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Building Muscles: How Much Muscle Can One Really Gain?

Aug 8, 2014

Building muscles is an activity that is more than just mere exercise or a way of getting healthy and staying in shape. For some people, it is not only a passion, but it is also a lifestyle requiring constant commitment, the proper eating regimen and the sheer discipline to keep at it. Building muscles, especially through the sport of bodybuilding, is sometimes pursued as a form of building up one's self esteem and sense of self worth. Sometimes people (especially those who are just new at trying to add muscle to their frame) will get an unreasonable idea of how much muscle is really possible to be added to their frame.

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Unrealistic Expectations

One of the hazards of building up your muscles is the totally unrealistic expectations that can be planted in your head. These unrealistic ideas usually come by way of completely false bragging by some self-proclaimed "big shot" in your local gym, or in the community of fellow fitness/bodybuilding enthusiasts you associate with. This kind of mentality is probably a secondary effect of the marketing of the bodybuilding industry itself, which you see in muscle magazines as well as on infomercials that you can catch on TV. The truth of the matter is that building muscles and getting bigger actually lies more in an increase of stored body fat, water and even your body's glycogen stores.

Little Muscle Gain

Despite what you may believe because of what you have seen on TV, like all those ads of exceptionally toned men and women who brag that, through a certain regimen, they have packed on dozens of pounds of muscle in just a few weeks or months, the human body is actually not physiologically equipped to pack on lots of muscle in a short time. So if your muscle-building dreams rest on those expectations, you will be discouraged. According to the researchers, even if you do everything right - meaning having a dedicated regimen where you not only build your muscles, but also eat right and then recuperate properly - all you can expect to gain in terms of muscle in a week is one pound of muscle. That means that even if you do the best job possible to maximize your condition of building muscles, all you would get is still very little to show for it.

Proper Perspective

All this ties together in the following way. Successfully building your muscles takes a long time, not just weeks or months. You face a lot of possible deterring obstacles in your way, which will test your dedication at every turn. You are also subject to a very highly disciplined regimen which includes not only the actual exercise for your muscle building, but also the will to eat properly and recuperate as necessary. A more realistic expectation, even if you do everything right, is that you will only add half a pound of muscle a week, which you should consider a good speed.

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