Saturday, 25 May 2013

How Long Does It Take To Build Lean Muscle?

By Russ Howe

If you have ever asked a friend of work colleague for tips on how to build muscle you'll probably have been met with a massive spectrum of different answers, a lot of which contradict what others have already told you. Today we'll run through the proven, simple rules of building a more powerful physique.

A lot of the things you see people doing in gyms these days has been passed onto them by sources which don't have any real scientific backing behind them, wrapped up as the latest thing or training system, and before long they've spread into countless gyms despite not having any proof behind their claims.

Muscular hypertrophy is not a complicated thing, despite the raft of trainers who seem hell bent on confusing clients to the point where they don't know why they're training at all. A lot of this is done in order for the trainer to attempt to justify why the fitness enthusiast 'needs' them there, when in fact you can apply the proven rules to strength and power training on your own and see results.

One of the first things you need to look at is a varied workout regime. If you keep doing the same thing in the gym you'll notice that early gains are offset by a stale routine which doesn't continue to yield results. One way to ensure you keep changing your routine is to adopt a holistic training approach. This means instead of staying on the same workout plan for months on end, you'll be switching styles every single week. That's right, one week you could find yourself going for high reps and lots of sets, followed by another week where you focus on full body workouts requiring lower rep ranges. This approach will stop you from hitting a plateau and will help fat loss and hypertrophy to continue at a fast rate.

The second most common problem behind variety is recovery. This usually strikes after about three weeks of continued exercise and dieting, when we begin seeing physical results. We don't want to stop training, right? If you got those results training three times per week, just imagine what you could do if you trained six days per week. That's a bad approach to take, because your body needs the recovery time between sessions almost as much as it needs the workouts in the first place. Don't train more than five days per week.

Understanding the supplement industry is nowhere near as difficult as many people make it for themselves. When looking to use a whey protein supplement there are just two things you need to look for to see if it suits your goals. Firstly, check that it's got a protein content of 20-30 grams per serving. Science tells us that we cannot store more than this, so there's no need to purchase a product containing any more than that if your goal is to get leaner. Secondly, take a quick look at the carbohydrate content it offers. If it gives you as much carbs as protein then it's designed for weight gain, so if your goal is to get leaner you want a product which checks the box for your protein intake but keeps the carb count fairly low.

The battle to build a better physique is usually won and lost outside of the gym, however. Most people are happy to exercise and drink protein shakes but they switch off when they get back home or go out with their friends at the weekend. Make no mistake about it, you'll need to get your diet in check. If you are unsure how many calories you need to be eating per day you can start by taking your goal weight and multiplying the figure by 15. This will give you a good estimate to work with.

While little used techniques like holistic training will provide a modern edge to your training, the main ingredients of learning how to build muscle are as old as the gym itself. Learning how to work out your daily calories and afford your muscles enough time to recover from each session will be as valuable as exercise itself. If you can stick to the four steps shown to you here for the next three months you will see a fantastic change.

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