If you are totally confused with all of the conflicting information out there about muscle building then you are not alone.  Building muscle is a topic that can make it very hard to know where to start.  The below eight points will help the average beginner a basic guide to follow in the gym.

1) Your Training Should Focus on Compound movements by using Free Weights.

Regardless of all of the different types of training out there one thing still holds the most truth; training with free weights using basic compound movements is the way to stimulate muscle size and strength. The best way to describe a compound movement is one that incorporates more than one muscle group. The best examples of this are the squat, deadlift, bench press, chin ups, barbell rows, and overhead press. The reason Compound movements work is they stimulate the most amount of muscle fibers, which allow you to handle the most weight.

2) Be Prepared To Train Hard.

Your level of intensity is what separates you from making modest gains to making serious gains. It comes down to this; you must be willing to take every set to the point of muscular failure. When you do this you stimulate the most muscle fibers to their full potential.

Not sure what muscle failure is?  It is the point at which you cannot perform another set, even a partial set, while using proper form. The cold hard truth is that sub-maximal training intensity will leave you with sub-maximal results, plain and simple.

Workout Routine

3) Keep a training log and review it every week.

The process in which our bodies build muscle is called adaptive response.  When you train with a high level of intensity with weights you break down muscle fibers.  Your body see this as a threat to its survival and will react by rebuilding the muscle fibers bigger and stronger.  You body is trying to prepare itself for the next round of training.  This is why progression is so important to making continual gains is size and strength from week to week. The best way to make your body adapt is by adding a few more reps or a few more pounds each time you train.  The best way to stay on track is to keep a detailed log and track your progress.  But you must be honest and log your training as honestly as possible.

4) Overtraining will KILL Your Progress.

One of the biggest obstacles that beginners need to avoid is Overtraining.  It is also your biggest enemy when it comes to increasing strength and building muscle. If there was even anything that did not go with the notion that more is better it is resistance training. A lot of beginners think that the more they are in the gym the more, and faster, muscle they will build.  But nothing is further from the truth when it comes to building muscle.  Marathon workouts will actually take you farther away from reaching your goals.  One notion that you can rely on is that muscles are not grown in the gym they grow away from the gym.  You need to rest and eat. The one thing that is most vital to the muscle growth process is recovery. Providing the body with the proper time to recover between workouts is what it takes to see dramatic improvements to you size and strength.

5) Increase Meal Frequency.

The area in which most people fail in their mission to build the most muscle is in providing their bodies with the proper nutrition. Your weight training program is only half of the battle!  If you’re breaking down muscle fiber with intense training in the gym and don’t provide the proper nutrition, at the right time, building muscle will become impossible. If you’re serious about gaining the most muscle and strength that you need to be feeding your muscles every 2-3 hours.  This means you should be consuming 5-7 meals per day!  This is the best way to keep your body anabolic at all times. High quality protein and complex carbohydrates should be included is each and every meal.

Muscle Building

6) Increased Muscle Begins with Increased Protein Intake.

There are three major nutrients, called macronutrients, they are protein, fats, and carbohydrates.  Out of these protein is the most important for those who are looking to build the most strength and muscle. One thing that every single one of your cells has in common is protein.  Protein’s main role is to repair and build tissue. It will be virtually impossible for your body to build lean muscle if you aren’t eating enough protein.  Studies have shown that an intake on protein per day should be 1-1.5 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight. Good examples of protein are fish, poultry, eggs, beef, milk, and peanut butter.

7) Drink Enough Water.

One of the easiest and most effective way to maximize your gains is to drink enough water.  The importance of water and the many vital roles it plays in your body can not be overstated.  After all your muscles are 70% water so not only will drinking water help your muscles appear fuller, more vascular, it will also increase your strength. Science has shown that a decrease of water intake of 3-4% can decrease muscle contractions by 10-20%!  Aim to consume 0.6 ounces for every pound of bodyweight each day for optimal gains.

Fitness Lifestyle

8) Most Important…Be Consistent!

In order to make the most gains in muscle size and strength being consistent in proper techniques is the most important. Simply knowing is not enough, you must take action!

Taking cumulative small steps is the best was to build muscle.  Increasing your working weight by a pound or consuming a single meal will not make a huge difference.  But consistent increases in reps, weight, and proper nutrition and meal frequency in the long run will make a BIG difference. If you work hard and are consistent to all of your muscle and strength building tasks, inside the gym and out, will equate to massive gains in overall size and strength.

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