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Last Updated on October 5, 2020
So, you have been working out and eating better but now you want to grow more muscle. Muscle mass is important for all of us: bigger muscles make us look better, enhance our posture and can boost our self-esteem. But aside from how we look, muscle makes us stronger, helps to keep us healthier and it can even increase our metabolic rate.
Fortunately, unlike what you may have heard, building muscle mass is not a mysterious process. There are several scientifically proven ways to build muscle in the quickest and safest ways possible.
We will take through five methods that you can start today to build muscle. Some will be fairly easy (even for beginners,) others may require you to change your routine, but all of them will help you with your aim to gain more muscle. Just remember to seek medical advice before attempting any of these, to keep yourself safe.
1. Consume more calories.
The first rule of muscle building is that you must eat to grow. In order for you to gain weight and build muscle, your body needs to enter a calorie surplus. If you are not consuming enough calories, your body will not have the proper fuel and extra amino acids to adequately bulk up your muscles. To build muscle you have to think differently in terms of calories than if you were trying to lose weight. If you are consuming fewer calories than your body burns, you are putting it into a calorie deficit. This is going to make it unlikely that you will gain muscle mass because your body’s ability to create muscle proteins is impaired.
So in short, you have to eat more to bulk more. If your goal is to gain lean muscle mass without any additional fat storage, you can consult your doctor or a nutritionist to work out a plan that will work for your body.
2. Consume enough protein.
It is common knowledge that your body has to have protein to build muscle. Consuming the right amount of protein ensures that your body has the amino acids it needs to build muscle. If you want to build muscle, your body has to have a constant supply of these muscle-building amino acids as they repair damage by rebuilding bigger and stronger muscles. These amino acids that you need are found in the proteins you consume. Taking in around one gram of protein for every pound of body weight has been the standard medical advice to bodybuilders for years. A study by McMaster University found that between 0.6 and 0.8 grams per pound of body weight are needed for inciting the greatest degree of protein synthesis. One of the easiest ways to add more protein to your diet is through a protein powder supplement. Protein powder manufacturers create supplements that can be added to shakes and drinks to help you get the protein you need for muscle growth. You can even add flavors to your protein powders, to prevent your diet becoming boring. As well as protein powders, consider other forms of protein to mix it up a bit. Whey protein powders, smoothies, protein products and snacks in a variety of textures and flavors are all readily available and are an effective way to get started.
3. Train muscle groups.
In order to build stronger muscles, you need to tailor your workout routine to target specific muscle groups. You will need to do training exercises that work out your spine, chest, abdominals, legs, shoulders, and arms. It is important that you apply focus on all of these areas to build muscle evenly across your body. While the order of your workout is not important, your routine is. You will need to work out all of these muscle groups at least two times per week. Understanding how to do crunches and other intensive muscle targeting exercises will help you achieve all of your goals, and is necessary to ensure that you are exercising properly. For example, an abdominal crunch will do little to grow muscles around your shoulder blades or spine, but will certainly help build abdominal muscles. Targeting muscle groups with these kinds of exercises at least twice a week ensure muscle growth.
4. Don’t overdo cardio training.
Your body is not good at serving two masters. If you train for muscle building and endurance at the same time, your body will have a hard time adapting to both and it could lead to impaired gains in both areas. Fitness experts call this the “concurrent training effect” or the “interference effect.” Basically, cardio training hinders muscle growth because it forces your body to adapt in two different directions. While some cardio is always good for you, overdoing this training can take you the wrong way from your goal as it stimulates different enzymes, and starts other processes in your body that could hinder muscle growth.
5. Focus on getting stronger.
The most crucial weight training principle that you need to remember, is that muscle growth depends on exposure to stimuli that they’re unaccustomed to. This means that you have to gradually increase the stress you place on your muscles. This is what is known as progressive overload and it is a great way to enhance muscle development. If you fail to do this however, there will be nothing to spur development and your muscles won’t grow. To achieve progressive overload you can increase your training volume, reduce your rest intervals between sets, or increase the range of motion of an exercise. You can also increase the amount of resistance you use.
Following these simple steps will aid in your muscle growth and development.