One thing that some people dislike about muscle-building fitness programs is the amount of mathematics they can involve. You should put your fears behind you and learn to love the numbers game! This article will teach you more about the various numbers that make a difference in your exercise routine.
1. Weight. This is an easy one. The important thing to keep in mind, when you’re building muscle, is that your goal is actually to gain weight. Muscle is very dense tissue, and it weighs more than the flab it replaces. Keep this in mind when you review dietary advice; most is designed with the reverse situation in mind.
2. Sleep Schedule. Another easy number, but maybe not one you were expecting to see. Sleep is absolutely vital to an effective program designed to increase muscle mass. Without enough sleep to rebuild and repair your muscles, your body will be unable to keep up with your exercise schedule. If you’re not already getting a solid 8 hours of sleep every night, it’s time to start.
3. Basal Metabolic Rate. BMR is simply a measure of the total amount of energy your body expends over the course of the day. It’s measured in terms of raw heat output. The important thing for you to know is that when you start building muscle, your BMR is going to go up – you’ll have more mass that needs energy.
4. Protein Intake. When you get serious about building up your muscles, protein becomes very important to you. More than any other nutrient, protein is what your body uses to build muscle. Whether you take protein shake supplements or start including healthy, lean meat in every meal, you need to get your protein intake up. A good rule of thumb to shoot for is that you need at least a gram of protein for every pound of body mass.
5. Exercise Ratio. In the broadest terms, there are only two kinds of exercise: cardiovascular exercise and resistance training. Although every good fitness regimen includes both, when you want to build muscle mass you have to concentrate on resistance work. While you cannot neglect cardio work, it is not going to help you bulk up. The ratio between the amount of time you spend on each form of exercise is important. Keep in mind, though, that an effective cardio workout will take longer than its corresponding strength training routine.
6. Sets and Reps. A strength training session is broken down into different exercises. You may repeat an individual exercise more than once over the course of a session; each instance is a set. Within each set, you’ll repeat the same limited motion many times; these are reps. The important thing here is to remember that the effects of increasing sets or increasing reps are drastically different. Adding new reps is a small, incremental expansion in your workout. Adding more sets is a much more dramatic move.
Hopefully, you’ve got a better grasp of at least a few of the numbers that you’ll be playing with when you start a muscle-building fitness routine. You’ll find that the mathematics of the situation becomes a lot less threatening when you understand what the numbers mean. Before long, you may find yourself going out to expand your muscle-math know-how on your own!