Trying to Grow Muscles?

Muscle Building

Okay. I’ll freely admit it. Muscle-building is not really my expertise. If I’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 I’m less naive and realize the importance of building strong muscles I still shy away from the free weights. Why? I’m lazy. And I’m a little apprehensive about looking like an idiot.

Here’s the deal though. Building muscles is important for everyone. Whether you’re a yoga fanatic or a strength-training freak, strong muscles are an essential part of of a healthy body. And you don’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 body’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. It’s worth it and it’s doable. (Hmm... I think I’m gonna add some muscle-building activities to my New Year’s Fitness Resolutions list...)

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