Friday, December 23, 2005

So How Exactly Do You Build Muscle?

The key to building muscle and getting more muscle growth is overload, which we will talk more about in just a moment. So do not feel like you have to switch things around all the time.

I actually made my best strength and weight gains when I did the same 3 chest exercises, the same 3 bicep exercises, 3 tricep exercises, and the same 3 shoulder exercises.

What must change is the amount of overload that’s being used. I swear everyone and their cousins have an opinion on how many reps and sets you should do. The last time I checked, that cousin was fat and not muscular, so be careful who you listen to.

I’ve been weight training since the age of 16. I started in high school to get ready for football season. I have hundreds of old Flex magazines and muscle building books sitting in milk crates with an inch of dust on them. So believe me, I’ve tried as many different muscle building programs, rep schemes, sets, exercises, and supplements as the rest.

What I write here is saving you 15 years and hundreds of dollars.

Muscle growth occurs from lifting heavy.

If you’re waiting for me to follow up on that statement, it isn’t coming. That’s as hard and as easy as it gets. Lifting heavier weight for lower reps over time will add more muscle and strength than anything else you do.

The only "If" I’m going to throw in there is "if" you eat supportively and healthy. You can’t implement these training tips I give you and then go out and eat Ring Dings and Doritos and then curse the ground I walk on.

But let me assure you, the changes you make here will blow you away if you give them your all and stick to them long enough to work.

Now, I’m going to simplify this for you because, well, its pretty simple stuff. Don’t make things harder than they have to be.

Here it goes...

To keep building muscle, you must keep lifting bigger weights.

In order to cause muscle growth and strength increase to occur, you must force your body to adapt to heavier demands (more weight). If you continued to lift the same old weight over time and time again, your body has no need to create new muscle growth and strength.

It can already handle what it’s doing with what you have.

So, to get bigger and stronger, you must force your body to do so, it doesn’t happen by itself.
For example, when you stop lifting for a month or more (like I’m sure we all have done for one reason or another) what happens?

You got it; you get smaller and less muscular.

It’s because we haven’t been "forcing" our body to adapt and get bigger/stronger.
When you go through a "layoff" where you stop lifting weights, your muscles do not have to handle any additional workload and stress caused by lifting.

So your muscles get smaller as a result.

To keep muscle size going up and to keep strength increasing, you absolutely must keep stressing and overloading those muscles. You MUST lift progressively heavier weights over time.

But what is an instant way you can lift more weight, without having to wait weeks or months.
Well, let me give you a hint.

If you can lift 100 pounds 10 times, shouldn’t you be able to lift more weight, say 150 pounds, if you only have to do it 5 times. By cutting the reps in half, you immediately raise the amount of weight you lift.

Sounds simple, but this is one of the most effective steps you can ever take in your muscle building and strength routine. The days of lifting 3 sets of 10 reps are over--at least they should be.

When you begin to lower your reps and begin to lift more weight, good things happen (more muscle and strength). More weight= more overload = more muscle. Plain and simple.

Put all your effort and intensity into those exercises that allow you to lift the most weight each and every time.

Don’t fall for the "shaping exercises" lie. You CAN’T shape a muscle. It’s been done for you at birth. You can only make it larger or smaller. If you want to "shape" it, then begin using the best exercises that allow you to lift the most weight possible each and every time.

This will "shape" your muscles the best way possible.

The more weight lifted means the more overload to the muscle. The more overload to the muscle, the more muscle growth is stimulated.

So, if you want to build more muscle, you need to lift more weight.

New For 2006: Check out my newest programs that will help you build muscle, lose fat, and get your best body ever this new year:

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

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