Building Muscle Mass
Yep, that’s me! There is so much information out there about building muscle mass today. Every article you read will have different information, and articles or advice will often contradict each other.
This is so confusing and I have seen many people choose to over-complicate things as a result. This leads to them not getting the gains that they are capable of making, and it also makes it a lot harder.
If you strip away all of the “shocking breakthroughs in muscle gain” and “scientists have found a new way to build muscle fast” adverts, it all boils down to a few basic fundamentals.
If you use expensive supplements in the shape of explosive devices or you get stuck into your protein powder (that came in a green tub with The Hulk on the label) after your workouts, you may think these kinds of training aids are deal breakers when it comes to building muscle mass, and that without them, you won’t pack on any muscle.
I have fallen prey to this mentality in the past; but in the length of time that I have trained, I come to understand that you only need a few things.
So whatever you do after reading this article, please take away these points and use them as your training foundation. Trust me, you will benefit massively from it.
#1 Keep On Pumping
Any serious bodybuilder knows that results do not happen overnight. You need to be in it for the long term, and train and train hard.
If you train with intensity on a regular basis, then the longer that you are in the game, the better your results will be. If you do not see any results in the first month, come back and review this list again, and make sure that you are keeping to these basics. The most important thing is to keep on training. It takes years to build a lot of muscle mass, so don’t expect to be looking like Jay Cutler after a few short months.
Stick with the basics, and keep on pumping that iron. Consistency, consistency, consistency is one of the key ingredients when it comes to building muscle mass.
#2 Progressive Training
You will not build muscle mass easily if you do not push yourself. You need to be stressing your muscles with a progressive overload. This means that you need to be at exhaustion at the end of your sets. It is no good curling the 2 kg dumbbells for 12 reps when you could easily do the 12 kg for 12 reps.
Also, you will get better results if you stress your body in different ways. This means that after about 8 – 12 weeks, a workout routine may become “stale” — you may reach a plateau and no longer feel that pump after training, D.O.M.S the day after, and you may stop seeing further development.
If this happens, it is a good idea to change the way you train. There are loads of things that you can do here, but here are a few:
- Find different exercises to stress the same muscle
- Train in a pre-exhaust style
- Train in a 2 days / 3 days split style
- Hit compound exercises only
- Add a few exercises
In summary, keep moving progressively and don’t get comfortable with the same old routine. However, it is also important to give each change that you make a fair chance. By “fair chance,” I mean that when you make the change, stick to it for, at least, 8 weeks.
#3 Hit The Working Muscle With Good Form
This is a point that is overlooked a lot! You should never sacrifice lifting technique for more weight on the bar. If you curl the 20 kg dumbbells but use the momentum of the swinging bar and your body weight to complete a rep, you may as well not bother doing curls in the first place.
You have it right when you feel the muscle that you are working get that “burn.” You will get more benefit from curling a 10 kg dumbbell with correct form than you would with a 25 kg dumbbell with bad form.
#4 Eat And Rest
Without the correct fuel for energy, muscle repair and growth, you ain’t going far. If you want muscles like a bodybuilder, you need to eat like a bodybuilder. The cleaner that you eat, the more lean muscle you will put on. Remember to eat enough for your body to grow. The right amount of calories and nutrition. This should be roughly 1.5 – 2 grams of protein per lb of body weight. You also need to get the right amount of calories in as well.
The only issue is in getting your macros right. Everybody is different; so, when you are starting out, you should try to eat five balanced meals per day. This will get you into a good bodybuilder’s eating routine, and the longer that you do this, the more natural it will become to you. After a while, you will be able to tweak it by adding more protein, calories or cutting back / adding carbs. There is no fixed amount to eat. Like I said, everybody is different. This is one of those things you can only learn by trial and error.
You also need to get a good amount of rest. This is the period your muscles grow. If you can, get at least 8 hours of sleep each night, and be sure to throw in a few “power naps” if you can find the time in your schedule. I find that a supplement called ZMA really helps to get me into a deep sleep.
To Sum Up
So, these are the bottom line basics when it comes to building muscle mass. If you stick to these rules, you will be on the right track. Once you have these basics right, you can then start to sharpen them up a bit.
The truth is that many “would be” bodybuilders will never get these basics right and they will massively over-complicate things. The time will come when you start to see these small basics in a much broader light; but, as I said, these basics are often and easily overlooked in favor of a more scientific answer.
To understand my point, take a look at some of the Mr Olympias; do you think they are nutritional scientists? Or biology graduates with human anatomy degrees? No, they are not. They got the basics right early, stuck to it and sharpened it up.
I really hope this helps you. I know that many people are stuck or looking for a direction when it comes to building muscle mass. Please, use these small, easy steps as your foundation and don’t get lured by those adverts preaching “shocking new discoveries” or “build muscle fast” BS.
Get the basics right first before you start to delve deeper into the science. Nutrition and biology are massive subjects and can get very complicated.
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