Tips for Building Muscle as a Beginner, According to a Personal Trainer

  • According to personal trainers, you can start building muscle in the gym even if you have no fitness experience.
  • Prioritize strength training and compound exercises with equipment appropriate for your goals.
  • Get plenty of rest and calories for best results.

You don’t have to be a fitness fanatic to build muscle with strength training, according to NASM-certified personal trainer Cassie Costa.

“No one starts high,” Costa told Insider. “Focus on your journey and your goals. Eventually you’ll find a good rhythm and be more comfortable.”

She said that by getting the right balance of exercise, staying consistent, and nourishing your body with food and sleep, you can make a profit without any gym experience.

use the right equipment

To build muscle, you need to do strength training that challenges your body by gradually increasing tension in a principle called progressive overload.

The gym’s machines help beginners build a strong foundation and focus on specific muscles, Costa said.

Free weights help train more muscles at once during compound exercises like squats and deadlifts. First, dumbbells are the easiest to use, she said. Barbells and kettlebells add weight and dynamic movement as you progress.

Prioritize compound movements that work multiple muscle groups

According to Costa, you should focus on big lifts first to maximize muscle gains.

“It’s great to use the energy and focus you have at the beginning of your workout for the most challenging, overall muscle-building exercises, and then burn it off with smaller exercises afterwards.

Exercises that combine multiple muscle groups include squats, deadlifts, and presses.

But remember to always warm up before lifting heavy weights. Do dynamic stretches to avoid energy and prepare your muscles, and work with smaller weights to help you perform at your best.

Finding the Right Balance Between Cardio and Strength Training

Costa, who is also a C4 Energy brand ambassador, says that starting with weightlifting exercises when you have the most energy and following up with cardio for overall health can help improve muscle and strength. increase.

“It’s very important to include both in your sessions to improve your quality of life and health,” she said.

However, consistency is the key to reaping the benefits of any fitness routine, and you’re more likely to stay active if you enjoy it.

“The most important thing is to enjoy your workout,” Costa said.

If you don’t like running, you can get cardio benefits from weightlifting by resting less and doing high-rep, low-weight workouts, the professional bodybuilder previously told Insider.

If you love cardio but want to build muscle, rowing or kettlebell training can help you do both, says personal trainer Noam Tamir.

get enough rest

Lifting weights stimulates your muscles, but growth happens when you’re recovering outside the gym. The powerlifter previously told Insider.

If you’re too tired, in pain, or pushing too hard, your muscles don’t get the chance to grow back, get bigger and stronger, and you risk injury.

“Listen to your body. Rest if you’re tired. Avoid exercise if you feel tired or sore,” Costa said.

Eat more to provide energy for growing muscles, nutritionists say

Building muscle requires hard work in the gym, but you also need fuel. The best way to build strength and muscle is to be in a caloric surplus, where you eat more calories than you burn to reserve energy for growth, says sports nutritionist and personal trainer of his. Angie Ash previously told Insider.

Overeating can make you feel tired during a workout, increase your risk of injury, and erode your benefits, Asche says.

For best results, aim for a balance of carbs, protein and fat.

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