Muscle Building Guide - How to Build Muscle and Lose Fat

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Muscle Building Guide, Build Muscle


  • Muscle Building Guide: How to Build Muscle and Lose Fat Table of ContentsBuilding Muscle and Weight-Loss 3Characteristics of a Good Muscle-Building Program 4Progressive Overload 5Compound Exercises 7Full-Body Workout 9The Importance of Proper Form 10Rest and Recovery 12Building Muscle Without Weights 13Muscle-Building Diet 14Muscle-Building Supplements and Protein Shakes 21Tracking of Progress 25Summary 26 2
  • Building Muscle and Weight-LossIs it possible to build muscle and lose weight at the same time? Ifwe compare muscle with a comparable volume of fat, we wouldnotice that muscle is heavier than fat. 1 Muscle is denser than fat.For example, a 140-pound person, whose body composition is 35%fat, will be several dress sizes bigger than a 140-pound person withonly 20% body fat.Calorie-wise, however, increased muscle mass helps you lose weightbecause the more muscle you have, the more calories you burnduring both routine activities and physical activity. 2 So, then,depending on your body composition at the start of an exerciseprogram, you could either lose weight or gain weight when goingthrough muscle-building exercises. If you are on the slender-side,strength-training exercises will increase your calorie requirement, andwithout the proper diet, your body fat might not be a sufficientsource of energy. You can end up using muscle mass as an energysource and thus, lose more muscle rather than build more muscle.However, if your body composition has a bigger percentage of bodyfat, you would, ideally, burn off this fat to supply the increasedcalorie requirements of the additional muscle mass youve gainedthrough strength-training exercises. At the beginning of a strength-1 3
  • training exercise program, the additional heavier muscle tissue maycause the scale to go up. But as you progress in your exerciseprogram, you will be burning more fat and lose the poundsassociated with this fat. 3This report targets people who want to improve the ratio of theirbody fat to their lean muscle mass either through bodysculpting orbodybuilding. Bodysculpting is the type of training for people whoaim to firm up and lose body fat. For women, the ideal is usually a13-16% body fat range, and for men, between 8-10% of body fat.Bodybuilding training, on the other hand, is for people who aim toadd more pounds of muscle mass while taking their body fat levelsdown to a level of 8-10% or, in the case of bodybuilding contestants,to just 3-4% body fat. 4 Characteristics of a Good Muscle-Building ProgramAn ideal muscle-building program has the following essentialcomponents:5 1. Progressive overload 2. Predominantly uses compound exercises 3. Training of the entire body3 ibid.4 4
  • 4. Emphasizes proper form 5. Rest and recovery 6. Muscle-building diet 7. Tracking of Progress Progressive OverloadThe most important factor of a body-building program is progressiveoverload. This concept centers on challenging the muscles of thebody to take progressively heavier loads and resistance. If you keepon doing what your body is already capable of doing, your bodywont have any reason to build more muscle. To increase yourmuscle mass, you must increase the demands on your muscles bylifting slightly heavier weights, or by lifting the same weight foradditional repetitions. Whenever you increase the demands on yourmuscles, the body will signal the muscle building process to start 6working.We have two types of hormones in relation to muscle building:Anabolic hormones build muscle, and catabolic hormones tear downmuscles. The most powerful anabolic hormone is testosterone,followed by growth hormone and insulin.6 5
  • Catabolic hormones such as cortisol direct your body to break downmuscle for fuel. In other words, your body eats your own muscle.To avoid this, your strength training workouts should increase therate of release of your anabolic hormones relative to the release ofyour catabolic hormones. You can do this by increasing the intensityof your workout.7For fast results, you must use weights that challenge your capabilityand strength to the limit. For building muscle mass, you need to lifta weight that is heavy enough so that you can only perform a lowamount of repetitions, that is, around 4-8 reps. Using heavy weightswith lower repetitions causes more stress on your muscles and that ishow they grow the fastest. 8Some trainers advice their clients to continue reps until they reachmuscle failure. Muscle failure is the point wherein you are unable todo another controlled repetition.9 This might, however, lead toburnout, delayed recovery or injury. It would be wiser to stop about1 or 2 reps short of failure.107 6
  • Compound ExercisesTo build muscle effectively, do more compound exercises and lessisolation exercises. Compound movements are multi-jointmovements that work several muscles or muscle groups at a time. Agood example of compound exercise is the barbell squat exercisewhich engages many muscles in the lower body and core, includingthe quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, glutes, the lower back and thecore.11Isolation exercises isolate one muscle with a single-joint movement,such as concentration curls or dumbbell triceps kickbacks. 12 Theseexercises are used to correct a specific muscle weakness orimbalance.While isolation exercises do have a value especially after injury,illness, or surgery, compound exercises have more benefits to thehealthy body-builder. Compound exercises burn more calories andhelps a person achieve a full-body workout at a much faster rate.They also improve coordination, reaction time and balance which arebeneficial for real-world activities, and help reduce risk of injuryduring sports.1311 7
  • Heres a sample schedule of muscle-building exercises:14Monday: Squats Chest and Back o Compound Exercises: Bench Presses Pull-ups Barbell Curls o Isolation Exercises: Concentration Curls Dumbbell Triceps KickbacksWednesday: Deadlifts Shoulders, Biceps, Triceps and CalvesFriday: (Repeat Mondays workout) Squats Chest and Back o Compound Exercises: Bench Presses Pull-ups Barbell Curls14 14 8
  • o Isolation Exercises: Concentration Curls Dumbbell Triceps KickbacksYou may also set-up your weight-training routine to simultaneouslytarget both muscle building and fat-burning by performing supersets.With supersets, you do an exercise for one muscle group and then,with little or no rest, perform an exercise for a smaller muscle groupin a different part of the body. For example, you might alternatesquats with dumbbell curls. Supersets have been shown to raiseones metabolic rate for hours after the actual exercise routineleading to increased burning of fat.15 Full-Body WorkoutOne important consideration in a muscle-building program is toensure that you are training your entire body and not just specificsections of your body which you consider as problematic. A full-bodyworkout means you train your entire upper body, consisting of yourchest, back, shoulders, biceps and triceps, as well as your entirelower body, which is made up of your quadriceps, hamstrings andcalves.15 9
  • Training your entire body will prevent muscle imbalances and themany injuries and issues due to this type of problem. 16 You must seeto it that for every pushing exercise, you have a pulling exercise inthe same anatomical plane.17 For example, if you are performingbench presses and other chest exercises, balance it off with barbell 18row and other back exercises. The Importance of Proper FormWhile lifting heavy weights is necessary to maximize muscle growth,the additional weight makes it more difficult to maintain propertechnique. If you do lift a weight, but with improper form, you wouldnot be working on the muscle you intended to develop. If youneglect proper form, chances are you will end up getting injured.Between lifting heavier weights with sloppy form, and lifting lighterweights with the correct form, the latter is the more sensible choice.How do you know if you are deviating from proper form duringweight training? The rule of thumb is that you have to move thespecific body part through its normal path of movement. Dependingon the exercise you are performing, there is a normal way for yourbones and joints to go along. If you are unable to control yourmovement because of the weight you are trying to lift, you will16 10
  • transfer undue stress on neighboring tendons and joints, which canlead to injury.You also have to consider the fact that very heavy weights andimproper technique might hinder you from going through the wholerange of motion for a particular muscle. A partial lift will onlyactivate a portion of a muscle groups fibers instead of providing abrief, high tension to every fiber in the muscle in every angle of themovement. There are, of course, exemptions to using a full-range ofmotion during weight lifting, as some muscles can get injured if theyare fully stretched while supporting a load.Proper technique also involves the proper speed of motion whenlifting and lowering weights. Fast movements lead to acceleration,which can double the weight of the load on your joints and tendonsup to a factor of 2 or more! (Think of the classic equation F=ma, ifacceleration goes up, so would the force of weight.) Heres aguideline regarding the speed of lifting and lowering weights: 2-4 seconds for lifting 1-2 seconds in full contraction 4 seconds for loweringSlowing down the lowering phase emphasizes the tension fromintramuscular friction. 11
  • Rest and RecoveryThe ideal muscle-building program will never overlook the importanceof rest and recovery. There is a popular misconception that taking aday off after heavy training is detrimental to muscle-building. Somepeople mistakenly believe that working out longer, and harder, andmore frequently, would help them achieve their desired results faster.During workout, what actually happens is that muscle tissues breakdown and energy stores in the form of glycogen are depleted. Thebody also loses fluids. The muscles would need 24 to 48 hours torepair and rebuild. Insufficient rest and recovery would lead toincreased release of the catabolic hormone cortisol, and lead tofurther tissue breakdown, instead of muscle-building. At the sametime, important muscle-building anabolic hormones such astestosterone and growth hormone are greatly reduced when a person 19is stressed and tired due to insufficient rest.To speed up your recovery, give your body sufficient time to restafter a hard workout. You may also try doing active recovery, that is,perform some light and easy exercises that would improve thecirculation and help promote nutrient and waste product transportthroughout the body. Replace lost fluids by drinking adequateamounts of water. Eating a proper diet rich in protein and complex19 12
  • carbohydrate can serve to refuel your body. Lastly, you need to haveoptimal sleep since it is while you are sleeping that your bodyproduces growth hormone which is largely responsible for tissuegrowth and repair. 20 Building Muscle Without WeightsIt is possible for you to build stronger, toned muscles without havingto go to the gym or use free weights. You can use your own bodyweight as resistance. Any exercise that uses resistance to force yourmuscles to work harder strengthens...