Welcome to the confusing and contradicting world of muscle building! Nice intro eh?
Building muscle is also not the easiest thing in the world, but it’s also not the hardest.
This article is written to any beginner bodybuilder who is ready to start pumping iron. Especially if you are a beginner and want to to build muscle, increase your strength, stamina and self- confidence, plus be able to fit into clothes that show off your body, instead of hide it!
Building muscle on your body is also a metabolic marker that tricks your body into thinking it’s younger. Ever seen a really muscular 75 year old guy in your gym? I bet he looks like he’s in his 50’s.
Building muscle goes far beyond vanity. Muscle increases your quality of life dramatically, helps you curb excess body fat and decreases health obstacles as you age
Me, Top 3 at the FAME Fitness Model Championships, June 2008, Toronto ON
#1 Muscle Building Secret: Focus On Progressive Resistance
“If you do the same thing then you’ll get the same thing.”
This sums up bodybuilding very nicely. The number one muscle building secret of weight training is based on the overload principle.
When you increase the amount of weight you lift on a ongoing basis, your muscle fibers adapt to the increased stress by increasing in muscle size and strength.
My favorite technique for beginner bodybuilders is pyramiding.
Sample Muscle Building Routine Using Pyramiding:
Set 1: 12 reps of 95 lbs
Set 2: 10 reps of 115 lbs
Set 3: 8 reps of 135 lbs
Set 4: 6 reps of 185 lbs
Set 1: 12 reps of 115 lbs
Set 2: 10 reps of 135 lbs
Set 3: 8 reps of 185 lbs
Set 4: 6 reps of 205 lbs
Pretty simple, right? Increase the weight every set while naturally having your reps drop. The progressive resistance occurs each set and the following workout when you start about 10% heavier than you did the previous week. The example above reflects exaggerated increases but should be the template you follow for each body part and each exercise.
It forces you to increase the amount of weight that you use over a period of time, making your muscle adapt to the ever-greater demands you place on them.
With pyramiding, your muscle are trained at an intensity that is close to it’s force-generating capacity, forcing the muscle-fibers to increase in strength and eventually mass.
Overload is the bottom line for muscle gains and if your program is not using overload as the guiding principle then forget about learning any other muscle building secrets.
A secret to muscle building is recognizing that it’s not an endurance sport. It is a peak-intensity sport based on the principle of overload. Your muscles grow when you life more weight than you ever did before, and not from the tend sets you did at a weight you could lift all day without fatigue.
This is another reason I prefer pyramiding for beginners because you must aim for peak-intensity through progressive resistance, and not muscular burnout.
When you have trained a muscle so hard that it can no longer perform at its maximum, either switch to another body part or leave the gym.
If you are having a hard time finding the proper combination of training volume and frequency that allows you to achieve progressive resistance on a continual basis then check out even more of my muscle building secrets at my website.
Vince Del Monte
P.S. Let me know what your #1 muscle building secret is for beginner bodybuilders. Thanks for sharing.
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