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Tips To A Strong, Muscular Physique
Copyright (c) 2007 Brian Gurneak
For over ten years now, I have been a drug-free competitive bodybuilder, and I can tell you first hand what it takes to develop a muscular physique. In this article, I want to discuss with you my top 5 tips for increasing strength and building lean muscle.
Tip #1 Stick with the basic exercises! You heard me correctly. Do exercises that place a higher demand on your body and involve more muscle groups then just one. Examples include squats, presses, dips, chins, rows, and deadlifts. If you don't know how to do them properly, hire a personal trainer or if you have pain seek an orthopedic, chiropractor, or physical therapist. These exercises will give you more "bang for your buck."
Tip #2 Vary your repetitions and weight loads! The human body possesses different types of muscle fibers, and in order to recruit these different types, you need to work with higher repetitions and lower repetitions. Rest intervals between sets, tempo, within the set, and how hard you workout will all greatly affect your end results. What I mean by that is if you want just strength, generally workout with loads between 3-5 repetitions, and rest up to 3 minutes or more between sets. If it's strength and size train with loads between 8-15 repetitions and rest 90-120 seconds between sets, and pay close attention on how fast you move the weight (a bit slower here). And lastly if it's endurance, seek extremely high reps, 30, 50, or more. This may be good for say boxers and swimmers who need tons of endurance.
Tip #3 Increase your Carbohydrates to at least 2x's your Body weight! If for example you weigh 200lbs now, aim for at least 400grams in carbohydrates per day. This may sound like a lot, and you may not be able to do it right away, but trust me this is one of the KEYS to increasing lean muscle mass. I'm not talking about carbs from ice cream and pizza, but "clean carbs" from oats, sweet potatoes, brown rice, and whole-wheat pastas. By doing this you store a lot of sugar in your muscles, known as glycogen and that gives you killer workouts. Also gives your body a constant flow of the hormone insulin, which is critical in obtaining more muscle.
Tip #4 Eat about one to one and a half grams of quality Protein per lb. of bodyweight! Eating this amount of protein will ensure that you are getting in enough. Remember, your not a sedentary person and your body demands more of this macronutrient in your diet to help keep the building process growing. I find that a lot of individuals are lacking when it comes to protein. You can get some through quality foods like lean steak (filet, flank, london broil), chicken breast, turkey breast and fish. You can also supplement with a high quality whey and casein protein, which is ideal for before bedtime. Keep in mind protein has a high thermic effect on the body, meaning it helps raise the metabolism because it requires a high amount of calories just to break it down.
Tip# 5 Get Enough Sleep! I understand this may be a hard one, but is very critical for you if you want to get more muscular. You see your body releases it's repair hormones at a higher level at night, usually between 10p.m. and 2a.m. It's the peak time when your body is regenerating and repairing. This is a big factor in you gaining the quality muscle your want to obtain. I suggest 7-8 hours each night. If you can't get that in, try taking a 30 minute nap at sometime during the day before sleep to allow the body to recover from the day's stress and workout.
Brian A. Gurneak is a Master level Professional fitness trainer with over 12 years in the fitness industry, specializing in fat loss and muscle gain. In addtion he is also a drug-free bodybuilder, and professional fitness model for 10 years. He is known for his audio cd series on advanced training and nutrition for competitive bodybuilders. For more articles and tips visit http://www.completephysique.info
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