Copyright 2006 Keeper Skool

Let me tell you a little scientific secret. You can gain muscle without popping the latest fad supplements. Don’t be shocked…let me give you a scenario. You are looking at increasing muscle mass and strength, so you sign up for a $100 per month gym membership. You then feel that you can’t get fit without a little push, so you hire a personal trainer who locks you into a 12 week agreement at an upfront cost of say $600 dollars. After a few weeks, you feel that the trainer was unreliable, because instead of helping you squat a 1000-pound bench press, which almost cost your life, he was busy talking to a cute girl on the treadmill. Now here is the tricky bit. Because you signed up with the personal trainer, the gym he works for has included a little bonus if he can up sell you the latest, cutting edge supplements.

See where this is going. It’s a vicious cycle that all too often leads people who are searching for better health unmotivated, quick to give up and with empty pockets, because some gyms and personal trainers want to gain a quick payday. I’ve worked in health clubs in London where unscrupulous gym managers told us to up sell the latest supplements to unsuspecting first timers just so they can increase revenue. You don’t have to be a victim. What one has to understand is that supplements are not the be all and end all of your training regime. Your body must be in peak physical condition for supplements to be of any value. Supplements can only help when you are training regularly and intensely along with a good wholesome diet.

On the flipside, supplements can also be quite beneficial if your dietary intakes of certain nutrients are inadequate or if you are training intensely. Intense exercise means that if you are looking for muscular growth, make your weight training workout short (at least 30 minutes), intense (at around 80-90% of your maximum) and you’ll get sweet rewards. Remember to drink fluids regularly, and rest and recover for at least 4-5 days after an intense session.

When it comes to training for muscle growth, the following exercises are the big guns, for big muscle gains:

– Dead Lifts – Squat – Bench Press – Military Press – Bent Over Barbell Row

There are whole universes of exercises you can utilise but the above exercises are considered the grand daddy of all muscle growth-training regimes. Exercises that increase muscle mass such as those listed above, are considered compound movements. This means that you are using multi joint movements that target a wide range of muscle groups for maximum muscle growth.

With compound exercise regimes you facilitate a natural anabolic state. This means that taxing the muscles, increases your ability to grow muscle, as natural growth hormones are released to help repair damaged muscle tissue from intense activity. Good nutrition will help replenish depleted muscle glycogen stores and help you maximise your muscle growth.

To maximise your muscle growth after building a solid base, try the compound exercises stated above. Remember to rest, drink plenty of fluids and maintain a wholesome diet full of variety and natural foods. Supplements are not the be all and end all of a training regime, but can help incrementally as you reach peak physical condition.

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