Wednesday, December 28, 2005

6 Tips To Increase Your Muscle Mass

Since this blog is mainly about building muscle, I wanted to give you 5 proven tips that will help you build more muscle in less time.

I've used all of these each and every time I get ready to compete, so I know they'll work for you as well.

1. HAVE A PLAN

I'm sure you've heard the saying "failing to plan is planning to fail". And that's true and it's also where most people I talk to go wrong.

Most people fail at building muscle and losing fat because they fail to write out how they will attain the goals that they set for themselves. It's important to first realize what it is you want to achieve and then start learning how to do it. There are numerous books on how to train and eat to build muscle.

Pick one that you understand and start to develop a plan on how you're going to train and diet for the next 12 weeks. Then get acting on those plans.

Many people sift through plan after plan, looking to find the "right one". The truth is, if you just start doing something, you'll see your muscle gains increase. Stop procrastinating by overanalyzing things.

2. KEEP A WRITTEN JOURNAL

By keeping a journal, you guarantee that you make progress. By not keeping a journal, you'll always be guessing what you ate, how many calories you ate, what muscles you trained, what weight you used, and more.

Going on memory alone is a sure-fire way to slow down your muscle gains. The journal contains your training and nutrition info and it cannot lie to you unless you write down the information incorrectly!

If last week you did 100lbs for 8 reps on bicep curls, then this week you either need to do 9 reps or up the weight by 5 pounds. I know it sounds too simple, but if you do this long enough, you'll attain whatever goals you set for yourself.

3. USE BIG MOVEMENTS WHEN TRAINING


Concentrate on doing basic, compound movements like squats, deadlifts, bench press, shoulder press, and barbell curls. Single joint movements are great at isolating a specific muscle group, but they're not as productive at stimulating the muscles. Compound movements will increase the overload to the muscles, forcing them to work harder to move the weight. This is how you build muscle, by lifting heavier weight and using more intensity, over time.

4. GET ENOUGH REST BETWEEN SETS

The amount of time that you rest between sets is dependent upon the intensity at which you lift. If you're doing higher reps (10-12) then your rest periods will be shorter (30-45 seconds).

If you're doing low reps with more weight, (4-6 reps) then you'll need longer periods of rest (2-5minutes) between each set. The lighter the weight, the faster your body will bounce back for the next set. The heavier the weight, the longer it takes to recover the energy for another bout of the same movement.

If you're still winded from your previous set, you won't be able to use as much weight or as much intensity, so your results will be negatively affected.

If you're not building the muscle you want, you may not be getting enough rest between sets.

5. WARM UP BEFORE LIFTING

Start every training session with 5 minutes of cardio. By doing light, easy cardio before you train, you'll be able to increase your core temperature and thus be less likely to get injured while training.
This is more effective for warming up than stretching. Never stretch a cold muscle! It's the quickest way to pull a muscle and get injured.

I guarantee you'll feel stronger and more energetic if you warm up with cardio for 5 minutes.

6. PROPER POST WORKOUT NUTRITION

The most common muscle building mistake people make is not eating after they train. This meal should contain a mixture of high glycemic carbs like glucose as well as protein. In fact, your post workout meal should be at least 20 % of your daily protein needs. The best source of protein for the post workout meal is whey.

My post workout shake consists of 10 grams of Glutamine, 5 grams of creatine, and 12 oz of grape juice. On most days, I take another of these shakes about an hour before working out.

Start using pre and post workout shakes and you'll start to build more muscle in less time.

These 6 muscle building techniques are ones that I use constantly. Start to incorporate them into your training routine and you'll start to build muscle and lose fat faster than you ever thought possible.

These are just some of the tips I talk about in my "Simple Steps To Get Huge And Shredded" training program:

http://www.shawnlebrunfitness.com/getshredded.html

If you're looking to build muscle, lose fat, and get your best body ever this year, check it out. Make 2006 the year you get the body you've always wanted and Simple Steps will help you do it.

http://www.shawnlebrunfitness.com/getshredded.html


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