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Congratulations on your decision to embark on a muscle building program.
If you want to learn how to gain muscle you must know that strength training is not just about looking good but also being healthy and strong.
Since you’re just starting out, options might seem overwhelming, but with the following bodybuilding tips, you’ll be ready for those heavy workouts.
Table Of Contents
General Bodybuilding Tips:
Go with Free Weights
If you’re just learning how to build muscle fast, then it’s tempting to go to the gym and workout on all the machines there. You might even feel the urge to buy some fancy home equipment.
However, it is best if you just stick with barbells and dumbbells for now.
At this point your goal is to get your body accustomed to lifting weights. That means you don’t need any fancy machines because your body is not yet capable of handling those kinds of workouts.
By simply lifting free weights you’ll be doing your muscles a favor as you get used to the weights. Whether it’s a bench press, deadlift, etc just keep working out and you’ll reap the benefits.
Leg Workouts are Essential
A lot of workouts focus on the arms, but it would be a big mistake to ignore your legs.
Working out your legs is essential to ensure your muscles grow in proportion, and you will also need the extra strength to support your body when you do more intense workouts.
When you study how to gain muscle, you will discover different ways to work out your legs. The simplest is to jog every day for half an hour or run for 20 minutes a day.
If you have an elliptical machine or a treadmill you can perform dozens of different workouts. But even if you don’t have any equipment, squats and leg raises will suffice.
The bottom line is the stronger your legs are, the more workouts you’ll be able to do. This also means your body will be more flexible and capable of handling more pressure.
It’s not enough to just build up the muscles in your arms and shoulders, as the rest of your body have to be developed as well.
Eating Before and After Workouts
One of the things you will quickly learn about how to gain muscle mass is the importance of diet. Entire books have been written about exercise, muscle building and diet, but let’s try to keep it simple.
Before workouts, drink some pre workout protein shake. If you want to eat, it must be at least an hour before starting your workout. After workouts, your meal should be rich in carbohydrates.
It’s important you’re fueled up before and after workout because your body needs amino acids to synthesize muscles. You’re also going to need carbohydrates as energy to build muscle tissues. You need fuel before and after workouts, but you can vary the time you eat the other meals.
Get Results with the Right Foods
1. Go on a protein rich diet. Include protein shake (before, during and after workouts depending on the formula) as well as eggs, milk, dairy products, nuts, vegetables and chicken.
2. Consume at least a gram of protein per pound of body weight. Drink protein shake if you’re having trouble consuming that much protein.
3. You need to have a surplus of calories to build your muscles. To do that, eat 4 too 5 meals a day and every 3 to 4 hours.
4. Don’t eat junk food. What you need is to gain mass, not fat. Eating frequently does not mean eating anything you like. Avoid fatty foods and too much sweets.
Your muscle building diet must consist mainly of healthy fats, complex carbs and protein rich food.
No bodybuilding tips will be complete without supplements. You can get vitamins and minerals by eating fruits and vegetables.
Ideally, you should eat at least 10 servings of different fruits and vegetables. If you’re having trouble eating that much, take multivitamins with a high concentration of vitamins and minerals.
The following are the most essential supplements for gaining hard muscles:
Creatine: found in your muscle cells, creatine is essential for cellular modulation and energy production.
Taking a creatine supplement boosts lean muscle mass production, hastens post workout recovery and increases muscle volume. Take 5 to 10 grams of creatine daily, half with your post workout meal and the other half for pre workout meal.
Beta Alanine: this is an amino acid which leads to greater endurance and delays the onset of fatigue.
Beta alanine also enhances repeated sprint abilities and improves your force output and it also works well with creatine. Take 2 to 6 grams a day and spread the amount throughout the day.
Whey Protein: whey protein stimulates protein synthesis, the means by which your body builds up muscles. For best results, consume 20 to 30 grams of protein shake for pre and post workout.
BCAAs (branched chain amino acids): these are essential to help your body recover after working out. BCAAs are also sources of energy and manages your body’s nutrients.
They also improve metabolic recovery and minimize muscle fatigue. Take 3 to 5 grams of BCAAs when you wake up and 3 to 5 grams pre and post workout.
Rest is Important Too
Training every day is a no-no and you should train 3 to 4 times a week or every other day.
As a beginner, you don’t want to force your muscles to work too hard as it could lead to injury and slow down your progress.
Furthermore, your body body uses rest time to rebuild your muscles. When you lift heavy weights, your muscle tissues get damaged and torn due to the pressure.
After working out and resting, your body repairs these tissues and makes them larger and stronger to cope with the amount you’re lifting.
Diet helps with muscle growth, but your body needs to rest to speed up the process.
Not resting makes it difficult for your body to build strength, not to mention it’s going to take its toll physically.
Importance of Sleep
Sufficient rest means sleeping 8 to 9 hours a day. Not getting enough sleep makes it harder for your body to recover and build up muscles.
Don’t smoke, avoid excessive drinking and other bad habits. You may not think they’re related to muscle building but they are. By taking care of you body you’ll get back in shape quickly.
Stick with the Program
If you want to know how to gain muscle fast, one of the things you’re going to find out is that consistency is key.
You can’t just do whatever you want: your strength training program needs to include specific workouts that target the major muscle groups and consist of specific number of sets and reps.
If you have a personal trainer, he/she will design a program for you to follow. If you don’t have one, design your own and follow it.
Once you’re comfortable with the reps, increase it or the sets. As you get stronger, increase the duration of your workout program. Add more workouts, but make sure you follow it.
Workout Tips for New Bodybuilders:
Know When to Increase the Weights
This is something only your body can tell you. If you’ve been working out for a while, you will know when it’s time to increase the weight you’re lifting.
Keep a journal or an app of the weights you’re lifting and try increasing it every two weeks. The amount you can increase it depends on your condition so don’t force it too much.
It doesn’t matter how much weight you add because what matters is you do increase the weight. If you’re stuck and can’t lift anymore, try super sets or drop sets as that will increase your physical potential.
Give yourself a few more weeks and you’ll get over the hump and lift heavier weights.
So when do you determine you have reached a plateau?
Well, that would be when it feels like you’re not developing any more muscles. At some point you’re going to hit this plateau.
In short, the plateau is when you work out and don’t experience any improvements.
The best way to prevent this from happening is to change up your workout routines and follow them.
It can mean adding more exercises as mentioned earlier or changing the order which you do them. It can also mean changing the amount of time you rest.
So if you’re having trouble lifting more weights when you get to a certain point change things up so you’ll be able to do more. Sometimes you just need to vary your approach and you wile get the results you’re looking for.
Lifting Til Failure
There is a lot of debate about how far you should go when it comes to lifting till muscle failure. But to keep things simple, just try to go one or two repetitions short of failure.
You will be pushing your body so it will lead to muscle buildup, but it’s not going to destroy any muscles.
Note: it goes without saying, but as a beginner you need to be careful when doing this to avoid injuries.
Start with the Simple Movements
Start your workouts by doing the simple things like the military shoulder press, barbell bench press, deadlift, squat, push ups and crunches.
These are simple movements but go far in terms of increasing your strength. Once your body has gotten used to these movements, you can mix things up by using different workouts and varying your lifting techniques.
Train Every Muscle Group
Don’t just focus on one muscle group: work them all out each week.
It does not matter what the sequence is as long as you work them all out. You need to strike a balance between doing too much and not enough.
Ideally you should perform exercises that work out two muscle groups minimum.
Because there’s only so much time you can devote to working out, make the most out of each work out by focusing on multiple muscle groups. If you want to maximize your potential, work out those muscle groups.
The shoulder press is a good example of strength exercise that works out two muscle groups, the triceps and shoulders.
Doing the squat will work out your hamstrings and quads while the bench press focuses on your triceps, chest and shoulders. It will also work out your biceps, which is why it is essential.
On the other hand, some exercises work only one muscle group. Leg curls only focus on your hamstrings, triceps push downs your triceps and barbell curls your biceps.
This does not mean these workouts are not important, only that their focus is limited.
Posture and Execution are Important
This one should be obvious, but a lot of novices are so eager to work out they just lift and lift without paying attention to posture.
It is not enough to just lift as you need to assume the right posture, inhale and exhale. Make sure your back is straight, feet set at the proper width, and so on.
There are two things beginners need to always keep in mind: start with lighter weights and make sure your posture is correct.
Incorrect posture and movement will hinder your progress or lead to an injury.
Some simple safety tips to keep in mind.
- Always make sure there’s a spotter when you’re lifting heavy weights.
- Wear lose, comfortable clothing.
- Don’t work out if you’re sick. Give your body time to heal.
- Don’t lift weights that are beyond your capabilities.
- Take the appropriate muscle supplements as given above.
- Wear a safety belt when lifting very heavy weights to protect yourself.
Hopefully these bodybuilding tips have given you an idea of how to start your workout program.
One of the most common mistakes novices make is rushing their routine in the hope that it will accelerate their progress.
As we have demonstrated here, the best way to approach this is to work out progressively and set goals. By following the tips here you’ll be on your way.