A toned muscular body is no longer the preserve of models or body builders. Most young men today work hard to get that magazine-cover look. If Aamir Khan can do a “fat to fit” or a John Abraham build those awesome biceps, so can you. But, how easy is it, really, to gain muscle mass?
Most neighbourhood gyms – and these have really mushroomed over the last decade or so – promise to help you build muscle mass in the shortest possible time. While most gyms promise you rippling muscles, it is only the professionally-run gyms that have the necessary equipment and experienced trainers to guide through the process. It is important that you take care to avoid injuries in your hurry to build muscle mass.
So, what are the factors that help in building muscle mass? What precautions do you need to take? Simply put, it is a combination of a well-planned exercise routine and a diet that adds strength and stamina. So, let’s get the fundamentals right, first.
1. It takes time
The rippling muscles you get to see of men on magazine covers do not happen with a few weeks of training at a professionally-run gym. It takes time to build muscles. Not every human body reacts in the same way. In some, muscles develop over a reasonable amount of time and workouts, while in others, it takes more time. Do not lose heart. It takes regular practice and a certain rigour.
2. Focus on the whole body
You cannot just develop biceps. It is not possible for just one set of muscles to be developed. After all, building muscle mass is also about physical strength and that does not come in bits and pieces. The entire body needs to be exercised develop muscles. Be sure that you exercising your entire body.
3. More is not better
Get rid of the notion that spending more time exercising in the gym will get you the muscles like that guy on the magazine cover. Spending less than an hour at the gym is ideal for you to develop muscle mass. Any good gym instructor will tell you that spending 40-45 minutes on a workout would be the best way to achieve your goals. Anything more than an hour does not help muscle growth.
4. Eat well, sleep well
Building muscle mass is dependent upon three pillars. First, workout that is suited for you. Second, eating a balanced diet. Third, having a good eight, if not nine, hours of sleep. As the popular saying goes, muscle building takes place more outside the gym than inside it. That is why it is imperative for you to spend more time to nourish the muscles and rest them adequately for them to develop.
5. Multi-joint training
When you enter the gym, the first phase would cover multi-joint training. The idea is to prepare your body for the rigour of lifting weights, the most essential aspect of training to induce muscle growth. This basic, multi-joint strength developing programme includes barbell rows for the back, squats for the legs, bench presses for the chest and overhead presses for the deltoids. Such a high intensity workout helps in building the capacity of your joints and your body to lift weights.
6. Don’t give up
At first, this is bound to create some amount of soreness of the muscles. But, the answer does not lie in giving up. On the contrary, regular workout sessions help in reducing the soreness of the muscles. Along with this, cardio exercises like cycling or running are also an essential part of the basic exercise regime. These basic capacity-building exercises are essential for building resistance to weight training exercises that will follow soon after.