Top 15 Tips for Building Muscle

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Take note of these tips and you will maximize your chances of building muscle and minimizing fat.

1. Genetics are important. If you ever could, you would choose your parents well. The ability to pack on muscle is at least partly determined by genetics. However, starting from a low base you can always improve your body shape. Being male and young also favors muscle building.

3. Push each exercise set to near “failure.” Failure means you could not do one more repetition in a set because of fatigue. For a 3-set exercise, you could start off with a heavy weight for 15 repetitions in the first set and then reduce each set by 2 so that your last set is 11 lifts. Even as you tire, you should attempt a maximum effort for each set.

4. Utilize the “big three” weight training exercises. These are the squat, the deadlift and the bench press. They build strength, condition, and bulk and should always be included in one form or another.

5. Train three times each week. At least 3 sessions per week should provide sufficient volume of exercise to create a muscle-building stimulus. Experienced trainers may attempt more sessions and novices could start with 2 sessions.

6. Don’t try to train for a marathon and build big muscles at the same time. You can mix cardio and weights — it makes a great fitness combo — but at the extremes, the training physiology and biochemistry are contradictory and you will not maximize your results unless you concentrate on one or the other.

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