There are no short cuts to building muscle – it takes dedication and discipline. You will need to lift weights using techniques that target different muscle groups, progressively building up the weight in a safe, consistent way. You will need to ensure your nutrition is conducive to promoting healthy muscle growth, and you will need to engage in muscle care to avoid injuries that can set you back in your progress.
Be realistic: you aren’t going to be bench pressing 90kg straight off the bat, particularly if you haven’t exercised before. A good idea is to explore your limits. The ‘1-rep max’ can be a good indicator of where you’re at; it means the maximum weight you can lift for a single repetition, and can help you work out what weight you can manage for more reps. To build muscle, you want to focus on low repetitions and high weight – when you’re lifting close to your 1-rep max, you should aim for 5-6 reps, and when you’re lifting a little lighter you should aim for 10-12.
There are known exercises that are commonly used to target specific muscle groups. You need to learn them, and find what works best for you. In a single workout, it is best to focus on two opposing muscle groups like traps and pecs, biceps and triceps, etc. Popular exercises to research include:
Explore, and find what works for you.
Warming up before lifting is important to get the blood pumping to the muscles and the heart-rate elevated. You should also stretch the muscles after exercising to help promote recovery and healthy growth. After a workout, you need to give your body the necessary fuel to repair the micro-tears in your muscles, as this is the biological process behind muscle growth. Lots of protein and carbohydrates are important to achieve this, but be sure to maintain balance in your diet.
Building muscle is not easy, and will require hard graft and discipline to achieve. These are the basics for you to build on to produce a robust framework for building muscle successfully.
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