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Muscle building isn’t like putting up a few shelves in your rec room or your media room. It’s a long term project- think, building a house or getting a two year degree from a college. Or building a serious relationship. The human body, even one blessed with low body fat, can only build eye-catching muscles over time. If we rule out a trip to the dark and dangerous world of steroids, we’re talking about a few years of regular, well-directed workouts. Do you have patience and a vision of what you want to look like. Do you know the muscle gaining secrets?
The first thing to keep in mind is that you can’t work on every muscle every time you go to the gym. Even if you feel strong and fresh, do not train the same muscle group two days running. Why not? Because bodybuilding breaks down the muscles, and then time allows them to build back up, and increase in size. Simply put, each muscle group needs time off after you’ve pounded it. If you work your arms on Monday, don’t go back to them until Wednesday or Thursday. On Tuesday, you can exercise your legs, which you shouldn’t work again until Thursday or Friday. And don’t even think of working out every day. Five days a week is fine. In fact, besides taking the weekend off, you can skip the gym one weekday. Wednesday, smack dab in the middle of the week, is a good rest day. One hour per workout session, by the way, is more than enough for a newbie.
While pumping iron is your main path to a toned and muscled body, diet is very important. Well defined muscles are only possible if your body fat is low. Prune your diet of any empty calorie snacks you might indulge in. Potato chips, cookies, doughnuts must go. Also, be aware of how you food is prepared. Fried foods are higher in fat. And start noticing what you put on top of your food for flavor. Butter, syrup add a ton of calories.
Do not go to the other extreme, however. The human body, including one lifting heavy weights, needs a certain amount of fat each day.
Your protein intake will have to be higher. Burning fat and building lean muscle mass and muscles that show requires a diet high in good protein. Red meat is an obvious source of proteins but do not eat more than a couple of times a week. Complete protein is also available in chicken and turkey. Eggs are a wonderful source of protein. Of course, an excess of cholesterol from eggs and red meat can lead to heart disease and blocked arteries. If you love meat, eat more chicken.
But protein isn’t your only dietary need. Make sure you are getting a decent amount of carbohydrates, and from good sources. Consume more carbs on workout days, fewer on off-days when your body is more likely to store carb calories as fat.
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