Building Muscle – Beginners Information

Building muscle is probably the most effective and efficient way to lose weight, stay in shape and enjoy fitness. The reason why is because muscle tissue needs to be fed, it needs to be nourished. As a consequence it increases your metabolism enabling your body to literally devour everything you eat. Imagine muscle tissue as a voracious appetite consuming everything your body needs. Muscle tissue works even while you are not. For example, although a bit extreme, picture this scenario: two friends watching the Super Bowl; one of them is in great shape, he has developed a strong, healthy, muscular frame and is eating a bag of potato chips. The other guy carries his fair share of extra weight–and then some–and is walking around the room while the two are watching the game. The difference? The guy on the couch, eating the bag of potato chips, is burning more calories than his friend! Why? Because his muscles are devouring the energy stored in his fat cells! Sounds incredible? There is more truth to it than you think.

So, how do you build muscle? Building typically involves weight training. The goal of weight training is to lift as much weight close to your maximum limit as many times as possible. Pushing the muscles past their limits causes them to adapt and grow. The key is to increase the weight over time and induce hypertrophy, or in other words, “build muscle.”

When you lift weights or do any kind of anaerobic exercise, your body naturally releases endorphins, which gives you a little “high.” Every single person I have ever trained with says the same thing: the euphoric feeling they get after a workout makes them feel so good it is addicting. You will find that it leaves such a pleasurable sensation mentally and physically that you will actually CRAVE a good workout.

A note or word of caution is in order here: If you are new to weightlifting you need to remember that starting out fresh will leave your very sore at first. This is normal, your body and muscles are not use to this new discipline and requirement. However, after a brief time, your body adapts quickly and the soreness associated with workouts disappears. In fact, you soon won’t experience soreness at all, instead you will feel confidence, determination, and a feeling of “can do” in about everything you attempt. Exercise is such a wonder.

So, how long until you begin to see a difference? You can literally see a difference in as little as two weeks; a significant difference in your appearance and mental attitude in as little as six weeks; and a MAJOR difference overall in as little as twelve weeks. Keep at it for three or four months and you will be well on your way to a completely different life.

What are you waiting for?! A whole new life is waiting for you.

David H. Bean

More Muscle Building Articles

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, -
Gyms in stevenage