Tips On How to Build Muscle Mass
Building muscle mass is likely the main goal that keeps you going back to the gym. And while it’s not an easy journey, the principles behind the process are simple enough.
Here are 9 base tips on how to build your muscle mass:
1. Pay attention to how much you’re eating
To build muscle mass, you need to be in a constant caloric surplus. Focusing on protein, which easily satisfies hunger, may make this harder – so focus not just on what you’re eating, but how much you’re eating.
2. Eat enough protein
That said, if you don’t consume enough protein, you won’t be able to build muscle mass at all, as it’s the most important building block. Experts have calculated that the optimal daily protein amount is between 1,6g-2.2g kg/day.
If you have trouble consuming this much, try eating smaller portions more frequently, or adding a protein shake to your diet.
3. Eat healthy fats
Healthy fats ensure you stay satiated for longer and don’t experience abrupt energy drops, like a sugar crash. This tends to result in higher energy levels throughout the day, sustained workout pace, and better fat loss.
4, Eat the right carbs at the right time
Contrary to popular belief, carbs are not, in fact, the devil. But they can do a lot of damage if you don’t pay attention to which ones and when you eat.
Complex carbs are good for you. They’re your main energy source. But they can also propagate weight gain without muscle building. This can be mitigated by the way you incorporate them into your diet.
Low-glycemic and low sugar fruits and vegetables, for example, are alright to consume with every meal (in fact, you should probably be eating more veggies as is).
But other carbs like grains, bread, pasta, or potatoes should be a post-workout meal. Carbs will slow the rate of post-workout protein breakdown and improve mass retention.
5. Select correct supplements
It’s no secret that there are multiple supplements on the market. But it’s important to keep in mind that supplements aren’t a magic pill and won’t help you become Arnold Schwarzenegger overnight. Best supplements for muscle growth provide a boost, not a solution.
Creatine, for example, is a good addition to promote muscle strength and growth if you exercise right. Beta-alanine can help if you’re fatigued and need energy. HMB can halt muscle protein breakdown.
But they’re here to help. Neither can do the work in your steed.
6. Work multiple muscles at once
Focused exercises like bicep curls can be fun – but you’re more likely to build your muscle mass up if you incorporate exercises that focus on multiple muscles and joints at once.
Squats, pull-ups, deadlifts are all good examples of workouts that involve multiple muscles, allows you to lift more weight, and stimulate mass building.
7. Up the weights
High reps have their benefits, but if you want to gain more muscle mass, doing fewer reps with heavier weights could be a smarter approach, especially when it comes to bench presses, squats, and other multi-joint exercises.
The idea is to cause greater muscle tear and rebuild, building up more pure strength in the process.
The important part of upping the weights is to keep doing it safely and efficiently. Start your training off with low-rep heavy exercises, and move to higher-rep lighter ones later.
8. More time under tension
Putting muscles under tension during exercise is an oft-overlooked way of sparking muscle growth. It’s a technique beloved by experienced lifters because they’ve seen the potential benefits to be gained with just a little extra effort.
Lengthening time under tension means performing exercises at a specific tempo to keep muscles tensed longer than under a regular set. Many exercises you’re currently doing can likely be modified to up the time your muscles are under tension. But not all, so do ask a trainer at your gym for guidance.
9. Let your muscles rest
If you’ve worked with a real professional at a gym, then you already know that recovery is just as important to muscle mass building as the right diet and exercise. As good as putting your muscles under tension is, as bad it is to overstress them – it may very well stagnate your progress.
This is why it’s so important to get a full nights’ worth of sleep. When you sleep not only are your muscles recovering, but they’re growing – sleep is when your body secretes muscle-growing hormones.
Even if you don’t have the luxury of getting full 8 hours’ worth of sleep, at least try to up the quality of sleep you do get – go to bed at the same time every night and make sure that the room is dark and quiet so that you sleep uninterrupted.