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February 01, 2014

BUILDING MUSCLE : THE RIGHT WAY PART 2


I hope that by now you have evaluated your fitness level, and if you haven't then please visit my previous post ''BUILDING MUSCLE : THE RIGHT WAY''... After your assessing your fitness level, now its time to step up and move into the training and fueling part. Things required to build muscles are High Intensity weight training, Cardio, Protein, Anti-oxidants, Water, Flexibility and Rest.



High Intensity Weight Training – You want to be big, lift weights like a giant but with proper technique. Do not compromise your posture and technique for the sake of lifting heavy weights. Muscle has its advantage to get injured and get repaired resulting in big size and stronger. Focus more on exercising major muscle group like Chest, Shoulders, Back and Legs and isolating Arms. You need to do resistance training 3-4 days a week at moderate to high intensity for effective results.


Some Benefits of weight training:

  1. increased capillaries to skeletal muscles
  2. increased mitochondria in skeletal muscle
  3. strengthens skeleton
  4. improves efficiency of metabolism and neuromuscular coordination
  5. improves gas exchange in lungs


Cardio – there is a myth in people’s mind that doing cardio reduces your muscle size and skip doing cardio which results in poor heart conditioning. It is possible that muscle size can be reduced if protein diet is not in proper amount or doing cardio only. Cardio workout conditions your heart and consequently, all body cells and tissues get proper nutrition that helps in muscle growth. Cardio also helps in removing lactic acid which accumulates in muscle due to resistance training. Lactic acid accumulation converts the muscles in catabolic state (reducing muscle mass) which results in stagnant stage in muscle growth and further dissatisfaction.



Flexibility – Flexibility training maintains muscle length, balances muscle length, improves blood circulation into the muscles, relieves stress.

Protein – Protein repairs and builds muscle. There are two types of protein sources; Animal Protein and Plant Protein. 


Animal Protein sources                            Protein Amount

Egg white                                                       3.5 gm/1 egg
Egg whole                                                      6 gm/1 egg
Cheddar cheese                                           7 gm/ 30 gm
Chicken Breast                                              35 gm/125 gm
Tuna                                                                40 gm/175 gm


Plant Protein Sources

Almonds, Dried                                          3gm/12 nuts
Peanut Butter                                             4.5 gm/1 tbsp
Kidney beans           `                                 6/half cup
Tofu                                                             11 gm/110 gm

You need at least 0.6gm protein per pound of body weight to build muscle effectively. If you want to increase 1lb of muscle in one week, you need to add 14 extra gram of protein per day (2 ounces of meat). Also by eating a small amount of protein in your pre-exercise snack (milk with cereals, yoghurt with granola, half a turkey sandwich) you can optimize the muscle building process.

Antioxidants - As I have already discussed about antioxidants in my previous post (Defeating Arthritis) that it helps in recovering stress and stopping free radicals to destroy cells. After resistance training, muscles fall in stress and need to be recovered from it as soon as possible. So, take antioxidants just after the workout to recover muscle stress. You can take Vitamin E and Vitamin C (both combined as a powerful antioxidants) in a tablet or capsule form for fast absorption.

Water – Water makes 40%-60% of Lean Body Mass, so if muscles mass matters to you drink atleast 4-5 liters of water for men and 2-3 liters of water for women. It improves blood flow to muscle, keep muscle fibers hydrated, reduces muscle soreness after heavy weight training and helps in digesting and transporting protein to muscles for repairing and growth.

Rest – Rest is required to prepare muscle for further conditioning sessions. To allow the body to build muscle tissue, rest and recovery is essential. The two components of rest and recovery are adequate sleep each night, and adequate time in between weight training workouts.


·                     Adequate sleep - it is important to sleep as many hours as possible each and every night.  Many people don't realize just how important sleep is when it comes to building muscle and gaining weight.  If you don't allow your body to get enough sleep each night, you are neglecting a very important part of your muscle building program that could completely erase all of your muscle building efforts in the gym.

·                     Adequate rest between workouts - It is very important to incorporate   "rest days" into your weight training program so that you allow time for your muscles to recovery in between workouts.  Try to avoid weight training on consecutive days, even if you are targeting different muscle groups.
Don't forget that your body only builds muscle tissue when you are not weight training.  Simply put, you build muscle while you are sleeping, not while you are at the gym!  If you weight train and don't get an enough sleep, or train too often it can become nearly impossible to build muscle.


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