When exercising to improve your figure, often there are two general phases of the exercise – building muscle mass, and shaping it properly. These are usually divided over a period of a few months, best done seasonally – that is, during the spring summer it’s more appropriate to perform exercises aimed at toning your body, while in the colder parts of the year when you’re not showing off much, you’d want to concentrate on building muscle mass.
The best way to build your muscle mass strongly is to push your muscles to their limit when exercising – go hard in the gym, do as many reps as you can on each exercise and just don’t give up until you feel you can honestly not go any further. You should also pay special attention to the number of repetitions (reps) you’re performing – to build muscle mass, you’d normally want to do many reps with short periods of rest inbetween them, allowing you to push your muscles hard. Don’t go overboard with the weight, remember that you’ll have to do at least 20-30 reps per exercise – while also increasing the number of sets to about 4-5.
One of the most common mistakes made by beginner body builders is to ignore the importance of rest in building muscles. It’s a common misconception that muscles actually grow in the gym, when working out – this is in fact wrong, as muscles actually grow while they’re resting. This means that if you don’t give them sufficient time to rest, you won’t notice a proper increase in your muscle mass. Furthermore, you need to remember to feed yourself properly while resting – your body will require lots of nutrients to recover itself after the heavy workout session, so make sure you provide them in sufficient quantities.
Another way to increase the amount of muscle you’re building from your exercises is to improve your technique – that is, practice doing the exercises properly, pay special attention to things like your stance and tension on the appropriate muscle groups. If you can “optimize” your workout routine, you should notice a substantial improvement in the amount of muscle you’re building from each session. This will allow you to perform more sessions, which will in turn accelerate your progress. Proper technique is also important for preventing injury and retaining good health while working out – and really, it’s one of the first things you should go through if you want to improve your workout.
Your body will eventually get used to your routine though, and then your progress will begin to deteriorate as well – as you become adjusted to the stress from certain exercises, their effectiveness on you will decrease. The solution to this problem is to simply make sure your routine is varied enough – switch some exercises around, have two routines that you interchange, etc – anything to prevent your body from getting too adjusted to a certain way of doing things.