Building muscles means doing some type of strength training. However, there’s also a difference between being strong and being muscular. At Revolution Training in Stamford, CT, we help people do both. When beginners first start working out, exercises that build strength may also be the same for building muscles. That overlap ends as you get more seasoned. If you want to be strong, that’s one thing, but if you’re a bodybuilder who wants to compete, you need to go an entirely different direction since your goal is all about size and body aesthetics. The weight lifters at an Olympic level have smaller muscles than a less strong bodybuilder.
Do you want bulk or just strength?
In order to build any type of muscle, you have to lift something heavy. If you’re building for strength, you’ll use heavier loads and do five sets that include one to eight repetitions. The goal is to lift as heavy as you can or 80 to 100 percent of a one-repetition capacity. You’ll get a slight increase in your muscle size. You lift lighter when building muscles, about 70 to 80 percent of maximum with as many as six sets of 8 to 12 repetitions. In other words, go slightly lighter but do more.
You have slow-twitch muscle fibers and fast-twitch ones.
Low intensity and long duration movements, like walking, are performed by slow-twitch muscle fibers. High-intensity movements like jumping or supersets where two different sets of exercises for different parts of the body are performed back-to-back. While you activate both types of fibers during each type of exercise, one of the two dominates depending on the movement. If you want bigger muscles, go for exercises that trigger more fast-twitch fibers.
Focus on the basics at first, then make adjustments based on your fitness level and goal.
As noted before, you’ll workout both slow and fast-twitch muscles doing any exercise. The key is to do it and do it consistently. Some great bodyweight exercises you can do at home or in the gym are push-ups, burpees, squats and lunges. To build upper body muscles, having dumbbells and/or barbells are a big help, since lifting something heavy builds muscles. Always warm up before you workout and cool down afterward.
- Get adequate sleep. You need at least seven hours of sleep or more each night to give muscles adequate time to heal and build. Never do strength training for the same muscle groups two days in a row for the same reason.
- Focus on compound movements and compound exercises, like a dumbbell deadlift or chin-up, to build muscle faster. Isolation movements, such as curls, sculpt the muscles, but aren’t as good for building.
- If you want to build muscle and don’t need to lose weight, you need to eat more calories and focus more on protein. If you need to lose weight, cut back on calories slightly. No matter what your weight, a snack of carbs and protein before and after your workout is important.
- No two people are alike. Even if your best friend got great results with his workout, it doesn’t mean it’s the best for you. Our trainers can help you find a program that works best for you.
For more information, contact us today at Revolutionary Training