8 Muscle-Building Tips from Professional Bodybuilders

Written By Mandy Seay For QuickEasyFit

We all want lean, muscular bodies. However, bulking up and maintaining muscle mass requires quite a bit of effort. We've compiled the best tips from bodybuilders like Anthony Catanzaro and Dave Draper, so you can learn how to build the body of your dreams.

Visualize the Results you Want - When your goal is to build muscle, it's important to visualize the exact results you want. The mind is a powerful tool when you're working toward a goal. Professional athletes understand the power that focus and positive thinking have on the results that they achieve - why should you be any different?

Regular cardio helps you burn fat and show off muscle Regular cardio helps you burn fat and show off muscle Work Each Muscle Group Exclusively - Spend your gym time focused on one muscle group at a time. Don't bounce from one exercise to the next - instead, decide what part of your body you'd like to work each day, set up a schedule, and stick to it.

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Practice Slow, Controlled Movement

While it can be tempting to attempt as many repetition of an exercise as possible, you simply can't bulk up with this method. Instead, to build muscle, focus on repeating each exercise in a slow, controlled manner. You'll find that this is actually more difficult to do, as it puts more strain on the muscle. Muscles tear down and rebuild as you add weights and put stress on them, and working slowly makes this process more efficient.

Remember to Warm Up - If you have limited time to work out each day, it can be tempting to skip the warm up exercises. However, this is the best possible way to injure yourself seriously. If you're short on time, decrease the amount of weight lifting you'll be doing that day, but be sure to work in a short warm up and cool down to protect your muscles.

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Shock Your Muscles - Every four to six weeks, you may need to revamp your weight lifting routine. Mix things up a bit - add new exercises, remove old ones and change the order in which you lift. This will shock your system into building more muscle each time you work out.

Burn Off Fat - You can build all of the muscle you like, but if your body is flabby, no one will be able to see it. That's why it's crucial that you work regular cardio exercise into your workout routine. Shoot for cardio two or three times per week to reduce your total body fat and allow your hard work to shine.

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Eat a Balanced Diet - When you're attempting to build muscle mass, the food you eat is especially important. You'll need to eat a healthy balance of complex carbohydrates, proteins and healthy fats. The fats and carbohydrates will help keep your body well supplied with energy, while the protein will help you build muscle.

Eat like a caveman to build muscle fast. Boost Your Red Meat Intake - Speaking of protein, the best addition to your diet when you're attempting to bulk up is red meat. Red meats are high in iron and protein - things your body needs as it works to build muscle.

Stick to a Regular Routine - You're more likely to make the time to exercise on a regular basis if you design a routine around it. When you've decided to work on bulking up, plan out the time each week that you'll spend preparing your meals and exercising.

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Just Add Water - Water is a crucial part of any exercise program. It helps your body flush out the toxins accumulated during exercise. No matter what exercises you're doing, staying hydrated is absolutely essential.

For steady, noticeable muscle gain, follow these tips from top bodybuilders. With some work and a regular routine, you'll have the body you've been working toward in no time.

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