There’s a great deal of information available when it comes to building muscle, which can get downright overwhelming. What’s more is that a lot of it is misleading or just plain wrong, which can make someone feel like just giving up. This article will simplify the matter by going over six of the most proven tips.
Tip #1: Work Out Hard (Don’t Overdo It Though)
A lot of people either put in too little of too much of an effort when working out. These two errors stop progress, but the latter is probably more counterproductive. This is because it takes a toll on health, motivation, and time. Additionally, this type of lifestyle is very difficult to maintain.
In order to make progress, it’s ideal to put in an effort that is neither extreme nor minimal. The sweet spot so to speak is found somewhere in between. In other words, you should work out hard, but not to the point where you’re overdoing it and you shouldn’t get in the bad habit of subpar workouts.
Putting in a good effort when working out is necessary to continuously make gains (the same goes for diet). When a person first starts working out, a “honeymoon” phase can occur in which getting results is fairly easy. However, after about 5 to 7 months, the gains can stop if there isn’t enough effort. Additionally, you should make sure that you’re following a well-planned exercise regimen that steadily increases weight.
The truth is that putting in the effort and time takes both mental and physical discipline. You can’t make excuses like you’re too tired. You can’t get distracted by things, such as an overly talkative person at the gym. You get the point.
A lot of times a distraction can come from within the mind. In this case, visualization methods are very helpful to filter out such thoughts. This might sound weird, but studies have actually shown that such methods can improve weight training. Here’s how to do it:
* Envision yourself working out and accomplishing your goals.
* Before you begin the set, envision yourself completing the initial rep.
* Envision completing every subsequent rep while you perform them.
* If you still had a problem, envision yourself fixing it. If there wasn’t a problem, envision increasing the weight for next time
Tip #2: Consume Plenty of Protein
Working out is just one piece of the muscle puzzle. Diet is another one of the major pieces. Specifically, you should make sure that you’re getting the right amount of protein each day (even “rest” days). Here are two general guidelines to follow:
* When calories are being limited, consume roughly 1.3 g of protein for each pound of how much you weigh (females that have more than 24% body fat and males that have more than 19% should base this only on their lean mass).
* When calories aren’t being limited, consume about 1 g of protein for each pound of your weight (a female that has more than 24% body fat and a male that has more than 19% should base this just on his or her lean mass).
How regularly you consume protein throughout the day also plays a role in muscle building. Research concluded that it’s ideal to consume minimally about 19 g of it approximately every 2.5 hours. However, the big picture of how much you consume as a whole each day is a lot more important.
Tip #3: Always Use Good, Proper Form
Bad form isn’t good for two primary reasons. First and foremost, it can be hazardous and cause injury. Second, it won’t give you the results that you want. That being said, the objective of each rep should be about making the muscles work as much as possible, which is done through good form. Never lift weight that is too heavy, especially if it’s going to negatively affect your form (or safety).
Good form involves range of movement and method. Instances of good range of movement are making the bar touch the chest when bench pressing and squatting at a parallel level. Instances of correct method are aligning the knees with the toes when squatting and keeping the weights steady when lifting them.
The two factors of form are extremely important. Improper range of movement can lead to ineffective workouts and incorrect method can result in injury. Therefore, it’s crucial that you get credible information on how to properly do any exercise.
Tip #4: Consume the Right Amount of Calories
As you know, protein is essential for muscle growth. However, getting an ample amount of calories in general is important too. Therefore, you definitely shouldn’t be restricting or limiting your caloric consumption. You need to consider the concept of energy balance, which is the correlation between calories consumed versus those burned by activities. If you burn more calories than you consume, you’ll have a caloric deficit, which has the following negative consequences:
* Muscle protein synthesis is impaired, which makes it difficult to increase such mass.
* Catabolic hormones increase while anabolic hormones decrease. This is also bad for muscle mass growth since cortisol is raised and testosterone is lowered.
* Fitness ability becomes impaired.
Note that it’s possible for beginners to increase strength when they have a caloric deficit. However, this generally isn’t the case for more advanced individuals, since they typically experience the opposite effect. At most, such people can strive for preserving current strength.
Again, you shouldn’t have a caloric deficit if you want to get bigger muscles. Instead, it’s actually best for you to have a slight caloric surplus. This means you should consume a tad more calories than you burn off.
Tip #5: Monitor Your Gains/Progress
Don’t be that person that gets caught in the trap or cycle of doing the same workouts and diets that produce little to no results. Avoid this by keeping records of what you eat, what exercises you do, and so forth. Note what produces results and what doesn’t.
You should also keep records of the reps and the weight you lifted for particular exercises. It can be difficult to keep mental notes of these details from a previous workout. This will let you know exactly where you need to start out at the next one and what you should strive for next.
Using an old fashioned pen and notepad is a great way to keep records. You could also use a variety of apps available for your phone, tablet, etc. This might sound unnecessary and excessive, but it will definitely save you some time and frustration. It will also definitely help you reach your goals, such as increasing muscle mass!
Tip #6: Promote Muscle Recovery
Each day, billions and billions of cells within the body die and new ones form as replacements. This process, which is called cell turnover, is controlled by an intricate structure of both hormones and protein. The cells of the muscles are included in the process. Furthermore, old muscle protein gets replacements with the process of protein synthesis.
Individuals that are in good health and consume a practical diet have pretty consistent muscular mass. This is due to the fact that the process just described stays stable. In other words, these individuals don’t increase or decrease this mass fast. However, this changes if they practice weightlifting.
Specifically, weightlifting essentially harms muscle cells, which makes your body increase the speed of protein synthesis. What’s more is that your body won’t only replace old cells. It will also add extra ones, which promote size, strength, and resilience. Hence, you should promote the rate of recovery for muscles in order to get improved development. Here’s how:
* Refer to the section above about protein.
* Get enough rest. Specifically get the right amount between sets and workouts. Also, get an adequate amount of sleep on a daily basis. Neglecting this can lead to overtraining.
* Use creatine supplementation, which is proven to support muscular strength and development.
* Use carnitine supplementation, which promotes the energy of cells and muscle reparation. It also lessens muscle pain.
Keep the six tips stated in mind if you want to improve your muscle building efforts. However, there is one last tip you should keep in mind – have patience. Anything worth gaining takes time. As they say, Rome wasn’t built in a day.
What do you think about these muscle building tips?