1. You want to aim for Progressive Overload when you are training. That means the volume of your training has to be increased as you are adding muscle mass, this ensures you are continually improving.
2. You want to get the right Exercise Selection. The exercises you select should target all of your main muscle groups, and promote muscular balance. Free weights and body weight exercises are preferable over machine training. Good exercises include deadlifts, squats, lunges, pull-ups, and push-ups.
3. Training at the Right Intensity is important for adding muscle mass. Key elements to consider are the number of repetitions (or reps) of each set, rest period in-between each set, total volume, and overall training duration:
- 8-12 reps for each set
- 1 to 2 minutes rest in-between sets
- The total number of sets is ideally 20-25, although no more than 30 to 36 of sets should be performed at any once training session
- Train for 45 to 60 minutes maximum
4. The Ideal Frequency is to train each main muscle group once or twice a week.
5. Allow your muscle Rest Days. Your muscles grow when they are recovering from your training, so allow them this recovery time. Your nervous system takes longer to repair than your muscles. If your muscles have recovered from your last workout, but you struggle to lift the same weight as your last workout, your body is still recovering. In this case, you need to give your body more rest before your next session.
6. To build muscle you need to be in Calorie Excess. Therefore, you need to eat slightly more food during the days after your training. This ensures your body has the necessary energy for adding muscle mass.
7. As well as being in calorie excess, you want to make sure you are eating Adequate Protein during the days after your training. Sources of protein include cheese, nuts, eggs, beef, chicken, fish, and protein shakes. Aim to eat some protein at each mealtime.
8. Ensure you are well hydrated by drinking enough Water. Muscle is around 75% water, so this is vital in adding muscle mass.
9. High stress living does not facilitate good muscle mass. The stress hormone cortisol can lead to a breakdown of your muscle mass. So look to Reduce your Stress Load.
10. Aim to get Adequate Sleep by going to bed at 10pm and getting up after 6am. Physical repair happens from 10pm to 2am, so you need to be in bed on-time.
Lorna is a female personal trainer based in Shoreditch, London. Check out her programme to build muscle and strength. If you are interested in this programme book a free consultation with Lorna, or call her on 07841 463 942.