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How to Gain Muscle Mass

Jul 22, 2008
The keys to gaining muscle mass include eating a balanced diet, a healthy lifestyle, enough sleep, and regular and proper weight training exercise.

DIET

You need enough protein for your muscles to develop. The more protein, the better. Lean red meat should always be a part of your diet. Lean meats contain just about the right amount of nutrients to help muscles grow. As a rule, you should take in at least one gram of protein per pound of body weight per day. This can be easily done by properly spacing your meals into six small servings a day. The proper combination of high protein diet and the proper kind of workout will help you gain the right amount of mass for your muscles. However, as a word of caution, you must integrate all the food groups into your diet daily since a protein-only diet cannot sustain a healthy body.

LIFESTYLE

Avoid smoking and excessive drinking. Smoking can cause cancer, as well as a host of other medical conditions. Taking in too much alcohol can also have a bad effect on the health. The key here is moderation.

It is also a good idea to keep the mind sharp. Activities like reading or a hobby can promote good mental health. While the brain technically isn't a muscle, it still needs to be exercised as an integral part of your body.

SLEEP

Your body grows and heals itself when you are asleep. You must get enough sleep all the time to promote optimum muscle development. You shouldn't sleep too late or wake up too late either. 6 to 8 hours of sleep every night is just about right to maximize your growth potential. Also, rest at least 24 hours between trips to the gym.

PROPER WEIGHT TRAINING

It is wiser to use free weights when bulking up. Dumbbells and barbells are more effective than machines in building muscle mass. Free weights tend to make your ancillary muscles work as well, since you need to balance the dumbbells when you lift them. The greater range of motion afforded by free weights simply increases the number of muscles utilized in the training and so results are better.

Here are a few additional tips in gaining muscle mass:

- When lifting free weights, it is advisable to do 12-16 sets per exercise. Find a weight that causes muscle failure (when the muscles can't handle any more repetitions) within 8-12 repetitions per set. You may need to pace yourself when only starting out, then gradually work your way up to this setup.

- Pay attention to muscles that are less developed and work on them more to achieve a balanced physique.

- Exercise only two or three muscle groups in a day. It's advisable to work out your shoulders, triceps, and chest on the same day, and your biceps and back on the next gym session.
About the Author
If you're struggling with pushing past training plateaus and need help then check out Cliff's site: www.MuscleBuildingProgramReview.com/. There is a free 'body building blunders' mini-course to help you get on track.
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