Building muscle mass involves more than just lifting weights. You must feed your body and maintain electrolyte balance for optimum results.
Your diet should focus on nutritious, high-calorie, protein rich foods. Most of your vital vitamins and minerals will come from healthy fresh fruits and vegetables. Enjoy complex carbohydrates and high fiber whole grains. A variety of cold water fish can provide healthy omega-3 fatty acids. The bulk of your protein should come in the form of low-fat animal derived foods, like meat and milk. Avoid empty calories and junk food that can be counterproductive to building muscle mass.
Intense workouts can deplete your body of necessary water and electrolytes. Make sure you are drinking an adequate amount of water. Be cautious about the types of performance drinks you consume. The most vital electrolytes are sodium, potassium and chloride. The more you sweat, the more electrolytes your body loses. A deficiency in electrolytes can lead to muscle cramps. Avoid sugary drinks that give you a temporary boost of energy but do not help you regain electrolytes.
When you first begin building muscle mass, you may benefit from the help of a trainer. A personal trainer can help you learn proper body position and good techniques for building muscle without causing injury. Exercising specific muscle groups needs proper form to keep the muscles working and avoid using momentum to move the weights. If you choose to begin your weight training without a personal trainer, make sure to use good posture and control the movements of your body to make your muscles do the work.
In order to build your muscles, your weight training should push your muscles to their limits. The weight should be heavy enough that you can not complete more that 12 repetitions at a time. If you can do more than 12 reps, you are not lifting enough weight and if you can not manage to do more than five reps, you are lifting to much weight. Avoid spraining muscles and straining ligaments by stretching before and after each set.
Concentrate your workouts on specific muscle groups each day. Overworking muscles is counterproductive to building muscle mass. Muscle development occurs while your muscles are at rest so be sure to get enough sleep each night and allow your muscles to rest three to four days between workouts. If you decide to balance your weight training with cardiovascular exercise, you will really need to increase your daily caloric intake.
Although, it is best to get your nutrition through dietary sources, you may need to supplement your diet with vitamins and a high-calorie protein drink. Building muscle needs a large amount of added calories and protein, both of which can be difficult to add without supplementation.
Increase your protein and caloric intake, use good form when lifting, consume a highly nutritious diet and get plenty of rest to help build muscles the right way. Avoid programs that promise overnight results because it takes time and hard work to increase muscle mass.