How to Build Muscles
A couple of decades ago, when Arnold Schwarzenegger released the ‘New Encyclopedia of Bodybuilding’, which is also known as the muscle building bible, millions of copies were sold overnight. It was the Austrian oak’s most comprehensive illustrated bodybuilding guide which covered everything, from the fundamentals of bodybuilding to advanced body conditioning techniques.
We still recall queuing up to secure a copy hoping that this would be the answer to the Mr Olympia physique with mountainous arms and an insane chest that the guy sported.
Sadly, we learnt the hard way that building muscle has a lot more to do that merely reading a book and emulating what’s written or shown in it. Don’t get us wrong, the book was truly a revelation, correcting a lot of common mistakes and busting a lot of myths too. But, it was no shortcut, which in our naiveté, we believed like a lot of other people at that age.
A few years have passed, but we guess nothing much has changed for we still see bodybuilding courses and packages being sold without even realizing what the person’s goals, body composition and needs are.
If you have always wondered how to get bigger arms and shoulders, and chest for that matter, then here’s an eye-opener for you.
Cookie cutter packages won’t work
Do you need a good physique? Hire a professional trainer, get your ass to the gym and work your butt off. There are no two ways around it. You need to invest in your body considering it to be an investment in yourself. Don’t jump to hire the first jacked up guy that you see on Instagram or on Social media who posts selfies of himself.
You do not know anything about the trainer and how he got that physique. For all you know, he must be loaded with anabolic steroids and himself has no clue why his body reacted the way it did.
If you are hiring a trainer, ask a few questions. A good trainer will never be shy about answering any queries that you have. Ask about the workout program that will be created for you. Ask about the nutrition aspect of it.
Ask how to build leg muscle fast. How to gain muscle mass, how to build lean muscle? Whatever your goals are, ensure that the trainer is aware of what he is doing and why.
Don’t be hung up on a single body part
If you have a great physique, but one muscle in the body lacks definition or lacks the size that it deserves, then it makes sense to target it in more detail than you’d do normally.
For example, if you have perfectly defined thighs but your calves lack detail, then you can think about how to build calf muscle.
But otherwise, never get hung up on any one body part. Your biceps may be the motivator or your shoulders maybe. But you need to focus on every single muscle group in your body to get an even, healthy and defined physique.
Beginners should focus more on compound movements with full body exercises rather than focusing on isolation movements. A three-day full body split will do you a whole lot of good as compared to a four day two body part split.
There is no ‘Fast muscle gain’ in bodybuilding
If I were to receive a dollar every time someone asked me how to build muscle fast, I’d be a millionaire now. Even though it may not be what you want to hear, there are no shortcuts. If you were wondering how to build leg muscle fast, guess what, the answer is the same for someone who wants to build the muscle slow and progressive.
Hit the squat rack!
That’s it. You have to lift heavier than what you did last month or a couple of weeks ago. Progressive overload is the key and then back it up with enough protein, fats and carbohydrates and you should be seeing amazing changes in your body.
Your genetics will play a key role in it. But even then, a lot of it can be overcome with a good diet and exercise routine.
Don’t focus on doing things fast. Focus on doing things right instead.
Focus on your legs
Any bodybuilding coach or fitness expert worth his salt will tell you to never skip leg day. There is a reason behind it. Your legs are your foundation and it will affect a lot of things from your performance in everyday life, your lower back muscle strength, your metabolism, your balance and not to mention, your overall appearance.
No matter how wide your lats are, or how huge your biceps are, chicken legs will look horrible and they will stand out.
If you are starting off with a workout program, you should focus on how to build thigh muscles or how to build butt muscle rather than thinking about how to build forearm muscle like Sly in his latest flick.
Watch what’s on your plate
You cannot build a good looking body without watching what you eat. Nutrition is often attributed this mythical status that most people cannot get right. But it’s actually quite the opposite. Nutrition is simple. People over think and make it complicated. No need to do it. Focus on eating at least 1gm of protein per pound of your body weight and keep the carbs and fats balanced according to your fitness goals. Supplement the body with vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids and you should be able to achieve your dream physique.
The same stands true for bodybuilding too. Don’t give undue importance to things that rarely affect performance. Some people spend a lot of time wondering how to get pecs or does flexing build muscle.
A few years later, you may just smile thinking about the things that you fussed about that actually did not matter at all.
If you have any doubts, feel free to ask them in the comments section.