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There are two types of gym freaks–one who only believes in hitting the treadmill and the other who believes that the more weight you lift the better muscle mass you’ll get. FYI, both of them are totally wrong.
Gaining muscle mass or sculpting your body is no joke. It takes time and needs a proper strategy, if you want to be successful in your endeavours. How much to work out, what to eat, what to not to eat, how much to lift–every decision matters. And that’s why today we are sharing this step-by-step guide that will help you muscle up the right way.
Point to be noted here: These are not quick fixes and you need to follow it to the T.
So, here are five golden rules for gaining muscle mass:
1. Know your body
Most of us are unaware of our body types. If we talk technically, then there types:
According to Ruchika Rai, a Mumbai-based women’s fitness and health coach and founder of the combat yogini programme, your metabolism is a great indicator to know your body type.
2. Lift the right kind of weights
Hopping on to machines should not be your primary concern. First and foremost you need to do bodyweight exercises to acclimatize your body. It’s like oiling your muscles so that there is less wear and tear.
Says Rai: “Always begin with body weights because that is the right way to do it. You can start with planks, squats, or combat training like kickboxing which is a mix of both cardio and strength. Doing functional training like burpees and crossfit is also recommended because they will activate your muscles and keep you away from injury.”
3. Don’t overdo cardio
This one is especially for those who fall under the ectomorph category. Overdoing cardio will only help you shed off weight and will be zero help in the muscle gain department. Even if you want to do a warm up cardio then ask your trainer to guide you with the kind of exercises that won’t intervene between you and muscle gain.
“Most of us choose the wrong way of cardio. If you want to lose weight, I would suggest going for HIIT and slow running. People who want to gain muscle, should do sprints,” explains Rai.
4. Your form matters a whole lot
Posture and movement are key. How you lift your weights, whether your muscle is contracting properly or not, are you doing the right wrist movement, are you holding the pose in a right way, are you leaning properly–these things define how successfully you’ll gain muscle.
“Form is basic. If you don’t have the right posture then you won’t be able to gain muscle ever. Exercising is just like meditation. You need to feel every inch of your muscle. Feel every contraction and relaxation for maximum effect,” she says.
5. Take ample rest
Resting your body after a full-blown workout is a must and there should not be any ifs and buts around it. When you work out your body stimulates your muscles, but you only build them when they are at rest. Plus, when you do a heavy-duty weight training session, your muscles feel a little sore. But when you give your body proper rest, repair work goes on that allows you to hit the gym again.
“Rest is very essential and it includes proper stretching especially post-workout as it relaxes your muscles. Yog nidra is another way. Plus, body massage is also a good technique to relax your muscles,” concludes Rai.
The right lifestyle can go a long way in building muscle
Eating right and not indulging in smoking and alcohol is a must. Another thing that you should keep in mind is to focus on each muscle group at least once a week to maintain muscle mass.
So, now your rule book is all ready ladies. It’s time to pull up your gloves and do the lift!