Muscle Building 101: Getting Stacked in Shreveport!

Muscle Building 101: Getting Stacked in Shreveport!

So you want to bulk up?

Regardless of whether you want to get into bodybuilding for aesthetics, athletics, or simply to look stacked when out on the town, everyone (including yourself) needs to start somewhere. And when it comes to building muscle, getting off on the right foot is critical to avoiding injury and actually seeing the progress you’re looking for.

This quick guide to muscle building was put together to help the residents of Shreveport learn the fundamental concepts behind fast, safe and effective muscle growth.

And if you’re in search of Shreveport fitness gym equipment to get the job done right, or simply to mix up your routine, check out the Hoist Mi7 Functional Training System. This beast is jam-packed with resistance exercise options so you can always keep things fresh.

Muscle Building 101: Training Tips

Warming Up

Yeah, we know, it’s not sexy and it’s not very fun. Yet properly warming up is a key component to preparing your muscles and cardiovascular system for the workout and resistance ahead. A proper warm-up should last between 10-15 minutes and can include calisthenics, dynamic stretching, or a quick round on the treadmill or elliptical

Speaking of warming up, here are two of our favorite pieces of Shreveport exercise fitness equipment that you can find at Fitness Expo Stores.

A quick warm-up will be a breeze with either of these models:

Compound Lifts

Presuming you’ve had adequate training or help learning how to do them, compound lifts should make up the core of your muscle building program. Utilizing multi-joint exercises such as squats, deadlifts, bench press, and rows can build up the core foundational strength you’ll need to stabilize your joints and safely progress to a higher weight for isolation exercises later on.

Using a Level or Resistance or Weight that you can Handle

No one likes a show-off. And you’ll like it even less when you took too much off the bar and can’t lift it off of your own chest, or tear a rotator cuff. Trust us. Neither is a fun experience.

Opt to start with a weight that is challenging, but that you can hit an 8-10 rep set with. Each week you can increase this amount by 3-5% or as necessary. The last couple reps should be a struggle, but not so much that you have the inability to maintain proper form.

Speaking of Form

The proper form can mean the difference between actually “activating” and isolating the muscles you are trying to work on, vs activation of accessory muscles and little gain on the scale. If you’re looking to put on muscle, proper form is imperative for both growth and injury prevention.

Rep Ranges

There’s no right or wrong answer here, and really, the rep range will vary depending on your level of skill set and goals. But given the fact that this is an “introductory” guide to muscle building, we suggest that the best range to start with is somewhere between 6-12 reps per set. This range provides a nice balance between building strength and endurance, as well as stacking on the lbs.

Rest Between Sets

You might feel like Hercules once the blood gets pumping and you’re throwing around all that iron, but even the mightiest can do well from taking a breather. Science has shown that there is a period of time after each set during which our muscles will NOT be able to operate at full capacity/force.

For small muscle isolation exercises (such as biceps or shoulders), a rest period of between 30 seconds to 1:30 minutes is sufficient. For compound exercises (such as a deadlift or squat), or those that target large muscle groups (i.e. legs and back), a rest period of between 2-3 minutes is ideal.

Occasionally Mix Things Up

Our bodies are highly adaptable, and over time, given the repetition of your routine, you’ll body will become accustomed to the regimen and you’ll notice increases in muscle mass start to taper off or cease altogether.

Varying your rep ranges can also do wonders for instigating muscle hypertrophy (growth). Different weight loads, angles and rep ranges emphasize different types of muscle fibers, helping you to ultimately achieve enhanced muscle quality and growth.
Progression – volume is the name of the game

As mentioned earlier, our bodies adapt quickly to the stressors we place on it. In order to generate the proper stimuli necessary to result in continual muscle growth you will need to do one of two things:

  • Increase the number of reps/sets in your routine
  • Increase the weight used in your routine

Each (or both) of the above need to be done systematically with small, yet challenging weekly or bi-weekly increases.

Rest Weeks

In much the same way that varying the intensities of your workouts can spur muscle growth, taking a week is not only good for full recovery and rejuvenation, it can also shock your body back into anabolism at a higher rate once you come back to the gym.

Stubborn Growth

No matter if you’re an amateur or trained professional, we all have those stubborn body parts that just don’t want to grow. For those, you might need to get a little creative. The following are a few pro tips on ways you can spur growth in stubborn muscles:

1. Drop Sets: Start with your normal weight. Continue with reps until failure. Rest, then reduce the weight by 5-10% and continue again until failure. Repeat this until you reach a weight of only 1/5 – 1/10th what you started with.

2. Rest-Pause: With the rest pause method you incur additional “time under tension” when lifting. Halfway through your extension or contraction, pause for 1-3 seconds, then complete the exercise.

Save the Abs Until Last

Your abs are the core stabilizing muscles in your body. They help keep you balanced and brace your body against the strain of weights. Training abs too early could lead to core fatigue and injury later on in your session.

Closing Thoughts on Bulking up in Shreveport

Building muscle can be a fun and challenging aspect of your fitness routine. But it’s also one of the best workouts you can get, improving blood pressure, balance, reducing injury, and more.

If you’re looking to get into bodybuilding or simply putting on a few pounds of lean muscle, give FitnessExpoStores a call or drop by today. Our local reps would love to learn more about your goals and how we can help.