Building a respectable physique takes time. There are no secrets to building muscle mass. This process takes a lot of effort, intensity, and persistence. Beginners should focus on full-body training, practicing lifting form and consuming a sufficient amount of calories to grow. Once they have surpassed the beginner stage, they can move to an upper/lower split or another routine better suited for intermediates.
Most people get their training advice from a magazine and follow the bodybuilding programs that the pro’s are using. Most of you reading these magazines are far from being that advanced, and are most likely not using the drugs that pro bodybuilders are using. Anyone can build a noticeable physique if they follow these 10 steps and have a little patience.
Here are my 10 Tips To Build Muscle
1. Train Sensibly and Effectively
- Use a full-body routine or an upper/lower split. Make sure to hit each muscle group 2-3 times a week for maximum results. Train sensibly and allow yourself 3-4 full days of rest every week.
- It’s important to train your muscles frequently as opposed to the traditional bodybuilding splits where one only hits a muscle group 1 time per week. Most people will not make the muscle gains they are after on a traditional bodybuilding split routine.
2. Use Compound Exercises
- Heavy squats, presses, rows, and deadlifts will allow for maximal loading on the muscle. Ones aim should be to consistently increase a given load over a period of time.
- As you get stronger, your muscles have to adapt to heavier loads, therefore they must grow stronger and bigger to be ready for the next training session.
- Stay within the 6-12 rep range.
3. Eat Enough Protein
- When one is weight training and in pursuit of building muscle, I recommend consuming 1-1.5 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight.
- For example, if a 160 pound person wants to consume a sufficient amount of protein to build muscle optimally, they will be aiming for 160-240 grams of protein per day.
- Some great sources of protein are:
- Wild Game Meat (Venison/Antelope/Elk/Kangaroo)
- Protein Powder
4. Eat Enough Calories
Well how much is enough?
- Enough is simply more than you are burning on any given day. For instance, if someone wants to make noticeable gains in muscle mass, I would tell them to eat enough to gain about 1 pound of bodyweight per week.
- Usually this equates to eating about 500 calories over maintenance per day. So, if someone’s maintenance calorie level is around 3000 calories/day, I would suggest they eat 3500 calories every day to ensure adequate muscle gains. If you are not gaining weight, you are not eating enough. If you are not eating enough, you most likely are not gaining any muscle mass.
5. Limit the Cardio Workouts
You are trying to build muscle, right? Doing cardio burns calories, but more adversely, doing excessive amounts of cardio will cut into your recovery.
- You need calories to grow, and if you burn all of your excess calories doing cardio, you will only be spinning your wheels.
- If you must do some form of cardio, do some light walking or biking 1-2 times per week on your off days.
6. Eat Carbohydrates
Carbs will not make you fat. Only eating excess calories over a long period of time will make you gain fat. Carbs serve a huge purpose in the muscle building diet.
- Carbs provide energy to fuel your workouts.
- Carbs refill the muscle glycogen that is depleted during your workouts and they help jump start the recovery process post workout.
7. Have a Post Workout Meal
Make sure to consume a sufficient amount of protein and carbs post workout.
- Consume at least 30-40 grams of protein and at least 50-60 grams of carbs.
- This meal is very important to take your body out of the catabolic state and to begin repairing the damage you incurred during your weight workout.
8. Adequate Fat and Essential Fatty Acid Intake
Make sure the fat in your diet is mostly poly and mono unsaturated fats. Consume an adequate amount of Essential Fatty Acids. EFA’s are essential because the body cannot synthesize them; therefore we must have a steady intake of EFA’s to make sure our needs are met.
- Peanut butter, fatty fish, olive oil and avocados are great sources of healthy fats.
- 15%-25% of your daily calories should come from fat.
- Dietary fat helps regulate essential muscle building hormones like testosterone.
- You can purchase Omega-3’s in capsule form to allow for sufficient amounts daily.
- If you do not eat fish regularly, you most likely are not getting enough Omega-3’s. So make sure to supplement with capsules.
- EFA’s aid in tissue repair and are essential for cell growth and division among many other health benefits.
9. Pick a Training Program and Stick With It.
You cannot track progress if you are constantly changing your workout routine. It’s of utter importance to track your performance in the gym to make sure you are making progress.
- Keep a log book and record every workout, every set and every rep.
- Try to make increases every week in terms of weight lifted or by performing more repetitions.
- Assess progress every 4-6 weeks and focus on consistently making gains.
- Do not be too quick to change your routine. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!
10. Sleep and Rest Often
Your body will take care of the muscle building process when you sleep, granted you provided enough nutrients during the day to grow.
- During this time period your body is using the extra calories you consumed to repair and rebuild the muscle.
- Using your days off to rest and recuperate is one of the keys to success in any muscle building pursuit.
- To ensure a steady flow of muscle building nutrients throughout your sleep cycle, eat a meal consisting of slow-digesting protein and fat before hitting the sack. Some casein protein (in the form of milk or cottage cheese) and peanut butter would be a good choice for this last meal.
Remember to keep your goals in front of you and give yourself ample time to build the body you want. This process takes time and effort, but the price you pay is well worth the results.