Building muscle

Grow bigger muscles. Do a Google search on this topic and you will find
more than 2.2 million possible sources for information. That is a lot of
reading! On almost every one of these sites you will undoubtedly find
someone selling one secret or another to growing bigger, stronger muscles-
either that or a pitch for the newest and greatest supplement. To add to the confusion if you ask a personal trainer at your local gym (try to pick one that at least looks the part) he or she will either:

A   Have no clue or;

B   Tell you something that they read on one of those 2.2 million web pages!

Growing muscle is like anything else- there is a right way and a wrong way. An efficient scientific approach or a half hazard hit or miss approach. We prefer the former.

With that in mind, we have compiled the following rules for muscle building. Some of these may appear to be obvious to some while others may be entirely new. Regardless, all are vitally important to your success and by adhering to these rules you will be well on your way to building the lean, strong muscle you desire.

Rule #1
Train With Weights

For those people who are hopelessly addicted to aerobics classes, spinning, step etc this is for you. While all of the aforementioned activities are good they should all be treated as an adjunct to a properly designed weight-training program. Weight training builds muscle. One pound of muscle is about two- thirds the size of one pound of fat. Muscle is active tissue and helps to burn calories the whole day through by naturally increasing your body’s metabolic rate, which translates into even more fat burning. Now isn’t that a good deal!

Rule #2
Follow A Varied Workout Program

The human body is incredibly adaptive. Regardless of the type of stimulus and no matter how effective the routine results will eventually come to a screeching halt. That is unless you incorporate variety and change at the right time and in the right amount. When and what kind of change is dependant upon the trainee and knowing exactly when to change a program is a science unto itself. However, implementing both large changes (such as body part split) and small changes (like varying tempo) is vital to keeping the body from adapting to your exercise program and no longer producing results. Fortunately, you do not have to worry about this since our software does all the thinking for you!

Rule #3
Use Intensity Increasing Techniques

One of the reasons many people have a hard time gaining muscle is quite simply due to not enough effort. For example, we have all seen the person who spends more time talking than training- gee; I wonder why he isn’t looking any different! The bottom line is this- what you put in you will get out. This is no different from business or scholastics, the person who puts in more effort and packs more work into the same amount of time will prove to be the one with the greatest success!

Rule #4
Do Not Over-Train

This is another major mistake that most if not all people trying to gain muscle commit. One of the fastest ways to bring cessation of muscle growth and quite often-muscular atrophy is to train too much! Performing the routines of a chemically enhanced professional athlete is a sure fired recipe for muscle shrinkage not growth. Muscles do all of their growing during recovery- not while training. Therefore there should be considerable emphasis placed on having scheduled rest days as well as a periodic week off from training altogether. This will allow your body a chance to heal any minor injuries and give your nervous system a much- needed rest. Be sure to adhere to the rest guidelines recommended in your personal program.

Rule #5
Consume Quality Calories-Especially Protein

You are what you eat, rather, you are what you eat, digest and assimilate. What kind of body do you want to have? Would you like a body made up of sugar, coffee, grease and junk? Or would you rather have a body made up of nutritious fruits, colorful vegetables, tasty oils and lean protein? The choice is obvious. For those of you who think the RDA for protein is sufficient for building muscle think again. The RDA is fine for sedentary individuals but for those training with weights intensely 3 or 4 days per week it just won’t do. Try to consume one gram for every lean pound of body weight (i.e. A 200 pound man with 10% body fat would need 180 grams of protein per day). As for the rest of your foods, be sure to follow the meal plans outlined. They all contain high quality, low sugar foods that will help pack on firm solid muscle while eliminating body fat.

Rule #6
Consume Small Frequent Meals Daily

We can all learn a lesson from nature. Take a look at the bear. He likes to binge eat, consuming large amounts of calories in one sitting. Now take a look at the deer. She eats small meals frequently all day long. Now which one has a lower body fat percentage? This, of course, is a little simplistic but it serves the point. In order to grow muscle and minimize fat you must consume at least 3 whole food meals and 2-3 snacks every day! Follow your meal plans and do not skip meals. Quite often when a person is unable to lose fat or cannot increase muscularity it is due to insufficient caloric intake or in other words, not enough food! The right kinds of foods (unprocessed, low glycemic carbohydrate, high quality protein, unprocessed oils, dark skinned fruits) in the right amounts will produce fast and lasting change in both performance and physical development.

Rule #7
Consume High DHA/EPA Fish Oil Daily

Essential fatty acids are just that- essential. Essential to health in terms of hormone production and regulation and essential to muscle growth. While most North American’s get too much non-essential fat in their diets in the form of hydrogenated and modified oils they are woefully inadequate when it comes to the healthy oils. Consuming enough DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid); both being omega 3 fatty acids found in fish, along with omega 6 rich extra virgin olive oil will ensure your bodies requirements for healthy fats are being met. Be sure to take 1,000 mg of EPA and 650 mg of DHA with each breakfast as well as 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil each and every day. Consuming these types of fats will not cause you to gain body fat. On the contrary, their consumption will actually promote fat utilization by the body as well as aid in muscle growth.

Rule #8
Consume More Water

Did you know that the body needs about 10 cups of water each and every day just to function normally? And this does not take into account any water lost through perspiration during exercise. Did you also know that thirst is a terrible indicator of water requirements? More importantly, did you know that your muscles are comprised of approximately 75% water? Aren’t you feeling thirsty right about now? This does not require more explanation. Be sure to drink clean, filtered water all day long and especially while exercising- it will make a huge difference in the way you look, feel and perform.

Rule #9
Have A Post Workout Protein Shake

Science has shown the importance of consuming a protein rich meal within 45 minutes of finishing your weight training session. This meal, which is best in the form of a liquid “shake” or drink due to a liquids fast absorption by the body, is vital to recovery and muscle growth. This post workout shake should contain an ideal ratio of carbohydrate to protein being:

Around 75 to 90 grams of carbohydrate such as a banana or other fruits and;
Approximately 25 to 35 grams of protein in the form of whey isolate (or a blend of isolate, concentrate, milk proteins and caseinate)

Try implementing this after every weight training session and you will be amazed at the difference it can make in a very short period of time.

Rule #10
Sleep In Complete Darkness

You have heard it before but the old adage of needing 8.5 hours of sound, undisturbed sleep per night is very true. Your body does all of its repairing while we sleep. The muscles you stimulate during a workout do all of their growing and recuperating during deep, dark restful sleep. Why dark sleep? This is beneficial due to our immune & metabolic energy systems that are in direct communication with nature’s light-and-dark cycles. Our skin contains thousands of photoelectric cryptochrome cells that receive & monitor the amount of direct light photons we are exposed to. These cells control our hormones. For example, we must sleep in total darkness in order to produce & release human growth hormone, prolactin and melatonin when we sleep. These hormones are responsible for proper health & vitality. Melatonin is our most potent antioxidant source, which is our passport to remaining cancer free, and growth hormone is one of the bodies master hormones and is responsible for building muscle, strengthening bones, decreasing body fat and boosting the immune system. Therefore, this means no nightlights, clocks, TV’s; VCR’s- even blinking lights from electronic equipment will interfere with this important process. Follow these sleep guidelines as well as the sleep tips outlined in this web site to ensure that you are getting the best results possible from your training program.