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    Thread: The 10 Laws Of Muscle Building: Part 1

    1. #1
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      Default The 10 Laws Of Muscle Building: Part 1

      The 10 Laws Of Muscle Building: Part 1

      Before you begin a fitness regimen, you need to know the basics of building muscle. Robert Wildmanís 10 laws are exactly what you need to build quality size!
      At the beginning of your muscle-building journey, you may think getting bigger sounds easy: ďAll I need to do is push and pull some weights to look like my favorite athletesĒ In reality, however, many people struggle to build muscle and carve a leaner, fitter body. This isnít because theyíre not trying, but more likely because they donít have a solid plan or understanding of the process.
      Although thereís nothing easy about building muscle and losing fat, it doesnít have to be complicated. In fact, I can help you do it! As a sports nutritionist I have worked with collegiate, elite, and professional athletes, as well as bodybuilders, figure, bikini and physique competitors.

      More importantly, Iíve also worked with people like you who were just getting started or struggling to make meaningful progress. I often diagnose those struggling to meet their fitness goals with what I call ďMMS,Ē or Muscle Mismatch Syndrome. MMS is common to those whose endgame aspirations are out of balance with clear, practical know-how. Symptoms of MMS include general confusion, frustration, and early goal abandonment.
      Although MMS is common, all my experience has pushed me toward a simple prescription: good information! Yep, the best way to combat MMS is a little education. To make that education readily available, Iíve put together a list of muscle-building laws. These 10 laws are clear and usable, so you can easily implement them into your fitness plans.
      Get started today!

      Law 1: Build Your Blueprint

      Before you can begin a fitness program, you first need to know where you are, what your goals are, and how you plan on achieving those goals. Thatís why Law 1 is called ďBuild Your Blueprint.Ē Without first developing a clear plan of action, your fitness goals wonít ever get off the ground.

      As youíre building a plan for your goals, here are some important things to keep in mind:
      Define Your Starting Point

      Where are you now, where are you going, and how are you going to get there? These simple questions have to be answered up front before you can get off to a solid start. If this isnít your first attempt to achieve a fitness goal, then itís a good time to bring these old ideas to the surface. Itís important to remember what worked in the past, and what didnít.
      As you gather information about your current weight, body fat, and performance level, your starting line will become much clearer. Knowing where you are now will make planning your fitness goals much easier and achieving those goals much more likely.

      Determine Your Goals

      Aside from your overall fitness goal, itís important to set small, achievable goals for changes in strength, size, and leanness. These small goals should be measured, recorded, and celebrated on the way to your big, overall goal. I suggest that you set realistic and conservative goals to ensure success and progression for the long haul.
      For instance, a 10 percent gain in bench strength and 3 percent reduction in body fat in the first 60 days of training are small, realistic goals you could set for yourself. After youíve achieved these short-term goals, remain conservative with each subsequent one you set, but keep setting goals on the way to your long-term target.
      The changes you can expect to see will depend entirely on your workout and nutrition quality. (Donít worry; weíll dive into these details in some of my upcoming laws.) Moreover, how dramatic these changes will be depends on your beginning fitness level. If youíre starting at a completely sedentary lifestyle, you can expect bigger changes earlier in the process.
      Understand and Measure Progress

      Once you have a goal and a plan to reach it, determine how you will track physical and performance changes. Itís imperative that you measure and track your progress. As the saying goes, ďmeasure what matters.Ē
      Weigh yourself, get your body fat tested, take progress photos, and take stock of how your clothes fit. Measure strength gains by doing reps at a specific weight or keeping track of weekly exercise volume. Donít just rely on the bathroom scale or a single measurement tool. Use your entire toolkit!
      Whatever you use for assessment should be used for the entire process. Use the same scanners, trainers, equipment, and professionals to perform these measurements. If you switch your main source of information partway through your journey, you may find that your progress stagnates.
      Keep detailed notes, and remember that you may not see progress every day or week, but be patient. Measure consistently and youíll soon see excellent results.

      Law 2: Train to Gain

      I know, I know, youíre champing at the bit to get started in the gym. Although Iím glad youíre enthusiastic and ready to go, itís important that you learn sound training principles before you start hitting the weights!
      My second muscle-building law is about the five training principles youíll need to know before you start lifting for growth.
      1 Intensity

      Training intensity refers to the number of reps you can do at a given resistance before you fail. This is known as your repetition maximum, or your RM. The most weight you can do for one rep is your 1RM.

      For muscle-building (hypertrophy), I suggest that you train using 65-85 percent of your 1RM. This equates to about 6-12 reps per set for the greatest size gains.1 More weight and fewer reps yields more strength gains, while less weight and more reps yields more muscle endurance gains.
      So, target more sets in the 6-12 rep range, but also include some sets where you train below and above that target to help you meet strength and endurance goals as well. Also, donít sweat it if you donít fatigue on every set; total work volume is the real target.

      2 Volume for Victory

      Training volume refers to the number of sets times the number of reps for a given exercise, muscle group, or total program. Volume is important because it helps you measure how much work youíre doing in a given period of time. More volume could definitely lead to greater gains.
      As a rule, target at least 12 sets per week for a specific muscle group (chest, legs, back). Spread those sets out throughout the week. Depending on your schedule and preference, you can adjust accordingly for total weekly volume.
      3 Frequency

      You should aim to train each muscle group 2-3 times per week. If you only train each body part once per week, you have to do a lot of volume in that single session in order to give that muscle group enough stress to change.
      If you split that work over 2-3 sessions, however, you may actually be adding volume to your muscle-building program.
      4 Tempo

      Tempo refers to how quickly you move the weight during the concentric (lifting portion) and lowering (eccentric portion). For each lift, aim for a concentric contraction of 1-2 seconds and an eccentric contraction of 2-4 seconds. This 1:2 ratio seems to be the best amount of time under tension for hypertrophy. Anything shorter than that increases the likelihood of gravity doing most of the work, and anything longer may not bring any additional benefit.
      5 Rest

      Rest is an important part of the equation. You should rest about 48 hours between training each muscle group. So if you train chest on Monday, schedule your split so you donít hit it again until Wednesday or Thursday.
      Between sets, aim to rest about 90 seconds. That should be ample time for all of your systems to reset and regenerate so you can move on to the next set with energy.

      Law 3: Train To Lose

      When youíre training to lose, youíre training to burn more calories and fat during exercise and during the 24-hour post-workout period. Doing resistance training is a great way to increase muscle mass and therefore burn more calories throughout the day, but you should also include cardiovascular training.
      My favorite way to train cardio is with high-intensity interval training, or HIIT.
      HIIT More Benefits in Less Time

      HIIT combines bursts of high-intensity dynamic exercise like running or cycling with periods of active rest. Research suggests that HIIT burns as many calories as lower-intensity cardio in much less time, and allows the burning of calories and fat to remain elevated throughout the day.1,2 Furthermore, this type of training can help muscle fibers take up more fat and carbohydrates after training to be stored in preparation for the next challenge.
      To perform HIIT, do 3-10 intervals of high-intensity effort followed by lower-intensity effort. High-intensity effort should last 30-180 seconds and should be followed by active-rest periods done in a 1:1-1:4 ratio. For example, you could sprint for 60 seconds and transition into a jog or walk for 60-180 seconds.
      If you are just getting started, do shorter work periods with longer active rest. As you get fitter, increase the length of work and decrease the length of rest. Try to perform HIIT for at least 20 minutes, and consider a frequency of 2-3 times per week depending on your goals.

      Law 4: Think 24/7

      It is critical to remember that training might only account for 1-2 hours of your day. That leaves more than 80 percent of the day for nourishment, adaptation, and transformation. Itís important that you think of fitness adaptation as something that occurs throughout the day. If you want results, youíll have to do more than just train hard for an hour or two.

      Train your mind to think of fitness as a 24-hour project. Even sleep has an effect on your body!
      Get Your Protein

      Muscle protein is in a constant state of flux. Itís either being made during muscle protein synthesis (MPS) or being broken down during muscle protein breakdown (MPB). In general, you want MPS to exceed MPB, or you wonít build muscle efficiently. In order to keep MPB from exceeding MPS, you need to keep a steady flow of amino acids coming into your body. In other words, you need to eat protein!

      To build and maintain muscle, protein should be the basis of every meal you eat, from breakfast to right before you go to bed. Protein is also critical right around the time you exercise. You can increase MPS by increasing the amount of available amino acids before, during, and after your workout.
      I always tell my clients to build their meals from protein out. Start with at least 20-25 grams of protein per meal, and eat every 3-4 hours. That protein can come from meat, eggs, protein powder, or dairy.

      As long as youíre eating a lot of protein and training hard, you can still potentially build muscle in a slight calorie deficit. As calories get more and more restricted, youíll need more and more protein to continue to progress. Otherwise, you run the risk of MPB taking over MPS, which mean you could lose your hard-earned gains.
      Protein is every bit as important when youíre trying to build mass. If youíre eating extra calories in order to gain weight, half of those extra calories should come from protein to support gains in muscle. The other half should come from carbs and fats to support energy demands in response to harder training.
      Optimize Morning and Evening

      Morning and evening are important for optimizing a net positive muscle protein balance. While you sleep, MPB can eventually supersede MPS, resulting in a negative balance in the morning. To thwart this negative balance, have some protein before you go to bed.
      This bedtime protein snack is especially important for people who train in the evening, because those nighttime hours are an extension of their post-workout period. Casein protein is an especially good choice at night because it digests more slowly than whey.

      Law 5: Protein Up and Often

      When I was going to school for nutrition in the í80s, it was always recommended lower protein to people. The thought then was that too much protein would be bad for the kidneys. Today, we know better. For people who train hard, protein recommendations are at least double what they are for inactive people. That means that if youíre in the gym training hard, you should be eating at least 1.5-2.0 grams of protein per kilogram of your target body weight.

      If you want a simpler recommendation, go for at least 1 gram of protein per pound of your targeted body weight. If you continue with an active lifestyle through adulthood like I have, these protein recommendations donít really change. In fact, it seems that we might need relatively more protein as we transition from our 20s into our 60s and beyond.
      Rise and Protein Synthesize

      Unless you eat protein right before bed, chances are your protein-balance scale will be tipping toward muscle protein breakdown (MPB) in the morning. This negative gap will continue until you eat a significant amount of protein (at least 20 grams). So, when you wake up, eat up! Protein before exercise may also help burn more calories during the effort and still allow for good fat burning after.

      Protein Up Post-Workout

      Muscle protein balance has to be a principal consideration once you finish a workout. If itís been a few hours since your last meal, get 20-25 grams of protein in within the hour after training. I suggest whey protein post-workout because itís fast digesting and will quickly help balance that net protein.

      Protein Up When Calories Are Down

      The more restrictive your calories are, the more protein you need to hold on to muscle. If youíre trying for a super shred, youíll have to eat more than 1 gram of protein per pound of lean body mass. Remember, though, if you deplete your calories too low (more than 80 percent), no amount of protein you eat will prevent protein breakdown.
      Veggie Protein Power

      Although animal and dairy proteins are the most bioavailable, plant-based proteins can certainly be used to meet protein requirements. So, if youíre a vegan or vegetarian, you can definitely still hit those protein-intake recommendations!
      The second part (part 2) of The 10 Laws Of Muscle Building will be published in in the upcoming days.
      Disclaimer: Steroid use is illegal in a vast number of countries around the world. This is not without reason. Steroids should only be used when prescribed by your doctor and under close supervision. Steroid use is not to be taken lightly and we do not in any way endorse or approve of illegal drug use. The information is provided on the same basis as all the other information on this site, as informational/entertainment value.

      Please take the time to read these threads!

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    2. #2
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      Default Re: The 10 Laws Of Muscle Building: Part 1

      Good reading

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      Default Re: The 10 Laws Of Muscle Building: Part 1

      Awesome post

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      Default Re: The 10 Laws Of Muscle Building: Part 1

      Great post

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      Default Re: The 10 Laws Of Muscle Building: Part 1

      "And though she be but little, she is fierce"

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