Ten Fundamental Rules for Gaining Muscle and Strength
Theories about strength and hypertrophy training have been changing dramatically in the last few years. Every day you’ll hear some new research or study about how different types of training and diets can do miracles to help you gain strength and muscle. The fact is, however, that the foundation of training techniques always remains the same.
Strength is obviously something that we need for daily activities, whether it’s just getting out of bed, taking a walk, lifting boxes, or running a marathon. It’s well-known that strength training has a number of positive health and physical benefits that will benefit your daily routine regardless of age, sex, or previous exercise experience.
Here's a quick and easy overview that will help you become "big" and shredded while having great strength all year round. With these ten fundamental rules, you will not only gain but also maintain your muscle mass and strength.
1. Try Not To Skip The Big Four.
The "Big Four" refers to fundamental strength exercises that are known as the best training methods for gaining muscle and strength. They are the squat, deadlift, bench press, and military presses. In addition to these exercises you can add extra exercises like pull-ups and cable rowing, but use them as auxiliary exercises to these basics.
To build more size and muscles with these exercises, combine high intensity with heavy weight. For example, do 12-15 reps for the first set, increase the weight and hit 8-10 reps for the second set, and for the third set increase the weight again for 4-6 reps.
This tactic will focus on maximum hypertrophy and strength. Many traditional programs are empowering 5 repetitions or fewer. By doing only 5 or fewer reps you are gaining raw power, aka strength!
2. Make Barbell Your First Option.
The barbell is the king among the free weights. Forget the machines, no matter how advanced and modern they look. Dumbbells are your knights in this adventure, and all the other auxiliary staff should be your loyal soldiers.
Begin training with exercises using a barbell with The Big Four which are described in the first section. On the barbell, you will always have the ability to load more weight and lift heavier. This is the main principle not only for gaining lean muscle mass but increasing your power.
3. Simplify Training.
Some trainers are prone to complicating the training process by focusing on speed and trickier, more impressive seeming movements. But unless you are a professional, this really doesn't need to be counted so often. Concentrate on performing the exercises properly and lifting the weights in each of the next series.
Set your own pace according to your own stamina and knowledge of your body. The only way to increase your strength and muscle mass is by appropriately increasing the weight you lift.
4. Keep Track Of Your Progress Every Four Weeks.
When gaining muscle, it’s always important to analyze your body fat percentage. If you got some fat, carefully reduce your calorie intake or consider a low carb diet. Measure your weight each month to make sure you’re on the right track or you need to change the program.
If you lose weight or maintaining the same body weight, slowly increase your calorie intake approximately by 250 calories. This will avoid the big upsides in body weight with the old school approach to "mass and cutting".
It will also boost your lean muscle mass. Keep a fitness journal and write down the exercises, a number of series, repetitions, and weight. This will make it easier to keep track of your progress.
5. Do Not Overdo It.
When we talk about strength and hypertrophy training, the rule is "less is more". With only 3-4 exercises per muscle group, you will maximize the use of hormonal effects in strength training to increase muscle strength and in hypertrophy to increase muscle mass.
Training for too long has a bigger negative impact on your progress. In training, be sure to have one of the basic exercises and 1-2 auxiliary exercises to keep your body in balance and help strengthen your muscles.
6. Eat Non-processed Foods.
A calorie is NOT just a calorie. For a successful muscle gain without the extra fat, each calorie must be made up of macronutrients and vitamins to build the maximum muscle mass and reinforce recovery.
Compare the 1000 calories of pizza made with white flour to a healthy beef steak combined with various vegetables and some small portion of sweet potatoes. What will lead to greater muscle growth and lesser fat storage?
With every meal, consume plenty of vegetables. When choosing a source of carbohydrates, prefer foods such as sweet potatoes, yams, and pumpkins. Also avoid refined oils that can destroy your metabolism.
Don't forget the supplements such as creatine, beta-alanine and glutamine. To gain both strength and muscle mass, you need to boost your testosterone levels, so check here for the best testosterone booster supplements and add them to your arsenal.
The most common reason why people reach the plateau quickly and fail to increase their strength is that they have a long period of very heavy training. After a period of 6 to 8 weeks you need to add a de-load week.
Forget about the ego and reduce the weights on work sets by 40% or even 50% with the desired number of repetitions. This will give you the possibility to recharge the muscles and be ready next week for bigger weights. Have in mind that testosterone booster supplements will give you the extra spark to escape the plateau.
Two or three times per week, do 20-40 minutes of cardiovascular exercise at a constant rate, around 65% of your maximum heart rate. You will avoid getting unwanted fat, persecuting lactic acid, and improve the health of your heart.
Aerobic activity contributes to health and increases aerobic capacity. In order to maintain strength by scorching fat, it’s advisable to choose highly intensity interval training (HIIT). It will also improve your fitness skills, so you can push yourself more during training sessions, which will ultimately help to build more muscles and augment your strength.
9. Pay Attention To Balance And Technique.
Always keep in mind that you must work the opposite muscle groups to maintain body balance. If you follow this rule, you will reduce the risk of injury and muscle imbalance. Let's say if you work squats that dominate the quadriceps, make sure you also do a Romanian deadlift which is the dominant exercise for the hamstrings.
Chest exercises must be in balance with back exercises. It’s not necessary to exercise the opposite muscle groups in the same training, but you should train them in the same week. Also, whatever exercise you are performing, be careful to do it properly throughout the movement.
Take care of breathing, proper position, and movement control. This will help you avoid the possibility of injuries or reduce it to a minimum. Also, it will ensure training progress and improve muscle strength and mass.
10. Sleep At Least 7-8 Hours Every Night.
During sleep, your body releases most of the human growth hormone, a vital component for building a muscular and shredded body. It’s also the time your body rebuilds the muscles while it's resting. It actually helps in managing anxiety. Avoid deceiving the results and sleep 7-8 hours of deep and restful sleep every night.
With these detailed rules for building muscles and gaining strength, you’re have little chance of achieving anything less than the best results. Proper nutrition and exercise techniques combined with at least eight hours of good sleep will give you top results. Your spirit must follow your body, so trust and believe in yourself and you’ll find yourself far more successful than you ever expected!