If you’re looking to build muscle, the way you train matters. Science has shown that your muscle grows faster when you follow certain time-tested principles. In this article, Christopher Lee, Buffalo, New York-based fitness entrepreneur and personal trainer, explains 5 essential principles and how they can boost your strength training results.
1. Lift What You Can
Especially when starting out with strength training, it’s important to know and understand your limits. While it would be awesome to simply enter the gym and start bench-pressing hundreds of pounds, remember that it’s a process to build muscle.
No matter the exercise, you should start with a weight that allows for 12-15 repetitions (comfortably). As you increase strength, you can gradually increase the amount of weight you use. And don’t worry—it won’t take as long as you may think!
2. Pay Attention to Form
Learning to do each exercise correctly can be the difference between an injury that puts you off track from achieving your muscle growth goals and maintaining the course. Not to mention that the better form you take on, the better results you will have for your targeted muscle groups. It’s a win-win.
If you’re unable to maintain good form with a certain exercise, do not push. Instead, decrease the amount of weight and repetitions to the point where you can maintain the optimal motions for performing an exercise.
3. Proper Breathing Habits
A common error by those engaging in strength training is forgetting to breathe. If you’re tempted to hold your breath while lifting weights, do what you can to break that habit early. Improper breathing habits inhibit the flow of oxygen to your brain and blood while you work out, which can decrease performance.
Breathe out as you lift the weight, and breathe in as you lower the weight. This will help you get in proper breathing rhythm and give your body all the resources to make your strength training session as productive as possible.
4. Rest Your Muscles
After you train a particular muscle group, it’s important to allow those muscles to recover. Avoid targeting the same section of your body two days in a row, working out major muscle groups just two to three times per week.
Proper muscle recovery will allow you to improve faster. Showing up to the gym with tired muscles is never productive, and in extreme cases, can lead to injury.
Before you start your strength routine for the day, get your body moving with some aerobic activity. This should last for about five to minutes and warm your muscles to reduce the risk of injury and allow your muscles to take on your workout with all their power.
Head out for a brisk walk or spend some time on the stationary bike. The peak of your workout will thank you for doing so!
If you’re looking to start or improve your strength routine, don’t forget these five key tips towards muscle growth! By following these guidelines, you can quickly and safely build your dream body.
About Christopher Lee
Christopher Lee is a certified fitness trainer from Buffalo, New York. Christopher specializes in designing workout plans for clients that make them look and feel more athletic, helping them avoid injury. Mr. Lee emphasizes a healthy diet and lifestyle so clients can fuel properly to get the most out of their workouts and reach their fitness goals. When he is not working with his clients, Christopher Lee can be found at a hot yoga class, practicing martial arts, or spending time with his friends and family in Buffalo.