When trying to build muscle, it is important to keep in mind and apply these ten tips to trigger muscle growth. Bulging chests, sinewy shoulders and toned legs don’t build themselves. These muscle groups require an efficient workout, rest and nutrition in order to promote recovery and eventual growth of the muscles. Read on and learn about the essential aspects that every fitness enthusiast, weight loss enthusiast, athlete or any common gym goer must know.
#1 Lift Heavy
Lifting heavy weights, a weight set that you can lift for approximately eight to ten reps only is an ideal weight that triggers muscle growth. Keep in mind that when lifting the said amount of weight, make sure that the classic three to four sets would be enough with 32 to 40 reps total. With the use of heavy weights during your workouts, you trigger the growth of type 2 muscle fibers or fast twitch muscle fibers. These types of muscles are responsible for sudden, explosive bursts of strength. Training these muscles can only be done with the use of heavyweights, and with heavy training, you gain strength, muscle mass and trigger muscle growth.
#2 Lift Light
Lifting weights with heavy sets certainly trigger growth of the muscles. However, with light weights, you also promote muscular endurance, especially when using fewer sets and higher reps with a certain exercise such as the 4 by 15 rep-set schemes. In addition to that, lifting light weights help develop the type 1 muscle fibers or the slow twitch muscle fibers. These muscle fibers are commonly used during endurance sports. Training light after your heavy lifting days also help in promoting recovery for a certain muscle group you lifted heavy sets with, the day before. So incorporate the use of light weights with your training and you’ll see muscle gains after some time.
#3 Perform Exercise Properly
When performing exercises, it is important to execute your training while involving the target muscles properly. For example, most guys usually pull with their biceps and arms only when doing the lat pulldown exercise, totally neglecting the muscles of the back. This mistake causes less stress to the back, thereby causing less muscular hypertrophy to the supposed target area. Knowing how to use the back muscles in this case, by squeezing the shoulder blades together during the pull phase, triggers growth of the muscles during this exercise. Utilizing the proper muscles and performing it properly is a fundamental action and element that one must always put in mind when training. Chests exercises such as the flyes also require chest involvement when performing flyes as you squeeze your pecs together during the top movement of the flyes, and squeezing your shoulder blades together as you lower the weights are just some of the few important details that one must neglect. Properly performing an exercise not only prevents injury but it also sharply aims for the muscles that you would like to build.
#4 Maintaining the Negative
The negative portion of the exercise or the lowering phase, or when you relax is a key trigger to the development of well-defined muscle group. Most lifters today, focus on the upward or the positive phase of the exercise by simply pushing their energies out. However, focusing more on the negatives also adds more intensity to your workouts causing more gains. One of the weider principles, this technique can be done by performing only the negative phase of the exercise. For example, when doing the chin ups or pull ups, you can ask a partner to help you lift up to the bar, but let yourself control the downward movement, for ten to fifteen seconds for eight to ten reps. This technique though is easier said than done. You can incorporate this method into your current lineup of exercises such as the bench press, pull ups, bicep curl, squats and standing military presses. Take note that even with light weights, performing this method on basic exercises becomes strict and extremely hard.
#5 Take a Rest
Your rest periods play a crucial role when trying to build muscle. The muscles acquire micro tears in which the fibers undergo when performing exercises. In order to let these micro tears heal, resting, along with proper nutrition replenishes the energy and promotes repair of the said tears, thereby growing muscles slowly. Take a day or two in between workouts for proper recuperation.
#6 Watch What You Eat
As we all know, high protein foods help in muscle recovery and growth. Loading your plate with protein loaded foods such as skinless chicken, eggs, whey protein, beans, nuts and many others will surely fire you up and help you recover. One mistake that beginners usually do is totally eliminating carbs out of their diets. Carbohydrates are necessary for glucose source before a workout. Consuming fast digesting carbohydrates or fruit-based carbs after your workout will also be good for your post-workout recovery.
Rest and sleep in appropriate amounts produce growth hormones, which are responsible for building muscles in the body. With enough sleep of approximately 7 to 8 hours every night, your body will produce growth hormones that is an essential component of muscle building.
#8 Maximize Cardio
Hard gainers or skinny people require less cardio when trying to build muscle. If possible, it is best for you to separate your cardio days from your weight lifting days. This is to help concentrate your protein use for different activities such as weightlifting and cardio. It is also best to limit cardio activity to at most thirty minutes a session.
Change your program every now and then if you feel like you are in a plateau. Changes such as the number of reps, the order of your workout and doing supersets and intensity boosters trigger muscle growth as it adds “new” activities and twists for your session that can trigger muscle hypertrophy.
Stretching also promotes muscle build up. Stretching after your sessions lengthen the muscles and minimizes the stiffness that you feel after a hard training. Stretching also benefits you by allowing you to use a fuller range of motion for better exercise execution.
These tips are the best keys that you can perform for muscle growth. Always remember that consistency, execution, rest, recuperation, nutrition are the foundations of a fit and healthy body.