A Beginner’s Guide to Building Muscle

So you’ve just joined a local gym and you’re looking to add some flesh to your bones! A great starting point is to understand the how the body actually builds muscle. Like any building process there is an order and technique you need to follow for best results – good foundations, a blueprint, the right materials – otherwise your workouts will be nothing more than cardio.

The Foundations

Before you begin your training programme you have to be in good health, well rested and relaxed. Poor health, tiredness and stress have a huge effect on the body’s ability to build muscle. Not only do you perform badly during your workouts and risk injury, you are also far less likely to turn up to your workouts in the first place. You’ll need to put yourself through at least 20 workouts before you start to see a visible difference, so take a look at your work and social commitments over the next 12 weeks and ask yourself whether it’s a good time to be adding extra stress to your body.

The Blueprint

Going to your local gym and throwing a few dumbbells around just isn’t going to work. Nor will copying the buff guy and hoping for the best! You need to work to a blueprint – a solid training plan that sets out which muscles you’ll be targeting, which exercises you’ll be working them with, for how many sets and reps, and on what days of the week. If you’re not sure then book a session with a personal trainer and get them to put a muscle building programme together for you. It’s what they do. They are architects of the body!

The Materials

You cannot build a house without the right materials, nor can you build muscle without the right nutrition. Muscle doesn’t magic itself from the atmosphere after doing a few reps, it is made from good quality protein – fish, seafood, poultry, meat, eggs, beans, pulses. You should try to make your protein intake every few hours, which often requires taking a good protein supplement. You also need good quality carbohydrate to fuel you through your workouts and fuel the repair process that converts these proteins into extra muscle. You’re going to be eating a lot!

The Labour

Each exercise you do stresses the muscles according to your blueprint – bench press stressing the chest muscles, squats the legs, and so on. The body responds to this “microtrauma” by repairing the muscle fibers a little thicker during rest so that in future it can cope better with the load. It is this increase in muscle fiber thickness that makes muscle grow visibly bigger in a process called “hypertrophy”. Without enough stress to the muscle there is no stimulus to adapt and grow, so reps need to be performed to failure, meaning you can’t do another one with good form.

The Mortar

Even with the perfect blueprint, good materials and hours of labour, your muscle building plan is going nowhere if you don’t rest. Think of rest and recovery is the mortar that cements everything together. Without it you end up overtraining, over-stressing your muscle and immune system and ultimately everything falls apart. Rest is a positive and essential part of your training regime, so don’t think you’re “being lazy” or “skipping a day” or “losing out on time when I could be working out more!”. It’s useful to remember that muscles are built during rest, not during your workouts. No rest. No muscle!

The Layers

There will come a point where you’ve built enough muscle to cope at one level, which means it’s time to break through your comfort zone and step it up a level. In weight training we call this “the progressive overload principle”. You need to gradually increase the intensity of your workouts, otherwise your muscle gains will plateau. How? By increasing either the weight, reps or intensity of the exercises you do. So many gym goers make the mistake of staying on the same level and wonder why they’re not making any progress.

…And Repeat

The body building process – nutrition, workout, rest, nutrition, workout, rest – needs to be repeated over a number of weeks before you’ll start to notice your muscles getting bigger. If you want to get very big you’re looking at months and years rather than weeks. Be patient and make the process a part of your lifestyle rather than a quick fix blitz.

Liam Taylor, EverythingZing.com -
Gyms in stevenage

Building Muscle and Losing Fat

Muscles play a vital part in our well-being. If you are building muscle, not only is it an eye pleaser but is also as a sign that your body receives lots of benefits.

For health reasons, muscles are beneficial. Muscles maintain low blood pressure levels. This means that building muscle can prevent possibilities of stroke and heart ailments. The more muscles you have in your body, the faster you burn your storage fats. Accumulation of fats especially in the midsection signifies health risks. LDL cholesterol level in the body decreases. When LDL cholesterol level rises, it blocks the arteries. HDL cholesterol level in the body rises. It prevents heart diseases.

You are more productive. More muscles means you are less susceptive to diseases. You don’t easily get tired. Trained muscles in rigorous workout increases body’s tolerance to fatigue. You enjoy fewer trips to the hospital. Otherwise, you suffer stressful procedures like heart surgery, disability, or even premature death when too many fats accumulate in the body. You gain weight. For people with scrawny bodies, this is good news. You look better. There is no doubt people look at your body for a second time because you maintain a ripped build. Well-defined muscles are not just healthy; they are aesthetically good to look at as well.

Muscles maintain a healthy heart and prevents the body from producing triglycerides that increases risk of heart disease. Glucose and insulin, while give the body energy, weakens it through diabetes when it populates. It protects you against producing too much of these two.

If you are serious in sporting that muscle for your health, remember that the right combination of exercise and diet increases optimal results. Do regular exercises not just sporadic sessions when you just feel like exercising. Recommended exercise frequency is 30 minutes a day. Building muscle takes sacrifice to have a rewarding result. Enroll yourself in a gym class or if you can afford, buy home exercise equipment.

One important note is to never to eat more than you can burn. Some people resolve to food as escapism to stress. This habit causes more harm than good. A good practice is consuming more foods rich in proteins than carbohydrates. Another good habit is to drink 8- 10 glasses of water a day. Drinking water hydrates the body when you do complex exercise routines. It also gives the stomach an illusion of fullness. Avoid alcohol at all cost. It encourages beer belly growth.

Always maintain a happy disposition. Emotions weaken the body’s metabolism. This situation is not helpful especially if you are serious in building muscle.

You don’t need to have a bodybuilder’s physique just to achieve healthy living. There are tried and tested ways to build muscle without stressing the muscles too much. All you need to search is what these exercise routines are. Free-form exercises with weights guarantees building muscle with less time and effort.

Persistence is the key concept here. The best results come from correct and continued practices.


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5 Recommended Muscle Building Routines

Building muscles can be achieved in a short period. The knowledge of the best muscle building routines is vital to achieve this. Exercises are better appreciated when there is knowledge on what a certain workout routine will do. When doing workouts, incorporate these 5 routines.

The first routine is the bench Press. This routine focuses in the upper body muscle groups. This includes the front shoulders, back of your upper arms, chest, and ribcage. When doing bench press, use a spotter. This is to prevent accidents to happen. Avoid raising the back off the bench. The bench press sculpts the chest. This routine is extensively utilized in weight training, professional bodybuilding and fitness training.

Bent-Over Row is a powerful addition to the muscle building routines. Bent-over Row focuses on the muscles at the back of torso. The latissimus dorsi, spinal erectors, and rear shoulders are benefited. When doing this, lift your eyes forward constantly. Keep the lower back arched. Maintain slightly bent knees the entire routine. For stricter execution, keep torso in a horizontal position. This routine is common in professional bodybuilding and power lifting.

Deadlift routine targets lots of muscle groups in one act. The muscles benefited in deadlifts are the rear, legs, hips, and lower back. A deadlift in bent knees targets more than doing it with straight legs. Deadlifts in straight legs puts pressure in the hamstrings though. In deadlift, maintain a slightly arched lower back and straight torso lifting the head straight forward. To avoid accidents, halt the deadlift if back pain occurs. Always maintain a neutral spine in the routine. Failing to do so will result to spinal disc stress which may lead to herniated disc in worst cases.

The fourth routine is the behind the neck press. This routine targets the muscles in the shoulders, back of the upper body, and chest. When doing neck press, lift the head up aligning both the neck and back in natural position. Do the routine with caution as it injures the shoulders when overdone. Check the spotter to avoid accidents. Start with less weight if still a beginner. Add more weight in progression to achieve optimum results.

The last routine, the squat, is a powerful muscle building routine targets a lot of muscle groups. Squat specifically targets the butt muscles, leg muscles, and hamstrings. This routine is both strength and conditioning exercise. Like all other power muscle building routines, it is always safe to request a spotter. Doing a squat in a power cage is also advisable.

Nothing beats doing these exercises with a trained fitness expert. It is an investment to spend for one to avoid accidents and to make sure that you are doing the muscle building routines the right way. A cheaper alternative is to search for online videos on the specific routines. Some people achieve the results faster and are more comfortable when doing exercises at home.

These muscle building routines achieve optimum results fast. With these routines, proper diet, and enough sleep, having that dream body is possible.


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Myths on Building Lots of Muscle

One of the most enduring myths about building lots of muscle is that one has to simply keep working relentlessly with various exercises until the person literally drops in a heap from exhaustion. Although body builders do dedicate a lot of time to working out and doing repetitive exercises; these are not the only elements needed in order to build up one’s muscle mass.

At the same time, building lots of muscle does not simply mean bulking up as fast as possible, as big as possible and in the most punishing way possible. There are certain stages to take to ensure that muscles are worked on, but not strained – and that the health of the person is not endangered in any way. Here we will try to debunk several more myths revolving around muscle building.

1. Exercise is the key to building lots of muscle. Although it may sound logical, this statement is false. Exercise is only one of the three essential keys to building up muscle mass. The other two are diet and lifestyle. Aside from doing reps, one should also focus on altering his or her current diet to ensure that the body gets enough calories to actually sustain the entire work out session. There should be a strict balance between the calories being consumed (through food) and the calories being expended (via exercises.) Eating protein rich food alone will not and can not sustain a person’s body, no matter what the popular tide of opinion says.

Balanced meals should be taken at least 5 or 6 times a day, depending on the person’s metabolic rate, and the amount of calories he or she could expend in one work out session. These meals should have regulated portions, so that fat cells in the adipose tissues are not triggered; but the vital organs can still harvest enough nutrients to keep the entire physiological system going. At the same time, altering to a healthier lifestyle is also essential to any body builder’s routine. Aside from changes in diet and exercise regimen, a person should also get try to avoid unhealthy habits like: binge eating, alcohol consumption, smoking and the entire lot of possible vices that can hamper physical health.

2. The less sleep, the better the results. Loss of quality sleep is never good. It does not matter if you are working yourself up to a bigger physique or you are simply trying to get through a paper with a set deadline. Sleep is one of the most important elements in keeping the body healthy and whole. For professional body builders, 8 to 10 hours of quality (restful, uninterrupted) sleep is recommended by their trainers and sports doctors. This still does not include the resting periods between workout sessions.

The cells of the body actually work hardest during rest. This is also the time when cell regeneration is at its most rapid. Without the proper amount of sleep and rest, the muscles do not have the time to heal from soreness, which makes it very difficult to continue the workout routines for the next few days. Additionally, sleep deprivation slows down the protein bonding process which is crucial for bulking up muscles and strengthening bones.


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Building Muscle the Organic Way

Organically or naturally building muscle means that you develop your musculature the old-fashioned way.

Although there are supposedly a lot of other options to creating the perfectly sculpted physique using “easier” methods (like drugs, supplements and surgeries,) these options are not particularly encouraged by health care providers, and certainly not favored among the lot of hard core body building enthusiasts. In fact, professional body builders who use these methods are eventually banned from the sport; and have to suffer the dire medical consequences of choosing the easy way out.

The old-fashioned and gradual way is always the best means to building muscle mass. However, this does not simply mean that you pump iron 24/7, and always pushing yourself to the brink of exhaustion.

Here are some tricks of the trade when it comes to organic muscle building.

1. Get enough nutrition. Despite its popularity, the misconception of living on protein shakes and eating nothing but protein based food can have devastating effects on your body when you are trying to build up your physique – and none of these effects can be rightfully called as positive. Yes, protein helps with building muscles, but you would need other nutrients to keep the rest of your internal organs in tiptop shape as well. Glucose in carbohydrates is essential in keeping the brain functioning and whole. Without glucose, all the normal functions of the body slow down, and that will eventually hamper daily activities and your more strenuous workouts.

Minerals and vitamins from vegetables and fruits are necessary in keeping up one’s resistances and strength. Lightly prepared or raw vegetables and fruits are also great in satisfying normal hunger pangs without putting on unwanted pounds. Small amounts of oil from food (e.g. olive oil, essential oils rich with Omega 3 compounds) are imperative in retaining the luster of hair and nails. Furthermore, too much protein in the system can negatively affect heart functions as well. It would be best to get a balanced meal that contains almost all food groups, during every meal. Know the exact portions you could take to keep the calories down.

2. Take it easy. Pumping iron is beneficial to any body building workout, but so is rest and sleep. The body can be trained to work longer hours and to accommodate the most demanding workouts; but internal organs, and muscles need their own time out as well. For starters, most workouts need to elevate the heart rate to make the blood pump fasters, which eventually supplies oxygen to all the muscles in the body. However, the heart needs a breather every once in a while, or it will start to strain causing palpitations or even painful heart attacks. This is the reason why you need to warm up and cool down before and after strenuous workout sessions. This gives the heart the time to speed up and slow down respectively.

At the same time, muscles that are worked continuously can be inadvertently strained causing minor or serious injuries. Minute tears in the musculature can lead to internal hemorrhaging, while major tears can take months and months of healing period and physical therapy.

Take the time to really rest your muscles. If you have a workout regimen, make sure that you have ample time to rest in between exercises, and that you get as much as eight to ten hours of uninterrupted sleep per day.


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What Muscle Building Routines Work?

Every aspiring body builder wants to know what muscle building routines they should subscribe to. If you are asking the same question, or trying to pick one from all the available routines being touted about in the Web, you might be heading for one disappointment after the other.

The thing is: in order to bulk up on your physique, you would need to consider several variables all at once. These variables depend a lot on you – from your current state of health, your current weight and height, the calories you are consuming now, the calories you are projected to expend during exercise, the type and duration of your exercise regimen, the escalating factor and speed of that exercise regimen and a lot more.

Why are all these variables important in finding the right muscle building routines?

Routines are regular courses of procedures – at least, it should be regular for you. Aside from doing repetitions of the same exercises, you need to perform other procedures prior, during and after the said exercises as well. So a lot of these depend on your capability to follow the routines point by point.

Any break in that routine can set you back in your bid to bulk up, or even have adverse consequences on your overall health. Therefore, the best kind of muscle building routines is the one that you are most likely to do on your own… without complaints or excuses… no matter what the weather is, or what your current mood is.

Your current state of health plays a crucial role in the body building process. If you are at the peak of health, you can almost always get to your target bulked up physique a little bit faster than those who are only ever beginning to exercise. If you have never really taken up any form of exercise in your life, nor done any form of heavy lifting whatsoever, you may need to shed some pounds off (or gain some muscle mass first) before you can even think about gaining a sculpted muscular silhouette.

Additionally, any underlying medical condition can hamper your routines as well. Your health care provider should be notified about your body building program to ensure that you will not be suffering from major medical complications down the line.

Tied to this is another variable: your current height and weight. You should be within the range of recommended weight for your height. If you are overweight or underweight, you need to level this off before proceeding with your muscle building routines. At the same time, your current height and weight can also dictate how much muscle mass your bones can take at a maximum once you start bulking up. If you are currently weighing 125 pounds and standing about 5’10,” you can increase your bulk more than a person who is weighing the same, but standing only at 5’7″. You have to remember that adding muscle mass puts a lot of strain not just on the muscles, but on the bones, joints and the internal organs as well.


Building Muscle Mass Like a Pro

As in any endeavor, building muscle mass needs to start from the inside. What you eat, as the cliché goes, defines who you are as a person-at least physically.

Eating too much sodium and sugar will tend to bloat you up by retaining too much water. This means, then, that despite the energy boost you most likely find in salty and sweet foods, you can’t over-indulge in them because they can hinder your muscle formation.

Remember that at the core of building muscle mass is losing fat mass first. With excess weight on, you can’t really expect much from any sort of body building workout. You need to lose your excess weight, which includes both fat and water retention.

Instead of eating sweets and salty junk food, you should really invest in whole wheat grains and lean meats. During breakfast, if you’re working out in the morning, it’s best to take in whole wheat grains that are high in both energy and fiber. If you have a healthy digestion, you’re most likely to feel lighter, giving you extra edge in performing better during workshops.

When it comes to proteins, meats are always excellent sources. However, you should try your best to stay away from meats that are high in cholesterol, because it defeats the purpose of your efforts. Fish and white meat from chicken are good options. If you must eat beef at all, which is one of the richest sources of protein you should choose the leanest parts to avoid gaining unnecessary weight.

You should also make sure that you drink a lot of water and eat a lot of fruits when you’re trying to build muscle mass. Although water provides pretty much just hydration, and fruits, by themselves, can’t make muscles grow water and citrus fruits are excellent antioxidants.

Regular workouts tend to put so much physical stress on the body that toxins can form very easily. It’s important for someone who’s trying to keep fit to get rid of all these unwanted toxins with the food they eat.

While regular workouts are necessary for building muscle mass, the rest and recovery that comes in between these physical activities are also very important. Remember not to overtrain by working on the same muscle group two days in a row. This can cause serious injuries which are counterproductive to building good muscle mass. Those who work out also need to make sure that they have enough sleep every night. This prevents over-fatigue, and for adults, at least 7 hours of sleep a night is recommended. In between routines, bodybuilders should make sure that they maintain 24 to 48 hours of recovery time, otherwise, the muscles will just break down without any chance to form well.


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The Top 3 Muscle Building Foods

There are a number of muscle building foods that you can add to your diet especially if you feel that you need a bit of help in that department but there are two misconceptions that you should try to avoid at all times. One: subscribing to an all protein diet. And two: favoring prepackaged diet foods in favor or real food.

An all protein diet was promulgated during the mid-1980s, most of which runs in the vein of literally drinking 6 to 12 eggs per day. But that diet is so passé, especially now that eggs are considered to be too calorific to be taken more than once a week. In other words, an all protein diet (or egg rich diet, for that matter) is not a very good option to take if you want to build up muscle mass.

Likewise, a diet consisting of prepackaged diet foods has been proven to be detrimental to body building as well. These foods are packed with sugar, salt, extenders and preservatives just to make them slightly palatable. At the same time, portions are severely limited so as not to make the person gain weight. The best muscle building foods still remain those that are fresh and those that have undergone as little processing as possible. As such, here is a list of a couple of muscle building foods that Mother Nature has provided.

1. Fish oils. Not all oils are bad for the diet. Natural fish oils are usually rich in Omega 3 compounds which can even lower bad cholesterol. You can get these by eating oily or fatty fish like wild salmon and tuna. Make sure though that you prepare these yourself, and cook as lightly as possible. You can eat raw tuna, you know. Eschew the canned meats. Smoked salmon meat would be a better alternative to the canned ones, and the frozen tuna meat (no marinade) would serve the same purpose as well. Three servings per week are recommended, but you can always increase more as a great source of protein as well.

2. Red and white meats. Speaking of proteins, you do not have to strictly adhere to a vegan diet, or a fish diet to gain the proteins you need. Choose from a long list of red and white meats available. Most people prefer white meats from poultry products, but a few servings of red meat trimmed off its fatty layers can have the same benefits. Again, it is important to prepare these on your own, and cook with as little artificial flavorings as possible. Use home made marinades, and ditch the condiments altogether. Grill your meats, or boil them in stews (while removing the fatty oil in the water.)

3. Berries, nuts and seeds. Piddling as these are, berries, nuts and seeds contain all the necessary elements that can promote body building. Most berries contain high levels of antioxidants. Seeds are especially rich in fiber and protein as well. Nuts can contain everything from fiber, healthy fats, magnesium, potassium, vitamin E, and zinc. Make sure though that the berries are fresh, and the seeds and nuts are salt and sugar free.


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Effective Way to Start Building More Muscle

Building muscle requires doing numerous things and it is essential to bear things in mind so you can make the most progress possible in a minimum amount of time. Nobody like to have to wait months just to realize a little bit of progress. There are various ways that you can follow putting more muscle mass on your body and observe the results of your hard work as soon as the first week or two. You must be committed, however, to a routine that requires discipline and that you always keep up with it each day.


Each person will have their own routine that they go through every day. We all have different schedules and ways of doing things, but there are a few things that every person who wants to put more muscle on their body should keep in mind. One of these things is that you should always remember to eat right. This is important because in order to bulk up and build muscle you must also make sure that you are successfully burning fat as well. Eat foods with lots of protein, vitamins, and carbohydrates in them. Doing this will help your body add muscle in no time.


Make sure that you have also established a good work out routine as well. Whether you choose to work out at a gym or at home, you need to be lifting weights and working out every other day. It’s important not to do this every single day because then you risk serious strain or injury to your body that could very well set your progress back and cause problems with your body that you will want to avoid at all costs. Building muscle comes from a solid routine that is followed each day in some way shape or form, depending on your individual needs and requirements.


Jake has been an expert author for over 4 years and also writes rustic pine computer desk articles.

3 Muscle Building Workouts That Suck

Being in shape can get expensive. You have to buy equipment, buy a gym membership, clothes, and special foods. At the end of the day, wouldn’t it suck if you spent all that money but did all the wrong exercises and did not get the results you were looking for? It sure would. There are some exercises out there that just aren’t good enough and here are a few…

The Smith-Machine Squat
When you do this exercise on this machine, the weight travels along a fixed vertical track. Because of this, your body cannot stabilize itself and gain a balance achieved through a normal environment. Too much of this can lead to your muscles being unbalanced. When you do a normal squat your abs try and balance out your body. Your abs are being worked out too. The Smith Machine does not allow your body to do this. You can still use the machine, but do it occasionally.

Leg Curl
This exercise works on your hamstring. This is the only exercise and the only environment where your hamstrings are being worked out alone, without the motion of other muscles. What does this lead to? Again, muscle imbalance! When you walk or do anything that is normal, your hamstrings are never in motion alone. There are always other muscles that are in conjunction with your hamstrings. This is why legs curls should never be done too often or you will be walking like a penguin.

Sit Ups In Order To Lose Belly Fat
Many people are falsely convinced that if they do enough sits ups, tummy tucks, ab workouts, and all of those other abdominal workouts they will lose “belly fat.” This is not true. Doing exercises like these will not help you lose belly fat. The only thing it will do is help tone up and increase the size of your abs. But they will “not” be visible because of the belly fat. In order to get rid of belly fat, you have to do full body workouts such as involving cardio. Running, squats, and jumping jacks are just a few. You must also eat healthy too.

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