Building muscle is a wonderful way to get a better body for both men and women. Men will get bigger and more defined, while women will get smaller and more defined. Many people carry the misconception that women will bulk up, but this can only be done with lots of deliberate training and eating. A woman getting bigger doesn’t happen by accident. If you’d like to know how to build muscle properly or learn the best supplements to build muscle, use these tips. Whether you’re a man or a woman, they’ll work for you! (Image Credit)
Create a Good Program
A good program will make you more inclined to stick to it. Create a program you actually enjoy doing and get into a good routine with it. Make sure it makes you want to get in the gym! Take your plan with you to the gym so you know what you’re doing when you get in there. Write down the weights you’ve used too. This will help you to see how far you’ve come later on! You don’t even have to write a program yourself, as you can download lots of free programs online.
Work on Weaker Areas More
Some people have weaker areas than others, while some are more dominant. Somebody may have more dominant glutes, while another has more dominant quads. This means the same exercises can affect them in different areas. If you want to have a balanced look, you’ll need to work on weaker areas more. You can add in another training day for that body part. For example, you can do two shoulder workouts rather than one to build up your upper body. Make sure you focus on the muscle you’re using too, so that you can really feel it.
Don’t Skip Days
Skipping training days is a bad idea. You can develop a muscular imbalance if you do this too often. Lots of people skip leg day as it’s the hardest, but you’ll look ridiculous with skinny legs and a fit upper body. Make sure you don’t skip any sessions!
Give it Your All
While working out, you need to give it your all. Don’t just go through the motions of the work out. Focus, and take short rest periods. Don’t talk too much and don’t cut your workout short. Make sure you can honestly say it was a good workout afterwards.
Eat to Support Your Training
If you want to build muscle properly, it takes a little more than just doing the right thing in the gym. You need to make sure you’re doing the right thing outside of the gym too. Your nutrition has a lot to do with how good you look from your training. Make sure you’re not eating a lot of junk, and that your diet is balanced. The more you train, the more you need to eat. Ideally, use a macro calculator and monitor your progress to get an idea of what you should be eating. You can then alter your macros every 2 weeks to ensure you continue to get results if you need to. (Image by Kaleb Falghum)
Take Rest Days
Rest days are essential to your progress too. If you don’t rest, you’ll exhaust your body and end up over training. You should have at least one rest day a week, or more if you genuinely feel you need it. Listening to your body is key to your success!
Get Plenty of Sleep
Sleep is also essential to your progress. While we sleep, our bodies repair and this is when the work we’ve put in the gym will come to fruition. Try to get 8 hours a night! Bear in mind that too much sleep can be just as bad as not enough sleep. Don’t exercise too close to bedtime or you won’t be able to sleep.
Don’t Overdo the Cardio
Cardio is good for cardiovascular health, and can help us to burn calories and fat. The only problem is, it can sometimes burn muscle too. If you do too much of it, you’ll undo all of your hard work. Only do as much cardio as you need to keep your fat low. If you do too much of it you can say goodbye to your gains! Lots of people get amazing results without doing cardio at all.
Do Less Reps
Don’t do too many reps either. In general, muscle building requires you to do anywhere from 6-10 reps. Some people do up to 15, but it’s up to you. Take note of what gets you the best results. Everybody is different, so a lot of the time it’s an experiment to find what works for you.
Go as Heavy as You Can With Proper Form
You need to go as heavy as you can while using proper form. The last few reps should be difficult but not impossible. If you struggle too early on or can’t finish a set properly, it’s too heavy. You should be able to keep good form and get a pump from the exercise. If you’re ever unsure about the form needed for an exercise, research lots. Use a light weight to practice first too if you’re unsure.
Always Challenge Yourself
Make sure you’re always challenging yourself. Try a heavier weight if something gets easier, or give yourself a shorter rest period. Try a new exercise. You’ll get great results and feel much better for it.
Use Compound Exercises
Compound exercises use more than one muscle in the body. Squats, deadlifts, and bench presses are all examples of compound exercises. Isolation exercises such as the bicep curl do have a place in programs, but they should be more of an add on than the foundation of your training. You’ll always get better results from compound exercises, and then adding isolation exercises on afterwards.
Use these 12 tips and you’ll begin to build muscle effectively. You can’t rush this process, so the best thing you can do is stay consistent and enjoy the journey. Feel free to leave any tips that work for you below! Come back for more soon!