Training for Muscle Mass
Training to increase muscle mass requires commitment, discipline, and consistency. To get the sculpted and muscular look, you need to adhere to three basic principles: a nutrition program that includes sufficient protein intake for building muscles and maintaining low body fat, a training program that complements your nutrition program and includes weight training and aerobic exercise to maintain low body fat and enhance muscles, and finally, a muscle building program that targets the major muscles and sculpts and defines the required body parts. Below are some tips for weight training to build muscle mass.
Volume and Intensity
It is best to start with a training program that is high in volume and medium in intensity. ‘Volume’ is the quantity of sets and repetitions that you have to do while ‘intensity’ is the actual weight that you will have to lift. For best results, you should perform 10 to 15 lifts per set, with only less than a minute break between weight training exercise sets. When you exercise more intensely, you will feel a burning sensation in your muscles, which is actually the production of lactic acid, known to stimulate muscle growth. Some speculate that lactic acid increases growth hormone production.
For every exercise set that you do, push it to the limits that your body can achieve before it experiences fatigue from too much repetition so that you can decrease it gradually. For example, in a three-set exercise, you can start by lifting a heavy weight, doing a maximum of 15 repetitions in the first set, reducing it to 13 repetitions in the second set, and finally finishing off at 11 lifts on the third set. This weight training guide will prevent over fatigue of your muscles.
Condition and Strength
In weight training, there is what is called the “Big Three,” which includes the squat, the bench press, and the deadlift. Utilize these three in your weight training exercises because they build strength and muscle mass, and they also condition your body to take on more intensity as you go along.
Ideally, you should train three times a week to build sufficient exercise volume and a muscle-building stimulus. For beginners, two sessions per week is a good start and they can increase the training sessions to three a week when they have conditioned their bodies and have built enough strength. Experienced weight trainers may want to increase more session, up to six sessions a week. Weight training for muscle mass also depends on the frequency of the weight training exercises.
If your goal is to build bigger muscles, focus on lifting weights; do not attempt to train for a marathon at the same time. While mixing cardio and weight training could make a good fitness combination, doing both things simultaneously in the extremes can be contradicting in terms of biochemistry and physiology, and will not give you maximum results for either one. In the end, your training for muscle mass could end up being futile. You should concentrate on one or the other.
Nutrition is essential if you want to pack in more muscle mass. The tricky part about building muscles is that you have to eat in excess when bulking up and then cut down your food intake when trimming the extra unwanted fat and maintaining a sculpted look. When dropping your food intake, it is best to cut down the refined carbohydrates and fat while maintaining your protein intake. A good rule of thumb is to eat well during the days that you exercise, especially before and after the exercise, and then significantly decrease your intake during the days that you do not exercise. However, make sure that you do not overeat on the days of your training for muscle mass. Choose healthy foods such as lean meat, vegetables and fruits. Fast food and junk food will just build unwanted and unsightly fat. Good muscle mass is only attained with good nutrition and of course weight training.