny veins. They play a vital role in muscle building. The capillaries transport muscle building nutrients and hormones (testosterone) to the muscle cells. If you increase the number and size of capillaries, more nutrients and hormones are supplied to the muscles. This leads to larger muscles when you go back to a lower rep routine.

100s Routine

Total Body

1) Quads – Leg Press

2) Hamstrings – Seated Leg Curl

3) Back – Seated Cable Row

4) Chest – Bench Press

5) Shoulders – Side Lateral Raise

6) Biceps – Preacher Curl

7) Triceps – Rope Pulldown

8) Calves – Seated Calf Raises

9) Abs – Ab Crunches

Half Body Part 1

1) Chest – Pec Dec

2) Chest – Incline Bench Press

3) Chest – Standing Cable Crossover

4) Back – Lat Pull-down (Wide Grip)

5) Back – Bent Over Barbell Row

6) Back – Straight Arm Pull-down

7) Shoulders – Seated Overhead Press

8) Seated Rear Deltoid Raise

9) Traps – Dumbbell Raise

10) Abs – Swiss Ball

Half Body Part 2

1) Quads – Squat

2) Quads – Leg Extension

3) Quads – Hack Squat

4) Hamstrings – Standing Leg Curl

5) Calves – Standing Calf Raise

6) Calves – Seated Calf Raise

7) Biceps – Barbell Curl

8) Biceps – Hammer Curl

9) Triceps – Dips

10) Triceps – Straight Bar Pull Down

I normally do the 100 training routine every 3-4 months for one week – training for 3 days. I will have 24-48 hours rest between workouts. Give the 100s a go and feel the benefits!

Symptoms of Overtraining

OvertrainingHave you hit a wall with your progress? Do you ache more than you normally do? Do you feel constantly fatigued and lacking motivation? If you answered yes to any of these then you could be overtraining. Overtraining not only can affect you physically but it can affect you emotionally. Overtraining can affect many forms of fitness exercises but the majority is in relation to resistance training. You could be trying to increase muscle size, strength, power, endurance or muscle tone.

What Are The Most Common Symptoms of Overtraining?

* Constant fatigue

* Persistent muscle soreness

* Lack of motivation

* Fail to complete normal workout regularly

* Injured more than usual

* Increased susceptibility to illness and infections

* Irritability

* Depression

When we first start to try and improve our health, fitness and the way our body looks, we tend to think more is better. That is not the case. I remember when I first started resistance training. I would train for hours and hours. I just assumed the more I trained the bigger my muscles would grow and my health would improve. It was not until many years later I realized that recovery is just as important as training. Gains are all in the recovery. If you look at any fighter such as a boxer or an MMA fighter, they rest up the week of the fight. All the hard training is stopped. Why do they do this? The rest lets their body fully recover so they are in prime condition come fight night. If they trained non-stop, even the day of the fight, would they perform as well? We know they would not. They would fatigue quickly and struggle to fight at their best.

How Can You Prevent Overtraining?

First and foremost, you must realize you are overtraining. Once you feel you have many of the overtraining symptoms then you can start on the path to stop your overtraining. Here are some of the key tips to fight off over training.

* Have a whole week rest to fully recover

* Assess you current training program to see how you can add more rest days

* Make sure your nutrition and hydration is in line with your training

* Get plenty of sleep each night

Remember, overtraining can be as bad as no training! Life is about balance. Get the balance right in all areas of life and you will reap the rewards.

Best Way To Build Muscle?

To build anything in life, you need the raw materials. The same applies for building muscle. If you were to build a house then you would need the bricks and you would also need the labour. In terms of building muscle, the bricks would be protein and the labour would be a pre workout carb snack. A pre workout snack will give you the energy to power through your workout. Protein would be consumed after your workout to help repair the muscle tears you caused during your workout.

Another key element in muscle building is rest. Rest is where the magic happens : ) If you don’t get enough rest, then you will not have recovered enough for your next workout. Rest allows the body to create new and repair damaged muscle fibres. You can then lift more weight and control the weight better as you now have more fibres to call on as well as stronger fibres depending on the workout you are doing.

Now we have covered what to do before and after your workout we will concentrate what you need to do during your workout. There are two ways to build muscle. You can build muscle by continuing to lift heavier weight for low reps e.g. 3-6. This will create size and muscle thickness as well as muscle strength. The other way to build muscle is to lift weight in a controlled manner especially the negative part of the rep. The weight should be around 80% of your one rep maximum (This is the amount of weight you can lift for just one rep before failure) The rep range would be 8-12 reps. Lifting weight in a controlled manner will not only develop the stabilizer muscles that are not worked lifting heavier weight but will also help you to avoid injury. The best way is to mix the two. This will not only shock your muscles into growth but will also be more exciting by mixing things up.

In summary, make sure you are having a pre workout snack to power you through your workout. Mix the two methods of building muscle. Heavy weights using low reps and controlled weights using higher reps. Refuel with a protein meal. This can be in the form of a protein shake or a meal including protein. The most important of all is rest! Make sure you allow yourself plenty of time between each workout. Over training is as bad as under training. Follow these guidelines and you will be well on your way to developing more muscle!