Plan a regular workout program and create a workout log to record the details of your workouts. Choose 8 to 10 exercises that work out your chest, legs, arms, shoulders, back and abdominal muscles. For each exercise, find your maximum weight for a single repetition and select a weight that is 65 to 85 percent of this amount to work out with. Schedule workouts two or three times a week.
Most people cannot build more than a half pound of muscle mass every week, meaning that it will take at least ten weeks to gain five pounds of muscle. You will need to stimulate your body to build muscle with the calories you consume instead of depositing it around your waist or hips as fat reserves. To stimulate new muscle growth, institute a weight training program and supply your body with proper nutrition and sleep.
Perform your workout. Lift each weight between 5 and 12 times, stopping only when you can't perform another repetition. Lower the weight if you can't lift it five times, and raise the weight if you can lift it more than 12 times. Rest for one to three minutes between each set of 5 to 12 repetitions, and perform two to three sets of each exercise.
Raise your weights by 5 to 10 percent as soon as you can complete 13 repetitions of a particular exercise.
Add 250 to 500 nutritious calories a day to your diet. This will support an overall muscle mass gain of about a half a pound a week. Include 0.65 to 0.80 grams of protein every day per pound of body weight. Fish and poultry are good sources of protein. Choose low-fat sources so that your body doesn't store the extra calories as fat.
Sleep eight hours a night on the same schedule, because your body rebuilds muscle tissue during sleep.
- National Strength and Conditioning Association: Strength Training for Muscle Building
- MayoClinic.com: Weight Training: Do's and Don'ts of Proper Technique
- MayoClinic.com: Strength Training: Get Stronger, Leaner, Healthier
- Harvard School of Public Health: Protein
- CNN.com: How Should I Eat to Build Mucle Mass?
- Photo Credit B2M Productions/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images
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