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Muscle Building Basics

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The basics when trying to build muscle is always shooting for progressive resistance. When you can execute a movement using good form/technique and increase the weight used then you will pick up more muscle. It seems that most bodybuilders get caught up in trying fancy new exercises with some new fancy equipment and forget the basics.

Building muscle using progressive resistance started well over 100 years ago using the Big Four squats, bench-press, deadlift and military press. Too often bodybuilders forget the importance of good form when doing an important muscle and core strength building movement like squats.

When the experts on the subject of squatting were approached they explained that most bodybuilders perform this important movement incorrectly. They are doing 2 things wrong. Firstly, they don't go down far enough to get full range of movement in the quads and therefore never fully engage the glutes.

Your quads need to be parallel to the floor when you get to the bottom of a squat. Using a bench to measure this can help if you are over 6 feet but the concentric push upwards with a weight on your traps needs to come from your heels and not your toes.

The importance of understanding how vital form or technique is should be emphasized when anyone starts lifting weights. The foundation of progressive resistance is built on correct training technique called form. The squat example above is just one of many that need attention in order to guarantee results.

Just as important as form is to calculate your optimum volume that you should do to get the results you want. If you do 3 sets of 10 reps for curls with 50 pounds you would have lifted a total volume of 1,500 pounds. Doing 3 sets of 20 reps with a lighter bar of 40 pounds would be a total volume of 2,400 pounds.

The example above demonstrates a 60% increase in load lifted using a lighter weight. Too many bodybuilders get caught in low reps with a heavy weight. Unless your objective is to look like a powerlifter the experts agree that a bodybuilder should train to increase volume and not to decrease volume using a heavier weight.

The experts who have studied this agree that volume will always give you a lot better size and shape results than going heavy with low reps. The importance of high intensity has been proven by sports science if your objective is to gain muscle.

Squeezing out 3 sets in an hour will not get the same results as resting 90 seconds between sets and super-setting with an upper or lower body-part constantly trying to reduce the rest time between sets. If you want to gain muscle you need to increase the intensity that you train with.

Recent research done on gaining strength shows that we need to mix it up by changing the intensity and the volume every week. Over a 12 week study the group that did this increased bench-press by 29% and their leg-press by 56% compared to the control group.

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