(1) Lift Weights and Get Stronger. No doubt about it, weight-training beats everything else for building muscle. Body-weight exercises (calisthenics), gymnastics, cardiovascular work, all may build some muscle for total beginners but only a little - then it stops. Why? Because you can't add ever-increasing resistance with these other forms of exercise.
(2) Force Your Body To Adapt! Continuing from point one, your muscles will have no reason to grow if you don't place them under ever-increasing demand. What this means is that the weight you can lift on any given exercise should increase over time. No increase = no growth. This is the concept of Progressive Overload.
(3) Train For Hypertrophy. Hypertrophy means muscle growth. You want to specifically target this, as opposed to strength-training which has its focus primarily on strength gains with building muscle as a happy side-effect. Read on...
(4) Focus on Compound Exercise based Workouts. Compound exercises are crucial, they involve many muscle groups simultaneously and induce the release of growth hormone in the body. Therefore, the training program you want to use should be made up of predominantly compound movements, with some isolation exercises where necessary e.g. abdominal exercises.
(5) Train with A Full Range of Motion. Building muscle mass is all about feeling the muscle throughout the whole rep.
(6) Train To Failure. 'Failure' means the point where you cannot possibly complete another rep. The requisite muscle stimulation for inducing growth comes in the last few reps of a set. Training to failure is training with 100% intensity.
(7) Eat - Get enough calories. No matter what bodybuilding diet you are on, you need to eat enough to supply your body with what it needs to grow.
(8) Get Enough Protein. No you don't need astronomical amounts of protein to build muscle, but you do need more than the average guy. Use the following calculation:
Lean Mass Weight (Kg) x 2.75 = Daily Protein Requirement
(9) Keep Your Workouts Short. Steroid users can train for hours, natural bodybuilders can't. Catabolic hormones are released in the body which actually break muscle down. To minimize this, try to keep all weight-training sessions to a maximum of 45 minutes.
(10) Drink Water. To build muscle at the maximum rate you need to drink enough water. Use this general rule:
Body weight (lbs) X 0.6 = Water Intake in ounces.
Remember strength can decrease by up to 15% with a drop in hydration levels of only 3%!
Definition of Bodybuilding Terms
* Reps - A single cycle of lifting and lowering a weight
* Sets - A number of consecutive reps without rest
* Hypertrophy - Muscle Growth
* Compound - An exercise that moves the body through more than one joint movement
* Isolation - An exercise that moves the body through a single-joint movement
* Concentric - The part of the rep where the muscle contracts and shortens
* Eccentric - The part of the rep where the muscle lengthens
* Failure - The point at which you cannot possibly perform another rep
So, with all this said, can YOU do it? Can you build the body you want? Of course you can. I was a weed with a fat belly once too. If I can do it, anyone can!