What is the best method to pack on muscle mass? Begin by working out 2-4 days per week. Try to keep repetition range to about 4-12, and rest time between sets should be approximately 2-3 minutes. The best way to build lean muscle mass while burning fat is to perform cardio, either before or after a workout. It is best to do cardio first thing in the morning on an empty stomach, although it may be inconvenient.
The steps outlined below are easy, and they will help you pack on quality muscle fast.
1. Eat more often. As a bodybuilder, you require more grub than the average Joe. So think five, six or even seven small meals per day. It might sound like lots of calories, but that is precisely what you could do with at the moment. Don't go crazy eating everything and anything in sight. You'll just gain a bunch of soft, useless fat instead of muscle if you eat too much junk food.
A good rule of thumb is if man made it, then don't eat it. If that isn't enough information for you, then check with a qualified nutritionist, or do free research online. Make sure any professional you pay is properly credentialed. If you do the research yourself, don't believe what you find if that site is clearly more interested in your cash than in your physical condition.
Here are some tips that you should find useful:
• Take multivitamins daily
• Never go hungry – eat every 2½ to 3 hours
• Make an effort to eat two meals prior to working out – training on an empty stomach is not a good idea as it can cause side effects such as dizziness and does not lead to as much fat loss as eating breakfast and a mid-morning meal before working out does.
• Always eat breakfast – or else you will bring your metabolism down which will lead to you storing more body fat.
• Become familiar with Glycemic Index of foods.
• Add 3-5 grams of cinnamon to meals as it helps process insulin better, and add lemon juice or vinegar to foods to reduce their Glycemic Index.
• Eat fewer carbohydrates overall and more protein and fat.
• Eat as much raw fruit and vegetables as possible. Be careful not to overcook vegetables, as you will kill vital enzymes that are needed for digestion and lower their nutritional value by destroying vitamins and minerals.
• Eat fresh fruits, but no more than 1-3 portions a day, as excessive fructose turns to body fat if not burned off. Avoid tropical fruits, as they are high on the Glycemic Index.
• Include sources of protein with all meals as it helps with digestion and increases metabolic rate to keep body fat levels low. Rotate protein sources, as you will become allergic if you use the same sources all the time.
• Take fish oils with every meal. This can result in 3-6 pounds of weight loss in a month, as they increase the utilization of fat stores and decrease fat storage.
2. Supplement with the big three: Glutamine, Creatine and BCAA. Glutamine is known as the immunity amino. Creatine is linked with added power and the capacity to create more adenisone triphosphate (ATP) – the chemical energy resource for training and growth. Branched chain amino acids act as a useful energy source when glycogen stores are low.
Another very important supplement is water: at least one gallon or 0.6 to 0.7 ounces per pound of bodyweight per day while training. To make sure you drink enough water, every day fill a one-gallon milk jug and put it in the fridge. Pour yourself some whenever you want water, and at the end of the day, if the milk jug is empty you'll know you have hydrated yourself throughout the day.
3. Work out hard. Intensity is the element that creates muscle. Use a weight that you can really lift to pump out some good, clean reps with strict form. Get your spotter to assist you with some additional reps. Have your spotter spot you until he/she gets tired, if you can get used to the "Pain of the Growth Zone." The intensity of this type of training is tremendous!
Want to get huge? You will have to use high intensity techniques built into your weight lifting routine. In order to generate quality muscle growth you need to damage the muscle to a certain extent for it to respond, repair and grow. You definitely won't build large muscles by using light weights and high repetitions. Lift hard and heavy. Only very heavy weights damage the muscle adequately for growth.
4. Rest. A muscle will not need to be worked more than once a week if done well and intensely. You may actually get fewer results if you train a muscle group directly more than once a week. Muscles need rest and recovery time in order to grow and get stronger. They will not get the required rest if you are training them all the time.
When a muscle cell is stressed intensely it causes damage to its internal elements, protein filaments shatter and glycogen storage chains break down rapidly. When the stress stops the cell has the time to recuperate, replace and fix the cell back to the pre-stressed state. After this recovery the cell will overcompensate for its stress by adding more elements to its structures, more protein filaments, glycogen stores and increased enzymes for energy production.
In addition to packing on muscle, strength training strengthens and conditions the musculoskeletal system, improving muscle tone and endurance. These improvements have a great influence on our physical performance, metabolic efficiency, physical appearance and risk of injury. Research shows that unless we strength train often, we will lose more than one half-pound of muscle every year of our lives after age 25.
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