Are you tired of looking at your own skinny legs, pudgy belly and, as Hanz and Franz might say, “flabby” arms? Wouldn’t it be great if you could wake up every morning and look at a ripped and buff body in the mirror? Six pack abs, bulky arms and tight pecks, the whole shebang! If only! If only it was in your genetics. If only you had the energy to train at the same intensity as guys like John Cena, Mark Wahlberg, the pre-politician Arnold and if you really want to get old school, Lou Ferrigno.
Well stop making excuses! The truth about getting ripped and buff is that there is no special body type. Athleticism and muscularity may run in some people’s genes, but genetics are not impediments to training. There isn’t any scientific reason why a scrawny boy can’t turn into a massive, hulking mountain of a man. Whether you are male or female, young or old, or even fat or skinny, you have the potential to get ripped. You have the capacity to get buff and stay that way.
Let’s talk about the truth of body building. A good body shape is a choice. Anyone who’s overweight or skinny as a rail is that way because (A) they do not put forth the physical effort to improve their body, (B) they do not eat nutritionally healthy meals, or (C) they simply don’t know how to get fit. Willpower is a wonderful thing, and there is no doubt that if you apply yourself and create a regimen of exercise and a new diet, you can get ripped and create a better body for yourself.
Some people assume that a muscular body is unhealthy or unnatural. They say because I can’t look that way, there must be steroids involved. Or they say, you’re overworking yourself. Or they say, it hurts too much to train with that kind of intensity. These are all misconceptions about real strength training.
Building Muscle and Taking in Fat
Here are the basics of creating a better body. First of all, it’s essential to understand that losing weight and building muscle are two different things. In fact, you can’t burn fat and build muscle at the same time. (If you can, you’re a rare genetic anomaly and should hold your head high) People who are overweight are trying to cut down on calories and burn fat. Bodybuilders are trying to eat more and consume a great deal of calories and good fats. This is because during training your body will be creating new muscle tissue, and that takes a lot of fat.
So if you’re not obese and just want to improve your body shape it’s time to think bigger. Get bigger. Eat more! Now, some people take this concept much too literally and start pigging out and working out twice as hard as they have to, ultimately sabotaging their own regimen. Do the math on this one, folks. Before you adjust your diet or work out, learn your Basal Metabolic Rate (use an online calculator if you wish), which means the total calories your body needs just to keep you living day to day. Next, add a set amount of calories to your daily intake. If you don’t play it smart, you create too much fat, to the point that your body can’t use it.
In general, it’s best to stick to your ideal body weight (based on your weight) and to add extra calories to support muscle growth. On average, it’s best to put on additional weight slowly–about one pound a week. You gain one pound by taking in 3,500 calories. However, day by day, it’s best to limit your new fat-building diet to 300-500 extra calories a day. A general guess for proper intake would be to multiply your current weight by 15X. Therefore, if you weight 200 pounds, you would take in 3,000 calories a day. (Assuming 2,500 is your average)
However, some bodybuilders may push themselves further to 18-20X their body weight. There is nothing wrong with this approach, but make these plans with caution. Don’t burn yourself out too early. Obviously, you want to avoid any workout that causes pain or a too intense “burn.”
When it comes to strength training, your first thought is correct. Exercise builds muscle. Your body builds muscle naturally when you engage in strenuous activity. The human body adapts to its environment , so if you regularly subject it to a great deal of physical stress, you will actually cause the muscle tissue to tear. However, as you take in more good fat and calories, the body repairs the muscle tissue and makes your muscles larger.
Tearing and Rebuilding
Strenuous activity also causes fiber damage in the muscle, which is also naturally repaired. Muscles break down at the cellular level and then rebuild thicker muscle fibers, starting within two hours of rest and lasting 24-36 hours. However, each person’s body is different and repairs itself according to different time frames; thus you have the concept “fast switch” and slow switch.” A fast switch type of body responds to more intense activity (such as over 10 reps), whereas slow switch responds to slower reps. A person might even have different “switch” levels between his body parts, and must learn the system accordingly.
This is why many bodybuilders recommend the progressive weight training program, so that you can study the results and train (and adjust) according to how you feel. Usually, you must give your focused body part at least a day to recover from the tear, as the muscle actually grows in the rest/repair period. Some of the most popular workout moves include squats and dead lifts, though you can also do some damage (in a good way!) with calisthenics, push ups, pull-ups, reverse crunches, dips and pistols. These moves work out your primary muscles, secondary muscles, stabilizing muscles and core muscles.
Remember to exercise properly and do the move as instructed to minimize injuries. You can maximize your workouts by adding more protein and complex carbs to your diet. This is why many companies produce protein supplements.
There you have it. You eat right, you tear down and you rebuild into perfection. It’s not genetics…it’s scientific! The human body is capable of becoming ripped and buff, and that’s a proven fact. The question is, are you?