There are several factors that contribute towards muscle growth. These might include genetics, body type, nutrition, incorrect training routines, and lack of motivation and dedication.
These can all be overcome by setting your mind to task.
No matter what your age, body type, genetics or sex it is possible for everyone to gain muscle and lose body fat. The trick is how best to go about it.
There is no real secret how regular exercise, correct nutrition and a healthy lifestyle can put years onto your longevity and prevent certain diseases.
Although age is just a number, your health and the way you look will reflect it. We all want to live to a healthy old age and do the things that you’ve always dreamed about long before and after you retire.
The easiest time of your life to gain muscle is during puberty. As we age it subsequently becomes more difficult. You need to set yourself 12 week measurable goals to achieve the fastest results.
Often people train for years without really showing any progress. A good way to move forward is to set yourself long term and short term goals. Start by measuring yourself: arms, chest, waist, quads, calves body weight and body fat percentage.
Your body weight is important but more important is your body fat percentage.
You can get specialised body fat analysers that are easy to use. While not always that accurate, they will give you a good guideline. For a more accurate assessment you will need to see your doctor.
Now set yourself some realistic long term goals and write down what measurements, body weight and body fat percentage you would like to have.
Now to get to these goals you need to set short term goals to achieve what you have set out to do. Measure yourself every 12 weeks to ensure that you on the right track. You may also wish to take pictures of yourself now and then again a year later.
It always amuses me when I see the advertisements containing the before and after pictures of a six week training programme and how much weight the person has supposedly lost.
To start off with, keep your training sessions to 60 minutes. Keep the rest between sets to 90 seconds maximum.
By keeping your rest between exercises low it allows you to perform a large amount of work within a 60 minute time frame, helps improve your cardiovascular system, and maximises the output of growth hormone.
There are various workout routines to follow depending on whether you’re a beginner or an experienced athlete. A few points to consider when designing a programme:
One set can be between 6-15 repetitions depending on the type of exercise.
Training must be progressive: As you progress over a period of time, add more weight.
Training must be varied: After 4-6 weeks change your routine. Design a new programme by doing different types of exercises to train a specific muscle group.
No cheating: Correct form must be used when performing exercise. This will prevent possible injury and correct form will target a specific muscle group.
Cardio workouts are important but don’t overdo it if you aim to build muscle mass. A combination of free weights and plate-loaded machines will give you the best results in gaining muscle mass.
Breathe correctly: Breath in when lowering the weight, breath out when pushing the weight.
Patrick du Preez is the MD of Club Asia Fitness, Royal Phuket City Hotel, Phuket Town. clubasiaphuket.com
The opinions and advice contained in this column are those of the author only. The Phuket News is not responsible for the outcome or results of following any advice in any situation.