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To be honest, I am a novice when it comes to fitness. I am happy to admit that I am learning. It is important as a man of size, especially in fitness to become as knowledgeable as possible. I also recognize the importance of fitness.  There are lots of different ways to build muscle, but not all of them are healthy. If you’ve been trying to bulk up, here are a few strategies that you should avoid like the plague along with some advice on what you should do instead.

 

Dirty Bulking

 

In order to repair and build your muscles after a workout, you need to consume more calories each day. Too many people think that this gives them a license to pig out on junk food. Whilst this junk food is full of calories that could help you to bulk up at first, in the long run, you could find that you’re building more fat than muscle. This food also isn’t good for you heart and arteries and could cause cardiovascular problems in the future including strokes and heart attacks. You’re far better off trying a diet such as this Jason Ferruggia meal plan that uses natural fats and unrefined carbs.

 

Starving Yourself

People that are overweight and looking to build muscle may attempt to starve themselves whilst working out. Most commonly this will fail, resulting in weight loss but no muscle gain. In other cases it may work – the few calories you’re getting could be going into muscle repair, however, this could result in the rest of your body not getting the nutrients it needs. Starving yourself should never be the solution. You’re better off keeping your calorie intake high, but eating more healthy calories and limiting fat.

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Singling out muscles

If you’re trying to focus on your arms or your chest, it’s important to still exercise other muscle groups. Singling out certain muscles won’t just lead to a lack of symmetry – it could put a strain on joints and ligaments. The most common and joked about an example of this is focusing wholly on upper body strength and not the legs. By skipping leg day, you could actually damage your hips and knees as your legs won’t be strong enough to support your upper body.    

 

Taking Steroids

 

Taking steroids isn’t just cheating. Whilst these drugs do help you to build muscle, they can also have negative health side effects. They’ve been commonly linked to causing infertility and insomnia, as well as causing people to take on features of the opposite gender. Women have been known to grow more body hair and have lower voices, whilst mean have been known to develop breast tissue. Steroid abuse is becoming increasingly more frowned upon with bodybuilding bloggers such as Erny Peibst outing and shaming culprits who turn to steroids. You’re far better off naturally building muscle – it’s much harder, but you won’t have to deal with the side effects and it will be more mentally rewarding rather than something you’re secretly ashamed of.  

 

Relying on supplements

 

Supplements such as creatine and protein shakes can help you build muscle. However, relying too heavily on them can have side effects. Not only is it more expensive than natural dieting, you could cause overdoses of certain nutrients. Vitamin E is found in many bodybuilding supplements and less so in natural foods – whilst it can help with bodybuilding, it could also have the side effect of thinning the blood if you consume too much. Take supplements in moderation and don’t use them wholly as an alternative to dieting.