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Helpful Tips for Building Muscle

Aug 11, 2008
Bodybuilding is a discipline, and it involves much more than simply pumping iron three times a week. In many ways, it will involve big changes in your lifestyle. The good part about it is that these changes will always be for the better, ultimately adding more healthy years to your life. Now who wouldn't want that?

Do some cardiovascular exercises to start each day at the gym. Before hitting the weights and exercise machines, start with a warm-up. Cardiovascular workouts like biking, walking, and jogging are some of the many cardio workouts that warm the muscles and get them better able to handle the upcoming strain.

Throw some flexibility exercises into the mix. In a more subtle form of pre-weightlifting activities, you can also do some stretching. Common examples of flexibility exercises include Tai Chi, the Pilates method and Yoga. Standard stretching is actually okay, but why not crank it up a notch and avail of some additional spiritual and psychological benefits?

Speaking of cranking things up...

Go for the extra repetition, extra set, and extra mile. In every exercise, strive to put 110% into your effort. Testing and breaking limits is the only way to gain muscle and strength. Muscle failure happens when you find yourself unable to do anymore repetitions with proper form, and it is advisable to find weights that let you reach muscle failure between 8-12 repetitions.

Drink enough fluids to keep yourself going. When training, always keep yourself hydrated. Drink a cup of water before starting a workout and drink another cup every 30 minutes after. Sports drinks like Gatorade have added electrolytes and nutrients in them, which your body tends to lose through sweat after a very exhausting workout. If you can afford it, have a sports drink handy when you hit the gym.

Rest adequately to let your muscles repair themselves and grow. It is always advisable to give yourself at least 24 hours of rest after a workout. Muscles grow when they are resting, not while you're working out. This is the reason why the best bodybuilding routines involve three or four days as 'gym' days, spaced evenly with rest days in between.

Strive to keep a balanced diet, even if 'balanced' is a relative term. Gym instructors would tell you to follow a 40:40:20 (carbohydrate: protein: fats) ratio in your daily intake. Since you need to buff up, you don't need to eat less. In fact, ideally, you have to take 5 to 7 small meals a day! Carbohydrates give you the energy, protein builds muscle, and fat (the good types, such as Omega-3 fatty acids) keeps your health and body weight level. It's also a good idea to invest in supplements, such as a tub of Creatine powder, for an added boost in muscle gain.

Finally, don't give up. Bodybuilding routines may take a few weeks before any visible muscle growth becomes evident. But that shouldn't surprise you as nothing great comes easy.
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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