Chances are you’re one of the millions who put “get to the gym more often” as one of your New Year’s resolutions. While that’s an admirable goal, you need a basic gameplan to make sure you’re working smarter not harder. Whether you’re a weekend athlete or a true gym rat, let’s review some basics for building muscle in the new year!
As you begin a new routine, it’s important to build a solid foundation. The first month or two focus on building up your abilities, so when you’re mentally ready to hit it hard, you’re body’s primed and ready to go. Pay attention to pain or weaknesses. You first goal should be to address any painful joints or extremely tight muscles. Think of it like putting a coat of primer on your wall. It may take 2 weeks or 2 months, but it’s absolute imperative. Yes you want to be building muscle and working out hard, but don’t be a rockstar.
If you want to put on a ton of muscle this year, building a strong strength foundation is necessary. For example, if you lack bicep and forearm strength you’ll need to focus on getting the smaller muscles stronger before you can jump into pull ups and rows to work the big back muscles.
After you’ve addressed any pain issues, this foundation stage is all about getting ready for the hard work. This is a general fitness time, where you’re focusing on increasing endurance, strength, and power… along with building muscle. Remember… one of the most important strategies with any workout routine, weight loss program, or strength training goal is to keep a solid mind body connection. That means don’t just feel the workout physically, but feel it mentally. Concentrate on the muscle group you’re working and your goals in general.
Assuming you’ve addressed any weaknesses and built up an amazing foundation, now you’re ready to make a strong run towards reaching the goal of building more muscle. Go hard or go home! If you don’t leave the gym everyday feeling completely exhausted, you’re not doing enough. By the end of the day you will likely feel exhausted. In the morning, your muscles will be sore and you’ll feel like you were hit by a bus… but sometimes that’s the price we pay for a good weightlifting program. Good job! Learn to love it because it means you’re building muscle and on your way to a healthier you!
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