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Guest Post: How to Maximize Muscle Mass Before, During and After a Workout

This article provides a summary of how to build muscle mass and the type of workout required, the best type of exercises to get the quickest results and the importance of diet.

Strength, Size and Endurance Training

There are three main types of workouts. Workouts designed to produce muscle strength, workouts designed to produce muscle size or mass and endurance training workouts.

If you’re training for strength it’s advised to do fewer reps per set (about 1-5), whereas for muscle endurance doing more reps per set is preferable (13-20). Focusing on building muscle mass, involves a type of muscle growth called Sarcoplasmic Hypertrophy and is somewhere between this range.

It is muscle size and mass that I will concern myself with in this article and it’s the most common type of workout, designed to create a lean and bulky muscular look.

Workouts Designed to Produce Muscle Mass

To maximize muscle mass, you have to do more than just push your body to the limit through resistance training. You have to choose the right exercises, the right number of reps and the right amount of rest after each workout. All this done correctly maximizes muscle fibre engagement.

I recommend targeting different muscle groups at different times of the week giving yourself one or two days rest in between exercising that muscle group.

One effective technique is the 3 day split and involves exercising three different muscle groups on three different days of the week. This could involve exercising the legs and Abs on a Monday, taking one day rest and exercising the Chest, Shoulders & Triceps on a Wednesday, taking another days rest and exercising the Back and Biceps on a Friday. Then taking two days rest and repeating the next week.

So for example:

Monday – Work on your Legs and Abs with 3 different exercises. 4 sets for each and 12-15 reps per set

Wednesday – Work on your Chest, Shoulders & Triceps with 3 different exercises. 4 sets for each and 12-15 reps per set

Friday – Work on your Back & Biceps with 3 different exercises. 4 sets for each and 12-15 reps per set

You should pick two or three exercises for each muscle group and then perform 4 sets of between 12-15 reps for each exercise. This would work out at around 8-12 sets per day with 12-15 reps per set.

If three different exercises for each muscle group is too much you should stick to two while starting out, or you could try 2 sets instead of 4 sets for the last exercise.

Working out more than 3 days a week can mean your muscles don’t have time to recover, resulting in wasted effort.

Isolated versus Compound Exercises

You need to choose the correct exercises to maximize muscle growth. This means targeting as many muscles as possible. Compound exercises target more muscle fibres with each lift and therefore provide the most results in the shortest period of time and with the least exercises.

For example a tricep kickback will target just one group of arm muscles — the triceps on the back of the upper arm. However the bench press will target your triceps, pec muscles, and your deltoids, with your biceps acting as a dynamic stabilizer. If you’re targeting two or more muscles than it’s a compound exercise and not an isolated exercise.

By targeting a larger portion of muscle fibres, this will be more taxing on your system and result in a greater release of anabolic hormones resulting in greater muscle growth.

With compound exercises, you don’t need as many exercises per workout and you can spend less time in the gym.

Typical compound exercises include:

• Squats

• Split Squats

• Lunges

• Reverse Lunges

• Pullups

• Deadlifts

• Barbell rows

• Incline bench press

• Decline bench press

• Flat bench press

• Standing Military Press

The Role of Protein, Creatine and Glutamine

Of course nutrition and supplements play a huge role in building muscle with protein being at the top of the list for supplements needed for gaining lean muscles. Creatine and Glutamine are also very important.

Protein should be taken half an hour before a workout to provide your muscles with adequate nutrition thereby reducing the breakdown of muscle or catabolism during workouts. Also, right after a workout, when your muscles are depleted of nutrition. This will aid in muscle recovery and growth. Another important time to take protein is right before bed and upon waking when the body again is again depleted of nutrition.

Glutamine on the other hand should be taken right before bed as this boosts growth hormone levels significantly. Another good time to take glutamine is first thing after waking as this helps in the recovery process from difficult workouts.

You should take creatine about half an hour before a workout and again right after a workout as this creates an anabolic state for your muscles and helps prevent muscle breakdown.

Don’t Over-train

Don’t’ get into the bad habit of working out too long, or train too many days. When it comes to body building, often less is more. Overtraining comes with little to no gains in size or strength. You need to give your muscles time to recover, which means plenty of rest between workouts.

So combining a good workout with the right exercises and reps and the right nutrition, sufficient rest, and a solid supplementation program, you will build a great physique with the least amount of work.

Simon is a personal trainer and gym instructor, his website www.fithealthyliving.com is devoted to all things fitness related, but mainly focused on gym equipment reviews, strength training, workouts, and nutrition.

Get Lean this Summer

Summer might not be far away, but there’s still plenty of time to get lean before you have to bare all in a bikini. No matter where you are on your fitness journey, there are lots of things you can do to ensure that you look better by the time summer rolls around.

Here’s what you need to do to get lean this summer:

Ramp up the Cardio

If you have weight to lose, your first step should obviously be getting rid of those excess pounds. That means cardio and lots of it. Running, dancing aerobics – they will all help you to lose weight so that you can concentrate on leaning out and tanning up.

If you want to really ramp up your cardio weight loss, you could try exercising in a fasted state, which means that you would need to fit your workout in before your first meal of the day. There is some evidence to suggest that doing this will help your body to burn more fat. You can read more about fasted cardio at https://legionathletics.com/fasted-cardio/ if you’re unsure whether it’s a good idea for you to work out this way.

Increase Your Meals

In the spring and summer months when the weather is starting to get warmer, it’s easy for your appetite to slow to a crawl, but if you want to get lean, you need to be eating enough calories to support your body through exercise and help you to build lovely lean muscles. One trick that a lot of bodybuilders use is increasing their meal frequency so that they eat 5-7 smaller, light meals per day. Do this, and you’ll meet all of your calorie needs and keep your metabolism firing on all cylinders.

Get Toned in Ten

It might sound impossible, but you can actually get toned in as little as ten minutes. The workout program at http://www.piyoreviews.com/ will help you do just that if you stick to it religiously from now until summer, and combine it with some of the other tips in this post.

Stay Hydrated

I cannot stress just how important it is to stay hydrated when you’re working on cultivating a leaner body. If you are even a little bit dehydrated, your body’s fat-burning ability will slow down, you’ll feel terrible, and you’ll have a much tougher time getting through the exercise you need to get results.

Get Rid of Sugar

Nothing will ruin your efforts to get leaned more than a diet high in sugar. Sugar is nothing but empty calories which will quickly turn to fat in the body. It will also make you feel sluggish after the initial boost, naming it more difficult for you to stick to your diet and exercise regime. If you have a sugar craving, eat a piece of fruit instead. The sugar you get from fruits is healthier and less likely to lead to binges or crashes that say chocolate or candy.

Get a Fake Tan

Doing all of the above will help you to get leaner than you’ve ever been, but if you want to enhance your results, getting a spray tan, or faking your own bake will slim you down and give you an even leaner look. It’s okay to fake it sometimes!

Ally Gonzales is the creator of RunningSoleGirl. The go-to place for everything healthy lifestyle and conditioning for running. She’s a runner, speaks a total of five languages, and is a soon-to-be college freshman majoring in Exercise and Sports Science.

What You Need to Know About Pre-Workout Supplements

One thing that many wonder about when they start getting serious about their training, it’s supplements. Pre-workout, post-workout, metabolism boosters, lean muscle builders, etc., etc., etc. It can quickly become overwhelming, and although I don’t use supplements to help with training, I thought I’d clarify some of the misinformation out there about them to help you decide if they’re right for you. Here the rundown on what you need to know about pre-workout supplements.

Read the Post

Ally Gonzales is the creator of RunningSoleGirl. The go-to place for everything healthy lifestyle and conditioning for running. She’s a runner, speaks a total of five languages, and is a soon-to-be college freshman majoring in Exercise and Sports Science.

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