Okay. Iâ€™ll freely admit it. Muscle-building is not really my expertise. If Iâ€™m working out I like to stick to the cardio and the yoga. During my naive days I thought that muscle-enhancing workouts were only for big burly men who wanted to look like Schwarzenegger. I used to snicker at the men (and women!) who pumped iron. Now that Iâ€™m less naive and realize the importance of building strong muscles I still shy away from the free weights. Why? Iâ€™m lazy. And Iâ€™m a little apprehensive about looking like an idiot.
Hereâ€™s the deal though. Building muscles is important for everyone. Whether youâ€™re a yoga fanatic or a strength-training freak, strong muscles are an essential part of of a healthy body. And you donâ€™t need to commit to becoming a body-builder to benefit from muscle building. Simple strength-training activities can improve balance, ease aches and pains, aide in osteoporosis prevention, strengthen the bodyâ€™s connective tissues, and reduce risk of injury.
So, before you bypass the weight station (again) at the gym, check out these tips for effective weight training and muscle enhancement:
- To gain mass and overall strength work towards lifting heavier weights with fewer repetitions.
- To build endurance and create a more chiseled appearance lift a lesser amount of weight with a higher number of repetitions.
- Invest in a body-fat scale (or check to see if your gym has one) to gage your progress. Electronic body-fat scales will show your body-fat percentage rather than just your weight.
- Make sure to cross-train. Contrary to popular belief, cardio can actually assist in muscle-building. Flexibility exercises will help to keep your growing muscles from becoming tight and immobile.
- Cut back on saturated fats and refined carbohydrates. Stick to lean protein, fresh produce, and plenty of water.
- Give your muscles time to rest in between workouts, but make sure to strength train at least twice a week.
- Try a supplement. Muscle-enhancing supplements can help maximize muscle growth and increase muscle performance. Check out Twinlab, 100% Whey Protein Fuel Lean Muscle Vanilla Slam 2 lbs or Weider, Dynamic Muscle Builder Chocolate 19 oz.
There you have it. Building muscles. Itâ€™s worth it and itâ€™s doable. (Hmm... I think Iâ€™m gonna add some muscle-building activities to my New Yearâ€™s Fitness Resolutions list...)
If you havenâ€™t already, be sure to follow healthdesigns on Twitter. Weâ€™ve got health tips, discounts, and giveaways!