50 Muscle Building Tips
Muscle Building Tip #1 – Evaluate Your Body
By evaluating your current body composition, body weight and body measurements, you give yourself a starting point. This will be very important in deciding what your nutritional and weight lifting goals will be. We suggest you record these body statistics on a weekly basis for the best results:
By recording these figures, you will know if you are on track with your goals. Remember to record these numbers and update them on a weekly basis.
Muscle Building Tip #2 – Use Basic Compound Movements
The best way to train for optimal strength gains and muscle mass is to use basic core weight training exercises which work many different muscle groups. These movements are considered the true mass builders and will stimulate muscular growth and strength gains in individuals who consistently use them in their overall strength training workout plan. These core exercises consist of:
•Barbell Bench Press
It’s very important to always have a training partner/spotter when doing these compound, core exercises and focus on really working hard by going to positive failure on every set (after warming up). This will really initiate muscle growth and provide the strength gains you’re after!
Here is sample workout routine to really add some muscle mass and strength to your physique! Make sure to get a full 3 minutes of rest between each set and fully recover after your intense workouts.
Monday – Legs
•Barbell Squats (3 sets of 8-12 reps) (3 minutes rest between sets)
•Power Cleans (3 sets of 8-12 reps) (3 minutes rest between sets)
Tuesday – Shoulders
•Military Presses (5 sets of 8-12 reps) (3 minutes rest between sets)
Thursday – Back
•Barbell Rows (5 sets of 8-12 reps) (3 minutes rest between sets)
Friday – Chest
•Barbell Bench Press (5 sets of 8-12 reps) (3 minutes rest between sets)
Muscle Building Tip #3 – Prime Your Body with Pre-Workout Meal
Always eat a small pre-workout meal consisting of some low glycemic carbs and a quality protein. A good meal is a half cup of rolled oats and a scoop of whey protein. This provides you with a sustained carb source to provide energy through your workout and a quality protein source to support muscle repair and growth.
Muscle Building Tip #4 – Keep a Detailed Journal
Keep a detailed weight training journal. This way you will be able to record all of your sets, reps and poundage for every exercise. You will have a record to look back on so you can see your overall strength gains and make changes if needed.
Muscle Building Tip #5 – Use Periodization Techniques
Periodization is a concept where you use cycles to break up your training. Regardless of your ultimate goal you should have a plan, and this plan needs to be broken up into your daily, weekly, and monthly workouts. So, you may have a week of heavy intense training, then a maintenance week of lighter training, the light week allows the muscles to recuperate, yet because they’re still being trained atrophy will not occur from disuse. In order to avoid a state of over training, and continue to grow, we need to recover. Remember your muscles do not grow in the gym, they grow when at rest. Many factors contribute to over training, including inadequate rest, continued heavy training, and deficiencies in diet & nutrition. By using periodization to map out your training you will avoid over training and keep your muscles in a state of continued adaption.
Principles that can be used when planning your training cycles:
•Cycle Training: this is where you break up your training into bulk cycles, strength cycles and cutting cycles; which will help keep your muscles in a responsive state.
•Split Training: this is breaking up your training into separate body parts each work-out which allows for shorter and more intense sessions.
•Muscle Confusion: your muscles adapt to stress, and ultimately you can reach a plateau. By constantly varying the exercises, weights, sets and reps you can ensure continued adaption.
•Progressive Overload: continue to increase different parameters in your training, whether it be more weight, increasing sets and reps, etc.
•Eclectic Training: using a variety of methods in your training, combining numerous techniques such as compound and isolation exercises.
Principles that can assist you in arranging each workout:
•Supersets: alternating two opposing muscle groups with little rest in between sets.
•Giant Sets: performing several exercises for a single muscle group with little rest in between sets.
•Muscle Priority: training a weaker body part first in your work out.
•Pre-Exhaustion: this is where you perform an isolation exercise preceding a compound exercise, e.g. leg extensions before squats.
•Pyramiding: beginning with a lighter weight, gradually increasing weight and lowering reps, then work backwards, decreasing weight and increasing reps.
•Stripping: going from a heavy weight, and stripping off weight each set as fatigue sets in.
Principles that can be used with each exercise:
•Forced reps: once failure has been reached on a set, your partner assists you in performing additional reps that could not be performed alone.
•Continuous tension: maintaining slow continuous tension throughout the rep, which will maximize red muscle fiber recruitment.
•Cheating: once failure is reached the weight is swung past your sticking point to complete the movement. (Useful when you do not have a spotter)
•Partial reps: as the name implies only part of the full movement is performed, e.g. only curling a barbell half way up, which can be effective due to the varying points of leverage.
•Peak contraction: at the completion of a set holding the weight fully contracted for a few seconds.
•Super speed: using a lighter weight, reps are performed explosively yet controlled, called “compensatory acceleration”, which can help with white fiber recruitment.
Muscle Building Tip #6 – Recover Properly With Post-Workout Meal
Always eat a post-workout meal consisting of a high quality protein and a high glycemic carbohydrate. After your workout is the ideal time to spike your insulin levels and re-supply your body with glycogen. A great post-workout meal consists of 2 scoops of high quality whey protein powder (I recommend Optimum Nutrition) and about 35-50 grams of carbs coming from either dextrose or maltodextrin. MRP’s like Myoplex or MetRX work great in this situation. Liquid meals are great after your workout because you don’t have to deal with the heavy digestion which real foods takes. The goal post workout is to maintain a prompt digestion rate so nutrients can transport swiftly and efficiently to our muscles.
Muscle Building Tip #7 – Eat More Calories
The most important thing that cannot be emphasized enough is that you NEED TO EAT to gain weight. You need to eat like you’ve never eaten before. If you are not eating enough calories, you will NEVER gain weight, no matter what you do. In order to build new muscle, you must eat more calories than your body burns off; creating what is called a caloric surplus. To gain mass, you should strive to eat at least 500 calories above your BMR every day. The extra calories will be used by your body to repair muscle tissue that is damaged during the heavy workouts, and to build new muscle.
Make sure that your diet consists of nutrient dense foods. All calories are not created equal! In other words, some types of calories are not equal to others for gaining muscle. For example, if I said that you need to eat 2,000 calories per day to gain weight, and you eat 4 bags of potato chips each day, do you think you would gain muscle? Not likely. The majority of your weight would be fat. Why? Because potato chips, like most processed junk food, contains empty, totally nutritionless calories. These foods do not provide you with the correct nutrient breakdown essential for gaining muscle.
Muscle Building Tip #8 – Always Switch Your Training Up
Add “periodization” training routines to shock the muscle. Focus on different rep ranges on each workout. Switch from high reps (12-20) for the first workout. Then to medium range (8-12) for the second and finally the power reps (3-8) for the last workout. The major factor in gaining quality muscle is intensity and switching up your training exercises, rep ranges and sets to shock the body into growth.
Muscle Building Tip #9 – Learn To Perform Each Exercise Correctly
Before you lift even one weight, you’d better know what you are doing. Learning the correct form for each exercise is crucial. You’ll increase your muscle building results, and greatly reduce your chance for injury.
Muscle Building Tip #10 – Use Photos to See Progress
Keep a detailed photo gallery of your progress. Pictures don’t lie. Buy an inexpensive digital camera and take pictures of yourself every week in your bikini or swimsuit. Snap 3 pictures ever week including a profile shot, frontal shot and rear shot. Include these with your diet diary and journal so you can see how your body looks each week while you make changes to your diet and exercise program. Remember, sometimes the scale does lie. Even though your scale may read that you have gained 2 pounds over the last 3 weeks, this could very easily be 2 pounds of lean muscle. Lean muscle is an extremely metabolic tissue and the more you have the more calories you burn even when you’re just sitting around! By adding photos of yourself, you will be able to reference your physical appearance from week to week. This basically takes the guess work out of getting into shape and is crucial for any fitness plan.
Muscle Building Tip #11 – Try Different Forms of Exercise
If you have always used free weights, then switch it up and try training with machines like “Hammer Strength”. These are excellent weight resistance machines and they will really work your muscles from different angles and different intensities. You should always strive to find new and exciting ways to work out and create resistance for muscle growth.
Muscle Building Tip #12 – Track Your Nutrition for Gains
Keep a detailed diet journal of all the foods you eat and how you feel at each meal. Were you extremely hungry? Were you tempted to grab that amazing looking Krispy Kreme donut? Write it down and you will have a wealth of knowledge to look back on.
Muscle Building Tip #13 – Consistency for Growth
A very important aspect of being able to build muscle, aside from doing the exercise, is to be consistent in your efforts. On again off again exercising proves to be more disappointing than anything else. To truly get results, you need to commit yourself to daily exercise! Human history has us in the fields chopping trees, plowing fields, planting food, hunting animals. We have come a long way from that, but our bodies still need the level of movement that was associated with those times. Get up from that computer, away from that desk, out from behind that steering wheel and spend some time doing some vigorous basic movements for the chest, back and legs! That in itself seems out of reach for a lot of people. The problem is that we tend to think about how much work it will be and how much time it will take and those numbers are too big. Instead, do this. Plan to do 15 minutes. That’s all. You will find that once you start, and 15 minutes have passed, you can easily do 10 or 15 more. The trick is to initially think small. Trick your brain into thinking of it as a small event. The second part is to continue with this daily. Well almost daily. Time off to recover is important too. In order to maintain consistency, choose a routine that you will be able to continue with. Plan to do a small routine daily. The small amounts, compounded daily, and then monthly produces results. If this means just using dumbbells then that is fine. The point is to stick with it. If lack of consistency sounds like your problem, then put this into practice and see how you improve. Think smaller, become more muscular. Remember, being lean is the body’s natural state. It strives for it.
Muscle Building Tip #14 – Have a Detailed Exercise Plan
You would never build a house without a site plan, would you? You would never just pick up a hammer, some nails and start pounding away hoping your dream home will be built perfectly. Just like building a house, when you build your body up, you need a plan to adhere to and follow.
Don’t just wander in and pick out the first five exercises you see. Have a detailed plan of action and know which body part you will be training, which exercises you will use and a specific repetition and set range you will implement. When you have a good exercise plan, you will know exactly what you need to do and your training session will have a smooth flow with no wasted time looking for exercises to perform.
Muscle Building Tip #15 – Pre-Workout Mental Priming
This exercise will help you stimulate your nervous system with the kind and quality of effort you want to generate while you train. Before your workout, clearly visualize yourself performing one set for each of the muscles you’ll be training. And experience yourself generating superior effort by pushing yourself, driving yourself, contracting to the max, and blasting ever fiber to the bone. (Take your time here; each time you perform this process, your visualizations will become more lifelike, and positively emotionally activating.)
Muscle Building Tip #16 – Always Shock Your Muscles
Always try to “trick” your muscles into growth. You never want to do the same exercises, reps and sets for each and every workout. You always want to shock your muscles into growing and adapting to new stimuli, so make sure to always switch up your training routines, number of sets and reps for each training session. Also, make sure to train at a high level of intensity and really push each set to positive failure (barely getting the last rep up).
You should always focus on increasing the weight lifted. If your muscles get used to lifting a specific amount of weight, then they will never want to get stronger or grow. Always try to trick your muscles with different reps/sets and keep your intensity levels up high enough so they always are forced to make changes and grow!
Muscle Building Tip #17 – Intensity Cycling
One of the biggest problems facing most people who want to gain muscle mass is frustration and burnout (or overtraining). This causes so many people to give up on their muscle building quest and just quit, figuring they aren’t genetically blessed and weight training doesn’t work for them.
This is a shame and one of the best ways to avoid this is to employ muscle building tips such as intensity cycling. In a perfect world, we could go all out all the time in our training and reach our goals very quickly. However, we don’t live in a perfect world and our jobs, significant others, and even our bodies, won’t always cooperate.
That’s where intensity cycling comes into play. The idea is to continually take two steps back to take three steps forward. You regularly vary your training intensity by making planned changes in the poundage you use and the effort level (intensity) that you put into your workouts.
The variables in these muscle building tips include training frequency, training volume (number of sets), exercise selection, use of high-intensity techniques, etc. When these muscle building tips are put together properly, you can systematically move past sticking points that you have had before in your training.
If we could train all out every workout, that would be the quickest way to make muscle building gains. While I am a big advocate of high intensity weight training, I realize that not many people can handle this kind of training at every workout. This is where intensity cycling comes into play.
The idea behind cycling is to take planned workouts over a period of 6 to 12 weeks and work up to top poundage that you’ve never used before. Once this is accomplished, you back off and then perform another training cycle, working up to poundage that is slightly higher than your previous best.
The best example of this is powerlifters. They’ve been using these muscle building tips for years to increase their top poundage in the bench press, squat, and deadlift. And all things being equal, you’ll have bigger chest muscles when you can bench press 250 pounds for 10 reps than you did when you could only bench 150 for 5 reps.
It is best to slightly modify what the power lifter does, as you are going for muscle mass gains, as opposed to strictly strength gains. And one way to do this is to use slightly higher reps than the powerlifter. You don’t want to peak with a 1 rep max lift. You want to increase your training poundage that you use for 6 to 20 reps.
Muscle Building Tip #18 – Maximize the Windows of Opportunity
You have two main windows of opportunity when you’re training. One is 30 minutes before you train (pre-workout meal) and another comes about 30-60 minutes after your workout (post-workout meal). The pre-workout meal should consist of a starchy carb and lean protein. The starchy carb will supply the energy you need to get through an intense workout. The protein provides the much needed fuel for your muscles, so they keep a positive nitrogen balance. A great pre-workout meal would be consumed 30 minutes before your workout and would consist of 1 cup of natural oatmeal with one scoop of protein powder. Try to stick with whey protein. Mix it with some water and microwave the dish for about 2 minutes. Stir it up and eat it with a big glass of water.
Your post-workout meal should be consumed as quickly after your workout as possible. This should consist of a simple sugar to spike your insulin levels and rush glycogen back into your muscles which are screaming for fuel by now. Try to stick with either dextrose or maltodextrin as your main source of simple sugar. These can be found in your MRP (meal replacement powder). Also, add another supply of protein to the mix. If you are using a post-workout dextrose based drink, add another scoop of whey protein to it and shake it up. If you’re drinking an MRP, you should be perfectly fine. Shoot for around 20-30 grams of protein before your workout and 30-50 grams of protein after your workout.
Muscle Building Tip #19 – Take a Multi-Vitamin
If you want to gain muscle, you must make sure that you are not deficient in any vitamin, mineral or trace element that your body needs. I know many people are going to disagree with me, but I believe that in this day, we absolutely need to supplement our diet with vitamins and minerals. I know that those who are against using vitamins are going to say that if we “just eat a balanced diet. . . “, You know the rest.
Well first, eating a balanced diet is easier said than done. America is the most overweight country in the world. Most people don’t even know what a “balanced” diet is. Balanced with what? Experts will continue to spout, “Eat a balanced diet,” while Americans feast on nutritionless fast food and sugar.
Second, not only do our bodies have to deal with the ever-increasing external stresses of everyday life, they also have to combat nutrient-depleting exercise. Food today is, for the most part, nutritionless – almost totally void of the body strengthening vitamins and minerals it contained one hundred years earlier. Instead, we now ingest over-processed, fiber less meals, and under-ripened vegetables grown in barren, over-farmed soil, laden with pesticides.
How healthy can that be? If you want to ignore the facts and continue on about “balanced diets,” fine. It’s your decision. But I, for one, eat a balanced diet, and I still take a multi-vitamin supplements.
Many multi-vitamin manufacturers try to put “everything” in their product, but it’s not necessary. At minimum, your multi-vitamin should contain the USRDA (recommended daily allowance) of vitamins A, B-complex, C, D, E, K and the minerals calcium, magnesium, zinc, iodine, selenium, and possibly iron (for women). Men should find a multi-vitamin without iron. You typically get more than enough iron from your food. Extra iron is needed only for menstruating women. It should also contain other essential nutrients like biotin, chromium, copper, manganese, molybdenum and pantothenic acid.
There are some vitamins and minerals that are best taken separately. Vitamin E, vitamin C, folic acid and calcium are best taken at higher dosages. Many proponents of multi-vitamins cite that taking that many vitamins and vitamins together causes negative interactions because they compete with each other for absorption. For example: magnesium, zinc, and calcium compete for absorption; copper and zinc also compete for absorption.
Muscle Building Tip #20 – Rest for Muscle Growth
One of the best pieces of exercise advice is to understand that your muscles grow when you’re resting not training. That’s right; you don’t actually get bigger and stronger when you’re in the gym. It’s what you do after your workout that’s the real key to muscle growth. If you don’t let your muscles recover correctly, your body will become over trained and it will be in a state of constant “catch up”. This is far from the ideal state that you want your body in. What you want is to truly prime your body for your next workout and give it enough rest and recuperation to fully optimize your training.
The worst thing you can do is over train your body. This will lead to muscle atrophy (breaking down muscle) and you may experience the flu because of this. When you train, make sure to limit your resistance training sessions to 45 minutes maximum. Your body’s testosterone levels start decreasing after about 45 minutes, so any time after this length and you’re really just wasting your time. Focus on hitting it with a high level of intensity for 45 minutes and get out of there. Take care of business and start your recuperation. When you get back from your workout, you might also try sitting in a Jacuzzi or sauna to really relax and let your muscles recover. Rest is extremely important when training hard, so make sure to take the time to recover and grow from your training sessions.
Muscle Building Tip #21 – Eat Enough Good Fats
One mistake wannabe lifters make is to not eat enough good fats. When I first began lifting and eating seriously, I would try my best to steer away from fats. Little did I know that fats were actually important in growth. One good thing to know about good fats is that there is a direct relationship between fat and testosterone levels.
Most people are overweight because of a diet high in simple carbohydrates, not from eating fats. If your diet is too low in fat, your body will actually make a point to store any fat it gets, because it doesn’t know when it will get more. A low-fat diet will also lower testosterone levels, something we do not want when trying to gain weight. Studies have shown that dietary fat has a direct relationship with testosterone production. An increase in dietary fat intake seems to bring on an increase in testosterone levels. The inverse is also true. A decrease in dietary fat intake is usually accompanied by a decrease in free testosterone levels.
A perfect example of this is when bodybuilders diet down for a show, so to speak. They are limiting their caloric and fat intake to achieve that stage condition. However, when they are on this restrictive diet, it is impossible for them to grow. That is why bodybuilders “bulk up” and then “cut up” because it’s either one or the other. Good sources of fat is salmon which contains omega-3 fatty acids, essential fatty acids, flaxseed oil, and conjugated linoleic acid.
Muscle Building Tip #22 – Get Motivated With Friends
One of the biggest motivational factors for succeeding with your muscle mass plan is to have others involved with you. When someone else has the same goals as you do, it’s easier to succeed. You will have someone to push you when you need it, and also have emotional support when times get tough. Get your friends involved and watch your muscle mass improve!
Muscle Building Tip #23 – Focus On the Big Lifts
Stop wasting your time on exercises that don’t produce rapid results. Concentrate on the basics. The best muscle building exercises are squats, barbell bench presses, rows and deadlifts.
These four exercises should be the foundation for your whole exercise program. Most people do pec deck, dumbbell kickbacks and curls – and then wonder why they don’t get any results! If you’re not doing at least two of these four muscle building exercises each workout, you might as well not go to the gym.
Muscle Building Tip #24 – Visualize For Success
The human brain is one of the most incredible creations on earth and it’s been gifted with the wonderful ability to imagine. Visualization has much to do with our success in setting goals. When you set goals for yourself, the key to achieving them is to visualize yourself accomplishing them. Visualizing success is important for two reasons. First, the mind thinks in terms of pictures. Second, the subconscious mind drives much of our behavior. The subconscious does not know the difference between something that is real and something that is vividly imagined, so whatever picture you consistently think about will drive you to create that exact reality.
A great visualization technique is to spend 10 minutes every night while lying in bed with your eyes closed and visualize in detail how you want your body to look. Start from the ground up and focus your visualization on how you want your legs to look, and then move up to your hips and thighs. Focus attention on your midsection, then your chest arms and shoulders. Finally, visualize your new lean and vibrant face.
Muscle Building Tip #25 – Drink Your Water
People are not aware of the need for pure clean water in their lives. The body is made up of 70% water. Your blood, muscles, ligaments, joints and tissues are all made up of water. Water is used as a medium to transport nutrients into the cells for processing. I bought a distiller a long time ago and have it running almost all day. I drink at least 10 liters a day and almost always 1.5 liters or more during my workouts. When I first wake up in the morning, a glass of pure clean water starts my day. Distilled water by itself will help your body clean itself. Now there is a lot of controversy over spring water or reverse osmosis processed water vs. distilled. I have tried them all and find that distilled simply tastes the cleanest! “Water is your life, the better your water, the better your life” said Norman Walker who lived into his nineties.
Muscle Building Tip #26 – Keep Visual Motivational Reminders
Visual reminders can really help motivate and inspire you to stay on your muscle building plan. Cut out pictures of your ideal body and put them on your bathroom mirror, bedroom night stand or your office desk. These will remind you what your physical goals are and keep you on track to reach them. It’s important to note that although this technique is a great motivator, you should not strive to look exactly like the pictures you choose as inspiration. Know that everyone’s bodies are different and genetics play a big part with the way your physique will appear in shape and symmetry. Work hard to get the best body you can achieve within your limits.
Muscle Building Tip #27 – Eat Plenty of Carbohydrates
Carbohydrates are needed to fuel your body during exercise. The storage form of carbohydrates is glycogen. The idea here is to super saturate glycogen levels so that the body never has to dip into protein for energy production. The higher the level of carbs in the body, the more likely you are going to remain in an anabolic environment. Carbs also play a role in the release of insulin. As you know, insulin is the body’s most potent anabolic hormone. It promotes gluconeogenesis, protein synthesis, and the formation of adipocytes. In short, the release of insulin is required to promote an anabolic environment and carbs help by releasing insulin.
Ingesting three grams of carbs per pound of bodyweight daily will provide your body with plenty of calories for energy, ensuring that your protein derived calories will be left to support muscle growth and repair. Here is a list of nutrient dense carbs to choose from:
Grains, complex carbohydrates, fiber
•Oats, Old Fashioned
•Whole wheat bread
•Whole wheat pastas
•Whole wheat Tortillas
Vegetables, complex carbohydrates, fiber
•Green or Red Pepper
Fresh Fruit (fructose)
Muscle Building Tip #28 – Plan Your Meals Ahead
Planning your meals ahead is a great muscle building tip to keep you on track with your daily nutritional plan. By planning meals, you will have a set schedule to adhere to and know exactly what to eat at specific times of the day. You can even take it to another level and pre-cook your meals. Many body builders will pre-cook their entire week of meals and store them in Tupperware bowls. Along with these pre-cooked meals, you can store quick protein snacks like protein bars for tasty treats during the day.
Muscle Building Tip #29 – Emphasize the Negative
Muscle growth is the logical byproduct of muscle contraction. Much emphasis is placed on the concentric phase of a lift where the muscle shortens as it contracts. But the stretching of the muscle during the eccentric, or negative, phase where the muscle lengthens while maintaining tension can directly cause muscle hypertrophy, too. Emphasizing the negative is an easy technique to overload muscles and promote radical gains in mass.
Muscle Building Tip #30 – Choose Lean Protein Sources
Some protein sources are very high fat (bacon) while others are nearly fat-free and low in calories (egg whites). Some of the best choices include skinless chicken breast, turkey breast, egg whites, albacore tuna, halibut and top round meat. You can also include whey protein powders into your diet which provide a very low calorie protein source and tastes great when mixed with a small amount of fruit and blended as a smoothie. Here is a list of lean protein foods to include in your muscle building plan:
•Chicken breast (skin removed)
•Turkey breast (skin removed)
•Fish fillet (flounder, sole, scrod, cod, etc.)
•Shellfish (clams, lobster, scallop, shrimp)
•Lean beef (top round)
•Tuna (albacore canned in water)
•Non-fat cottage cheese
•Beans (black beans, kidney, chick peas or lentils)
•Whey protein powder
Muscle Building Tip #31 – Cut Down Your Cardio Workouts
Don’t make the mistake of trying to build muscle and lose fat at the same time. Do one or the other. Performing intense cardio daily will greatly hamper your muscle building efforts. Cardio exercise has a detrimental effect on mass building. Cardio interferes with strength gains and recovery while burning up valuable glycogen and branched chain amino acids (BCAA). Adding mass is the best way to upgrade your resting metabolic rate (RMR); is the RMR is elevated, more calories are burned and it is easier to stay lean.
Muscle Building Tip #32 – Create a 500 Calorie Surplus
To gain body mass safely and keep it on, start out by creating a 500 calorie surplus per day (above your BMR). Over the course of a week, this equals out to 3,500 calories or 1 pound. Try this small increase for 1-2 weeks and monitor your body fat levels and photos to make sure you are nor gaining body fat. Then, increase your overall calories by another 500 calories for another 1-2 weeks and strictly monitor your body stats (weight, body fat). By making these small increases in caloric levels, you will be able to closely monitor your progress and make sure all your hard work is paying off.
The best way to hit this 500 number every day is keep a detailed journal (Nutrition Tracker) and slowly add one extra meal per day. This meal can be a protein shake or mini-meal to increase your calories. Don’t go overboard with increasing your calories too high. If you go way over, you might start packing on body fat and this is the last thing you want. Also focus on eating only nutrient dense foods and avoid empty calories.
Muscle Building Tip #33 – Increase Rest Intervals during Training
Taking time to rest between sets allows for immediate recovery within the muscle. That will enable you to train with heavier weights. It’s amazingly simple. Heavy poundage (plus good form) equal more mass. My recommendation is to rest for no less than two minutes, but no more than three minutes, after each set.
Muscle Building Tip #34 – Use Music to Motivate
Exercise is one of the major factors to keep the weight off permanently. Everyone gets burned out with their exercise plan from time to time. Music serves to take your mind off of the fact you are exercising. It’ll distract you from your fatigue and possible muscle soreness. Working out will become more pleasurable than simple monotonous movements. There is no one specific musical genre best combined with exercise; that clearly depends on your personal taste. Some great ideas, though, for something upbeat include salsa, country, big band, disco, or even funk. Pick songs you can sing along to, or that have a great rhythm.
Muscle Building Tip #35 – Change Your Workout Routine Often
Your body is very efficient at adapting to change. After as few as six weeks, your muscle building efforts may come grinding to a halt. When this happens you need to change your workout – and expose your body to a new muscle building program. Changing your workout regularly also helps eliminate boredom. Try rearranging the exercise order, try new exercises or change the number of sets and reps for each exercise.
Muscle Building Tip #36 – Self Talk to Success
Words can have tremendous power over our minds and bodies. By telling yourself positive words every day you can define your desired goals and aspirations. A great exercise is to stand in front of the mirror in the morning and say words to motivate and inspire you. Use internal dialogue throughout the day to reinforce positive thoughts which will help you reach your goals. By using powerful self-talk, you will be able to:
•Increase your effectiveness
•Heighten your productivity
•Enhance your self-esteem
•Experience greater success
Muscle Building Tip #37 – No Cardio before Weight Training
NEVER do cardio before you weight train! It’s ok to do a cardio warm up for 5-10 minutes at a very low intensity, but you should conserve your energy for weight training. Cardio before weight training will tap into your glycogen levels and burn off this much needed fuel for your intense training session.
Muscle Building Tip #38 – Make Sure To Eat Breakfast
Always try to eat a very nutritious breakfast. This should be one of your largest meals of the day and the most important. Eating a healthy breakfast is crucial for providing the correct fuel to get you going. Your body has been fasting for 6-10 hours from sleeping and is primed for re-fueling. Researchers have found that people who ate breakfast every day were a third less likely to be obese compared to those who skipped the meal. In addition, they were half as likely to have blood-sugar problems, which increase the risk of developing diabetes or having high cholesterol, which is a known risk factor for heart disease. The researchers believe that eating first thing in the morning may help to stabilize blood sugar levels, which regulate appetite and energy. They suggest people who eat breakfast are less likely to be hungry during the rest of the day and are, therefore, less likely to overeat.
Muscle Building Tip #39 – Monitor Your Muscle Building Program
It is very important that you monitor and evaluate your program on an ongoing basis. By evaluating and monitoring your muscle building program, you can update or make any adjustments that may be needed to fine tune your plan.
You should evaluate your progress on a weekly basis. By evaluating your program on a weekly basis, you can decide whether your training program needs to be adjusted or whether you need to add or cut down on calories.
Muscle Building Tip #40 – Include Protein at Each Meal
You should include a lean protein source at every meal. Your muscles need protein. You need the amino acids that comprise the protein we consume to repair, maintain and facilitate growth in muscles. Protein is also used in a host of other ways by the body, specifically by enzymes, blood and other cells. Adding protein at each meal will generally reduce the glycemic index of the meal. Focus on getting at least 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight. So, if your weight is 175 lbs., try to eat at least 175 grams of protein per day.
Muscle Building Tip #41 – Keep Yourself Motivated
Motivation is the juice that keeps the machine moving. Throughout your muscle building program, it is very important that you stay focused and motivated. Although this may seem a little harder than you may expect.
Just remember that not all of your workouts are going to be 100%. It’s important to know that there will be times when you just don’t feel like working out or your workouts don’t feel quite right. Feeling like this for one or two workouts is normal, but if it persists, your body is telling you to try something new or to take some time off. There will also come a time when your muscle gains and progress will come to a halt. Yes, it will happen but don’t get discouraged; it has happened to us all, even the best. The important thing to remember is to keep going, don’t quit. If you find yourself in a rut, think of it as a challenge. Try and find new ways to gain.
Muscle Building Tip #42 – Have a Protein Snack
A wonderful, healthy and refreshing treat is a protein smoothie. Protein smoothies can easily replace your cravings for a milkshake and provide the important nutrients your muscles needs to recover and grow. Pour 2 cups of Carb Countdown milk into a blender with a few scoops of your favorite protein powder (whey, soy, egg) along with 1 cup of fruit (apple, banana, strawberries, blueberries) and some ice cubes. Blend this up and enjoy! Choose a protein powder that is low in sugar and has a great flavor. Optimum Nutrition carries a great line of 100% whey protein powder in several delicious flavors.
Another great way to make sure you’re getting enough protein is to include nutrient dense protein snacks throughout the day. These are quick meals which satisfy your hunger and provide a rush of muscle building protein:
•Black beans and albacore tuna (water packed)
(Mix a can of each and microwave.)
•Protein powder and non-fat cottage cheese
(Mix a scoop of protein with a cup of cottage cheese.)
(Choose one with at least 20 grams of protein, a maximum of 5 grams of sugar and 300 calories. Throw a box in the freezer and they will make a great snack. They’re really good for hitting that sweet tooth late at night.)
•GeniSoy Soy Crisps
(The perfect richly seasoned, low-fat baked alternative to traditional high-fat chips. Each serving contains a unique blend of soy and rice offering 7 grams of soy protein and a surprisingly low 2 grams of fat.)
Muscle Building Tip #43 – Train Your Legs
Don’t forget to train your most important body part, your legs. The body grows through the release of growth hormone (among other factors). The largest muscle group on your body is your legs and this will cause the highest level of released growth hormone. Make sure to focus your leg day to very intense training, proper nutrition and plenty of rest to recover. You can even increase your calories a little (500-600) on leg day. This way you will be sure to properly fuel your body and prime it for growth.
Muscle Building Tip #44 – Monitor Your Body Fat
You will work very hard weight training and sticking to a healthy diet, so make sure you monitor your body fat levels to be positive that you are truly gaining lean muscle mass and not packing on adipose tissue (body fat). Have a professional test your body fat with either hydrostatic weighting (underwater) or with bioelectrical impedance (sensors). These will give you a very accurate measure of your current body fat percentage and will provide instant feedback to your overall muscle building plan.
Muscle Building Tip #45 – Avoid Injury
Gym safety is important. Safety spotters (human or machine) can be a tremendous asset. Do not be afraid to utilize someone who can spot or provide assistance. Always know your limits and don’t push yourself over natural boundaries. Most people would be more than willing to assist as a spotter. You should begin all workouts using high reps and a light weight. Eventually, the weight load will increase causing the repetition range to become lower. When you get to this point, think wisely. Remember, if you get injured you can can’t. If you don’t train, you WILL lose muscle mass. So, make sure to stay safe, perform the exercises correctly with strict form and ask for a spot when you need one.
Muscle Building Tip #46 – Eat Several Meals per Day
By eating multiple meals every day, you will increase your metabolism and provide a steady supply of protein and calories to your muscles. It will also amp up your energy and keep your insulin levels constant. Ideally, you should eat 5 to 6 times per day, with about 3 hours between each meal. Imagine yourself grazing versus hoarding. You want to graze on nutrient dense foods several times instead of hoarding on large amounts of foods a few times a day. Your body can only assimilate a specific amount of protein per meal, so by eating multiple protein packed meals every day, you provide a continuous source of muscle building nutrients to your body.
Muscle Building Tip #47 – Get Adequate Rest between Sets
Rest periods between sets is an integral and often overlooked contributor to the success of any muscle building program. For gaining strength and packing on muscle mass, the ideal amount of time between sets is roughly 3-4 minutes. Allowing this amount of time will provide ample recovery time for your muscles, and thus, refuel your muscles with the strength it needs to conquer the next grueling set.
Muscle Building Tip #48 – Set Short Term Goals
Short term goals are important for developing a solid muscle building program. By setting short term goals, you will have the framework to follow so you can make small changes in your daily routine which will develop into healthy habits to last a lifetime. Focus on a weekly goal of gaining 1-2 pounds lean mass. This is the healthiest amount of weight gain per week and is the correct level to make sure you’re not packing on body fat. To reach this 1 pound weight gain per week, focus on creating a 500 calorie surplus in your overall calories every day. At the end of the week, check in to weigh yourself and take your body measurements. You should also take photographs of yourself to document how you look.
Muscle Building Tip #49 – Stay Symmetrical
When working out, do not favor body parts. This can cause muscular imbalances. For example, having a big upper body and skinny legs is not balance. Proper balance is a necessity. If it gets to the point where muscular imbalance becomes a problem, try priority training. This concept involves training a lacking muscle first or with the most attention. For example, if the legs are not in proportion with the upper body, train them at the beginning of the week instead of training chest at the beginning of the week. For some, training a certain muscle twice a week may be the solution to muscular imbalances.
Muscle Building Tip #50 – Choose Smart Supplements
With so many nutritional supplements out on the market, it’s very difficult to decipher which ones are beneficial and which ones are complete fluff. Approximately 95% of the supplements out there are simply marketing hype and a complete waste of money. Make sure to save your money and stick with the core supplements to assist you in your muscle building program. Here are the core supplements you want to include:
•Glutamine is known as the immunity amino. If you are overly stressed from dieting or training, the immune system kicks in, releasing glutamine into the bloodstream. Having low levels of glutamine will inhibit muscle growth – that’s why supplementing with glutamine is important.
•Creatine is associated with added power and the ability to produce more adenosine triphosphate (ATP) – the chemical fuel source for training and growth. Supplementing with Creatine allows bodybuilders to raise Creatine levels in the muscle – therefore enhancing strength and ATP – without the unwanted fat that you’d be saddled with by getting all your Creatine exclusively from food.
Whey protein is an excellent protein choice for individuals of all ages who value the role of a healthy diet in helping to maintain and improve their health. Whey protein isolate, the purest form available, is unsurpassed as a source of the essential amino acids required in the daily diet. Essential amino acids are the building blocks for healthy muscles, skin, nails and other body tissue.
•Multi-Vitamin/Mineral are substances your body needs in small but steady amounts for normal growth, function and health. Together, vitamins and minerals are called micronutrients. Your body can’t make most micronutrients, so you must get them from the foods you eat or, in some cases, from supplements.
There you have the top 50 Muscle Building Tips from Fit for Faith Ministries to you. Fit for Faith Minitstry is dedicated and committed to educating, motivating and empowering you to become a better steward of the body that God has given you. Fit for Faith is Building a Stronger Body of Believers.