A muscle building guide for beginners

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1. Pick Up Some Weights.

Before we even get to the heavy part of lifting weights, you have to get started lifting weights. In order to get bigger, you must work, stimulate, and put stress upon the muscle. The most effective way to do this is through weight training. It is next to impossible to build muscle without lifting weights. So, should you use machines or free weights?

2. Use Free Weights When Possible.

Free weights (barbells and dumbbells) cause you to balance and control the weight, which in turn stimulates more muscle fibers. This does not mean that you cannot incorporate machines into your weight training routines, but they should not be the focus of your workout. Caveat: If you do not have a spotter, or free weights are not available, then machines are your next best option. So what types of weight training exercises should you do?

3. Do Compound Movement Exercises.

To build the most muscle in the shortest time, you should use movements that work more than one muscle group and use more than one joint to lift the weight. Compound movements are:

# Efficient – They allow you to use more muscles, but also the biggest muscles in the body (chest, legs, back/lats, shoulders) which allows you to build muscle faster.
# Effective – You can lift heavier weights with these types of exercises, meaning you recruit more muscle fibers to complete the lift, which leads to more muscle building.

The most popular compound movement is the bench press. The primary muscle involved in the bench press is the chest; however, the movement uses the shoulders and triceps to a large extent as well. It also includes two joints, the shoulder and the elbow to lift the weight. There are many more compound movements that are efficient and effective for building muscle fast. Once you have a good command of the compound movements, you should…

4. Lift Heavier Weights.

As you start weight training and become comfortable with the compound movements, start to increase the weights. Increasing the weight puts more stress on the muscles, causing you to use more and more muscle fibers to move the weights. The more muscle fibers we use, the more there are to repair and grow. So how heavy is heavy?

5. Use Sets of 4 to 8 Reps.

Ask the average person in the gym how many reps they do, and more often than not, you are going to hear them say somewhere between 10 and 15 repetitions. For building muscle, this would mean that the weight you are using is too light. You should use a weight where you can do at least 4 repetitions, but not more than 8 reps. Heavier weights at lower reps will stimulate more muscle fibers than lighter weights at higher repetitions, which results in building more muscle. Many of our free workout plans recommend 6 reps to build muscle.

Now that you have lifted heavy weights in your weight training session, you are ready to go home, right? Well, maybe not…

6. Do Not Overlook Your Legs.

This is one of the most over looked aspects of beginners. In fact, if we had to guess, 75% of beginners fail to adequately train the lower 50% of their bodies, and this is a huge mistake. Granted, the legs are not as flashy as the chest and arms; however, what many do not realize is that if you want a bigger chest and popping biceps, you must train your legs. Why you ask?

To build muscle, you need growth promoting hormones like testosterone. Your body’s response to lifting heavy weights is to produce testosterone to assist in the repair and growth of your muscles. To lift the heaviest weights, you have to use the biggest and strongest muscles. Where are those muscles, you ask? Why, in your legs (are rear) of course!

If you only had time to do one exercise, we would recommend the squat, followed closely by the deadlift. Heavy squats and deadlifts will cause every muscle in your body to grow. Cardiovascularly they are amazing also.

7. Eat Enough.

There is an old saying that goes something like this: You have to eat big, to be big. There is a lot of truth to this statement. In order to build muscle, you simply must eat enough calories. By enough, you have to eat more calories than you burn throughout the day. Heavy weight training burns a substantial amount of calories. Additionally, as your body repairs and builds muscle after your weight training sessions, you body also needs those calories and macronutrients (proteins, carbohydrates, and fats).

Most people who call themselves “hardgainers” are simply not eating enough calories! You have to eat enough to keep up with your natural metabolism and your muscle building routines. Fail to eat enough and you will not build muscle. Therefore, it is important for you to know how many calories you need to build muscle. You should be getting roughly 19 times your lean bodyweight in calories to build muscle. For a person with 200 pounds of lean body mass, that is roughly 200 x 19 = 3,800 calories. So, does that mean you can eat anything and build muscle?
Calorie Calculator

8. Eat Healthy.

Eat sensibly. The ‘bodybuilder’ should get about 50% of your calories from carbohydrates, 20% of you calories from good fats (essential fatty acids), and 30% from protein. Each gram of fat has 9 calories, while each gram of carbohydrates and protein contains 4 calories. Speaking of which, to build muscle, you absolutely must…

9. Eat Enough Fat.

Not just any fat, but good fats, or essential fatty acids (EFAs). Fat plays an extremely important role in hormone production, in particular testosterone. Testosterone is a key ingredient in repairing and building muscle.

EFAs are unsaturated fats that are necessary to keep the body running properly. They not only promote production of muscle building testosterone, but they are also anti-catabolic (reduce/prevents muscle breakdown) and they promote and increase in your HDL, (good cholesterol). Good sources of EFA’s are salmon, mackeral, anchovies and tuna, both of which are on the high protein foods list…Or you don’t fancy eating these, why not try a Maxi-EFA capsules, which contains large amounts of EFA’s, GLA, Omega 3 & 6.

10. Eat Enough Protein.

Protein is made up of amino acids, which are the building blocks of your muscles. To build muscle fast, you are going to need at least 1 gram of protein per pound of your bodyweight (some people go as high as 1.5 to 2 grams per pound). So, if you weigh 200 pounds, you should get at least about 200 grams of protein per day. Protein makes up 25% of your lean muscle tissue, so it is essential for muscle growth. The other 75% of your muscle is made up of water; therefore, to build muscle, you must…

11. Drink Water.

You absolutely cannot build muscle unless you drink plenty of water. Water is essential for many reasons. Dehydration can set in rather easily if you train sufficiently hard. If you fail to drink enough water, not only will you be weaker if you do not stay sufficiently hydrated (you will not be able to lift heavy weights), but your muscles will not be as large. Part of the reason that Creatine has been successful as a muscle builder is because it causes the muscle cells to hold more water, and as muscles contain 75% water, it’s important.

12. Rest. Now Rest Some More.

This is probably the most overlooked section in any muscle building guide. Many people believe that their muscles grow during an intense workout. This misconception actually comes from something called “the pump” when blood rushes to the muscle being worked. However, what really happens during an intense muscle building workout is that your muscles suffer micro tears and are broken down.

The repair process actually begins once you leave the gym. As you rest your muscles, your body uses your nutrients from your muscle building diet to not only repair the muscle but to make them stronger by making them bigger. If you do not get enough rest, you will be over training, and not allowing your body sufficient time to repair and grow your muscles before hitting them again in the weight room. In fact, those people that work the same muscles every day often see a decrease in muscle size over time. Therefore, rest is absolutely necessary to build muscle fast.

To build muscle, you need at least 48 hours of rest between training sessions for a given muscle group for beginners. Advance trainers may need up to 5 days recovery. You also need to get 7 to 9 hours of quality sleep per night.

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Steve   |.
"To build muscle, you need at least 48 hours of rest between training
sessions for a given muscle group for beginners. Advance trainers may need up to
5 days recovery."

How much training is classified as a beginner and
advanced trainer?

Based on your advice, would the following workout plan be
considered having enough rest?

Monday: Chest, Bicep, tricep
Tuesday: Back,

Wednesdy: rest

Thurday: same as monday


Satursay: same as Tuesday.
Sunday: rest
richard wall   |.
wheres your legs dude? and when coming to train shoulders your tri's play a big
part in pushing them and there already busted from the day before as with biceps
for your back too
John   |.
Why do you suggest only 4 to 8 reps, when on the Maximuscle Getting in shape
guide it suggests 10-12 reps maximum - are you aiming at 2 different audiences?
tim richardson   |.
made a lot Os seance cheers and passed sit on to a few to ...

could you tell
me the answer to this ?????

i am an ex body builder been off the weights for
ten years and starting back
i am 13 stone and in reasonable condition play
squash an cycle regular . i have read lot an lots of new info and feel i am
quilt educated in sports nutrience . my diet at the mo consists of 200g of
quality protein about 40/60 carbs and 2000/2500 Cal's a day .the protein source
comes from quality meats eggs fish etc and topped up with shakes my carbs mainly
come from veg/ fruit no potatoes rice or paster bread and i do not eat crap at
all. i train very hard and seem to be naturally very strong to a hard core point
i will not be messing around in the gym i am serious and obsessively focused i
am happy with being 13 stone but i want an awesome shape and a six pack for
summer will i do it with that type of diet ??????
tim richardson
samuelbossman   |.
Hi there,what about sex guys what happen to your testosterone level after sex
because it seems to me testosterone play the bigger role in our growth so what i
dont understand is that which one do we use is it the same testosterone or there
is a waste that the body doesnt need for growth cause after sex i really feel
drained when i go to the gym?

jamie   |.
i have been bodybuilding for abuot 2months.im 180 pounds.i dont have alot of
money and find it impossible to take in 180 grms of protein.is there any other
Marcello   |.
dear all,

would like to know about your oppinion regarding this

monday: dead lift, one arm dumbell rows

tuesday: bench press
(flat, inclined and declined),
dumbell pullover, cable crossover

wednesday: rest

thursday: squats, leg press

friday: shoulder
press, arnolds, upright rows, shrugs,
lateral dumbell

saturday: rest

sunday: rest

I am currently doing dead lift
(210 kg),
squat (202.5 kg) and Bench press (155 kg), and would like to improve
and above all: HAVE FUN!

karl mousdell   |.
hi i want to build muscle fast and have a great body for the summer but i find
it hard to put on weight what do i need to do?
matt kerr   |.
is this routine ok:?
monday legs,lower back abs
tuesday upper back
wednesday arms , abs lower back
thursday shoulders uper back
abs, arms lower back
saturday rest
sunday rest
matt   |.
Hey all - just wondering if you could check through my training routine..

Monday - Chest, Triceps
Tuesday - Rest
Wednesday - Shoulders,
Thursday - Rest
Friday - Back, legs
Saturday - Rest
Sunday -

I've seen a lot of improvement with this routine but it seems to take
time.. Plus I get patches where I stop growing for a month or so, then suddenly
start growing again.. Also every 12 weeks I have a week off the gym, is that
adviseable? cheers guys.
Dave Prevel   |.
Give the `every-other`-day-split` a try for a month or two.
Train half the body
on day one, rest day two, train the other half on day three, rest day four, etc,
It doesn`t fit in with the normal 7 day week, but if you can train on any
day, this is well worth a try.
Train heavy, using compound exercises, eat big
and sleep big too.
Every 6 weeks, change the exercises to avoid staleness; ie,
swap flat bench for decline, leg-press for squats etc and keep the workouts
brutal & brief.
Will L   |.
Hi, lots of different theories out there. At the end of the day I dont think
anyone should get too hung up on finding the perfect workout, lift heavy and
work hard, eat healthy (and lots!) and get into a good routine. I like to mix
things up and shock the body every 6wks or so. Keep trying diffenrent exercises/
reps and workouts and find what works for you. Oh and have fun :-)
ademola   |.
hello, i am tiny guy that would like to build on weight rapidly and muscle. as a
said i am lean and i want to change my structure. what can i do.
answer   |.
If you are small you should see significant improvement fairly quickly. Start
with 3 compound movements -flat bench press, deadlift, squat. Learn how to do
these properly. Use a weight that is challenging but not so heavy that you hurt
yourself. Aim for 8 reps to begin.
Eugene   |.
Hi, i had a operation about 3 months ago and had to stop training
im all better
now, and cant wait to go back to gym, my question is how long will it take for
me to get back into shape, and do i train my hole body every day for the first
alex   |.
eugene. it will take double the time you have been resting for to get back into
shape and lifting the same amount of weight you were befor. so it should take
around 5-7 months give or a take a month. :):)
josh   |.
You shud train in groups for example my workout is

Monday - Chest, triceps

bench press (Flat,Incline,Decline) - 3 Sets (8,6,4)
(Flat,Incline,Decline) - 2 Sets (8,6)
Lying tricep extensions - 3 Sets
Close grip bench press - 3 Sets (8,6,4)
Tricep extensions - 3 Sets
Press ups 1 Set (Max)

Tuesday - Shoulders/Traps

Front Raise
Lateral Raise
Upright row
Bent over



Upright rows
pulldowns (wide,close)
pull ups
barbell curls (wide,close,reverse)
hammer curls
dumbell curls
concentration curls



lying leg curls
standing calf raises ;)
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