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Gain Muscle Mass & Increase Strength

EBOOKSNARTICLES.COM

August 29, 2011

Authored by: Bames

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Disclaimer

All material in this e-book is provided for your information only and may not be construed as medical advice or instruction. No action or inaction should be taken based solely on the contents of this information; instead, readers should consult appropriate health professionals on any matter relating to their health and well-being.

The information and opinions expressed here are believed to be accurate, based on the best information available to the author at the time of writing, and readers who fail to consult with appropriate health authorities assume the risk of any injuries. The author acknowledges occasional differences in opinion and welcomes the exchange of different viewpoints. The publisher is not responsible for errors or omissions.

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Table of Contents

Increasing Muscle Mass ................................................................................................................ 7

Food That Help In Building Muscle Mass ........................................................................... 12

Protein ........................................................................................................................................... 12

Protein Sources ....................................................................................................................... 12

Fats .................................................................................................................................................. 12

Fat Sources ............................................................................................................................... 12

Carbohydrates ............................................................................................................................ 14

Carbohydrate Sources .......................................................................................................... 14

Foods Best for Gaining Muscle Mass .................................................................................... 15

Chicken .......................................................................................................................................... 15

Brown Rice ................................................................................................................................... 15

Legumes ........................................................................................................................................ 16

Nuts ................................................................................................................................................. 16

Muscle Mass Gaining Daily Meal Plans ................................................................................ 17

The Fundamentals ........................................................................................................................ 17

The Variables .................................................................................................................................. 18

The Considerations ...................................................................................................................... 18

Common Misconceptions .......................................................................................................... 18

A Nutrition Guide for Bodybuilding ...................................................................................... 19

Features ........................................................................................................................................ 19

Ratios and Timing ..................................................................................................................... 20

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Misconceptions .......................................................................................................................... 20

Benefits ......................................................................................................................................... 20

Sleep & Muscle Recovery ........................................................................................................... 21

Identification of Sleep Changes ........................................................................................... 21

Benefits of Sleep ........................................................................................................................ 21

Muscular Recovery Types ..................................................................................................... 22

Time Frame for Adequate Sleep ......................................................................................... 22

Warnings about Age-Related Sleep Problems .............................................................. 22

Water Timing for Muscle Growth .......................................................................................... 23

The Significance of Water ...................................................................................................... 23

Function of Water ..................................................................................................................... 23

Effects of Water ......................................................................................................................... 24

Benefits of Water ...................................................................................................................... 24

Types of Exercises That Make You Gain Muscle Mass .................................................. 25

Anaerobic Exercise ................................................................................................................... 25

Variations ..................................................................................................................................... 25

Your Compound Exercises .................................................................................................... 26

The Best Workouts to Gain Muscle Mass ........................................................................... 27

Positions of Flexion and X-Reps ......................................................................................... 27

The Multi-Repetition Rest/Pause Training .................................................................... 28

Your Power-Density Training .............................................................................................. 29

Weight-Lifting Workout Plans for the Upper and Lower Body ................................ 30

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The Beginner's Workout ........................................................................................................ 30

The NSCA Novice Workout ................................................................................................... 30

Volume Training ........................................................................................................................ 31

Split Routines .............................................................................................................................. 31

Push Ups for Muscle Mass ......................................................................................................... 33

Adding Static Resistance ........................................................................................................ 33

Adding Dynamic Resistance ................................................................................................. 33

Changing Hand and Feet Positions .................................................................................... 33

Explosive Push-Ups .................................................................................................................. 34

Kettlebell Routines for Muscle Mass .................................................................................... 35

Kettlebell Squat and Press .................................................................................................... 35

Push-Up, Squat and Row ........................................................................................................ 35

Snatch and Clean ....................................................................................................................... 36

Gain Muscle Mass Using Dumbbells ..................................................................................... 37

Biceps Curl ................................................................................................................................... 37

Shoulder Press ........................................................................................................................... 37

Squats ............................................................................................................................................. 38

Triceps Kickback ....................................................................................................................... 38

Resistance Band for Muscle Mass .......................................................................................... 40

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Gain Muscle Mass & Increase Strength

If you are trying to find a way of how to gain muscle mass and increase strength, go no further than your nearest gym. There is a way to safely increase muscle mass. However, you need to understand that certain practices like yo-yo dieting does more harm than good.

If you want to achieve results you need to stay lean for quite some time. That does not mean you need to starve but also should avoid overeating. The best way is to have a controlled intake of food that has adequate amounts of carbohydrates, fats and proteins that will help your body build permanent muscle mass without the body fat.

Increased Muscle Mass VS Increased Body Weight So many people want to find a quick way to build muscles and there are times when they even try to achieve this by increasing their body weight. The thinking behind such a bizarre idea is that by eating huge amounts of food they will become heavier and will be able to lift heavier weights. Many believe that the increased weight will somehow stimulate the muscle fibers and will mean growth. However, this thinking simply confuses muscle weight with the total body weight. It is a fact that people with more muscle mass will be able to lift more. But muscle mass is very different from body fat. Body fat has no role in muscle contraction.

The reality is too much fat, protein or carbohydrates only result in the increased deposits of body fat. It is true that your body needs nutrients but the correct amount of nutrients depends upon your muscle mass, exercise intensity and base metabolic rate. This means every person has unique nutritional requirements. Having a diet that is suited to your levels will help you build your muscle mass. Anything more than that will only build blubber.

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A pound of body fat has approximately 3,500 calories and the very nature of progressive resistance training, the utilization of the fat stores during exercises is relatively minimal. Exercises or moderate intensity like aerobics can help burn body fat for use as fuel for the body; the body is also capable of utilizing carbohydrates as energy.

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Increasing Muscle Mass

Most of the time, people tend to build their exercise regimen based on articles they read in magazines or shows they watch on television. The thing is, the biggest mistake people who want to increase their muscle mass make is to do or copy routines that they read in those body building magazines or shows.

The muscled specimens featured in such magazines or shows do not train naturally because most of them are genetically gifted. Copying their routines will not make you build those sculpted muscles fast.

The normal person needs to try a very different tack. The approach must be one that builds the muscles fast but also prevents mental and physical overtraining by doing too much, too fast. The definitive guide to building muscle mass involves:

1. Getting Stronger. The rule of thumb is, the more strength, the more muscle. So you need to get into weight training to build strength.

Weight training allows you to start with light weights and add weight gradually as you progress in your training. Those body-weight exercises are also great. You can start with an empty bar and learn the right technique. Then, gradually, you can add weight to each workout to push yourself out of the comfort zone and keep progressing. Keep in mind that you must not get overeager. If you want long-lasting results, you need to do it properly.

2. Free Weights Are Great. Barbells allow you to list the heaviest weights. More weights mean more stress and that means more muscle. But you need to make sure that you do not jump ahead of yourself and try to lift weights too heavy for you. For assistance exercises, you can use dumbbells but you need to use barbells for your main lifting exercises. You also need to steer clear of the machines.

a. Free weights are safe. Those fancy machines may look good and all really cool but they will only force you into doing unnatural and forced movements. Free weights allow for the replication of FOR FREELANCE WRITING SERVICES CONTACT: BAMES@EBOOKSNARTICLES.COM

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natural motion.

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b. Free weights are efficient. Machines balance the weight for you. Free weights force you into controlling and balancing the weights that you lift. This helps build more muscle.

c. Free weights are more functional. The strength that has been built on machines does not transfer to free weights.

d. Free weights are versatile. With just one barbell, you can do an innumerable number of exercises. This saves you a lot of space and money especially if you are trying to build your own home gym.

3. Compound Exercises Those isolation exercises are fine for building your base muscle mass and strength, but if you are starting to build muscle, you need those exercises that can impact several muscles at the same time.

4. Your Legs Also Need Training The most important exercises are the squats. This is because they work your whole body. All the muscles tense when you do deadlifts and squats because they work all the areas of the body as one and allow you to lift heavy weights.

Forget about those bicep curls. Your arms will automatically get bigger when you can deadlift and squat heavy weights.

5. Full Body Workouts Are Good You may need 3 workouts per week that is about one hour duration each, including compound exercises like deadlifts, squats, overhead presses, barbell rows, bench presses, dips, pull-ups and the like.

6. Recovery. Those huge muscled professional athletes workout about 5 to 6 times per week but they obviously did not start that way. They started simple and added more and more workouts as they got bigger and stronger. You will definitely suffer from overtraining if you jump a step and start doing their routines. A beginner needs more recovery.

a. You need rest. Muscles grow when you are resting and not when you work-out. You can start with about three full body FOR FREELANCE WRITING SERVICES CONTACT: BAMES@EBOOKSNARTICLES.COM

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workouts in a week and focus more on the intensity and not the time in the gym.

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b. You need sleep. Your body releases growth hormones when you sleep and that helps in building muscle. You need eight hours of sleep. Take a nap after your workout if your lifestyle allows it.

c. You need water. Dehydration is bad for muscle recovery.

You need to drink about 2 glasses of water with every meal and keep sipping water during your workout.

d. You need to eat. All the training in the world is useless if you do not eat enough amounts of calories as required for recovery.

7. Whole Foods are Important. If you allow some changes in your diet and include more whole foods, you will be better able to achieve lower body fat. This will make those growing muscles show better.

a. Carbohydrates – oats, whole grain pastas, brown rice b. Fats – flax seed oil, olive oil, real butter, fish oil c. Fruits – pineapples, bananas, apples, oranges, pears d. Vegetables – carrots, broccoli, tomatoes, spinach 8. Eat proper meals. Although when it comes to muscle building, the exercise is much more important than the diet, you do need to give your body the sustenance it needs for optimum performance.

a. Breakfast is important. Eating a full breakfast gives you enough energy to make it through the day.

b. You need to eat after a workout. You need to replenish your body’s store of energy by eating carbohydrates and protein.

c. Eat 6 small meals a day. This will give your muscles steady supplies of protein which will help them develop and will also help boost your metabolism.

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Food That Help In Building Muscle Mass

Even though most people believe that the key to gain muscle mass is just exercise and lifting weights, it is a misconception. Strength training utilizing heavy weights is important but the true key to gain muscle mass is in the diet.

The right balance of carbohydrates, protein and fat is essential.

Protein

The most basic building block of human tissue, which includes muscle, is amino acids which are the basic structural form of protein. You will not be able to build body mass without having a sufficient amount of protein in your diet. Most athletes and bodybuilders consider an intake of 2g protein per pound of body weight is essential to gain body mass.

Protein Sources

There are many healthy sources of protein for the person who is aiming for building body mass. These include fish, protein shakes, eggs, dairy products which include cheese and milk.

Fats

The previous notion was carbohydrates and dietary fats are unhealthy. This is not true, according to the late founder of the Atkins Diet, Dr. Robert C. Atkins, fats are necessary to a person’s fitness and health.

Fat Sources

The consumption of most of the ideal sources of protein can provide the healthy fats in the diet as well. An addition of a supplement of fish oil in the diet may also be useful when one is hoping to muscle mass. That is FOR FREELANCE WRITING SERVICES CONTACT: BAMES@EBOOKSNARTICLES.COM

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because fish oils are essential sources of omega-3 fatty acids.

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Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are crucial to building muscle mass provided you do not take too much. The intake of simple carbohydrates post your workout is essential in the shuttling of fat and protein nutrients to the muscles immediately after the exercise routine. Also, complex carbohydrates that are fiber-rich, such as vegetables are an important part of the diet so that health is maintained and there is an ample supply of energy.

Carbohydrate Sources

Simple carbohydrate sources include rice, fruits, and potatoes. If they are used as part of your whole-foods meal or as part of your protein shakes, they provide glycogen which is needed in the restoration of intramuscular stores.

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Foods Best for Gaining Muscle Mass

Although working out is an integral part of gaining muscle mass, dietary options also play a crucial role in increasing muscle. The food you eat provides the minerals and vitamins that your body needs to stay healthy and there are also certain foods that play a role in helping your body build muscle quicker than others.

Chicken

One food that can aid with gaining muscle mass is chicken. The lean protein that is found in chicken is important for the building of muscle. However, it should not be over-consumed. The consumption of about 1 to 2 grams of lean protein per pound of body weight is good enough. It is not recommended that this be exceeded as you will simply be consuming calories that are above the amounts you need and will therefore be stored by your body as fat instead.

Brown Rice

Carbohydrates such as those found in brown rice, are the body’s main source of energy. This is the energy that is fueling the training which helps you gain muscle mass. The complex carbohydrates found in brown rice are crucial because your body is unable to work as hard without the energy that is provided by carbohydrates. Without the carbohydrates your body will instead burn the protein that you need to help build your body mass and this means that your body will use the existing muscle tissue that you already possess to provide the energy it needs.

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Legumes

Legumes are excellent sources of fiber which is crucial for keeping the energy and blood sugar levels in your body stable. They are also very rich in carbohydrates that provide the energy needed during a workout and protein that is needed in gaining muscle mass. Legume choices include kidney beans, lentils, chickpeas, black beans and many others.

Nuts

Nuts are easy-to-eat snacks that also provide good fats and a variety of nutrients that can help in the building of muscle and tissue. Nuts also contain potassium, magnesium, Vitamin E, folate and zinc. Healthy nut choices in your diet can include cashews, pecans, almonds, Brazil nuts and hazelnuts.

However, it is important to remember not to eat too many nuts as they are also high in calories and you may end up gaining weight instead of muscle mass.

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Muscle Mass Gaining Daily Meal Plans

The development of a muscle mass gaining daily meal plan requires that you have a basic understanding about nutrition. This is because consuming the right amount of carbohydrates, proteins and fats at the proper time can help you to have steady gains in muscle mass. You need to remember to make sure that you take in more than what is your daily caloric maintenance so that there will be muscle mass gain. Do note that you would do well to consult your doctor first before going on a muscle mass gaining diet.

The most muscle-building or anabolic substance is food. The food that you consume will ultimately determine whether you will gain or lose muscle mass, burn fat or store fat, gain or lose weight.

The kind of fats, proteins and carbohydrates you consume play a very important role in a muscle mass gaining meal plan. There are, for example, some foods that get stored as body fat much more readily than other food.

Also, the portions you take and the nutrient timing can further impact the results of your muscle mass gaining efforts.

The Fundamentals

The intake of protein always stays static and most experts recommend about 1 to 1.5 grams of proteins per pound of body weight to be consumed daily.

You should try to experiment with differing protein intakes to find out what works for your body best. Making an effort to divide your daily portion of protein between several meals during the day also creates a kind of trickle effect of nutrients to feed growing muscles. There is also a need to take in plenty of vegetables and fruits that contain the needed minerals and vitamins FOR FREELANCE WRITING SERVICES CONTACT: BAMES@EBOOKSNARTICLES.COM

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that are needed to fuel your muscle mass gains.

The Variables

One of the many variables in a mass gain meal is carbohydrate intake because people vary widely. Too much carbohydrates can give rise to excessive fat storage in the body, while too little will limit your muscle mass building results. The intake of dietary fat also plays an integral role because of its role in the production of hormones like testosterone. Experts recommend consuming no less than 25% to 30% of your calories from good fats like nuts or olive oil. Post-workout nutrition is also a very important variable.

The Considerations

How much carbohydrates you should take, especially after your workout, are determined by your metabolic rate and body type. Those who are small-boned, the so called ectomorphs (who normally have problems gaining muscle mass) can take in 100 grams or more of simple carbohydrates like sugar or dextrose after a workout. When it comes to high-glycemic carbohydrates after a workout, taking in about 60g will do. Taking in 25% of your daily portion of protein after your workout, which would be about 30g to 50g would also be good. The trainees’ level of experience, as well as, the personal preferences and observations can also contribute to the development of your personal muscle mass gaining meal plan.

Common Misconceptions

Those who are beginners tend to put too much emphasis on the importance of protein in the diet from supplements. You need to understand that the human body has limited capacity for storing and metabolizing proteins. This means that taking in too much may do very little to increase muscle mass.

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which provide energy and, literally, expanding your muscles. There is no need for you to take in massive amounts of food. You need to focus instead on timing your food intake to achieve the best results.

Keep in mind that your body does not do the muscle building while you are at the gym. The gains in muscle mass happen at home when you are actively resting and eating for your muscle recovery.

A Nutrition Guide for Bodybuilding

One of the most important pillars of bodybuilding is nutrition. You should know that exercise alone will not help you achieve your muscle mass goals.

This is because your body must have adequate supply of nutrients for muscle recovery. Consuming the correct amounts of nutrients may not be enough as nutrient timing and nutrient ratio determine how your body will use the food that you ingest. You need to avoid the common beginner’s mistakes and achieve optimum benefits of bodybuilding nutrition by heeding some insights.

Features

Essential components that play major roles in gaining muscle mass include the so called macronutrients which are proteins, carbohydrates and fats. You need to also understand that your body also needs vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber and water from the food that you eat in order to support muscle growth.

The amounts, ratios and kinds of the macronutrients in your diet will help determine your results. You therefore need to make sure that your training goals are aligned with your diet to ensure that you provide yourself with the optimum amount of nutrients. For example, if you take in too much carbohydrate during a cutting phase, it may hold you back from achieving a good, lean, muscled look.

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Ratios and Timing

The amount of macronutrients consumed in relative to one another is called the nutrient ratio. Let us use an example; too little dietary fat can result in the suboptimal levels of muscle-building hormones. Nutrient timing refers to the time you take in your meals and/or your macronutrients during the day.

Misconceptions

If you are just beginning in your muscle mass gaining journey, you need to avoid the same mistakes that most people make. Most people overemphasize dietary protein. You need to know that your body has limited capacity to store proteins and any extra amino acids, over and above the amount your body can store, will simply be eliminated or converted into glucose. The carbohydrates that you consume though are readily stored into your liver and in muscle tissue as glycogen which is a source of fuel for muscle contraction. If you cut too much carbohydrates that can lead to very poor muscle performance and may even lead to muscle loss. While supplements may play a supporting role, they are no substitute for good nutrition.

Benefits

All bodybuilding diets increase muscle mass, decrease blood sugar levels and speed up the metabolism. Any increase in your lean muscle mass may improve your athletic performance and add functional strength. But, your muscle tissues require energy to maintain so the body needs to burn more calories per day for every pound of lean muscle that you have. This means that an increase in muscle promotes leanness by speeding up your metabolism. Plus, bodybuilding nutrition, in combination with regular resistance training improves the metabolism of glucose and insulin sensitivity.

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Sleep & Muscle Recovery

Sleep is actually an active physiological process. A process in which your busy remains busy carrying out very important activities while you are unconscious. While you are sleeping, your body alternates between two types of sleep: REM (rapid eye movement) or non-REM sleep. During the night, the cycle is repeated several times. REM sleep provides the needed energy to your brain that supports it during the day (waking hours) and is very necessary on restoring the mind. Stages 3 and 4 of non-REM sleep, which is also known as deep sleep or slow-wave, are very essential for restoring your body.

Identification of Sleep Changes

During restorative stages of non-REM deep sleep, your body’s blood pressure lowers and your breathing slows down and becomes deeper. Your brain then rests and performs very little activity so the blood supply that is available for your muscles increases. During this time, the blood supply to your muscles are delivering extra amount of oxygen, as well as nutrients that facilitate muscle growth and healing. Your tissues and muscles are then rejuvenated and there is a regeneration of new cells during this phase of the sleep cycle.

Benefits of Sleep

When your body enters into the restorative non-REM deep sleep stage, the pituitary gland, that is located at the base of your brain, begins to release a shot of growth hormone that stimulate the growth of tissues and repairing of muscles. Any change in the quality of sleep or any lack of sleep causes a sharp decline in the secretion of growth hormones. The deficiency of growth hormone can be associated with loss of muscle mass, obesity and reduced capacity to exercise.

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Muscular Recovery Types

Your muscles need extra sleep and recovery time after any injury, surgery or illness. This means that if you are undergoing rehabilitation after an injury or you are in post-operative physical therapy, you must consider getting extra amounts of sleep in order to heal properly. Also, muscular recovery is needed after an intense workout, especially strength and endurance training wherein your muscles have been torn down to a certain degree.

Time Frame for Adequate Sleep

If you sleep less than four hours a night, you are considered sleep deprived.

Eight hours of sleep constitutes normal sleep. The NSF, National Sleep Foundation, has recommended, in their sleep guidelines, 7 to 9 hours of sleep for an average adult. A single night of missing sleep may probably do very little harm but cumulative effects of poor sleep have negative impact on muscles.

Warnings about Age-Related Sleep Problems

Declines in sleep quality and decreases in total duration of sleep over the years, especially the amount of time that is spent while in non-REM deep sleep, contribute greatly to the wear and tear of the muscles and speeds up the process of aging. If you have any trouble sleeping or staying asleep on a consistent basis, you would do well to consult a healthcare professional. You need to keep in mind that your body needs sleep as much as in needs blood, oxygen and food.

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Water Timing for Muscle Growth

There are many people who underestimate the power of drinking adequate amounts of water for the promotion of muscle growth. The vast majority of your body’s muscle mass consists of water. Dehydration will instantly decrease your workout performance and will have a serious impact on your muscle mass gaining results. The rule of thumb is, if you wait until you feel thirsty then it is probably already too late to maintain optimal hydration.

The Significance of Water

Sixty percent of your body weight consists of plain water. This means that adequate water intake is crucial to your muscle growth. Water also makes up 70% of your muscles. While the human body can survive without food for months, it can only survive a few days without any water. Even cases of mild dehydration can cause very dramatic decreases in the muscle’s contractile strength and overall energy levels. Water has many important functions in the human body and many of those prove critical for gaining muscle.

Function of Water

The water you drink gives moisture to your body’s tissues and organs and protects them from any damage due to dehydration. If you fail to drink enough water, your body starts to literally dry you out. Water flushes out toxins from your organs and also helps your liver and your kidneys to get rid of waste products. Water also improves gastrointestinal health by helping digestion and preventing constipation. Water also carries minerals, nutrients, vitamins and oxygen to each and every cell in your body being a major constituent of your blood. In particular, your muscle cells require great amounts of these substances for them to repair properly and grow.

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Effects of Water

Water plays an important role in thermogenesis or fat burning, as a natural regulator of body temperature. Water enables your body to more effectively produce energy and also increases the synovial fluid in your joints. This fluid lubricates the joints for better performance while you work out in the gym.

Water also directly affects your muscular strength, protein synthesis and cell volume.

Benefits of Water

By drinking more water, you are literally inflating your muscles like balloons and that results in a cascade of events that trigger synthesis of muscle protein.

The process drives muscle growth or anabolism. The fact is that muscles that do not get enough water start to shrink and to undergo what is known as catabolic reactions that actually breakdown muscle. You can support your training by replacing fluids lost during sweat, increasing energy and allowing your muscles to contract more forcefully by timing your intake of water.

It is recommended that you drink between 8 to 13 cups of water every day.

You may require more depending on your body weight and level of activity.

Although there is no “one-size-fits-all” recommendation for adequate water intake, 1.5 cups to 2.5 cups of water should be enough to replace the amount of water that you lose during a short duration exercise. For exercise that lasts more than an hour, you require much greater amounts of water. The best times to drink water include the time right after waking, with meals and between meals, and before, during and after working out.

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Types of Exercises That Make You Gain Muscle Mass

Exercise may be roughly divided as aerobic and anaerobic. Exercises that are aerobic rely heavily on the consumption of oxygen and include activities like swimming, running and biking.

Anaerobic exercises involve activities in short bursts like weight lifting. For gaining muscle mass, variations of anaerobic exercises are more useful.

Anaerobic Exercise

Strength and endurance can be increased by aerobic activity while muscle mass is increased by anaerobic activity; weight lifting in particular. A vast majority of bodybuilders train different parts of the body on different days.

Most of the time, individual preferences dictate the manner in which the workouts are divided.

Mondays may be dedicated to the shoulders, triceps and chest. Wednesdays may be dedicated to the legs. Fridays may be dedicated to the biceps and the back. There are many various ways to split an exercise routine and different trainees tend to tailor their workouts in different ways. Generally though, bodybuilders rarely perform more than ten reps per set and 3 to 4 sets per exercise.

Variations

It is important to note that the same exercises should not be repeated indefinitely as the muscles will start to adjust to those repeated demands that are made on them. The exercises should be changed in order to challenge and stimulate muscle growth. You can change the exercises that are performed, the number of their repetitions, the pace at which the repetitions are performed, the number of sets, the weights that are used and the time for rest or pausing.

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You can, for example, train your chest by doing 3 sets of bench presses of 8

repetitions for a period of three weeks. Then on the fourth week, perform 8, 6, 4, and 2 repetitions while you increase the weights with each set. After the heavier set with 2 reps, you can decrease the weight and then immediately perform 10 reps.

Your Compound Exercises

A vast majority of bodybuilders emphasize the use of barbells or other free weights over the use of exercise machines. Compound exercises are called compound because they work on more than one particular group of muscles.

Compound exercises are most often the core lift of a certain muscle group.

An exercise like the bench press exercises mainly the chest but also works the triceps and the shoulders. The squat gives most of the muscles of the body a workout and pull-ups work out the forearms, biceps and back.

Additional tips for gaining muscle mass include establishing a proper diet with enough calories and protein consumed and lifting weights with the proper technique.

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The Best Workouts to Gain Muscle Mass

The best workouts for gaining muscle mass are not complicated. There is no need to hit the muscles at each and every angle to get great results. You would do better by making your training more simplified, more intense and progressively add weights in increments, about 5 to 10 pounds at a time, as you increase your strength.

Positions of Flexion and X-Reps

You first need to focus on mid-range training that has compound multi-joint exercises. Then you need stretch overload with stretching exercises. Conclude with isolation exercises.

Your workouts may be split into 3 to 5 days in a week and can also be made to fit your schedule. Your 3 day plan may include arms and shoulders on Mondays, focus on your legs on Wednesdays and concentrate on your chest and back on Fridays.

Each workout should begin with a compound exercise that is designed to target the most number of muscle fibers. A good example for your chest would be starting with two working sets of bench presses to failure in the nine to twelve repetition ranges. “Failure” means you take each set to the point that you can no longer do another controlled repetition. You can then add mini-rep partials to the end of the last set with 6 – 10 inch pulsing repetitions just below the middle range of motion. Then, you can do 1 – 2 sets of flat bench dumbbell flies up to failure. You can finish with 1 or 2 sets of cable cross-overs. You can add the X-reps to the end of your stretch overload and isolation exercise. Just be very cautious of over-doing it as they as a very powerful technique and can cause extreme soreness and discomfort.

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The Multi-Repetition Rest/Pause Training

Rest/Pause training is great for stimulating muscle growth which takes into account the way that muscles produce energy when doing resistance training.

The “rest” part refers to ten to thirty second rest periods between the rapid fire sets which allows the muscle to regenerate their adenosine triphosphate energy stores or ATP.

For example, your weekly workout breakdown may involve shoulders and arms on Mondays, your legs on Tuesdays, having rest on Wednesdays, your chest and calves on Thursdays and your back on Fridays. You choose 1 or 2

compound exercises and do 1 or 2 rest/pause sets for each muscle group that you choose. For your set of rest/pause, you may choose a weight with which you reach failure at 9 to 12 repetitions. Right after your first set of those 9 to 12 repetitions, rest for about 15 seconds then immediately take the weight again and do six repetitions. Rest for about 20 seconds and then finish with as many repetitions as you can manage; preferably about 3 to 5 repetitions.

After you finish with each of your rest/pause sets for your chosen muscle group, finish with a set or two of an isolation exercise up to failure and within the 9 to 12 repetition range.

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Your Power-Density Training

This is a workout that combines lower-weight density techniques and heavy power training. The idea of this workout is to have 2 to 3 sets, for each muscle group, of heavy compound movements and followed by 4 lighter sets which are done in rapid succession.

The workout splits breaks down is as shoulders, triceps, chest and abdominals on the first day. The second day focuses of the quadriceps, calves and hamstrings. The third day is for rest. The fourth day concentrates on the biceps and the back. The fifth day will then be a repeat of the first day’s work out. The next two days are off days. Keep cycling in this order through the workout.

For example, on the third day, for the biceps and back, you may do 3 sets of lateral pull-downs for 9, 7, and 6 repetitions and increasing the weight with each of the sets. Then you reduce the weight to one which you can use for up to 15 repetitions and do 4 ten-repetition sets in rapid succession with about 30 seconds of rest/pause in between each set. You may repeat this same protocol for bent-over rows then finish with another attack of power-density on your biceps with dumbbell or barbell curls.

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Weight-Lifting Workout Plans for the Upper and Lower Body

Weight training can be used for many things. It can be used to lose or gain weight, to tone muscles, to reverse the loss of muscle mass due to aging or to build an excellent physique. How you do your workouts will depend on what your goals are and your current physical condition.

The Beginner's Workout

If you have never before lifted weights and are in a physical shape that is not so good, you need to start with a beginner’s workout. You need to choose exercises that will train your beck, legs, chest, shoulders and arms. This means the bench press, the leg press, the biceps curls, the lateral pull-downs and the military press, as an example.

As you begin, use a weight machine rather than a barbell so you do not have to need to balance the weight. Choose a weight that allows you to do twelve to fifteen repetitions per exercise and perform only a single set for each.

Workouts of at least 20 minutes, done twice per week will be good enough to yield great benefits.

The NSCA Novice Workout

The National Strength and Conditioning Association or NSCA has designed a workout for lifters who have already been performing the beginner’s workout for some weeks and for novice weight who regularly exercise. Choose about 8

to 10 exercises that cover all the major muscle groups that mix exercises using the weight machine and barbells.

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You can use heavier weights; you should be, by this time, able to lift each weight from 5 to 12 times per set. Then, instead of just one set per exercise, do two or three sets per exercise. Your work out should be about two or three days per week.