So, you’re looking to put on some lean mass? Many people have the same goal in mind, but struggle to achieve it. Whether you’re a hard-gainer or simply don’t know how to build muscle in the most common ways, we’re here to help.
We have 5 tips to build muscles that will undeniably bulk you up and keep you looking lean and mean. These tips aren’t some magic pill, however, so you have to be prepared to put in the work and you’ll see real results!
1. Eat Enough Protein
No matter how much weight you lift, it won’t help you much in gaining muscle if you aren’t consuming enough protein. Adequate amounts of protein are required in order to build muscles. Our bodies use protein for other primary functions, such as producing hormones, so not everything you consume will be directed towards bulking up.
However, it’s also important to remember that your body can only use a certain amount of protein in a day, so eating “as much as possible” isn’t likely to work as efficiently as possible. Instead, try to aim for 1 gram of protein per pound of your body weight. Any more than that, and your body can’t really “use” it for muscle-building.
So, let’s say that you weight 140 pounds. You’ll want to try to consume at least 140 grams of protein per day.
2. Maximize Movements
Isolation lifts are typically those which we enjoy doing most, such as bicep or preacher curls. After all, they offer the perfect view of our bulging biceps! However, you’ll get better results if you focus on multi-joint movements. These, as you can probably guess by the name, work various joints and muscles simultaneously, maximizing your time and effort.
While you can (and should) certainly include isolation lifts like the aforementioned curls, you shouldn’t rely on them alone. Instead, the core of your workout should focus on multi-joint lifts like a dumbbell or barbell row or pull ups where you’re focusing on your biceps, rear deltoids, lats, back, and core.
Using all of these muscle groups simultaneously will spark muscle growth more than you’ll ever seen with curls alone, and also boost mobility as these are movements you’d do in your “regular” life anyway.
For these exercises, you’ll definitely want to take advantage of a squat rack!
3. Lift Heavy
If you’ve ever watched Pumping Iron or really seen any Mr. Olympia contenders training, then you’ll know that lifting heavy is key to making some significant gains. While you may not want to be as big as them (or perhaps you do), lifting heavy weight will help make notable changes in your body in a short amount of time.
However, it’s important that you take special safety precautions when doing this, as it also comes with greater risk. It’s also crucial that you’re placing special attention on the concentric part of the lift and the eccentric part, or the part where you’re returning back to the “start” position.
For example, if you’re doing a bicep curl, you want to try and curl it in 1 second, but will bring your forearm back down in 3 seconds or longer to maximize burn and increase muscle control. This offers a more symmetric look, better mobility, and is much safer.
So, what does “lifting heavy” mean? It means that you should be lifting anywhere from your 1 rep max to 7 reps. If you’re performing multi-joint lifts like squats, deadlifts, with your home gym or cable machine. then we recommend sticking to 3-5 as you want to lift heavy but still be easy on your joints. Once you get more accustomed to this style of lifting, you can go heavier.
4. Passive Exercise
If you want to maximize fat burn and help get your muscles working but simply don’t have the time to go to the gym on certain days, there’s no need to worry. You can actually do this without much extra effort through the use of tools like weighted vests and ankle weights.
These weights can be conveniently worn for certain periods of time throughout the day and will help keep you in good shape, even if you’re rehabbing an injury or trying to get back in the swing of things.
These weights come in just about any size or weight you’d like, with most offering you the ability to adjust them by taking weights out or putting extra in. As they’re so compact, you can easily take them to and from work, on trips, and so on.
5. Timing is Crucial
You have to remember to plan your meals and snacks around when you’re going to work out. Many studies have shown that those who drink a shake with amino acids and carbs 2 hours to 30 minutes before working out increased protein synthesis more than those who drank that same shake after their workout.
An easy way to get a well-balanced blend of carbohydrates, protein, and amino acids, is through a whey protein shake. Any high-quality protein powder will offer around 20 grams of protein per scoop, which is a solid amount for an intense workout.
Now that you know the top 5 tips to gain muscle, do you have a plan set out in your mind? We hope that you take all of them into consideration, as they all have their own significant place in any serious muscle-gaining program. However, what’s most important is that you keep safety at the forefront and always maintain proper form and breathing while lifting. We hope that our guide was of help to you. Thanks for tuning in, and we’ll see you again shortly. Have fun!