Body Building Reviews

Real Muscle Gain Truth

While generally losing weight is most people's concern, there are many others who strive to gain muscle, in order to acquire a good-looking body. Although one's genetic make up is generally responsible for one's general physical constitution, this can be overridden with firm determination translating into positive efforts made to achieve the desired goal of gaining muscle mass.

You may want to gain muscle for different reasons. It may merely be because you are skinny and want to achieve normal body weight and proportions. On the other hand you may want to get rid of flab and build a powerful body like that of a body builder. Whatever be your aim for muscle gain, you can achieve your target by following a suitable routine/program appropriate to your goals.

If your aim is to gain muscle mass to counter an underweight physical constitution, without laying any stress on a 'bodybuilder look', you need to follow a different regimen, from that required to be followed by those with a serious interest in bodybuilding. Both your dietary habits and physical activities need to undergo a change.

First, you must eat a diet rich in calories. Each day your calorie intake should be more than what you burn. If your metabolism rate is high, this may appear difficult. But there are ways that can let you overcome this, to add satisfactory weight without much trouble. You can try doing the following:

Calorie Rich Foods

You must understand that every individual has a different physical constitution. Some are hard ‘weight’ gainers. As compared to others, they take more time to gain mass. However, with proper focus and adherence to an appropriate muscle gain program, they can definitely gain mass, even if it is a bit slowly. The gain in mass should be muscle gain with no more than 2% to 3% of fat. That should be the aim.

Since, the stress is on good food and acquisition of more calories for muscle gain, it is important to know, how many calories 'good food' has, so that you can regulate your eating, according to the program you intend to follow. Not everything that you find inside your fridge is good for gaining best quality mass. Give full protection to your body by keeping away from dangerous and harmful macronutrients. Take a look at this calorie chart. You will find the information illuminating.

Foods Calories Protein Carbs Fat
Chicken breasts 170 31 - 4
Turkey breasts 140 30 - 2
Tuna (in water) 120 26 - 1
Egg whites (5) 100 18 - -
Extra lean steak 170 28 - 4
Milk (1L Skim 1% fat) 350 33 48 10
Cottage Cheese 100 15 4 2
Cooked Pasta 130 4 26 1
Rice 10min Cooked 130 2 30 -
Patotoes (Baked) 200 4 45 -
Potatoes (Boiled) 90 2 20 -
Olive Oil (1 Tbs) 130 - - 14
Weight Gainer 400 22 60 4
Oatmeal (Dry) 370 10 70 5
Protien Plus Cereal 350 30 60 2
Cereals 370 10 70 6
Bread Slice Whole Wheat 70 3 13 1
Vegetables (Salad) 30 1 5 -


Where quantity is not mentioned, nutritional details pertain to one hundred grams of roasted or boiled food item. The chart can help you balance your food/calorie intake for your muscle gain program.

Since the number of calories and amounts of other nutrients are related to the weight/quantity of a particular food item, you must know how much of some food you must eat at a time, to make sure you get the best mass gain results. In the beginning, it will be difficult to make eye estimation. So, it would be advisable to buy a cheap weighing scale, to determine how much of what food you should put on your plate. Later having practiced with the scales, you may be able make a fairly accurate judgement of the weight of the food just by ‘eyeing’ the quantity.

The next most important thing to understand is that the increase in food intake must be gradual. If your ultimate goal is attaining a 4000-calorie intake with a starting point of say 2200 calories, you must tailor the increase to 4000 calories, in stages of 250 to 300 calories at one time. This is important because your body is accustomed to digesting a certain amount of food everyday. A quantum jump in the amount of food intake would upset the digestive system and you may end up with a bloated stomach, indigestion and dyspepsia.

Keep Eating

This can lead to an aversion of the new diet program and you may dump it altogether. On the other hand, even if you are able to digest the excess food in the normal course as some people can, it will result in a gain, mostly in fat. For others, the natural way in which the body is made to function, will soon adapt the system to the increased food intake, to accept it as normal. Any further mass gain can stop after some time, as the body will cease to receive signals that trigger growth.

The best way therefore, is to trick your body while maintaining your digestive vitality. To succeed in this, you must adopt a gradual progression technique. Scientific studies have shown that the body is able to easily adapt to food related variations, approximately every two weeks. So, what you need to do is increase your food quantity about 300 calories at the end of every couple of weeks.

You may be tempted to hike the increase to 1000 calories, in the interest of a speedy gain. Beware, a sudden big increase in calories may alert your system that something is wrong and the end result will be a 'fat increase' not muscle mass gain. Anything less than 300 calories will not let you take full advantage of the maximum gain that can be had.

As mentioned earlier, the end result for any muscle gain program will vary for each individual, even if all follow a program in an identical manner. Some may gain 20 lbs., some just 10 or 11 lbs.

How To Build Arm Muscles

Before proceeding with the progressive bi-weekly calorie increase, let us first look into some other related details, to gain a better understanding of it.

There is a method that you can use, to chart out the amount time needed to reach your desired goal of serious muscle gain. Depending on, whether you have a less active, moderately active or more active lifestyle, first multiply your body weight by a factor of 23/24/25 respectively. To get the higher calorie level, you need to reach in line with your ultimate goal. For example, if you weigh 200 pounds and are moderately active with an average daily intake level of 2400 calories, then the calculating would be:

Bodyweight in lbs. x lifestyle (moderately active) = 200 x 24 = 4800
A 4800 calories target is what you should aim at. The time required could be found from a chart similar to the one given hereunder:

For a realistic achievement of this target food intake is increased @ 300 calories every two weeks.

Week 1 - 2
2,700 calories

Week 3 - 4
3,000 calories

Week 5 - 6
3,300 calories

Week 7 - 8        
3,600 calories

Week 9 - 10      
3,900 calories

Week 11- 12      
4,200 calories

Week 13 -14
4,500 calories

Week 15           
4,800 calories
Time required to achieve 4800 calorie target = 15 weeks.

Now to turn your increased intake of food/increased calories into muscle mass, you need some weight training.  Weight training is a bodybuilding system that uses different weights, to enable ‘variable resistance’ training. The resistance can be provided through free weights like dumbbells and barbells, various machines and equipment that incorporate cables and pulleys etc or free hand exercises, using the trainee's bodyweight as resistance, and as and when doing dips or pull-ups.  As you must have understood by now, simple calorie increase will lead to fat build up in the absence of a weight training program.

A program for gaining muscle mass does not require you to be a genius, to succeed at building a solid physique. The hype that bodybuilding requires specialized knowledge. Understanding of a higher order is so much baloney.
However, muscle gain proves elusive for most new entrants to a program, trying out their hand at creating an impressive hunk. The basic reason is that here success involves hard work. It is less of understanding and more of punishing physical grind. Many experts say "Muscle building is one of the simplest things to understand but one of the most difficult to implement."

Many available programs provide you with precise and clear details, about how to gain muscle mass but in them are no guarantee to success. They just provide the information/advice. It is YOU, who have to go about implementing the advice and following the instructions offered in the program. Why most people remain unsuccessful, despite having access to a good muscle gain program is because they fail to implement it. No sincere entrants exploring possibilities of magic ways to gain mass muscle allow small things like lethargy and laziness become major causes, leading to a failure of their muscle gain program. They also get confused from the immense amount of circulating misinformation on bodybuilding. When things start becoming tough, they simply get diverted to other things, losing their focus on building an impressive rock solid physique.

Be very sure that it is only your own determination to overcome such distractions and your passion to achieve the goal of having a muscular body that can provide you with the desired results. Distractions sabotage your goals and hence need to be managed effectively, to avoid damaging your goal.

Coming to the 101 of a muscle gain program, it should be well thought out and organized. You must follow the program religiously and forget all, what you have heard or learnt earlier. This is not compatible with the program but it is a re-education on muscle gain, which you must undergo with a free and clean mind, if you wish to achieve results promised through the program.

Maximum muscle gain can be achieved through exercises, involving the use of free weights. Your focus should therefore be on such type of exercises that does not suggest a total exclusion of machines from your muscle gain program. Though an effective workout schedule for muscle gain should also aim at stimulating as many muscle fibers as possible, since this is usually not possible through machine workouts. This is because exercises through machines do not usually contribute to the development of stabilizer and synergist muscles.

These are muscle groups that support the main muscles in performing a complex lift during the exercise program. The fact is that the number of stabilizers and synergist muscles are worked; the more muscle fibers get stimulated.  In a multi-jointed free weight exercise like bench press, assistance from many stabilizer and synergistic muscles is required to complete the lift. On the other hand, if a machine is used for bench press, the exercise can be completed without any appreciable assistance from the stabilizer muscles.

Machines are made to operate in motion ranges of specific orders and support the weight along the path of motion. This does not allow the muscles around the area of the main muscles to be worked. And if the supporting muscles are weak, the main muscles will never attain their full growth. Conversely, free weight exercises stress supporting muscle groups to a large extent. Exercises like the squats or dumbbell presses are good examples and lead to fatigue much faster. You will be able to do lesser reps and not lift as much weight as you can on the machine. However, the muscle gain will be much more and it will make you stronger much faster. Given below are some multi-joint free weight exercises that must be included in any muscle gain program that you should follow, to get you fast and solid results for different muscle groups.

For shoulders, chest and triceps: Bench presses
For shoulders and triceps: Overhead presses
For Pull-ups/Barbell Rows: Back, biceps
Squats: Lower back and legs
Deadlifts: Shoulders, back and legs
Bardips: Shoulders, chest and arms.

These excellent exercises are capable of overloading your entire skeletal and muscular system in a way that no machine will be able to. This can lead to a very effective muscle gain workout in a relatively short period of time. These are time tested and proven ways, for encouraging strength and muscle gain like no other exercise routine.

Building mass requires training with heavy weights. Heavy is a relative term. What may be heavy for someone may be light for an advanced trainee. So test and find out, what is 'heavy' in your case. A suitable test would be to check the number of repetitions you are able to do for a particular exercise. If you are able to do no more than eight to ten repetitions, before your muscles temporarily fail, the weight is heavy enough for you. Any weight that allows you to do fifteen or more reps, before fatiguing your muscles should be considered as 'light'. The stress given to heavy weights is due to their ability to stimulate more muscle fibers as compared to lighter weights. It has already been pointed out that more muscle stimulation means more muscle growth.

Having said so much about muscle mass training, a word of caution must be sounded against 'over training'. If you overtrain, you expose yourself to a burnout or injury. When you do not allow your muscles enough recuperating time between workouts, they are unable to repair themselves. And if they are not in a repaired shape, you will not be at your peak strength for your following workout. The importance of rest cannot be overemphasized. Apart from eating a balanced and calorie rich diet, your main focus should be providing adequate rest to your body between workouts. A good weight-training schedule would include training for three days in a week with days of rest in between. Any more training would deprive the body of the essential rest required to repair itself and build new muscle mass.


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