An 8-Step Guide to Building Muscle: Building muscle can be a long and laborious process; despite this, it can be made drastically easier by using our list of tips and tricks. Sadly, the fitness industry is plagued with misinformation, and many people aim to get rich by selling you a dream.
Luckily our guide is supported by real hard science, not the bro-science, which is often preached in your local weights room.
In this guide, we will present a comprehensive guide to all of the biggest things you need to consider if you’re attempting to build some muscle.
To build muscle, you need to be eating enough to support your bodybuilding muscle.
To build muscle, you need to be in a caloric surplus, meaning you need to be taking in more calories than you burn. We suggest that you eat anywhere from 250-500 calories above your BMR (base metabolic rate). If you’re a skinnier build or are less bothered about putting on excess fat, then we suggest the higher end of that range.
However, if you’re looking for a more lean physique, then you only need to eat 100-250 calories over your BMR.
When you’re trying to build muscle, it is absolutely essential that you consume enough protein. Protein is vital when building muscle because the amino acids repair and maintain muscle tissue.
After a workout, protein helps you recover from workouts because muscles slightly tear during exercise. We recommend that you eat anywhere from 1.2-1.7 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day.
You can get your protein from shakes; however, it’s preferable to eat whole foods like eggs, chicken, steak, nuts, fish and dairy. Although we recommend eating lots of protein, make sure not to eat too much, or you will spend less time building muscle and more time on the toilet.
When looking to gain muscle fast, one of the most effective things you can try is supplements. There are many dodgy supplements available online. However, we will only suggest 100% safe and thoroughly researched supplements.
The best supplement for supporting muscle growth is creatine. Creatine is the most widely researched fitness supplement in the world and has been proven to be completely safe and effective time and time again. Creatine increases lean muscle mass and also increases ATP production, which is the energy source used in high-intensity training, meaning you will have extra energy during short bouts of high-intensity activities such as weight lifting or sprinting. Another benefit to creatine is that it’s super cheap and widely available.
You can also use supplements like weight gainers and protein shakes if you are struggling to consume enough calories or protein; however, it is preferable that you receive both your protein and calories from whole foods.
One of the most essential aspects of building muscle is what you actually get up to in the gym.
Although bicep curls may be an iconic exercise that many of you many associates with building muscle, the truth is that they aren’t the best method for gaining mass, and that goes for any isolation exercise. Instead, you will want to focus on compound exercises, these being; Bench press, squat, deadlift, Overhead press, pull-ups, and many more.
You should prioritise these because they are exercises that utilise multiple muscle groups. Essentially they give you more bang for your buck. These exercises also allow you to lift heavier weights and implement progressive overload, which is the key to gaining strength. This leads us nicely onto our next point.
Building muscle is a slow and challenging process, and attempting to cut corners will only ever make the journey longer. The most common way ego interferes with hypertrophy is when people try to lift too much weight by sacrificing proper form and good technique.
There’s always going to be people who are stronger than you, so try not to feel pressured to increase the weight you’re lifting just because of what other people are doing in the weights room. Everyone was a beginner once, and if you try to cut corners, then it will only be a matter of time before injuries and imbalances will rear the ugly head.
One of the factors which are often neglected when it comes to building muscle is your sleep. Sometimes It may feel counterproductive to be lying in bed instead of working out; however, sleep is absolutely crucial if you’re trying to gain muscle.
While you sleep, it enhances muscle recovery through protein synthesis as well as promoting the excretion of HGH (human growth hormones). So, if you’re reading this at midnight, trying to figure out how to get bigger, then go to sleep!
Contrary to popular belief, you do not build muscle in the gym. You build muscle when you are back at home on the sofa. When you exercise, it causes micro-tears in your muscle. The actual growth takes place on your rest days and while you sleep due to protein synthesis.
This is why it’s crucial to incorporate an adequate amount of rest days into your routine; it may be tempting to work out seven days a week, especially if you’re desperate to gain size fast, however in more instances than not, you will be overtraining.
If you’re overtraining, then your body will not build the optimum amount of muscle, and you will be more susceptible to injury. So, in conclusion, sometimes less is more.
As you’ve learnt already, if you want to get big, you need to eat big. However, you can’t forget about your water intake.
Your muscles are 79% water, so it’s vital that you stay hydrated. Water plays several crucial roles when it comes to building muscle. Studies have shown that if you’re dehydrated, then protein synthesis is negatively affected, which therefore inhibits muscle growth. Water is also a key ingredient in synovial fluid, which helps lubricate your joints and allows for ease of movement.
Furthermore, being adequately hydrated will make you feel more energised, allowing you to perform at a higher, more intense level. We recommend, as a minimum, you should be drinking 50 ml of water per kilogram of body weight a day.
That was our short guide to the basics of building muscle. Keep in mind, Rome wasn’t built in a day, so don’t stress if you don’t see immediate changes. It won’t be long until your arms don’t fit in your old t-shirts!
If you want to find out more about adjusting your diet to help build muscle or how to effectively use supplements, or what exercises to be doing, feel free to explore our website to find out more!