If you’ve set your sights on improving your body’s muscle mass and building muscle generally then you need to know where to start. Very few people can simply step into their local gym and get it right and in fact you need to dedicate some time, take baby steps and make your way towards an all-round weight lifting, resistance training workout which will guarantee muscle mass increase. Below we’ve put together some key steps for complete beginners making their first step towards muscle building.
Body Weight Beginning
If you have the fear of turning up at the gym uninitiated, it’s a good option to start initial training in the comfort of your own home, so your self-esteem doesn’t take a knock and you’re feeling more confident when you do decide to take your training to the gym. If you have tins of beans, then you can begin working out at home.
Begin your campaign with the most basic, timeless and classic body weight exercises on your own time. Test yourself, see how many press-ups you can do. Throw some body weight squats into the mix and start practising that plank. If you’re pushing yourself hard enough you should soon feel the positive effect of endorphins rushing through your blood.
Build it up
Once you’re confident with your range of body weight moves then it’s time to start building a routine. You can begin to combine the different exercises in a circuit fashion to push your body harder and faster. Group your exercises into reps of each and see how much more enjoyable and effective your workout becomes. It doesn’t matter if you can’t complete your whole routine to begin with, but it does give you something to work towards.
Don’t forget to feed
Experts still recommend that you try to eat as soon as possible after your workout is complete. You need to find nutritional protein-based meals and snacks which you can enjoy quickly and easily. You may find you don’t feel hungry post-workout but your muscles need that initial protein hit to ensure they are prepared to repair. Smoothies and shakes are a great answer if you really can’t stomach a whole meal.
Tweak and Test
For your workout to be consistently effective you need to make regular changes. Your body will get into the swing of things if you keep things the same and won’t need to work too hard. It simply learns the movements and gets comfortable in them. This can result in a disappointing plateau. As soon as any exercise in your repertoire feels easy and you could even say you’ve mastered it, you should be looking for a way to vary it and make it more challenging. There are a wide range of different press up, plank and squat variations to keep your body guessing and working hard.
Invest in Dumb-bells
Round about now is the time to add real weights into your workout. If you’re looking to see significant bulking up then you need to start lifting and working with more than your own mass and a couple of tins. There is only so far your natural body weight and related exercises can take you. Investing in dumb-bells allows you to progressively step up your training without going too far too quickly. In many instances you can simply incorporate the weights into the exercises you already perform.
Head to the Gym
Around about this time you’ll probably feel ready to visit a local gym. You can start sessions on a pay as you go basis and feel confident enough to enjoy them, amongst all the others. Utilising a gym also offers you a whole world of muscle building equipment you’re unlikely to have at home and allows you to add in different elements to your workout. With a huge supply of free weights and equipment you can tweak your workout once again and create something different to what you do at home.
Focus on your Programme
On route to the gym it’s important you have a set workout in mind. It doesn’t matter what the workout is as long as you’re fully dedicated and driven towards it. This will stop your mind wandering and you won’t end up trying out new pieces of equipment for fun. Instead you’ll complete your full, focused workout and then, if there’s time, enjoy some drifting around different pieces of kit afterwards.
Squat for your Body
Mastering the squat is completely key for your whole body muscle mass development. Get your squats right and your whole body will benefit, without putting yourself at risk of injury. You can squat with or without weights and of course the fitter you become the more weights you can incorporate. Squatting incorporates a wide range of muscle groups.
Following these steps you’ll be lifting huge weights within weeks and enjoying your local gym with the best of them.
by Kath Webb
by Laura Briggs
by Kath Webb
by Kath Webb
by Jessica Ambrose