Exercise and Fitness: Building Muscle Mass
Building muscle mass does not happen overnight and consistent training is the key. Training heavy is important, but you must make sure you are performing enough exercises for each body area and enough sets per exercise. An example of a muscle building program is to perform on average four exercises per body part and four sets of each exercise. That is about 16 sets per body part per workout. Many people pyramid the weights up while other people pyramid the weight down. I would suggest a combination, one week go up and the next pyramid down. You should not pyramid down until you know what your sub-max weight is for each exercise. It is a good idea to hire an experienced fitness trainer to help you with this type of training. With strength/muscle building training you should train each body part one time per week. It is very hard training, but this is one way to add substantial muscle mass. Make sure you vary the exercises and workouts so that your body does not adapt to the training. Once your body adapts to the training you will plateau. You must constantly challenge the muscles in order to build muscle mass. Core gets trained more often than once per week and ,make sure you keep up with your flexibility training.
In other words, if you want to look like a bodybuilder you must train like a body builder. If you cannot hire a trainer to get you started try to find a workout partner who has been successful with muscle building training for a number of years. You should be performing squats, bench press, overhead press, and many other exercises with free weights as well as use the machines for some exercises. Training for muscle mass is very intense. You must be injury free and very healthy to train for muscle mass. Please make sure you discuss your exercise plan with your doctor before you begin.
To add muscle mass you must also take a look at your diet. Nutrition is extremely important for any type of training. You may be eating healthy, but there is a chance you should make a few changes to help with your goals. You must look at the number of calories you are eating vs. the number of calories you are burning. You should be eating some protein and carbohydrate at the end of each workout, within 20 minutes. I would not recommend you start drinking protein shakes because you can get all of the nutrients you need through good food. The quality of the food you eat will play an important role in your success. You may not be eating enough calories. Go to WWW.MYPYRAMID.GOV for safe and accurate nutrition information. There are nutrition tools on that website to help you design the best eating plan for you. Another healthy eating website is WWW.EATHEALTHY.ORG . You must also remain well hydrated. Drink Gatorade before, during, and after your workout. For information on Gatorade and sports nutrition you should go to WWW.GSSIWEB.COM . There are many useful articles on that website.
Be sure to take a close look at the cardiovascular training and your other calorie burning activities. Many people training for muscle mass limit their cardiovascular training to a few days per week. Building muscle mass is not easy if you are burning too many calories. Many people training for mass use stationary bikes rather than elliptical machines and stair climbers. Riding a stationary bike does not burn as many calories as the weight bearing cardiovascular machines. It is a good idea to alternate your cardiovascular training.
Feel free to contact me with any questions or if you would like me to help you more with your training. Let me know how your training is going in a few months. You should see my “Legs Plus” workout! It’s a favorite!
You can download the FREE workouts from my website. They are general conditioning workouts. If you decide to use swing set fitness as part of your summer training you should perform the more challenging workouts near the end of the book.
By Karen M. Goeller
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