Building mass over a short period of time isn’t a myth. However, we all know that one guy who spends a lot of time in the gym works out until he drops, and still nothing. It’s true that there are people with a lean physique who have to put some extra efforts in order to bulk up, but more usually the problem lies in some other things, such as an inadequate dietary regimen and workout regimen. There are some pretty simple rules to be followed when it comes to muscle growth, and yet many inexperienced lifters fail to stick to them, which is the main reason for their stagnation.
Pack it away
Basically, if you want to put on some serious mass you need to eat more calories than you burn during your exercise. Increase your intake by 300 – 500 calories a day, but this doesn’t mean that you should start overindulging in fast food or devouring pizza. Of course, an occasional cheat day is allowed, but try not to make a habit out of it, as such food can make you fat. Some experienced lifters eat something every couple of hours, so it’s generally better to have 6 meals a day. For additional calories, you can take a few spoons of peanut butter or slices of avocado after your meal.
Focus on protein
Your muscles are composed of approximately 20% muscle protein. It’s only logical that you should eat protein in order to stimulate muscle growth. The recommended daily amount of protein is 2 grams per pound of body weight for lifters. This may cause some confusion because people who aren’t athletes should consume 1.2-1.7 grams per pound of body weight, which is significantly less, and some lifters believe in a myth that the body can digest only 20-30 grams of protein per serving and that’s the reason why they don’t get enough of this type of food.
A little help from supplements
Supplements are crucial for better performance, fat loss, and substantial muscle growth. All those who believe that they can cover every aspect of nutrition without them have been proven wrong. The gym supplements are there to fill nutritional gaps, thus preventing a breakdown in a muscle repair process. Creatine is mainly used for increasing lean muscle mass, boosting energy levels and speeding up muscle recovery. Whey protein shakes are one of the most effective supplements to take post-workout as they’re packed with amino acids which help muscle recovery.
Catch some serious z’s
Rookies usually think that their time in the gym is what makes their muscles grow. However, sleep is more important than working out. During the workout, you practically break down the muscle tissue, and it’s the recovery stage that actually builds muscle. This means that a good night’s rest is a must, as well as a long afternoon nap after a workout. Your body produces testosterone and the growth hormone which are essential for muscle recovery and building. On the other hand, if you sleep less than 8 hours a night, the levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, increase and which slows down the process of muscle gain.
Save your strength
Here’s another rookie mistake which can significantly affect muscle growth. If your main goal is building mass, then you should be very careful with additional sports activities. Strenuous exercise wears you out, and remember that rest is extremely important for muscle growth. However, if you still want to play other sports, you’ll need to reconsider your calorie intake, but nevertheless, bear in mind that your muscles need to rest in order to recuperate and bulk up. You must be very careful not to overtrain as that frequently happens when new lifters are eager to boost their muscle mass quickly.
Maintain your hydration levels
Staying hydrated is extremely important for any athlete, as it’s necessary to restore electrolytes that you lose during your workout. Even if you’ve lost seemingly insignificant 2% of your total body water, your performance will be affected and you’ll get muscle cramps. You should drink approximately 8 oz. of water every 15 minutes during your training. Low-calorie flavored drinks are also a good way to stay hydrated, especially if they’re packed with electrolytes. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty because, by that time, you’re already dehydrated.
A heavy-duty workout
When you’re working out, make sure to give it all you’ve got. High-intensity training is necessary for muscle gain, as it helps you increase your strength, which, in turn, allows you to lift heavier weights and do more reps. This regimen will ultimately result in building mass. However, the heavier weights you lift, the more likely you are to sustain an injury. That’s why you need to be very strict when it comes to warming up, and always do it before your training.
These simple rules can make a big difference in size, so stick to them while you’re trying to build mass. One last piece of advice is that being persistent is the key to success.
About the Author
Luke Douglas is a fitness and health blogger at Ripped.me, and a great fan of the gym and a healthy diet. He follows all the trends in fitness, gym, and healthy life, and loves to share his knowledge in this field through useful and informative articles.