Weight training is truly a great asset for your exercise arsenal, but you must understand that unlike running, it is essentially not something that your body is genetically programed to do. Still, seeing how it is one of the most effective workout methods out there, you simply cannot afford to miss out on it, so what you should do is try to adapt your body to it. Here are some ways in which you can maximize your muscle adaptation to weight training.
First of all, the harder you work out, the more nutrients your body will require. Most people would agree that a diet consisting of 30% protein, 40% carbohydrates, and 30% fats is the optimal nutritious composition for fat loss and muscle gain. However, this is just the proportion, while the actual amount that you need to eat plays a major role as well. This however, is not so easy to calculate since you need to take into consideration so many things, like for example how much you train, how much you weigh and of course how old you are. Once you have all this data, you need to know how much calories you need to intake per day in order to grow. Every 1g of protein and carbohydrates has 4 calories while 1g of fat has 9 of them. All you have to do now is make a thorough meal plan based on all this and you are already well on your way.
Do not be afraid of supplements
The next thing you need to know is that while it is true that your body’s nutrition plays a key role in your athletic endeavors, it is seldom enough on its own. Sure, in the beginning your body will get everything it needs from regular food, but once your trainings start to intensify, you will need something more. It is true that most supplement related myths and misconceptions are not based on facts, it would be absurd to claim that any of them can get what you need. Because of this, you will have to do some homework on reviews and ratings of some of these supplements. Needless to say, this will give you some idea of what to use and what to avoid.
In order to adapt your muscles to this harsh training regimen that follows, you need to prepare your muscle fibers in the right way and lead them to muscle hypertrophy. There are two major factors contributing to hypertrophy, sarcoplasmic hypertrophy (increasing your muscle glycogen storage) and myofibrillar hypertrophy (which increases the size of your myofibrils, as its name suggests).
One of the greatest misconceptions that people have about weightlifting is that all you need to do is just put as much weight as you can on the bar and pump it until you are big. This kind of oversimplification is simply more than ridiculous and can even cause serious damage to your muscles. Furthermore, whatever you do over and over again, you are bound to become immune to. This is why, after you do an exercise for a prolonged period of time, it will become less effective. To avoid this, make sure that you switch between exercises every now and then, but this is just the tip of the iceberg. Even though you look up to weightlifting, there is no reason to ignore cardio either. This is why you need to squeeze in a running session or two each week as well.
Finally, you may also want to add some diversity to your weightlifting routine as well. Sure, some people go with as much as they can possibly lift, but with a reduced number of reps and sets. Others go for more reps but lower the intensity. However, if you want to gain some serious weight, you might need both of these things. First of all, increasing your number of reps up to 8-12 per series will increase the volume of your muscles, but shifting things up every several weeks to do no more than 5 reps but with higher weigh can do wonders for your body as well. This will bring you into a state of supercompensation which can significantly increase the effect of your training. Of course, some routines are much more suitable for beefing up, but this is something you will have to discover on your own.
As you can see, increasing your muscle mass and achieving the look of your dreams is far from easy. This is why fitness is a 24/7 job that starts long before you enter the gym and doesn’t end when you exit it. This being said, you need to arm yourself with knowledge and determination before anything else and prepare for a marathon and not a mere race.