Building Muscle and Gaining Weight
Unlike aerobic exercise, which emphasizes endurance training, anaerobic exercise focuses on
strength training. A gradual weight gain can occur while building the size and strength of muscles.
While developing muscle mass, your body adapts to the stress placed upon it. You can modify your
diet to include foods such as meat, fish and vegetables. These foods help muscles recover and
replenish important nutrients after a strenuous workout.
Muscle Strength and Endurance
To achieve the greatest benefit from exercise, it is important to develop an exercise program that
allows you to work all of the major muscle groups equally.
To increase muscles strength; follow this principle:
Increasing resistance and maintaining the number of repetitions of an exercise results in increased
To tone your body, follow the principle: Decreasing resistance plus increasing the number of
repetitions of an exercise results in increased body tone.
Once you feel comfortable with an exercise, you can change the resistance, the number of
repetitions, or the speed at which you do the exercise. It is not necessary to change all three
variables. For example, let’s say that you are training at 50 lbs and performing the exercise 10 times
in 3 minutes. When this becomes too easy, you may decide to move up lifting 60 lbs for the same
number of repetitions in the same amount of time. Lifting more weights fewer times most often
develops muscle strength. To gain both muscle strength and endurance, it is recommended that you
perform each exercise 15 to 20 reps per set.
How hard you begin to train depends on your overall level of fitness. The soreness you experienced
can be lessened by decreasing the load you place on your muscles and by performing fewer sets. To
avoid injury, you should gradually work into an exercise program and set the load to your individual
fitness level. The load should increase as your fitness level increases.
Muscle soreness is common, especially when you first start exercising. If you are painfully sore for a
long time, it may be time to change your program. Eventually, your muscle system will become
accustomed to the stress and strain placed on it.