You may be interested in increasing muscle mass and density for a number of reasons. While some people do this to look “more built,” others are interested in the weight loss benefits associated with an increase in muscle mass. No matter what your reasons, it is important to follow some basic guidelines in order to achieve optimal results.
Participate in Strength Training Routines
One of the most important steps to take if you are interested in increasing muscle mass and muscle density is to include strength training in your regular exercise routine. The type of strength training exercises you choose to perform depends on your overall fitness goals. Obviously, you are trying to increase muscle mass and muscle density. But, are you trying to improve the condition of your muscle over your entire body or simply in one specific area? If you are aiming for total body increases in muscle mass and density, look for exercises that work more than one muscle group. In contrast, if you are more interested in focusing on a specific part of your body, look for exercises that target these specific areas.
Vary the Way You Exercise
In order to achieve success when trying to increase muscle mass and density, be sure to avoid getting stuck in the rut of performing your exercises in the same way each time you do them. While performing the same exercises with the same weights (and doing the same number of repetitions) may make the exercise session easier to remember, it may also decrease the results you are looking to achieve. Research has found that for best results when trying to increase muscle mass and density, most of your weight lifting should be performed with a relatively low number of repetitions of the exercise and a high number of sets, such as five sets of five repetitions of a heavy weight. However, add a day or two each week of lighter weights and high repetitions.
Eat Plenty of Protein
While strength training is essential to increasing muscle mass and density, it is also very important that you are eating properly in order to have the best success possible. Protein is an essential food to include in your diet when you are aiming to increase muscle mass, due to the fact that it is the building block of muscle. Without enough protein in your diet to help support the strength training exercises you are performing, you would see only minimal increases in muscle mass.
Track Your Progress
Be sure to track your progress when it comes to increasing muscle mass and density. This can be easily done by measuring your body fat before starting a new weight lifting routine, and then every few weeks afterwards. A decrease in body fat with no change in weight indicates that you have made significant increases in your muscle mass.