Have you been working out at the gym for ages but haven’t really noticed a difference in your muscle mass? If you’re spending alot of time doing cardio workouts, chances are your muscles aren’t realizing their true potential! It’s time to hit the weights, so follow these simple tips to make the most of your weight-lifting potential:
Begin with Free Weights
If you belong to a gym already, you’ve probably seen the weight rooms with free weights and weight machines. Although those guys lifting massive amounts on the machines might seem pretty impressive, you’re actually going to build a more solid foundation of muscle mass using the free weights. Dumbbells and barbells are great ways to start building mass and you don’t have to figure out any tricky machines.
Learn and Use the Correct Form
Lifting using improper form can develop the wrong muscles or even cause injuries. Don’t work against yourself during your workout! Find a personal trainer who can show you the proper way to move and lift so you can move towards your fitness goals, not away from them!
Make a Program
Going to the gym and just lifting without a plan isn’t going to help you build in the long run. In order to gain muscle mass, you must make a plan you can really stick to. Find a personal trainer who can help you develop a plan to help you reach your fitness goals. A personal training plan will outline which exercises to do each day and how many sets and reps to do of each.
Eat Plenty of Protein
Protein is totally essential for building muscle, so include lots of eggs, fish, chicken and other meat in your diet. You can use protein supplements or some of these best bodybuilding supplements to bulk up your intake as well. Put these in smoothies for a delicious way to get your recommended amount of protein.
You can’t go lift like crazy at the gym everyday and expect great results, as counterintuitive as that may sound. Your body needs rest time to help build muscle, so create a plan where you work out 3-4 days per week and rest the other days. You can include some cardio fitness in there if you must but definitely have at least a few days per week of complete rest time.
You might be tempted to increase your weights in order to reach your goals more quickly, but this is a flawed plan! If you find the weights too easy to begin with, avoid the temptation to increase right away. You should do many reps of a lower weight to start building the foundation of muscle. It’s also important to use low weights at first until you master the correct form for each move. Increasing weight every 2 weeks is a good general rule of thumb for building healthy muscle.