Learn How To Build A Body That You Can Be Proud Of

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Time to step into the weights room

The weights room can be an intimidating place, but once you embrace it you will quickly learn that everyone is there for the same reason. They all want to look better. Trust me when I say this, but people are not looking at your. Their focus is themselves, and their goals.

For those new to weights, here are my top tips to help you on your way.

Technique

The first thing you need to master is technique. Exercises are set up to either work a group of muscles at once (compound), or single muscles (isolation). Executing these exercises with good form is essential, as it will ensure that you are targeting the correct muscle or muscle groups. I often see people in the gym, usually the younger age group, putting far too much weight on the bar. By doing this they cannot do the exercise properly, and end up using body momentum or leg drive just to get the reps out. This will lead to two things, poor results and potential injury. Remember form is more important than the weight. When you change the form, you change the exercise.

Eat More Protein

A lot of people new to weight training don’t get the results they want because they simply don’t eat enough. To grow, your muscles require two things. Stimulus on the muscle itself, brought about by resistance training, and protein, which is essential for muscle growth and repair. I always recommend between 1.8–2.2g protein per kilo bodyweight.

Train Body Parts More Frequently

If you look at most pro bodybuilders routines, you will see that they tend to do a full body split. This will look something like:

Monday — Chest
Tuesday — Back
Wednesday — Rest
Thursday — Legs
Friday — Shoulders
Saturday — Arms
Sunday — Rest

Although these bodybuilders may train like this now, I can pretty much guarantee that this isn’t how they got there. Many, despite what they say in the magazines, are assisted or have been for a considerable part of their career. A lot of them also have some kind of powerlifting background. MPS (muscle protein sythethis) is elevated up to 48 hours post training. Although you may still be sore after a couple of days, your muscles are ready to be stimulated again. By training in an upper/lower split, you are able to hit each muscle group with more frequency, meaning more MPS resulting in more muscle growth.

Get More sleep

Sleep is one of the most important factors of recovery, however is the one that most people ignore.
During your workout your muscles will build up a large number of microscopic tears on the cellular level. These tears must be repaired in order to strengthen and grow. The two main factors in recovery and repair, are sleep and nutrition. When you’re sleeping your body uses this time to repair and rejuvenate all of the tissue in your body, including muscle tissue. While you’re sleeping your body will construct larger molecules which are used to repair various parts of the body including your muscular, immune and nervous systems. Getting enough sleep every night is crucial to ensuring that your muscles are repaired properly. This is especially true when you’re strength training.

Ease Off The Cardio

Cardio uses fuel, and is useful if you want to create a calorie deficit when trying to lose body fat. However, if your aim is to build muscle, then adding in cardio could be counter-productive to your goals. As I made in the second point, you need a calorie surplus to grow. So if you’re adding in extra cardio, then you will have to have a look at your food intake to make sure your hitting the targets.

Bonus Tip 1 (Mirrors Are For Form, Not For Hairstyling)

Most gyms, especially the more commercial style gym will have mirrors on the walls. These are great for checking your form, and can be really useful when trying to work on muscle imbalances. They are not however, there for you to spend the majority of your time fixing your latest hairstyle.

Bonus Tip 2 (Train, Not Talk)

If you can hold a conversation mid set with your training partner, then you are NOT training hard enough. Concentrate on your form and counting your reps.
Leave your gossip and conversations out of the gym, you are there to train!

Yes the final two tips are a bit of fun, but if I was to start again with what I know now, the first 5 would be my holy grail!

Give it a go! If you need any help, leave a comment and i’ll be sure to reply.