Muscle Building Is Easy If You Know How
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Muscle Building Is Easy If You Know How

Muscle building is a challenging endeavor, but it doesn't have to be impossible. Many of us weight train for years with little or no results. Let us show you the way to building bigger arms, legs, back, chest, and shoulders. With the added size, you'll get stronger and feel better, too!

In our Muscle section, you found out the physiological events that contributed to increased muscle mass and strength. The key, remember, was progressive resistance exercise (PRE), and the best form of PRE known to man is weight training.

You CAN get bigger by doing push-ups and pull-ups (so-called “body weight exercises”), but you will reach a point of diminishing returns: You will quickly become so strong that your body weight won't be enough to properly stimulate muscle growth.

For example, Hershell Walker never lifted any weights. All he did was body weight exercises in addition to running. He obviously was naturally gifted. But he reached a plateau. Once you can do 200 sit-ups, it's kind of trivial to get to 250. But those extra 50 sit-ups won't really add to your development.

In short, you're simply doing too many reps for muscle growth.

So here are some quick guidelines for muscle building. More detailed information can be found in the Workout Routines section.

You can find other muscle-building secrets of bodybuilders at Body2Shape.com.

Upper Body

  • Do 6-10 reps for size, resting no more than one minute between sets
  • Do 4-6 reps for strength, limiting rest to less than two minutes between sets
  • Number of sets and number of exercises per body part will be determined by bodybuilding level (beginner, intermediate, or advanced)

Lower Body

  • Do 15-20 reps for size, resting no more than one minute between sets
  • Do 10-15 reps for strength, limiting rest to less than two minutes between sets
  • Number of sets and number of exercises per body part will be determined by bodybuilding level (beginner, intermediate, or advanced)

Nutritional Guidelines

  • One gram of protein per pound of body weight to maintain weight
  • Two grams of protein per pound of body weight to build mass
  • To gain one pound of muscle per week (practical maximum without drugs), you must increase your caloric intake by approximately 600 calories over the course of a week, or about 100 per day, all through protein
  • To lose two pounds of fat per week (practical maximum), you must decrease your caloric intake by 7,000 calories over the week (about 1,000 per day), all through less fat and less carbs

Rest Guidelines
You must get proper sleep. We have no way of knowing your specific sleep requirements, but suffice it to say, if you're not making gains while following the programs contained here, you're probably not getting enough sleep.

Little known fact: It's much more important to wake up at the same time every day than it is to go to sleep at the same time each night. It goes a lot farther towards your health and establishing a good sleep pattern.

Attitude
Keeping a good attitude is simply keeping things in perspective and not trying to control things that are out of your control. Only YOU can train right, eat right, and get enough sleep for YOU. You've lived with yourself for a very long time (your WHOLE life!), so you should know what it takes to get through the day.

Now, kick it up a notch and establish a muscle building plan with proper diet, exercise, and rest. Fortify this three-pronged approach with a muscle-building attitude and you'll make gains that are out of this world!

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