Bodybuilding is the use of progressive resistance exercise to control and develop one’s musculature. An individual who engages in this activity is referred to as a bodybuilder. In competitive amateur and professional bodybuilding, bodybuilders appear in lineups doing specified poses, and later perform individual posing routines, for a panel of judges who rank competitors based on criteria such as symmetry, muscularity, and conditioning. Bodybuilders prepare for competition through a combination of dehydration, fat loss, oils, and tanning (or tanning lotions) which make their muscular definition more distinct. Some well-known bodybuilders include Charles Atlas, Steve Reeves, Reg Park, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Lou Ferrigno. Currently, IFBB professional bodybuilder Phil Heath from the United States holds the title of Mr. Olympia. The winner of the annual Mr. Olympia contest is generally recognized as the world’s top professional male bodybuilder.
We all want to know what the secrets are to building massive muscle mass. While many of us are misled into thinking that the secret comes in the form of a secret bodybuilding training routine, magic protein powder or muscle gaining pill, the reality of the situation is that for building massive muscle mass you need to follow the five simple bodybuilding training secrets that I’m about to disclose below:
- The best bodybuilding workout routine is the one that your body is not used to. Your body gets used to any bodybuilding training routine that you subject it to. The more advanced you are, the quicker this adaptation happens. Thus, in order to achieve consistent results in terms of muscle building you need to vary your workouts. The best way to vary your workouts is to cycle the exercises used in the training routine and also to use an orderly and logical variation of sets, reps, and rest periods in between sets. By varying these variables in the correct manner, you can achieve consistent results in terms of muscle mass and strength.
- Keep your bodybuilding workouts short. While you would think that in order to gain muscle a marathon 3 hour session would work best, this could not be farther from the truth. After 45 minutes your testosterone levels begin to decline while your cortisol levels begin to rise. Why is this bad? Because in a nutshell, testosterone builds muscle and burns fat while cortisol destroys muscle and stores fat. Therefore, a situation where your cortisol rises and your testosterone declines will have the exact opposite effect of what you are looking to accomplish.
- You need to use both high volume and high intensity training. For years there have been huge wars fought over the Net about which training style works best. In reality, a combination of both training styles provides you with the best gains. For the best muscle gains you need to alternate periods of high volume with periods of high intensity training. The high volume training will push your body to the limits and force it to adapt through hypertrophy (increase in size of the muscle cell through an increase in intracellular nutrients) while the high intensity lower set/lower rep training will allow the body to recover from the high volume training and thus allow for new muscle strength and growth to occur.
- You need to vary your rest in between sets. Believe it or not, varying the rest in between sets is another way in which you can prompt your body to adapt. If you have been resting 2-3 minutes in between sets and then change to resting only 1 minute, even though initially your strength levels will suffer, you will see renewed growth from the change. Again, an orderly and planned variation in the rest periods that is in line with the proper repetition and set scheme will provide you with the best gains in muscle mass and strength.
- Stick to basic exercises that use barbells or dumbbells and that move your body through space. If your training routine is composed mainly of machine work, do not expect much growth to happen. Your body is designed to operate in a 3-dimensional universe so if you just train using machines there are many stabilizing muscles that never get activated since the machine is stabilizing the weight for you. The end result is that much less growth is stimulated! However, if your routine is made up of dumbbell and barbell multi-jointed exercises, your body will need to engage every muscle fiber possible in order to balance and control the weight. Furthermore, if you are doing exercises like squats, lunges, dips and pull-ups then you will engage as many muscle fibers as possible since every time you need to do a movement that moves your torso through space your body needs to activate an enormous amount of muscle. So even though these exercises are the most challenging one, they are also the most results producing ones. 1 set of squats will elicit more growth than 5-7 sets of leg extensions.