Basic Principles of Building Muscle Mass

Building muscle 101, it's not rocket science but there are a few simple basic principles of building muscle mass.

Building muscles is all about progressive resistance which means that whatever movement you do today will be done with a little bit more weight when you train it next week. This principal of the load increasing over time by lifting heavier every week is built on a foundation of good form.

Good form means that you know exactly how to do the movement, it is strongly advised to beginners who have never trained with weights before to get someone to teach them exactly how to do all the movements in their program/routine. Lifting a heavier weight comes from confidence in the form used to lift the weight.

Make sure that the instructor or mentor teaches you exactly how and when to breathe while completing a movement. To understand your body and how it works is the first step when you start weight training for the first time. The development of that inner awareness will come together over time but starting out you need to concentrate on your balance, stability and stamina.

Stamina may sound strange when you are doing weight training, stamina is not endurance, it is the ability to generate the force required to lift the weight selected until the routine is complete. The first step is form or technique you are using to lift the weight.

A simple movement like doing the plank will help you to get in touch with your "inner awareness" of the strength, balance and flexibility you have. A simple technique like holding the plank position for as long as you can is a great start to the self-awareness required when lifting weights.

The next step is learning how your body reacts to weight training. This is an important factor as your first workout with weights should be with light weights and you should never get to the point where you cannot lift another rep. No matter how light the weights are you will be sore the next day.

There are two other factors that you need to learn when starting with weight training. The first is how to warm up correctly and the second is how to stretch the largest muscle groups in your body. Just like the form or technique that you learn from your instructor/mentor, you need to learn how to stretch and warm-up.

The workout listed below is a good place to start which is split into two separate days. All these movements need to be correctly guided by someone standing next to you. You should not try and copy these movements by watching a video as small bad habits develop very quickly when incorrect form is done.

Barbell deadlift 3 sets of 6 reps
Barbell bench-press 4 sets of 8 reps
Lat Pull-downs 4 sets of 8 reps
D/B reverse lunges 3 sets of 12 reps
Sit-ups 3 sets of 12 reps

Barbell squats 3 sets of 6 reps
Seated cable rowing 4 sets of 8 reps
Overhead press 4 sets of 8 reps
Lying leg curls 3 sets of 12 reps
Side plank 3 sets for as long as possible

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