SERVINGS: 3 times per week
PREP TIME: 20-30 minutes each session
Almost any exercise can build muscle if you do it right; the right amount of sets and reps, the right tempo and the right amount of rest between sets. While most of us aren’t aiming for bodybuilder status, we still want to build sexy, lean muscle so we 1) look great in our clothes 2) torch calories with our top notch metabolisms and 3) protect our bones as we age. And news flash: building muscle doesn’t mean you’ll bulk up (un-less that’s what you’re after and there’s a completely different recipe for that!). Look at ballet dancers; think they’re not pure muscle top to bottom? Think again. Muscle boosts metabolism and burns fat so we want more of it!
1. Warm up for 5-10 minutes
2. Start with a few lighter weights & higher reps to wake your muscles up
3. Make sure you use proper form (work with a trainer if you’re not sure what that is)
4. Always cool down for at least 5 minutes
1. 6-12 reps
2. 3-6 sets
3. 30-90 seconds rest between sets
4. Varied tempo: During two of your weekly workouts focus on the concentric phase of movement aka when you’re contracting the muscle (for a bi-cep curl, that means spending more time on the way up). Once per week, switch it up and focus on the eccentric phase instead (same bicep curl, only this time focus on spending more time on the way down). The point of this variation is because the eccentric phase puts more stress on muscles thereby working them harder and coaxing them to grow. The reason we don’t suggest doing eccentric for every workout is because it can lead to over-training really quickly and we don’t want any-thing to interfere with your progress!
1. Be sure you’re doing the moves properly before you start stacking on the weights. Lifting a ton of weight in an improper position can cause some serious injuries and put you out of the game completely; a death sentence for metabolism-boosting!
2. Switch it up! Try using different equipment so you’re constantly challenging different muscles — and your attention span!