There is a persistent question among men as to what are the best strategies that they should employ in order to build muscles fast and easy. Although there are no shortcuts to building big muscles, the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) has come up with new recommendations on how men can bulk up their physique.
Let us take a look at these muscle building strategies that come highly recommended by the ACSM.
Always incorporate strength training in your fitness program
Strength training is the foundation for building muscles. The best form of strength training is by using free weights and by increasing resistance levels and repetitions that will cause muscle fatigue. If the muscles are not challenged enough, you will not bulk up and even hinder muscle growth. If you don’t have free weights at home, use weight or cable machines in your local gym. You can also utilize plyometrics, calisthenics, and resistance bands. Make it a point to perform lunges, squats and other workouts that target the hamstrings and quadriceps muscles, combined with cardiovascular exercises. All exercises should consist of three sets with 8 to 12 reps each. For faster results, you can also try “super-setting”. Here, you work out a set each of 2 or 3 muscle exercises that oppose each other, rest, briefly, then do a second set before working out other muscle groups.
Alternate exercising each muscle group
Research studies have shown that weight training causes small micro tears in the muscles which could only be repaired during rest and sleep. In order for muscles to recuperate and repaired, you need to allow time for rest. For this reason, the ACSM recommends that the muscle groups be given a work out on alternate days.
Day 1 = Shoulders, triceps and chest
Day 2 = Lower body (gluteals, hip abductors and adductors, quads, hamstrings, and calves)
Day 3 = Biceps, abs and back
If soreness develops, take a day or two off from training or exercise a different muscle group. The ACSM also mentioned about “delayed-onset muscle soreness”, which can develop 48 hours or later after a workout.
Observe Proper Hydration
While you have heard the recommendation that you should take 8 to 10 glasses of water per day, in muscle builders, it is important that you take 12 to 16 ounces of water before a workout and then another 8 to 10 ounces for every 15 minutes that you perform a strenuous exercise. Sports drinks like Gatorade are only advisable if you have been working out for an hour or more.
Eat a healthy balanced diet
All muscle builders should observe a healthy diet with the proper portions/servings of carbs, proteins and fats, including vitamins and minerals. Do not eat too much carbs because they cause sudden increases in insulin levels. With high insulin levels, you inhibit the release of growth hormones that promote muscle growth. To keep your energy levels up throughout the day, eat 5 to 6 small balanced meals daily instead of just eating breakfast, lunch and dinner. You should also monitor your fat intake, which should not be in excess of 30 of your total daily caloric requirement.
Eat More Protein
When it comes to muscle mass and diet, it is necessary that you eat more protein. This is because proteins contain the essential amino acids needed to build up muscles. Aside from regular foods, you can get your protein from high-protein snacks such as protein bars, protein shakes, cottage cheese, and cheese sticks. Some health food stores offer pre-packed high protein meals with cheese, turkey and crackers.
Get Adequate Sleep
All muscle builders should get between 7 to 8 hours of sleep at night. It is during sleep that growth hormones are released which build and repair muscle tissues.
Get the services of a personal trainer
During the first three months of your fitness program, it is highly advisable that you get the services of a personal trainer. A trainer will help you to learn the various exercises and how you should observe proper form and posture when performing these exercises. He or she will also help you develop the necessary workout skills so that you will eventually be able to exercise on your own and not be totally dependent on them for your needs. If you are looking for a trainer, it is best to get one who is certified by reputable fitness organizations, such as the ACSM, the American Council on Exercise, and the National Academy of Sports Medicine.
Hope you enjoyed this article and that it gave you information to help you out. Till Next time!