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Building Muscle Mass

Exercise!


Did you know that building muscle mass helps burn more calories - even when you are doing absolutely nothing or when you are asleep? It's true! Plus, weight training helps keep your bones strong.

The rules for building muscle mass are simple, but they take discipline to apply, so read carefully and be determined to carry them out.

Building Muscle Mass

  1. To gain muscle, you need to eat more calories every day. Muscle is defined as "the contractile tissue that effects the movement of and within the body." (Source: The Free Dictionary)
  2. Have your body fat tested to determine your lean body weight and have a personal trainer or nutritionist recommend how much protein you need to gain muscle mass.
  3. Eat adequate amounts of fat (15-percent) and carbohydrates (55-percent).
  4. Protein should make up 30-percent of your diet.
  5. Weight train intensely three or four times a week, no longer than one hour per session.
  6. Limit your cardio workouts for maximum muscle gains.
  7. Sleep! Shoot for eight to ten hours a night.
  8. Drink loads of water.

Muscle Mass Fat Burning Benefits

  1. Muscle is like a car engine. It burns gas - or calories - and provides the power to get you from one place to another. The bigger the "muscle engine", the more fuel you burn. In other words, the larger the muscle-mass, the more calories your body burns at work and at rest.
  2. It is possible to increase your metabolic rate by at least 7-percent after six months of intense weight training. This means if you are eating 2,000 calories a day to maintain your weight, you would burn an additional 140 calories each day. At this rate, you would lose over seven pounds of fat in six months.
  3. Every added pound of lean muscle burns an additional 30 to 50 calories each day.
  4. Exercisers can add three to six pounds of muscle in six months of weight training.

Using Free Hand Weights

Free hand weight exercises are great! You can use both arms/hands at a time, or opt to just hold one weight and focus on one arm at a time. There are so very many exercises you can so with free weights, we'll run down some of the common ones along with proper technique to get you started. Do not continue performing an exercise if anything hurts while you are training! Choose weights that allow you to comfortably perform 2 to 3 sets of 8 to 12 repetitions (reps) each set.

Free Hand Weights Work Out Tips

Do

  • Take normal, controlled breaths.
  • Exhale on the most difficult phase and inhale during the easiest phase.
  • Control your movements.
  • Use a four-count to move the weights through the full range of motion.
  • Warm up the muscle groups before you begin exercising.
  • Stretch when you are finished your workout routine.

Free Hand Weights Exercises

1. Using free hand weights to strengthen your backs and shoulders

Positioning

  1. Stand tall.
  2. Place your feet shoulder width apart.
  3. Keep your toes pointed straight ahead.
  4. Keep your knees slightly bent.
  5. Keep your head back.
  6. Square your shoulders.
  7. Contract your abdominals (stomach muscles).
  8. Do not arch your back, especially when lifting the weights.
  1. Hold your arms straight down at your sides with the weights at hip level (approximately).
  2. Use a four-count to move the weights through the full range of motion.
  3. Bending at your elbows, slowly pull the weights to your upper chest area along the side of your body.
  4. Slowly lower the weights back to waist level.
  5. Check your posture.
  6. Repeat steps 1 to 5.

2. Using free hand weights to exercise your thighs and buttocks (lunges)

Positioning

  1. Stand with your feet approximately 6 inches apart.
  2. Hold your arms straight down at your sides.

Free Weights

  1. Step forward with your right foot, maintaining your posture, and weights down at your sides.
  2. As you step forward onto the right leg bend your knees and lunge - (as if you are going to kneel). Your right knee should remain directly over your right ankle (not farther ahead).
  3. Don't let your knees touch the floor.
  4. Exhale as you lunge.
  5. Slowly and steadily, bring yourself up and bring your feet back to the starting position.
  6. Inhale as you come up.
  7. Repeat steps 1-7 using the left leg.

3. Using the free hand weights and fitness ball to exercise your chest

Positioning

  1. Lie down with your back firmly on an exercise ball.
  2. Legs are bent at the knee.
  3. Feet are hip width apart.
  4. Hold the weights in your hands over your upper chest.
  5. Wrists are in a neutral position and locked.
  6. Tense your abdominals to stabilize yourself.
  1. Slowly push hand-weights upward until your elbows are nearly locked.
  2. Slowly return the weights to the starting position - your elbow should not be lower than your shoulder.
  3. Check your positioning.
  4. Repeat steps 1-3.

4. Using free hand weights for your thighs and buttocks

Positioning

  1. Stand with your feet hip width apart.
  2. Knees are slightly bent.
  3. Arms straight down at your sides - holding the weights.
  1. Bend forward from the waist - as if you are going to sit down - exhaling as you do this.
  2. Slowly return to an upright position - inhaling as you come up.
  3. Check that your shoulders are square.
  4. Repeat steps 1-3.
  5. Increasing the intensity
  6. Hold the weights at chin level, shoulder width apart.
  7. Bend forward from the waist - as if you are going to sit down - exhaling as you do this.
  8. Slowly return to an upright position - inhaling as you come up.
  9. Check that your shoulders are square.
  10. Repeat steps 1-4.

Three Essential Toning Exercises

Need some more exercises? No problem! Here are three toning exercises that can be used to tighten thighs, buttocks, and stomach areas. The following toning exercises will help target problem areas.

Ready to tone up

Outer Thigh Lift

Do this with an exercise ball, or simply lying on the floor if preferred. Lying on your right side with your hips and ankles in line with your shoulders, slowly lift your leg as high as possible, hold, then return to starting position. Do 10 repetitions and then switch sides.

Lying leg raise

Inner Thigh Lift

Lie on your left side with your hips and ankles in line with your shoulders, and your right knee bent at a 90 degree angle. Slowly lift your left leg as high as possible, hold, then return to starting position. Do 10 repetitions and then switch sides.

Inner leg lift

Simple Abdominal Crunches

Lying on your back with your knees bent and your hands behind your head, slowly curl your shoulders up putting your chin to your chest. Pause then slowly return to starting position. Do 10 repetitions of these.

Position for abs



Three Essential Toning Exercises


Back to Exercise!




Disclaimer: The material on this Web site is not intended to replace advice from your doctor or fitness professional. Please consult with your physician before beginning any fitness program or fat or weight reduction program. FitnessandFreebies.com takes no responsibility for individual results, or any claim made by a third party.