Tips for Bulking Up or Slimming Down
It is important to realize that training methods for bulking up and training to slim down look very different both in nutrition and exercise. I’d like to just point out a few tips in training one way or the other.
In lifting for long lean muscle, repetition is going to be your best friend. Try using light resistance bands to work your biceps and triceps, doing 3 sets of 25 of each exercise. I suggest doing a light core workout every time you exercise and then alternate arms and legs each time. For example, I tend to workout Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, so Monday and Friday are arms and abs, and Wednesday Saturday are legs and abs. This not only makes it more practical time wise in a busy schedule, but also gives your legs and arms time to recover. If you choose to do body weight exercises, as you get stronger I suggest increasing the repetition or adding ankle weights.
For strength training, you are going to want to turn to short reps of heavy weight. Pushing yourself to “do one more” was a challenge our lifting coach would always suggest. Grabbing heavy resistance bands for shorter, harder reps would be a good place to start. I am not by any means a professional heavy weight lifter, but I do know that safety is a huge precaution in this training; be sure to wear the appropriate back and wrist supports.
Providing your body with the proper fuel is another way to set yourself up for success in striving for your desired muscle-type. While everyone should maintain a balanced diet of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, there are different supplement formulas for each. Check out the previous blog on “The Hierarchy of Body Building Supplements.” No matter which type of muscle you are trying to build, properly fueling your muscles with amino acids before and after working out will help your body build muscle.
Don’t forget to stretch! Pilates and yoga also help to stretch and construct the lean muscle. Many don’t realize the importance of flexibility in bulking up as well. Your muscles need room to grow! Stretching out the fascia, which holds in your muscles, allows them to grow and expand with proper exercise and nutrition.
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