BeginnersBodybuildingFitnessStrength Training

How You Start Building Muscle

Building your muscles is great for your health. Strong muscles improve the body’s metabolism, strength, and posture as well as help the body shed skinny fat not to mention they tone up the body and increase attractiveness.

Although building muscles is beneficial for both males and females there are certain crucial differences in the body structures of both that should be recognized.

  • Males and females have the same muscle tissues but male bodies produce testosterone, a hormone which is important in the rapid building and repair of muscle fibers after a routine. Your muscles become strained and get torn down after a workout. The body then repairs the torn down muscles about two to three days after and fortifies them by making them bigger and stronger to prevent more damage. The body of a man performs this repair faster than that of women.
  • Compared to women, men have more skeletal muscle mass and this is why men have more tendency to be stronger than women; the bigger the frame the more muscle you can gai.
  • In a study done and published in American Physiology Society, a woman’s skeletal muscles do not render as high a maximum output as that of men. Women, however, can recover faster and are more fatigue-resistant than men. Therefore, women are more likely to engage more in cardiovascular training and sports; this also explains why they build their slow twitch fibers more. Men are more likely to engage in weight lifting and HIIT exercises which develops their fast twitch muscle fibers.

Exercise routines you can practice

As you plan your routine for building your body mass, always start with warm-ups. Sample warm-ups are:

You can build your muscles by lifting body weights or using resistance bands. You can practice routines like:

  • Chest and triceps routines: push-ups, side planks, dumbbell press
  • Bicep and back routines: planks, hammer curl, bicep curl
  • Shoulders and traps routines: front raises, lat row, lat press
  • Legs: goblet pile squat, leg press, lunges

HIIT routines: This is when you exercise rapidly and aggressively for a short period of time for example 30 seconds, then take a rest interval for about 90 seconds. You can use workouts like

  • Burpees
  • Squat jumps
  • Running
  • Skipping
  • Cycling
  • Kettlebell swing

What does a beginners routine look like?

For starters, it’s recommended to do strength training 3 times a week. Go in for one hour. If you can’t do it in 1 hour you are losing gains and probably taking too much rest in-between sets. A great routine for beginners would be a push-pull-leg routine.

Here is an example of a push-pull-leg routine. Do only 5-6 exercises per session. perform each exercise 3 sets of 6-12 excluding the 1-2 warm-up sets you do prior.

Push (Chest, shoulder, triceps

  • Bench press / Incline Bench press
  • Shoulder press Dumbell / Barbell
  • Wide dips (for lower chest) / close dips (for triceps) use a rubber band to make it easier or use a weight belt to make it harder.
  • Chest fly exercise Dumbell/ machine/ cable (make sure you stretch your chest)
  • Skull crushers

Pull (Back, biceps, traps

  • Barbell Bent-over Rows
  • Pull ups/chin ups. use a rubber band to make it easier or use a weight belt to make it harder.
  • Close grip cable row
  • Shrugs (smith machine/barbell/dumbells)
  • EZ bar (close grip/wide grip) biceps curls
  • Seated hammer curls


  • Squads
  • Hip thrusters (it’s not only for women)
  • Bulgarian split squats
  • leg machine curls
  • Calf raises

Diet and Your Muscles

While planning on building your muscles, you must also plan on changing your diet (if it is not suited for the training). There should be an increase in the intake of certain foods.

  • Increase your protein intake: Your body uses proteins for example to create hormones and therefore it uses it up whenever you have a normal or small amount. Whenever there are excess proteins in the body, through a process called protein synthesis, the body stores them. The more is stored the larger your muscles become because proteins make up your muscles. You are advised to take about 1 gram of protein per 1 pound of what you weigh according to a study in the Journal of Applied Physiology. If you don’t eat enough protein start with 10 grams protein per week. Because if you go from 100 to 200 grams immediately, you probably are farting a lot more… Your body needs time to get used when eating differently.
  • Have some carbs and fats: These are important when building your muscle because the body stores them as glycogen in the muscle tissue and liver; this provides you with energy for your workout session and after the session.
  • Grab a stiff drink: You can add a shake which contains amino acids and carbohydrates before your workout. You need between 10 to 20 grams of protein (roughly one scoop of whey powder) for a shake. This is also advised because the body absorbs liquid milk faster.
  • Have a healthy nutrition plan: Build a healthy nutrition plan that comprises of all the body requirements for the muscle building.

Kinds of food you can add to your diet

  • Tuna: This can supply 20 grams of protein for every 3-ounce, vitamin A, a number of B vitamins like B6, B12 and niacin, and omega-3 fatty acids which have been shown by researchers to slow the loss of muscle mass especially as one age.
  • Chicken Breast: This can supply 26 grams of high-quality protein for every 3-ounce, niacin, and B6.
  • Beans: Black and kidney beans, for example, can supply 15 grams of protein for every cup, fiber, B vitamins, magnesium, iron, and phosphorus.
  • Milk: If you are not lactose intolerant, this can provide 16 grams of protein with every 172 grams serving. It also provides magnesium, vitamin E and phosphorus.
  • Immature soybeans or edamame: This can supply 17 grams of protein, 8 grams of fiber, folate, manganese and vitamin K with every cup or 155 grams.
  • Peanuts: This can provide 17 grams of protein, a good quantity of unsaturated fat, 16 grams of carbs and about 425 calories for every 73 grams.
  • Brown rice: This supplies your body with enough carbohydrates that you might need to aid your activity physically.

Other foods include eggs, soybeans, turkey breast, cottage cheese, shrimp and greek yogurt.


Deciding to build your muscles is great but you must avoid the following mistakes

  • Don’t take a shortcut: Do not resort to taking quick fixes or fast muscle building drinks as these can be harmful to your body.
  • Do not reduce your carbs: As explained above, you need carbs and fats to energize your body for a workout and to also give it re-supply of energy after a workout.
  • Do not work yourself into a frenzy: Your body needs to have resting periods even as you build the muscles to repair the torn muscles; overworking yourself will lead to injury.
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