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Expert Guides

Brief Guide to Muscle Building

Publish date: 20/07/2013

Brief Guide to Muscle Building

Almost all who start with training want to build their muscles mass and get a sculpted body. There are masses of information, techniques and routines that help you maximise your muscle mass gain. In this article we will give you the basics that you need to know about muscle building.

Know your Body Type

Before you can draw up your exercise and nutrition plan you need to know your body type. There are three broad body types:

  • Mesosmorph - large bone structure, large muscles and a naturally athletic physique.
  • Ectomorph - light build with small joints and lean muscle.
  • Endomorph - shorter build with thick arms and legs. 
  • Bodytype Combinations - Most of us are actually a combination of the above three body types, the most common being mesomorph/ ectomorph or endomorph/ mesomorph combinations

Know What Stage of Training are You In

You need to understand the stage of training that you are in, depending on which your routine will have to be drawn up. Find out where you fit amongst the following:

  • Beginner - Yet to make a substantial amount of muscle mass gains. Not regular with workout routines and are still figuring out exercise and nutrition plans
  • Intermediate -Has already added a minimum of at least 10-15 pounds of muscle. They have a exercise and nutrition plan
  • Advanced - Already gained a lot of muscle mass and the gain has slowed down substantially over time. They have specific routines and nutrition plans and follow them religiously.   

Get your Nutrition Right

It is extremely important that you get proper nutrition through food and supplements to be able to gain muscle mass. You have to make sure that you have a nutrition plan that includes intake of all the following:

  • Calories
  • Protein
  • Carbohydrates
  • Healthy Fats

Along with healthy and adequate food intake that ensures you have appropriate nutrition to have your body running, you can use supplements to gain quick results. The supplements to watch out for are:

  • Whey protein
  • Casein protein
  • Creatine
  • Multivitamins
  • Glutamine
  • Nitric Oxide
  • Testosterone Booster
  • BCAAs

Know Your Muscle Groups

Before you start out on building muscles, you should thoroughly know your muscle groups so that you can properly follow your exercise routine later on and it makes sense to you.

Major Muscle Groups around which most training routines are designed include:

  • Back (including lower back at times)
  • Chest.
  • Shoulders (including traps at times)
  • Quads (including hamstrings at times)

Antagonist muscle groups work against one another. For example:

  • Chest and Back
  • Biceps and Triceps
  • Quads and Hamstrings

What are the Different Types of Exercise Mechanics and the Different Kinds of Workouts

Broadly, exercise mechanics can be divided into two types:

  • Compound Exercises involve movement of two joints .
  • Isolation Exercises involve movement of a joint and a muscle group.

Workouts can be broadly be classified into three categories. They are:

  • Full body Workouts – Usually performed 2-3 times a week on non-consecutive days focusing on the muscle groups of the entire.
  • Upper/Lower Splits – Upper Spilts focus on chest, shoulders, arms, and back, while lower splits focus on legs, lower back, abs and often dead lift (and variations). Usually performed 3-4 days a week
  • Body part Split Workout - Designed around one major body part and may involve more than one minor body parts at times. Usually a 3 day workout, though advanced variations can be extended up to 6 days a week.

How Many Reps Should You Do

There is no set formula for how many reps you should do and it depends on your individualistic needs, goals, routine and ability. However the usual pattern is as follows:

  • Rep ranges for compound exercises - 5 to 12 reps per set.
  • Rep ranges for isolation exercises - 10-15 per set.
  • Rep ranges for leg training - 20 reps per set.

It is important to not here that you must have a progression plan in place to be able to derive visible gains and also ensure proper rest between sets. Additionally to remain injury free you must ensure that you do proper warm that usually involves the following:

  • Mild cardio.
  • Stretching
  • Working warm up sets

The Most Effective Muscle Building Exercises

As per experts the seven most effective muscle building exercises are:

  • Squats
  • Deadlifts
  • Dips
  • Pull Ups
  • Bench Press
  • Overhead Press
  • Rows

Given below is a list of the best Muscle Building exercises by body part

  • 5 Most Effective Chest Building Exercises

    1. Bench Press
    2. Incline Bench Press.
    3. Dips
    4. Dumbbell Bench Press
    5. Incline Dumbbell Bench Press
  • 5 Most Effective Back Building Exercises

    1. Deadlifts
    2. Pull Ups
    3. Barbell Row
    4. Dumbbell Row
    5. Power Clean
  • 5 Most Effective Shoulder Building Exercises

    1. Military Press
    2. Push Press
    3. Bench Press
    4. Seated Behind The Neck Press
    5. Seated Dumbbell Press.
  • 5 Most Effective Leg Building Exercises

    1. Squats
    2. Front Squats
    3. Stiff Leg Deadlifts
    4. Leg Press
    5. Barbell Lunge
  • 5 Most Effective Arm Building Exercises

    1. Chin Ups
    2. Close Grip Bench Press.
    3. Dips
    4. Barbell Curls
    5. Seated Two Arm Dumbbell Tricep Extension

Author: Todd