5-Week Workout Plan for Muscle Growth
If you, like most people, allowed yourself to take it easy over the winter months, you may find that you have gained a bit of unwanted weight as well as lost some muscle mass. Now that winter is over; it is time to get back to the gym and get your body beach ready for the summer.
The workout plan I have provided in this article is one I designed and have personally used for the past five weeks with great results.
Before we get into the workout, I want to go over some important basics.
How Muscles are Built
Muscles are built and strengthened by tearing them down. When you lift heavy weights, you are causing micro-tears in the muscle fibers. Your body responds to this by building new muscle tissue to help prevent more damage in the future. This is known as adaptation.
There are two types of muscle fibers, namely; slow twitch and fast twitch fibers. These fibers respond to different kinds of stresses and have different appearances.
Slow twitch fibers are used for endurance based activities such as long distance running. These fibers are also much smaller in size than fast twitch fibers (ever noticed how small the legs of long-distance runners are compared to sprinters?).
Fast twitch fibers are more efficient at providing quick bursts. The fast twitch fibers are bigger and are the ones you want to concentrate on building when exercising. To build up fast twitch muscle fibers, you need to lift heavy weights in a rep range of 8 to 12.
This is probably one of the biggest mistakes people make in the gym, thinking that training for hours on end every day of the week will lead to faster muscle growth, when in fact it will cause muscle loss. The body builds muscle when it is resting, if you don't allow it time to rest then you risk overtraining. A weightlifting session should last no longer than an hour.
Use Correct Form
Another big mistake many people make is lifting weights that are too heavy. This is often referred to as 'ego' lifting. If you are lifting weights without proper form, you are wasting your time in the gym and will not build muscle.
Although lifting heavy weights are required to build muscle, proper form is equally as important. Grabbing a heavy weight and swinging it around is not going to lead to muscle growth. However, using a weight that is heavy enough for you to use proper form and also struggle a bit towards the end of the set, will lead to muscle growth.
When going to the gym, leave your ego at the door, you are not there to impress anyone, you are there to better yourself, to get healthier, and to build muscle.
Ever heard the saying "20% training and 80% diet"? This means that 80% of the results come from the way you eat. No matter how hard you train, without proper nutrition, you won't get great results.
Make sure you follow a proper diet plan, which is designed to help build muscle. A muscle building diet plan will usually consist of a large number of calories and high protein foods such as red meat, chicken breasts, and fish.
This workout should be done for five weeks. Every week try and increase the weight slightly or try to do a few extra reps while still maintaining proper form. For example, if you managed to squat 80kgs for eight reps, then the next week try do 85kgs. If you only manage to squat 85kgs for six reps, then the next week try to do 7 or 8 reps with 85kgs.