How to gain muscle mass and strength
The first rule of thumb: Exercise caution.
Google and you’ll find a squillion variations of every exercise ever invented.
But do treat most of these like you’d treat the cover version of a song – it’s nice, but not a patch on the original. That should pretty much be your philosophy unless a personal trainer advises you otherwise.
Remember, everyone is trying to get their five seconds of fame and the fitness market is no different. Yes, a mid-wide, cross-lateral, inverted, down-energising pull up might sound very ‘now’. But so is a gangsta rap version of All of Me by John Legend.
If something’s popular, anyone with a wifi will try to get in on the act and make you believe they’ve found a way to bring deadlifts back to life; they’ve been dead by name from the beginning, yet they live on in their simplest form for good reason. They work!
So stick to the originals even if most of them seem like (and largely are) the exercise equivalent of 33rpm vinyl records.
Exercise like it’s 1975
Yes, gentlemen, you too can look like Arnold Schwarzenegger before he even knew where California was, let alone said he’d be back in any cinematic or mayoral context. Back then, standard exercises such as bench press, overhead press, wide grip pull ups and the aforementioned deadlifts exercised specific muscles or small groups of muscles.
And they still do; the very muscles and groups you need to focus on to gain real muscle mass and strength.
For the legs – lunges, deadlifts and squats; three super standard and hugely effective ways to get great shape, tone and power in your legs.
For the core – Crunches, hanging leg raises and planks; not a weight in sight, yet your body provides all the resistance you need to build muscle across your entire core.
For the upper body – bench press, overhead press and dips are about as old school as it gets, yet name an exercise that does the job better.
More for the upper body – inverted rows, pull-ups and chin-ups; again, nothing fancy, but very fancy results.
What do you want to do – get stronger or bulk up? Or both?
It’s probably both, but if you’re just after strength, use heavier weights that allow you to squeeze out maybe 5 reps without blowing a gasket. If you want to add mass, lower weights and higher reps – 6-12 – will do the job.
There is such a thing as over-exercising. So don’t think an intense hour-long workout 5 times a week is a clever idea; it is if you want to end up a fatigued, grumpy insomniac aching from head to toe. Three workouts per week is optimum and if one of those is cardio, you’ll add a healthy heart and lungs to the equation.
And if you agree with all this and think you can add your two cents worth of prized knowledge, then why not become a personal trainer?
Call us today on 1300 616 180 and take your love of fitness and change it into a career!
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