With more muscles come more strength. When you start lifting heavy weights, your body becomes stronger and the size of your muscles grow. If you want to build muscles, high rep exercises alone will not be enough to pump them up.
Understanding the Concept of Muscle Building
To build muscles, you must first understand the concept of muscle building. Muscles grow when your body responds to a stimulus in the form of resistance training. Technically, when you lift weights, it causes muscle damage. It is in the recovery period that your body repairs the damage, adapts and builds stronger muscles to lift more load in the future.
For rigorous muscle growth, you must make sure the amount of stress you put on the muscles is optimal and the stress is progressive. The key is to challenge your muscles to adapt.
But that’s not enough either, you must provide your body with energy in the form of a proper diet. You will need 3 macro-nutrients i.e. carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.
To get on with the journey of building muscles organically, here are some useful tips to keep in mind
#1.Get Ready For the Gains
No matter what your body type, you can see results quickly when you are first starting out. If you are eating and training right, you can put 1.5 % of your total body weight and build lean muscle mass in a month.
This might slow down to 0.5 to 1% of your total body weight in the second year and so on. Don’t worry, enjoy the gains as they come. This is totally normal.
#2: Create a Calorie Balance
Your body will take some time to adjust to the right amount of calories. There is no cookie-cutter fit when it comes to calories. It differs from person to person. Start with your best guess and then based on the results, introduce some tweaks.
You must figure out how many calories you need per day to maintain your weight. This depends on factors such as age, gender, body genetics, etc.
On average, a 160 lbs male who exercises 3 to 4 hours a week needs 2,240 calories per day to maintain the weight. If they are active, they will need more calories.
#3: Gear Your Workout Routine
Most of the tested workout formula starts with moderate reps, body part splits followed by rest.
So start by training your muscles with 3 to 4 sets at a weight. Your muscles will begin tearing up between 8 and 12 reps. There is no need to perform 6 different exercises per muscle group. This means you are over-training and it is counterproductive to muscle building. Experts recommend 4 to 5 exercises per muscle.
Change your approach after every 6 to 8 weeks. You don’t want to make your body get complacent. Before you start the body part splits again, make sure the muscle groups get enough time to recover. If you give your body parts 1 to 2 times a week to rest, it will help the muscles rebuild and repair faster.
#4: Take It Slow
The tempo at which you lift the weights can affect the outcome. If you want better results, move slowly.
Muscles grow better when they are under tension for a long period of time. When the reps are slow and controlled, that means your muscles are under tension. Slow reps also let you concentrate better. You will feel your muscles working.
#5: Don't Worry About Weight
When you are trying to build muscles, your concern should not be how much weight you are lifting. You must have heard that lifting heavy weights for fewer reps is a secret to mass muscle building. That was in the past. New research says that is not how it works.
A study in the Journal of Applied Psychology took 49 subjects. They performed 12 weeks of body resistance training. One group lifted 30 to 50% of their body weight for 20 to 50 reps. The other group lifted 75 to 90% of their body weight for 8 to 12 reps. The results showed that there were no statistical differences in the size of the muscles between these 2 groups. So, quit worrying about the weights. Focus on the reps instead.
The only thing that matters is training as it stimulates your body to build muscles.