Strength training offers a host of benefits – from building muscle mass to warding off diseases. The muscle mass you gain increases your strength and boosts your metabolism, so you burn more calories. Are you interested in successfully packing on more mass? Follow these useful strength training tips.
Focus on Compound Exercises
Choosing the right exercises is an essential element in the muscle mass building equation. The main choices of exercises you have are compound and isolation exercises. Compound exercises such as deadlifts, squats, pull-ups, and bench presses work multiple muscle groups whereas isolation exercises such as the seated leg extension only work a single muscle group. Research has shown that compound exercises trigger a greater hormonal response than isolation exercises, hence are more effective in building muscle and strength. Direct the majority of your workout program towards compound exercises.
Increase Training Frequency
Training twice a week is okay if your aim is maintaining the muscle you’ve already gained. However, if your goal is to add some size, you should increase how frequently you train to four or five times a week. Increasing exposure to training stimuli is useful in adding mass.
Do Light, Low-Impact Cardio
Cardio and muscle gains can be friends or foes. Overdoing cardio or incorporating the wrong cardio exercises to your workout routine can impair your muscle growth and strength gains. When doing a cardio routine, your focus should be on burning fat while preserving muscle. Aim for more strength training than cardio. For example, you can have three days of strength training and do some low-impact, light cardio on one day per week – six-mile runs are a no-no. If you choose to do them on the same day, don’t do cardio before strength training. That will affect your form and increase your risk for injury.
Don’t Skimp on Shut-Eye
Exercising too much will stall your progress and increase your risk of injury. You need a combination of rest and exercise to get optimal results. If you’re a beginner, you can have a day off between workouts. If you’re an experienced lifter who has many workouts each week, have a “take it easy” week after every 4-6 weeks, during which you do lower rep, lighter weight strength work. A lot of muscle recovery and repair takes place during your sleep, so make sure you get enough rest and sleep after your workouts.
The stress your body endures during workouts should be complemented with the right nutrition to avoid breaking your progress. Avoid alcohol, refined sugars and processed food. Opt for lean protein, healthy fats, and complex carbs to sufficiently fuel your body for gains during your workouts. Make sure you have a good breakfast and eat some protein and carbs shortly after working out.
Most importantly, make sure you use these tips regularly to build muscle mass effectively. If you remain consistent in your efforts, you’re assured of getting visible results.