Prior to starting any sort of serious muscle program, it’s necessary to identify the status quo of your body. What this means is knowing whether the posture of your body is going to stop you from gaining muscle, whether your muscles are contracted or limber enough to accommodate muscle gain and whether you have a strong enough core to support muscle gain in your other limbs. There are not many muscle programs online that have a section about conditioning your body prior to building muscle, but the good ones will talk about the aforementioned things in detail.
Posture is extremely important in building muscle. Having a wonky back while doing barbell curls, for example, will exacerbate the condition of your stance and potentially leave you worse off than before. It’s not uncommon to see some body builders who have a nasty-looking hunch from all the weight they lift. A good body conditioning program will address this point early on, talking about how you can fix up your posture with a series of back stretching exercises that loosen up your lower back and force your upper back to become straighter.
The second-most important thing you have to do before building lean muscle is make sure the muscles are going to welcome muscle gain. Unstretched muscles are not going to accomodate much muscle gain because they’re content being in their contracted position. Like any exercise, a warm up is required to make sure you feel less pain afterwards and there’s definitely no exception when talking about building muscle. Building muscle can be a painful process if you don’t stretch, but if you do so before a workout and have days where all you do is stretch, your body is going to be much grateful afterwards. You’ll have the muscle and painlessness to prove it. A good muscle conditioning program will have a collection of upper and lower body stretches to get your body ready to stack on muscle.
Your core is basically your stomach and chest. Since your arms and legs are attached to your core, the amount of muscle they can build is directly proportional at the health and strength of your core. You don’t see many men with huge arms and little chests. Even if all a man does is work out their arms, the chest inherently grows in volume because it has to. If you did it the other way and conditioned your core to be strong before you started working out the other parts of your body, the potential to add more muscle to your limbs will increase directly. A good muscle program will have whole routines focused on push ups, crunches, hip thrusts and stretches that will identify core weaknesses.
Your core, having limber muscles and a straight back are important for muscle growth before you build muscle. Many men could build more lean muscle if they had conditioned their body before they started working out. Having said that, it’s never too late to start conditioning your body, even if you’re well into a muscle building program. Because it’s usually focused on zero load, you can do it longer without as much strain.