Authored by Jayant Row in Exercise, Weight Issues
Published on 04-19-2009
The normal reaction most people have when they look at themselves in the mirror or stand on a weighing scale is that they need to lose weight or gain weight. Very few worry about whether they have the muscle mass that looks so good on some of those models. The best way to maintain your body is to have muscle mass that will in turn increase your metabolic rate, and see that the calories you consume are always burned off. So how does one gain muscle?
The basic principle of weight gain or weight loss is simple. If you consume more calories than you spend you will gain weight. If you expend more calories than you eat you will lose weight. Extra calories tend to accumulate as fat, especially around the waist. If you want to lose weight you will need to convert that fat into muscle, and keep it that way so that your body is always consuming those calories.
Full body exercises are most advisable for gaining muscle mass and reducing fat from all over the body. This can be done on machines or with free weights. Free weights are better than machines as you are able to exercise a greater variety of muscles with different exercises with free weights. Machines will exercise only certain groups of muscles and lead to only those muscles being strengthened and gaining mass. While working out with weights, work to your limit. Do not force yourself to do a fixed number of reps. Increase the weights, and aim for eight to twelve reps per set. The weight should be such that each set should have you feeling that you are stretching yourself to the maximum.
Never let your body get used to any preset routine. If this happens the muscles will not gain mass as they would have got used to the routine. So regularly change your routines and change the exercises for the same muscle groups. Make these changes at regular intervals so that the muscles in the body constantly have to adapt to new routines. Combining weights with cardio, like running or jogging, could keep you more interested and less likely to give up your exercise routine.
Avoid junk food in your diet and see that you consume a lot of proteins, as this is the sure way of gaining muscle mass. Carb quantities should also be controlled as they are not too useful for building muscle mass. Protein supplements are OK but it is better to see that the proteins you get are from regular food sources like meat or fish.
If you work out in a gym, look around and settle on one or two people whose muscle development looks good to you. See if you can follow the routines that they adopt. There is no harm in copying what they do. It may not bring you the same results as each body has its own way of reacting to exercise, but you could pick up a few pointers. If you do interact with them, you can get useful advice on how to increase your muscle mass.