The most important thing to remember before building muscle is not to keep your body deficient in calories. However, if you eat more junk food than your body can burn, you’ll get unhealthy fats that are mostly wasted. Thus, to build pure muscle and minimize fat gain, you must eat clean and whole foods. Aside from diet, this article from WhichChoose will list some muscle building tips to help you reduce fat, gain mass, and build muscles. Keep reading.
Healthy muscle-building tips include:
Eat Your Protein
You must get enough protein to maintain a positive nitrogen balance and increase protein synthesis. The FDA only recommends 0.8 grams/kg for protein intake, yet study after study shows the benefits and lack of side effects of an intake of 1 gram/lb of body weight.
Because protein is essential for muscle building, neurotransmitter production, and the structure of every cell in your body, it makes sense to consume all of the necessary macronutrients.
For gaining size and lean muscle, Williams recommends focusing on four main exercises: the squat, bench press, deadlift, and overhead press, which aren’t just for powerlifters, he says. “Big moves are an invaluable way to increase strength and lean muscle.” And there’s a science to back that up. Research has shown that compound moves, like the squat, are better for building strength and muscle than isolated moves, like the leg extension, because they use more muscle groups and cause a bigger hormonal response. As for rep range, Williams recommends five or fewer repetitions for strength and six to 12 repetitions for gaining size.
Do Set Realistic Goals
You want a milestone you can achieve, to look different from The Rock by next month. If you have unrealistic expectations, you’re likely to become unmotivated when you’re not superseding your hopes. Give yourself small victories, as they’ll spur you to more success.
More Training Does Not Mean More Muscle
Most beginners need to spend more time in the gym and do every exercise they can. For building muscle, working out for a short time with high intensity is the best you can do. Spending hours in the gym leads to more overtraining, which is caused by excessive training and a lack of nutrition, leaving behind unwanted health problems like fatigue, an altered heart rate, and muscle soreness. The best muscle building advice I can give you here is that you only work out for 45–60 minutes daily and focus more on your intensity. Take minimal rest and pauses between your best sets, and focus more on your exercise than external factors. Keep your rep range within 8-12 for building muscle. If you can perform more than 12 reps, increase the weight.
Use Compound Movements
Doing curls can build some biceps, but heavy rowing movements like barbell rows and pullups/chinups will make your arms pop. If you want a better butt and legs, you could go station to station doing hip abductors, leg extensions, leg curls, and other butt isolation exercises, or you could get under the bar and squat. If the exercise you’re doing moves only one joint, you are limiting your muscle building potential. Stick to compound exercises.
If Size Is Your Goal, Avoid The Shrinking Exercise
Running doesn’t build muscle mass. If it did, marathoners would have legs like defensive linemen. But running shrinks muscle fibers to make them more metabolically efficient.
You’d think you could get around this by lifting weights and running, but your body negates that work through a mysterious “interference effect.” Your type II fibers—the biggest ones—will still grow if you run and lift. But your type I fibers won’t, and even though they’re smaller than the type IIs, they likely comprise 50 percent of the muscle fibers in your body that have any growth potential. Cut back on your running program, and you’ll see growth in both your slow- and fast-twitch muscle fibers and perhaps finally get your body to look how you think it should.
Packing on muscle usually demands additional calories, but it’s important to focus on quality over quantity. According to the Department of Medicine at the University of Washington School of Medicine, an athlete’s or exerciser’s diet shouldn’t deviate from that of a healthy individual except in the overall amount of food. By avoiding processed foods, refined sugars, and alcohol and opting for lean protein, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats, lifters can adequately fuel their body to make gains in the gym.
Don’t Get Hungry
Eating small meals every two to three hours stokes your metabolism and muscle growth. But fasting for long periods sends your body into panic mode, making it store food as fat. Flood your system with a steady supply of nutrients to help you burn fat and build muscle all day long.
Get Adequate Sleep
Another great tip for beginners who want to build muscle quickly is to get enough sleep every night. When you work out, your body creates tiny micro tears in the body, which need to be replaced so that they grow better and stronger. These micro tears get replaced when you sleep. Another reason not to compromise on sleep is that your body produces 70% of the Human Growth Hormone during sleep. Hence remember that your body does not grow in the gym but at home when you sleep. Try to get 8-10 hours of quality sleep every day for better recovery and muscle growth.
Have Some Patience
Putting on muscle is not as easy as it seems. Women, in particular, are fearful of weight because they’re afraid of bulking up. You would be lucky to add even half a pound of muscle in a week’s time, and that is if everything is perfect and you’re eating a surplus of calories to support muscle growth.
Building muscle is hard work and takes time. Expect a year’s worth of weight training to really start seeing dramatic changes in your physique.
Drink Plenty of Water
Another important muscle building tip is to drink plenty of water throughout the day. Water not only excretes the waste out of the body but also helps better absorption of nutrients. Your body needs to be hydrated throughout the day to work properly. Aim for a minimum of 12 glasses of water daily to help your body function properly.
The following are the top 11 muscle building tips for hard gainers. The most important thing for a hard gainer to remember is to eat more and maintain a calorie surplus in order to maximize growth. If you have any suggestions or questions for WhichChoose, please leave them in the comment box below.
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