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Muscle-Building Workouts

Why Muscle Building is Important for Health

According to fitness research, published in the Journal of The American Dietetic Association, increased muscle strength, achieved through resistance-training exercises, actually helps people to increase their aerobic activity level and possibly reduce the risk of many chronic diseases associated with old age.

Muscle Building Avoids Sarcopenia

For example, while both aerobic exercise and general toning/conditioning are recommended, the report says that only strength training can stop or reverse sarcopenia - an age-related condition of reduced muscle mass, leading to loss of physical endurance and weight gain.

How Muscle Building Benefits Fitness and Weight Levels

Strength or resistance activities, such as weight lifting, leg-presses, or exercises such as push-ups, squat-thrusts and chin-up, cause large muscle groups to generate force and power that is progressively increased over time. For older men and women who need to lose weight, resistance training can preserve or even increase muscle mass. And, since muscle is more metabolically active (uses up more calories) than body fat, increasing muscle-mass through resistance activities enables older adults to consume more nutrients with less risk of weight gain.

How to Increase Muscle Strength?

In order to make your muscles stronger, you need to work them against some form of resistance, either from weights or gravity. If you want to gain muscle strength, try exercises such as weight-lifting freeweights, barbells or dumbells (for upper-body muscle-strength) or weight machines like a leg-press machine (for lower-body muscle strength). Lifting weights (freeweights or via machines) boosts muscle strength as well as bone-strength, by placing more strain on muscles and bones than they are used to. During a weight-lifting workout, the muscles are compelled to work harder to balance/overcome the resistance offered by the weight being lifted or moved.

Weight Machines Best for Beginners Muscle Strength

Apart from lifting small hand-weights (eg. to perform biceps curls etc.) beginners should focus on using weight machines. This is because weight machines are designed to strengthen specific muscles. Doing a weight-training circuit using a variety of weight-equipment can give beginners an optimal resistance-training workout.

High-Intensity Training Useful to Build Muscle

High-intensity training was popularized by Arthur Jones, who claimed that you could achieve better muscle-building results with very short infrequent workouts. In high-intensity training, each exercise should be taken to the point of concentric muscle failure. This means continuing an exercise until you simply can't lift the weight without assistance. Indeed, many fitness experts state that the best way to stimulate muscular hypertrophy (growth) is to continue a set until you reach the point of concentric muscle failure. At the same time, high-intensity training includes regular rest periods for optimal muscle recuperation.

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