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Working out

Muscular Bodybuilder Working out

A muscular bodybuilder working out. Photo credit: via Wikimedia Commons

We all want the best from our work out. We want results fast. We want them now. We want to be like Hulk in just 4 weeks or have ripped 6 pack abs in just 6 weeks. I’m sure we can all relate to the following story: we find a new work out plan, it promises the skies and the mountains, we get all hyped up, exercise like crazy and then after the first couple weeks get bored, start skipping days until we finally lose hope and stop exercising.

But why can’t we achieve what our work out programs promise us? Are we complete failures? The answer is no. Results don’t come fast. The thing is, most people don’t want to see results tomorrow, they want them today or even better yet, yesterday. So they promise to fulfil your dreams quickly to get as many customers as possible. But unfortunately it doesn’t work this way.

So what do we have to do? Give up? No. Results come to those who persevere. If you look at successful athletes, whether it be those muscular bodybuilders or ripped 6 pack abs, they have worked out for years. The better results they have, the longer they have more likely worked out. Now you are probably thinking how long will it take. Before we can answer that, you have to decide what you want to accomplish, set your goals and take into consideration where you are now. If you are just starting out, you can get into reasonably good shape in 2-5 years. If you want to be a hulk with enormous muscles, give it 10+ years.

But let’s get to working out. It’s better to ditch the latest fads and ”hottest tips” from magazines with muscular, steroid achieved models. Instead it’s better to find a work out program used by successful athletes. These work out programs have proven themselves, since they have built muscles for several athletes again and again.

When you have established a work out program, it’s time to start working out. Follow the work out program to the point. Start with reasonable weights for your current abilities, perform sets with correct form and do not rush. Performing with correct form in a slow fashion is crucial, since it is what requires the highest amount of strength and builds muscle. Hurrying or using bad form makes it easier but doesn’t build as much muscle and also puts you in a risk of getting injuries. If you can not perform sets with correct form any more, it means you are exhausted and it’s time to stop. Continuing with bad form can lead to injuries.

Follow the exercises, perform them and follow the program even if it’s boring and not fun. The work out program is created to build muscle, not to entertain you. Always do your exercises and work outs, never skip a day. You might think skipping just today (because you’re busy or whatever the reason) doesn’t hurt anyone. But once you skip once, it’s easy to skip again thinking the same. This leads to a bad cycle where you soon notice you are rarely working out any more. Building muscle requires time, effort and consistency. If even one is missing, you won’t build muscle.

But be reminded, working out is only one of the main three aspects of building muscle. To build muscles, you need exercise, rest and nutrition. Exercising damages tissues in your muscles. When you rest, your body repairs damaged cells and overcompensates which is how you build muscles. And to provide your body the building blocks for repairing damaged muscles, you need nutrition. No matter how much you exercise and rest, if you don’t eat enough, you won’t build muscles. It is said for a reason that abs are built in the kitchen.

6 Comments

  1. Nadiine

    I love your website. It’s bright, informative and really interesting.

    My boyfriend is an exercise addict without fail everyday he hits the gym, however I have always been passive thinking about exercising but never been active in doing it. The reason being is that I have a busy schedule with work and a family to look after. But the idea of building a home gym sounds great, more realistic for a person like me to fit into my schedule. My question is what type of dumbbells should I go for as a woman not wanting to gain muscle but to tone up the muscles in my arms?

    Reply
    • Matthew

      Hi Nadiine! The type of dumbbells doesn’t make any difference in how strong or muscular you get: your muscles don’t know what you are lifting or how shiny your dumbbells look like. My recommendation for women is the same as for men. don’t be afraid that you will become too muscular, you won’t become a hulk overnight! To “tone” your arms you will need to gain muscle mass and lose fat. Tone is just a fancy word for getting a little bit of muscle and losing a bit of fat. Just like ripped, but not as extreme.

      The give away: choose your dumbbells based on your needs and preferences based on what you need from them; not based on what out comes you want from your training. If you are just starting out or want the cheapest option, go with spinlock dumbbells and weights mentioned here. If you want efficiency and faster workout and weight changing on your dumbbells, you will want to consider more expensive options like Bowflex SelectTech dumbbells.

      Reply
  2. jeremy

    Haha so very true of what you said “most people don’t want to see results tomorrow, they want them today or even better yet, yesterday.” While we need to persevere to see results, I believe we too need a practical work-out goal plan to push ourselves forward.

    Reply
    • Matthew

      Hi Jeremy, I think so too! To get good results one needs a well laid-out plan executed consistently and with intention. The better results you want, the longer it will take. The old saying “Rome wasn’t built in a day” applies to a great degree to strength training 🙂

      Reply
  3. PJ

    You raise two very important insights in this article:
    1) continuing the practice.
    If we lose focus we will never achieve the goal. Quitters never win, and winners never quit.

    2) nutrition. without eating a healthy and balanced diet, our body can’t do the work it needs to do in keeping us as fit as possible for best results. The body does not work well when health becomes an issue. So a healthy body is a healthy person..

    Reply
    • Matthew

      Thanks, PJ! Consistent practice is indeed a cornerstone of any successful endeavor. And nutrition is what allows us to continue to workout and repair muscle tissues. Without good nutrition it’s not possible to have neither the energy required to exercise or the nutrients required to recover from your workout. A balanced and healthy diet with lots of vegetables is what allows our bodies perform at its full capacity. Happy working out, PJ!

      Reply

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