5 muscle building tips when planning a full body workout
- by Safdar Butt
No matter how fast your metabolism, your muscle mass won’t change overnight. Building muscle is an ongoing process that offers amazing health benefits when done correctly.
High muscle mass can be dangerous when combined with things like poor heart health. If you’re looking for ways to elevate your full body workout, check out these 5 tips to building muscle mass safely.
How to Build Muscle
Most full body workouts emphasize the importance of getting your heart rate up. You start with a warmup that gradually builds your heart rate to a level that burns a higher amount of calories.
These exercises are amazing for warming up your muscles and improving your overall cardiovascular health. While your blood pressure and cholesterol levels will get better, heart health is only half the battle.
Go for that run or walk, but once you’re done, focus on more than unwanted pounds. Muscle building exercises are a part of a larger strength training regimen like mk2866.
As we age, our bodies need good balance and strong joints to help us avoid injury. A sudden movement can lead to a pulled muscle or the need for surgery.
Slow down the muscle loss most people experience with age by doing strength training exercises. Strength training builds both muscle and increases bone density.
When you experience an injury later in life, you want more bone density to help prevent fractures. Anyone with arthritis can attest to the benefit of strength training exercises in easing chronic pain.
A full body workout that improves your muscle mass lowers your chances of osteoporosis which is caused by bone thinning.
Research points to muscle strength workouts as the best way to better sleep, balance, blood sugar control and good mental health. Focus on your strength training before worrying about extra weight.
Your fat will naturally melt away with a solid muscle building exercise plan.
Muscle building workouts continue burning calories even after you’ve stopped working out. As your muscles begin to emerge, you’ll fit into your clothes better revealing a more attractive shape.
So, keep the cardio, but make strength training the focus of your daily muscle building workout plan. You’ll boost your metabolism while your body continues to age gracefully.
How Long Does it Take to Build Muscle?
Building muscle mass is sometimes discouraging. With a cardio workout, sweating is a sign you’re doing something right.
When you finish a long run, the release of endorphins leave you with an amazing sensation throughout your body. You won’t get this same satisfaction from strength training exercises.
That’s because muscle building is a gradual process. It’s easy to become unmotivated when don’t see results right away.
Hang in there. If you’re willing to take accept that your body might need months to build muscle, you’ve greatly improved your chances of success.
So, how long does it take to build muscle? For most people, muscle building takes anywhere from several weeks to a few months. The key is in your genes and the consistency of your workouts.
The irony to the gradual process of muscle building is that skeletal muscle is actually pretty adaptable. It’ll adjust fairly quickly to the workout routine you create.
The downside to adaptable muscle is that it reacts quickly to the wrong types of exercises. Trying to dead lift 300 pounds when you’ve never done weightlifting before can lead to immediate muscle damage.
This is why fitness experts recommend ramping up your strength training over time. If your muscle fibers undergo trauma too soon, you’ll decrease your opportunity for consistent workouts because some injury takes days or weeks to repair.
Muscle Damage vs. Muscle Injury
Tiny amounts of muscle injury is a good thing. It’s what happens when you push your muscles to their current limit and force them to rebuild small amounts of muscle fiber.
Your muscle fibers can easily repair any damages or injury in smaller amounts. Everyone’s body handles this self repair differently hence the varying time it takes to grow muscles.
There are supplements you can take to speed up the process of muscle fiber repair. They work to send certain satellite cells to your muscles after a full body workout.
Hormones can also help your body form new blood capillaries. Make sure your supplements contain vitamins and minerals that repair muscle cells and manage the growth of muscle mass.
There are ways to stimulate your body to release hormones without the help of supplements. Resistance movements trigger the body to release growth hormones from the pituitary glands.
The more intense your resistance, the more hormones released. These growth hormones are key in boosting your body’s metabolism.
Here are the most important things to remember when beginning a full body workout to build muscle.
- Don’t Overdo It
A lot of fitness plans on the internet focus on quantity over quality. Beware of any workout plan that emphasizes ‘pain to gain.’
Yes, you’ll be sore after a strength training workout at first because your body isn’t used to working certain muscles. But this should go away with time.
The pain you feel when you start working out for the first time shouldn’t be equal to the pain you feel increasing your weights each week or month. Try not to shock your body too much with drastic increases in weight or resistance.
Find your limit and stay there until the workout becomes too easy. Also, working out every day isn’t necessarily the best path to muscle building.
All you need is around 30 minutes of weight training several times per week. If you can get two weight training sessions in per week, you’ll see results.
A full body workout targets all the major muscle groups. Make sure you work all muscle groups at least twice during the week.
Don’t underestimate the impact even one session can have on your body. There’s a process call protein synthesis that leads to continued calorie burn 2 to 4 hours after a workout. For some people, this process continues throughout the day.
Don’t get discouraged if you don’t see muscles toning in the first few weeks of your full body workout.
Muscle definition comes later for some people than others. You’ll know your muscles are growing with how much you can lift, not necessarily how you look.
Boosting your output could lead to irreversible injury. Avoid the vanity that comes with toned muscles by focusing on inner strength first.
It’s the best way to maintain the muscles you build and help you avoid pulling a muscle that can put you on bed rest (or crutches) for weeks.
- Start With an Easy Full Body Workout Plan
Have a full body workout plan in place that you can easily remember. When you’ve memorized your workout plan, you can focus on things like improving your form and increasing your weight load.
If you’re struggling to remember which move is next, it can be a distraction that adds unnecessary down time to your workout. Keep your mind on your workout with a simple strength training plan.
There are dozens of variations of strength training workouts you can combine to reach your goals. If you’re not working with a trainer, consider these options when creating a regimen:
Body Weight Exercises
One of the easiest ways to get started with a full body workout is with body weight exercises. These are equipment-free exercises that rely only on your body weight to build muscle.
These exercises include things like lunges, pushups and squats. You don’t need a gym membership to do these exercises making them the most cost effective way to build muscle.
Simply wake up extra early and add a few reps to your routine each morning or on your lunch break. It’s OK to modify these workouts until you’re comfortable with the full range of motion.
The second type of strength training to incorporate into your routine is resistance band movements. Resistance bands are rubber band-like tools you stretch to work the muscles in your arms and legs.
Because you’re stretching against your own strength, these are great exercises for beginners to help avoid injury. Resistance bands are perfect for travel or if you’re looking for an easy workout plan to do at home.
Most people think of free weights when trying to build muscle. Images of buff body builders deadlifting hundreds of pounds can trigger excitement in men looking for immediate results in a workout plan.
But there’s a lot more to consider when using free weights for the first time than there is with other types of strength training. Consider hiring a personal trainer to help you perfect your form before you worry about how much you can lift.
Weight machines are usually found in a gym. These machines are helpful in allowing you to target specific muscles during your workout.
You’ll know which muscle groups are being worked with each machine so you end up with a more comprehensive workout plan.
- Focus on Resistance Not Reps
A good full body workout is all about quality not quantity. More reps doesn’t mean more muscle definition.
More reps with good resistance equals better muscle definition. Try to do 8 to 15 reps, or repetitions, in a row.
That counts as one set of your exercise. After each set, you’ll need to rest for 60 to 90 seconds.
How do you know your resistance workouts are effective? You should feel challenged with each rep.
Allow yourself to extend your weight for three seconds, hold for a second and then bring your weights back to rest. If you can do this without feeling any resistance, then your weights need to be increased.
Keep increasing your weights until you begin seeing definition. You can switch to a more advanced workout or stick to the tried and true.
Try to aim for a weight that tires out your muscles after about 15 reps during the first set. A single set with heavier weights is more effective than multiple reps with weights that don’t offer much resistance.
- Get Good Rest
The rest period between each set is the key to muscle building. Your body needs rest between workouts and reps because it allows your muscles to react to the small amount of muscle injury you’ve experienced.
Remember, the muscle fibers damaged can and want to repair. These fibers regrow when they’re not pushed beyond a certain point.
Serious injury can happen if you push your muscles too fast and too hard. Make sure you have at least one day of rest each week.
An injury means slower progress. Alternate the muscle groups you work to help prevent injury.
If you work arms and shoulders on Monday, focus on legs on Tuesday. This rule doesn’t apply if you don’t workout everyday.
- Increase Your Protein
The key to wellness is diet. Research links good mental and emotional health to what you eat.
Feeling good can help you maintain motivation during your full body workout. But clean eating offers more than just emotional benefits.
Adding more lean protein to your diet increases your muscle definition. Consider adding more nuts, seeds, chicken and fish to your diet to increase your protein.
The more you weigh, the more protein you’ll need to make a dent in your muscle building goals. For example, a 200 pound man might not be able to get by with six ounces of fish for dinner.
Consider proteins that digest more slowly, like red meat or beans, if you have more body mass.
How to Improve Muscle Mass
Your muscle mass will improve with the right full body workout plan. Focus on form over frequency though.
A daily workout is only a good as the quality of your reps. You should be lifting enough to challenge yourself without feeling like you’re about to pull a muscle.
Injury slows down your progress. Balance out workout with days of rest when your muscles can rebuild and repair.
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If you’re coming up with a full body workout plan, building muscle can help improve flexibility and pain levels. Learn muscle building tips here.