The Complete Muscle Building FAQ

Many a times, when you are at your wits end with your workout program not yielding the kind of results that you had expected it to, you wish if you had some person that you could walk up to and unload all the endless queries and doubts that you had in your mind.

But sadly, nothing is out there for free except for misinformation and crappy outdated advice that is not going to cut it for you anymore.

If the internet is to be believed, then the entire world trains like Mr. Olympia pros or jacked up guys on anabolic steroids. Not true. Your workout program should be tailored to suit your body and not based on what works for someone who probably has different genetics, eats differently and works out differently too.

Based on what we have been hearing frequently from our readers as well as on our experienced in the iron world, here’s a complete muscle building FAQ that will answer some of the most commonly asked questions in bodybuilding.

How to build muscle?

We thought that we might as well start with the most basic one of them all. How do you build muscle? Does testosterone build muscle? If yes, then how do females build muscle because their bodies do not produce testosterone at all?  Well, we will leave the hormones and the diet for now and focus on the gym. To build muscle, you will have to lift weights and lift enough so that you max out and reach your fatigue level by the time you hit six to eight repetitions. This will break down your muscle fiber and promote new muscle growth.

How long does it take to build muscle?

This is the next most commonly asked question. That depends on so many different factors including your genetics, your body type, your exercise, your age, your diet and your supplementation. If everything is in order, then you can build a decent body in six to eight months. But to get a competition worthy physique, you will have to spend a few years at least. There are no shortcuts in bodybuilding. Consistency and persistence are the keys.

How to build muscle fast?

Technically, there is no way to build muscle fast unless you are on anabolic androgenic steroids. When you lift weights, your muscles undergo wear and tear. When supplied with the proper nutrition, this primes the body for growth. But there is only so much that the body can do in limited time. Steroids will turn it into a machine that constantly heals the muscles and keeps growing. Even if you are using steroids, the above mentioned factors will still have to be in place. You will still need to lift your ass off, know how many calories to gain muscle and know what supplements to use.

Does cardio build muscle?

A lot of times, we get asked questions like ‘does running build leg muscle or does jogging build muscle’. Well, that’s a tricky question to answer. Any type of physical activity will induce muscle growth as long as you give it the nutrition that is needed and the time needed to repair itself. But cardio exercises are more beneficial at toning the muscles rather than building size or mass. The constant repetitive motion will make your leg muscles toned. But if you are looking for size, you will have to lift heavy.

How often should I lift weights?

In normal circumstances, lifting three times a week suffices to help you build a healthy and strong body. You do not have to ape professional bodybuilders who lift twice a day for seven days a week. They have years of lifting and not to mention, assistance from anabolic drugs under their belt before they attempt something of that sort.

How to lose weight and gain muscle?

That’s almost impossible to achieve unless you have great genetics, an excellent diet, are using steroids and a perfectly tailored workout plan. If you wish to club the two, you will have to gain muscle and minimize fat gain. Does building muscle burn fat? Yes. It does. But you will still gain some fat though because your body will be on a caloric surplus.

How to eat to gain muscle?

That’s a whole different part of bodybuilding that is considered to be equally if not more important than what you do in the gym. You have to eat the required calories in the precise macro nutrient ratio according to your fitness goals. To gain, eat a surplus. To cut, eat in a deficit. It is not rocket science. But it does take a tremendous amount of patience and persistence to get it right. If you are not eating right, you are making a half assed attempt that will give you half-baked results at best.

How to build muscle without weights?

Due to perpetually busy work schedules, home workout routines have become quite popular in the past few years. Programs like Beachbody’s P90X have demonstrated how easy it is to build muscle with a pull-ups rod and activities like Yoga thrown in. ‘Is that true? Does pull ups build muscle?’ Yes, it does. Pull-ups are known as the King of back exercises. When done correctly, it provides a complete workout for the back.

Does creatine build muscle?

Creatine is one of the most widely used supplements in bodybuilding. Its benefits include promoting muscle recovery, boosting your strength and intensity of workouts and most importantly, giving you amazing muscle pumps. At least two of these actions have a direct affect on the muscle you build.

How to build lean muscle?

Lean muscle is a combined effort of clean eating, weight lifting three to four times a week, cardio twice a week and proper supplementation. By lean, one normally means muscle gain with minimum fat in the body. We are sure that you have heard the term that ‘Abs are made in the kitchen’. So, if you feel that you are gaining more fat than muscle, maybe you ought to rework the diet plan.

If you have ever wondered what builds muscle, then this FAQ should help you get some perspective.