While everyone, who goes to the gym in order to lift weights, has their own set of specific fitness goals, one common thread which runs through most is the desire to get bigger as well as stronger. Bodybuilders are unique as they look to build every single muscle in the body to the greatest possible extent. This is all while trying to make sure that everything remains in perfect proportion as well as symmetry. Because of this they must utilise a myriad of specific and varied exercises for each body part so that every muscle fibre and motor unit pool is exhausted at every workout.
Muscle is more difficult to build as well as maintain as we age. In fact, most of us begin to lose muscle around the age 30. Thus, physically inactive people can experience anywhere from a 3- to 5-% reduction in lean muscle mass for every decade thereafter.
This is due to decreased testosterone levels in men and decreased oestrogen levels in women — both of these hormones help build muscle — in addition to changes in nerve and blood cells and the body not changing amino acids to muscle tissue as efficiently, among other factors. However, muscle loss doesn’t have to be inevitable: For adult men and women, regularly performing resistance training exercises are extremely important in building and maintaining muscle. +
Just Doing The Exercise Won’t Help You Build
Knowing the correct exercises is only half of the muscle-building challenge in the gym. The other half is knowing the number of those moves that you should perform as well as how frequently you should perform them.
Expert personal trainers recommend this pattern for building the optimal muscle mass:
- Sets: 3-6,
- Reps: 6-12,
- Rest between sets: 30 to 90 seconds, and
- Workout frequency: 2 or 3 days every week.
It was also found that muscles need 48 hours of rest to fully recover from a workout. So, for example, if you work out your legs on Monday, don’t work them again until Wednesday.
Talking about rest, most muscle growth takes place during the REM cycle of sleep. This means that no matter what weights you lift, you won’t get the muscle mass growth that you want if you’re not getting enough sleep.
Athletes should be aiming for at least eight hours of sleep per night—as many as 10 if they are able to do so. Take computers, TVs, phones, and other distractions out of your bedroom that can disturb your sleep. And cool the room down to between 15 and 18 degrees if possible. Cool temperatures induce sleepiness, helping you reach the deeper REM phase sooner.
Exercises For Muscle Mass
The main muscles which are worked are:
- Anterior Deltoids, and
For maximum stimulation of your chest, position the torso on the bench with a little bit on an arch in the lower back. Hold your ribcage high. Shrug your shoulders shrugged back and downward.
The main muscles worked are:
- Upper Pectorals,
- Teres Major, and
Whether you’re looking to target your chest or lats, get the most out of this movement by utilising a weight which allows you a full and deep stretch while keeping the hips down.
If you want to learn about more exercises to help you to develop muscle mass then you definitely need to do our Personal Training Diploma. Follow this link to learn more.