Gaining muscle is something that applies to most people who are training in the gym. An increase in muscle not only helps you gain strength but also aids in fat loss and toning. Some people seem to have a fear of weights, so they spend the majority of their time in the cardio room never venturing into the marvelously beneficial world of weights. Then there’s another set of people who tirelessly battle in the weights room struggling to gain muscle. Well hopefully I can enlighten both of you.
To the first set of people I’d strongly recommend introducing your body to weight training as this new stimulus is not only going to help you tone up, but also aid in fat loss. An effective programme will allow you to gain muscle, which in turn will speed up your metabolism and allow you to burn more fat at rest. The increased muscle will also give you a tighter more toned look. Weight training is also a very important factor in the quest to maintain bone density and will also add variety to your routine.
To the second group of people here are a few things you might like to consider. Firstly the quality of your workout routine is more important than the quantity. Recovery and sleep are important, but are two aspects that are often ignored. Nutrition often gets a lot of thought, but quick fixes (i.e. supplements) and haphazard eating patterns rarely do the job. And one factor that you can’t do anything about, but is more influential than any of the above factors is genetics.
If you have the time available you should target each muscle group twice a week. For mass building you’d look at doing 3-5 sets of 8-12 reps for each exercise, for toning you’d look at doing 2-3 sets of 10-15 reps.