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The Basics Of Working Out And Building Muscle

Mar 14, 2008
There are certain steps you must take in your workouts if you're looking to build muscle, lose fat, and increase your strength.

Before engaging in any form of weight training, do some kind of warm-up for 5 minutes prior to hitting the weights. You do not want to start cold. You will not be as strong or as energetic.

Start your first exercise with a very light, easy set of ten repetitions. Never warm-up to the point of failure or exhaustion. You will be expending much needed energy if you do, energy that will be needed for the last heavy sets.

Make sure your workouts are under 45 minutes. This is important for several reasons. First, it is easier to focus intensely for 45 minutes than it is an hour or more.

Harness the power of focus. Also, hormones that assist the muscle building process peak around 30-45 minutes, so take advantage of this "muscle-building" (anabolic) window. If you go too long, the hormones begin to drastically drop off and the release of muscle destroying (catabolic) hormones increases.

Rest at least 1 minute in between your lighter sets and at least 2 minutes between your heavy sets.

Many people mistakenly believe that if they speed up their weight training workout by not stopping in between sets, they will increase the likelihood of fat-burning. What you are really doing is increasing the likelihood of never getting stronger or more muscular.

When you do not rest between sets, your cellular energy levels have not been replenished enough to handle the weight that is about to come. If you are not as strong or stronger on your next set, you have in fact, negated any potential overload and have wasted your set. You must feel strong enough after one set before you try doing another.

Think of a set as a certain high point. If you do not hit that same point, or better yet, go above that point on your next set, you have not gained anything for doing it.

Train only one or two muscle groups per workout. It is extremely hard to focus when you are training more than two muscle groups. It is extremely hard to train intensely when doing more than two muscle groups.

When you train more than two, the muscles towards the end of your workout are getting cheated because the most energy is being spent on the first muscles. Your energy tank will be close to "E" when it is time for the third muscle group.

Now, once in a while, if you are time strapped, adding three muscle groups to a workout, like chest, shoulders, triceps, will not create much of a problem, but do not make it a habit. Once again, harnessing the power of focus and intensity is easier accomplished when training just one or two muscle groups.

Train each muscle group only once in a five to seven day period. Never think that training a certain muscle more than once a week will lead to better results. The opposite is true, the more you train a muscle group, the more tired and fatigued it becomes.

Take a full seven days in between training a specific muscle group. If you train your chest and back on Monday, you do not want to train them again until the following Monday. The muscles need time to recover and recuperate before they are able to handle any additional overload.

What most people do not realize is that you actually build muscle when you are resting out of the gym, not when you are weight training.

Weight training just stimulates the muscle and creates a situation where your muscle needs to adapt and get stronger. Your muscles do not actually grow or get bigger until you are resting out of the gym and feeding them proper nutrition.

The biggest problem people have is this next tip, but after I tried it, I will always do it. After 2 full months of solid training (weights and cardio), take a FULL WEEK OFF!! That's right, an entire week off from any cardio or weight training.

This week will be essential in resting and recuperating from eight full weeks of training. This is your "recharge" period, time to let your muscles heal and completely recover. I guarantee, after a week off, you will come back stronger and more muscular.

Have you ever been real tired of work and just couldn't wait for a vacation. Then, when you take one, each day you are off you start feeling more rested. When your vacation is finished, you feel much more refreshed and energetic (even though you still don't want to go back to work).

People under estimate the power of rest.

Weight training, especially heavy, intense weight training, is a stress to the body, and if not given the proper time to rest or recover, injury and sickness will result. So do your body a big favor and take a week off after eight full weeks of training.

These are some of the most basic, proven steps you need to take when working out and building muscle.
About the Author
Learn, step by step, how to build muscle, lose fat, and skyrocket your strength. Check out fitness trainer Shawn Lebrun's proven workout and nutrition program: Get Huge And Shredded
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