12 February 2017

Ideal Ways to Build Muscle

By Joshua Kennedy

When you go on a fitness journey, you need to set goals. Whether it be losing weight, building muscle, or maintaining the progress you have made; setting and maintaining your goals will be your cornerstone of success. Me personally, I started my fitness journey about 4 years ago. My original goal was to lose weight, and I achieved that goal but I realized building muscle would suit me better. I had researched through many articles, forums, and medical publications in effective ways to build muscle.

Adjust Your Training

Depending on how you work out, will help determine what you are aiming to do to your body. If you are aiming to lose weight a more cardio oriented workout schedule would be helpful, but at the same time do not be afraid to lift weights. Now for building muscle, lifting weights is probably one of your best bets. You can also do body weight exercises as well, such as pushups, pull ups, and sit ups. When you lift weights, especially if you are just starting do not go beyond your means, preventing injury is your greatest priority.

The perfect rep range for building muscle is from at least 8 to 12 reps and at least 3 to 4 sets of the exercise, with a moderately heavy weight. On the last 2-3 reps of each set per exercise you should struggle a little. Now you ask "Why this rep range?" well this rep range is ideal for hypertrophy. Hypertrophy is when you specifically train a muscle to grow. When you lift the weight repeatedly, you pump blood into muscle constricting it and making it grow. Also do not keep doing the same things, if you do your body can hit a plateau and not grow anymore. Changing your training and confusing your body can actually make it perform even better.

Change Your Diet

Your diet is probably your most important part when it comes to building muscle. A lot of it comes down to calories in versus calories out. If you are wanting to gain size, you need to be on a caloric surplus diet, and if you are aiming to lose weight you put yourself on a caloric deficit. There is a difference in what kind calories you put in your body though. Your calories could be considered "empty" meaning that they have no nutritional value. You can eat candy full of calories but that won't help you build muscle, it's just sugar which can actually make you gain unhealthy fat. What I consider one of your biggest allies when building muscle is protein. Protein is primarily found in meats and is the biggest supplement to your training in building muscle. Generally beef would have some of the highest protein content but it can also have some of the higher fat contents as well. Most people stick with chicken because it averages about 24 grams of protein per 8 ounces, and is generally the leanest type of meat to eat.

Supplements do help but you shouldn't full rely on them to change your body completely. What I consider a good supplement to add to your diet is creatine. Creatine can be used to help increase size and strength. It can found naturally in foods but not enough, so that's why sometimes it is good to add that into your diet. Whey protein is also good to add as well, whey protein is extracted primarily from dairy products such as milk and is a purer form of just protein. In essence the more protein in your diet the more muscle you build.

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