Archive for October, 2013

There are many factors to consider when you want to know how long it takes for you to gain and build muscle mass. Questions like are you eating enough and the right nutrients to accelerate muscle growth, are you exercising correctly and regularly and do you have the genes for quick muscle growth need to be addressed.

In this article, we shall discuss whether you have the genetic make up to gain and build muscles quickly. Don’t despair if you don’t because this is only one of the several factors that determine how long it takes for you to build muscle mass.

It is certainly helpful to know your body type when you want to build muscles. By knowing your own body type, you can then plan your nutritional and exercise program to suit your specific body type to encourage muscle growth.

We shall discuss the 3 common body types and their characteristics here.

• Endomorph: You have naturally big frame body and usually have a round face, wide hips, big bones and slow metabolism. You are the type that gain weight and body fat easily. However, you also have potential for gaining muscle mass quickly. Only problem is that your muscles may be hiding under your body fat making you look big bulky and clumsy. Your six pack abs is hidden under your tummy fat is not going to show.

So you will have to build muscles and then burn off the fats to reveal your muscle definition. That means you will take slightly longer time than the next body type to show off your muscle gain and mass because you need time to cut away body fats as well.

• Mesomorph: You are blessed with a naturally muscular body and have wide shoulders, small waist, athletic body frame structure, low body fat with a somewhat high metabolism. With your natural predisposition, you can pack on muscles real fast and are the type that can take up bodybuilding as a career if you want to. You excel naturally in sports and will always have that sexy and handsome body that is to everyone’s envy.

You are the type that will not take a long time to see your muscle gaining size, mass and definition. In fact, if you train, eat and rest correctly, you will visibly see your muscles growing week after week right before your eyes until you hit a body building plateau.

• Ectomorph: You are the skinny type with small muscles, very very high metabolism, narrow shoulders, hips and waist. You find it hard to put on weight and muscles no matter how much you eat. You will need much more greater effort than others to build muscle mass on your skinny frame. People call you the hard gainer. You will take a longer time and need extra effort to gain muscle mass. Although it can be done, it is a constant battle for you because you are fighting what nature has given you.

Most people fall in between the three types. For example, a person can be a mixture of Mesomorph and Endomorph or Mesomorph and Ectomorphs.

Now that you have identified your body type, you can then write down your goals, objectives and the methodology you wish to take to gain muscle mass. By having a specific body building program to follow, it allows you to take concrete actions each day to achieve your muscle gain goals.

How long does it take to build muscles and gain muscle mass certainly depend the body type you have but it will also depend on numerous other factors as well.

Chris Chew is a personal trainer of actors, pageant winners, models and other celebs. Check his sites at How to lose body fat|gain muscle mass and Be a certified trainer

The bent over row is a commonly performed back exercise which effectively stimulates the major muscles of the back. The bent over row can be performed with a variety of training equipment, such as the barbell, dumbbells and cable system. When performed correctly the bent over row will stimulate the latissimus dorsi, rhomboids, trapezius, rear deltoid head, and the arm flexor muscles. The form of the exercise is important due to the position of the torso in relation to the ground. It would be wise to lean forward at roughly forty five degrees, allowing for sufficient range of motion as well as ensuring sound posture. As with all exercises, the weight lifted should not hinder the form of the exercise, and additional body movements should not be made to aid the execution of the lift.

The barbell is commonly used for the bent over row, with either an over hand or under hand grip suitable for use. Dumbbells offer a slightly different option for the exercise, with the unilateral training resulting in equal stress to either side of the body, and therefore reducing the chance of imbalances. If muscle size or strength imbalance is notable simply switch from a barbell row to a dumbbell row, so each muscle receives equal stress. If performing the one arm dumbbell row ensure the weakest side is trained first, so a repetition target is established. Then, use the same number of repetitions on the stronger side, although this should be relatively easy in comparison. This method will allow for the weaker side to catch up to the stronger side.

The cable variation of the bent over row allows for continual tension during the lift, as well as allowing for a variety of handle attachments to be used. The rope attachment may be used, which allows for a greater range of motion compared to the bars, as well as giving freedom which may be beneficial for those with inflexible wrists.

The bent over row can be executed within a relatively low repetition range, although anything below five repetitions will likely be less than optimal due to the excessive weight being used which will hinder form. The exercise is a great choice for a bodybuilding routine, targeting the major muscles of the back in one exercise. A repetition range between eight and twelve per set will likely yield the most fruitful results for those aiming for muscle hypertrophy (growth).

Fitness Uncovered contains more information on bodybuilding exercises

How to increase your strength

Building strength requires a careful combination of correct resistance exercises and a healthy diet. Not only do you need to work your body for it to improve, you also need to provide it with the correct fuel and sustenance.

The basic premise for building strength involves forcing your body to grow more fast-twitch muscle fibres. To achieve this you must cause tiny tears in your muscle fibres through weight training, which your body then repairs, filling in the gaps and increasing mass.

So how do we tear our muscle fibers?

There is convincing evidence to suggest that the most effective method of tearing muscle fibres is to work yourself to the utter limit. This is best affected through lifting heavy weights for five repetitions per set for a total of five sets in what is known as a 5×5.

The weight you select should be one that allows you to undergo the full exercise, only approaching failure (that is where you can’t physically complete the repetition) at some point in your last set.

When lifting heavy weights it is important that you do not overdo it and load up too much weight at the expense of form. Lifting heavy weights can be hazardous if you do not maintain the correct technique throughout the exercise, so make sure you only push what you can handle. It is also highly recommended to lift weights with a friend who acts as your spotter and assists you should you struggle to complete a repetition.

So what sort of exercises should you include in your routines?

The most effective movements are what are known as compound moves. These are exercises that work many muscle groups at once and force you not only to strengthen the muscle group you would expect (say legs from a barbell squat), but also a host of other stabilising muscles including your core and back.

Particularly effective exercises:

Barbell Squat: Works both core and leg muscles, essential for strong abdominal muscles.

Front Squat: Like a squat but rest the barbell across your shoulders in front of you. Places more emphasis upon your core.

Deadlift: Entire body workout, though particularly back and legs.

Bench press: Works chest and triceps simultaneously.

Military Press: Works shoulders and Back.

Pull-ups/Lat Pull-down: Works Biceps and Back.

Tricep Dips: Works Triceps and Chest

Now that you have some idea of the types of exercises that are required to build strength it is time to talk diet. To build muscle and strength it is essential that you consume enough calories to fuel your workouts. These calories should come in the form of healthy whole-meal carbohydrates such as pasta and brown rice.

Alongside these carbohydrates you need to consume enough protein to provide the amino acids required for your body to repair and recover after a weight session. This can be acquired from sources such as fish or chicken or from supplements such as whey protein shakes. Fruit and vegetables are also important as your immune system is inevitably weakened by exercise and thus you need vitamins and minerals to keep your natural defenses up.

The basic mathematics are that you need an extra 500 calories a day surplus on top of what you burn to build two pounds of lean muscle mass. To ensure that the majority of these calories are indeed put to use creating lean muscle you should ensure that your diet contains minimal greasy and fatty foods.

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