Despite the fact that weight loss is a big part of the fitness industry, there are just as many individuals who want to gain weight by building muscle.
However, there are a variety of ways to approach it, and it is just as difficult for people who want to achieve long-term weight loss.
I know there is tons of information available to help you gain muscle mass just as it is with weight loss, so I will save you some time and provide the best ways to stack on those extra pounds of muscle today.
- Focus on the large movements
Rather than filling up your sessions with exercises targeting single muscles, focus the majority of your training on larger, multi-joint movements.
‘Compound’ exercises, such as bench press, deadlift, chin-ups and squats work multiple muscle groups, and are better choices for loading the muscles and creating the best hormonal response for muscle growth.
- You have to eat to build muscle!
You will not gain muscle out of nothing! You have to consume a lot of calories to gain weight.
A goal of eating about 15 percent of our maintenance needs will help reduce body fat gain, while giving us space to eat the minimum of 0.8g per lb. of bodyweight in protein that we need to boost muscle growth. Make sure to fill your plate!
- Make progress
The reason behind all weight-training programs is that they push you to improve over time, by increasing the work load of the weights you are using.
This will make sure you are following a program which helps you make improvements by the week to help you avoid spinning your wheels.
- Get good rest
Recovery is a big and underrated part of muscle growth.
When to train too much and with high workloads, your fatigue will begin to outweigh your recovery overtime, leaving you struggling to build muscle or improve training performance.
I aim to train between 3-5 times a week, with at least 7 hours of sleep each night. These are the two best methods to speed up recovery and keep you making progress.
- Mix it up
Lifting heavy weights is an important part of building muscle, however, including a mix of rep ranges which help stress and tear down the muscles will allow you to cover all bases for what is required for muscle growth. I typically use low, medium and high reps in my training program.
- Don’t exercise your upper body everyday
The lower body has the largest, strongest muscle, but people often leave them out in favor of the upper body.
Although leg training can be disliking, training them can create a huge hormonal response which encourages not just muscle growth in the lower half, but in the upper half body as well.
To maximize muscle growth, I make sure I hit the squat rack hard at least once per week.
- More is not always better, but more often might be
Research suggests that training muscle groups multiple times per week might be more optimal for muscle growth instead of trying to target muscle groups all in one training session each week.
Consider a program that hits muscle groups more often, stimulating them to grow multiple times throughout the week. And yes, this includes your legs.
- Watch the cardio when trying to build
Cardio is an excellent tool for maintaining or improving fitness, but can be detrimental when trying to build muscle.
Physical activity burns a lot more energy than lifting weights, so even with an increase in food intake, you may still burn through those extra calories.
If you add high intensity cardio sessions into the mix, your recovery can even suffer. It is okay to include some cardio for fitness purposes, but keep total amount in check, and keep in mind how your food intake may need to further change to accommodate it.
- Disregard the bodybuilders
There are a ton of programs you can find in magazines or online that show you the training routines and diets recommended by professional bodybuilders.
However, keep in mind that there are a host of reasons they are able to train the way they do, and the routines are often completely inappropriate for the majority of other trainees.
Following a program by a qualified personal trainer or coach is a lot better, safer option, and you are more likely to get the results you want.
- Be patient
Muscle growth takes time, and it is suggested that a trainee can only aim to grow 2lbs of actual muscle per month.
Being consistent along the weeks and months is the only way you will begin to see results, but your patience will pay off. I am a hard gainer so my muscle growth was a slow process but I stayed consistent and I finally was able to build muscle mass and get stronger.
Source : W. Alan “ Putting on the pounds: top 10 tips to build muscle” http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk 26 June 2017
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