A Simple Guide to Muscle Building

muscle buildingFor most of us mere mortals, we don’t aspire to be neck deep in muscle. That’s why there’s no reason you should train like a bodybuilder. A bodybuilder’s routine is specific and drastically different—muscle building for a regular person is quite different from that.

The first thing that anyone would tell you about building muscle is to build strength first—more strength equates to more muscles. Weight training is generally recommended as you can start small and add weights exponentially. Body weight training in form of calisthenics is also recommended.

Using free weights will also help in muscle building as they promote more stress (thus, more muscles). Basically, stay away from machines. This is not only practical (as a machine sometimes forces you into uncomfortable positions) but also cost effective (as free weights cost a lot less than machines).

Doing compound exercises is a must as an amateur in muscle building. Base training is only okay if you have built enough mass and base to sustain it, otherwise, it is counterproductive. Mix up your exercise routines and you’ll find that you’ll hit more muscle groups with one stone.

Train your legs with squats. Squats are great as they work on the whole body without even requiring additional equipment, just your natural body weight. As you move into the squat position, you’ll find that your whole body tenses up—a sure sign that your whole body is working.

Recovery period is very important in muscle building—remember the saying, “eat like a horse, sleep like a baby, grow like a weed”. As muscles do not grow when you train (they grow during your downtime), there is no need to over train but rather, focus on getting quality rest. The recuperation period is heavily crucial to your end goal.

On that note, you cannot train and eat junk food all the time. Whole foods are recommended to grow properly, that means nothing out of a box. Be sure to include all the food groups in your diet as they all supplement the different needs of your body.

muscle buildingYou’ll find that gaining weight will work your advantage as all that you gain will turn to muscle provided you train religiously. The figures will all add up in the end as you will find that it is impossible to build muscle on a tiny physique. Do not worry about losing pounds as eating the proper kinds of food will deter you from that.

On that note, consume a lot of protein as they have the highest thermic effect. This means that these kinds of food maintain the muscle. You can get protein from red meat, poultry, eggs, and fish (tofu is also an excellent source of protein, if you’re vegetarian).

The most vital piece of advice that any guide can give you on muscle building is to persist. Trust that all your effort is paying off and don’t worry if you don’t see results right away. This undertaking is a marathon after all, not a sprint.

What Are Muscle Building Supplements?

muscle building supplementsIn all sports, there are all kinds of equipment for all kinds of purposes. Body building, while no different in this aspect, has very specific needs as the competition focuses on the form of the body and not much else. In this way, muscle building supplements are an important part of this endeavour.

Bodybuilders need all the help they can get to promote and maintain the hypertrophy that comes with strength or weight training. This is not an easy feat as everything they do is a cumulative effort towards a single goal. One misstep could cost them the competition.

Having said that, they do need all the help they can get in having the optimum body. This is where muscle building supplements come in. Muscle building supplements come in all forms but only have one purpose—to complement the precise dietary needs of a bodybuilder.

The most popular among the supplements is of course the protein powder. This is more commonly known as protein shake which is consumed immediately after working out. The reason behind this is the theory that given enough protein, the body will recuperate and build muscles more rapidly.

But there are some who are of the opinion that your body can only process so much protein, thus rendering the supplementary shake moot. Some even argue that the excessive daily intake of this can cause adverse effects (read: weight gain). Still, when it comes to muscle building supplements, protein shakes are still the most popular thing around.

Meal replacement products (or MPRs) come in form of, again, powdered drinks or nutrition bars. These are designed to replace a whole food meal—they are essentially high in protein while low to moderate in carbohydrates and vitamins. MPRs can also contain other ingredients that are beneficial specifically to bodybuilders such as additional amino acids.

Perhaps the most controversial muscle building supplement in the market today is that of creatine. Creatine is a natural occurring organic acid in the body that gives a boost of energy to the muscle cells. As it is found in a multitude of food (like fish and beef), it has been difficult to ban the use of creatine in competitions.

Thermogenic products are sold to allegedly heat up the body and boost metabolism. There is a wide range of manifestations of the product—suffice it to say that anything marketed as something that will cause thermo genesis. But it should be said that the jury is still out on the effectiveness of this product.

Testosterone boosters are exactly what they sound like—substances that boost the testosterone levels in a person. While there are many natural as well as chemically induced ways in which to do this, all of them remain questionable as an increase in testosterone can also have unfavourable effects. These effects range from (but are not mutually exclusive to) hair loss and acne to producing more oestrogen to compensate for the testosterone.

These are some of the things that can accompany a bodybuilder’s regimen. But as you may have deduced, the effects of some of these muscle building supplements are hardly worth the risk. Still and all, with moderate consumption, they could give the extra edge that a bodybuilder could need.