Table of Contents
- Muscle-Building Tips: Healthy Eating
- Muscle-Building Tips: Workouts
- Are You Building Muscle the Right Way?
Do you want to gain at least one pound of lean body mass or muscle per week? This is what you can expect when training at optimal levels while focusing on proper nutrition.
Building muscle mass is not easy and not a quick process. Whether you want to become a bodybuilder or gain some healthy weight, bulking up is the way to go.
You’ve come to the right place for effective and healthy strategies.
Muscle-building tips can be split into two categories: healthy eating and workouts. The two must work simultaneously for successful results.
Keep reading to learn the best strategies for each category.
You’ll find fitness success when you put the right nutrition and care into your body. Muscle building involves eating a lot, so prepare yourself with these tips:
If you want to stay in optimal health while building muscle, don’t skip breakfast. Eating breakfast helps build muscle mass by providing you with an immediate energy burst.
Breakfast sets the trend for the rest of your day. If you eat a strong and healthy breakfast, you’ll likely want to eat healthier throughout the day.
The best breakfast foods to build muscle mass include the following:
There are a lot of options for muscle-building breakfasts so you don’t have to eat the same thing every morning if you don’t want to.
This might sound counterintuitive and impossible to do, but if you eat smaller meals with snacks in between, eating every three hours isn’t as bad as it sounds.
Eating the right thing at the right time is necessary for building muscle mass.
You can eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner at your usual time with two snacks in between. Try to eat meals post-workout and eat a snack before bed.
Keeping your food intake up means you won’t be as hungry. Eating smaller meals more often compared to eating a few big meals in the day can decrease your stomach size.
Over time, you’ll notice that you feel full quicker and your waist will trim. Your cravings will lessen at the same time as well.
When you wait long periods to eat, you risk overeating during a meal. Overeating has harmful effects that include the promotion of excess body fat.
Try to set a schedule to eat at a fixed time each day. Your body will begin to familiarize itself with these time slots and you’ll only get hungry when you are about to eat.
You can’t build and retain muscle without protein. The amount you should eat will depend on your weight and other factors. Use this protein calculator to estimate the daily amount of dietary protein you require to stay healthy.
The easiest way to get the amount you need is by eating a whole protein source with all three meals. Here are some options to choose from:
Whey is another protein type that isn’t necessary for the body but can be great in workout shakes.
You should also be eating healthy fats with every meal to aid in weight loss and overall health. Balance fat intake and avoid artificial trans fats such as margarine.
Most fruits and vegetables are low calories so you can eat them to get full without worrying about fat or weight gain.
Fruits and vegetables have fiber, minerals, antioxidants, and vitamins that are necessary for the body. Fiber especially can help with proper digestion.
Before adding fruits and veggies to your meal, check the sugar content as some, although natural, have extra calories.
Health and fitness go hand in hand and can dictate what you eat after a workout. Limiting your carbohydrate intake is difficult, but it can reap great results.
You need carbs for energy, but there are other ways to gain energy before working out. Plus, it is common for people to eat more than they should which can have adverse results.
Before a workout, eat your protein choice with fruits and vegetables only. After working out, you can add carbs like pasta, bread, rice, oats, potatoes, quinoa, etc. Choose whole-grain rather than white carbs when you can.
To get the results you are searching for and boost muscle mass significantly, a lot of your food intake should consist of whole foods.
Whole foods are better for you because they are unrefined and unprocessed. In layman’s terms, these are foods that come as close as possible to their natural state.
Some examples of whole foods are:
In contrast, processed foods should be avoided at all costs. These contain trans fats, nitrates, added sugars, sodium, corn syrup, and more chemicals.
Cookies, frozen meals, fruit bars, and cereals are just a few of the many processed food options out there.
One of the best muscle-building tips is to drink enough water throughout the day. During your strength training, you are going to lose water through sweating.
When you lose too much water without replenishing your body, your muscle recovery can be impaired. This means you won’t be increasing muscle mass despite your lifting efforts.
Drinking water can not only prevent dehydration but can stop you from feeling hungry.
The second part of your muscle-building journey will focus on workouts. It’s no secret that some exercises are better for building muscles than others.
Here’s what you should focus on while working out to build muscle mass:
Bicep curls are a common exercise for those looking to build muscle. Unless you want huge arms and a tiny body, this is not the exercise to focus on.
You should be doing more to challenge your body instead of committing to isolation training. Try exercises that you can feel working in multiple joints and muscles at once.
For example, try a dumbbell row to tackle multiple muscle groups. This will challenge your lats, abs, and biceps. Doing lifting techniques like this also allows you to lift more weight to stimulate growth.
Take advantage of moves like deadlifts, bench presses, squats, and pullups. All are multi-joint exercises that stimulate different muscle groups at the same time. Using muscles together reiterates how you move outside of workouts.
To build muscle and strength, you have to train heavily but do it in a safe manner. Heavy training challenges the muscle eccentrically and concentrically.
However, this doesn’t mean every set should be 10-15 reps. High rep sets have value, but not for the multi-joint moves we talked about above. 5 reps of these exercise types is ideal.
Doing fewer reps allow you to use more weight to build pure muscle strength. The new strength you gain will allow you to lift heavier weights and do more reps over time.
Approach this training by leading every workout with an exercise that requires low reps. Do 4 sets of at least 5 reps on your first exercise then switch it to 3 sets of up to 12 reps for moves after that.
This way, you’ll better prepare your body for the additional weight and longer reps. Over time, your muscles will be able to take on more and more.
Lifters who drink a protein shake with amino acids before working out increase their protein synthesis more than those who drink the same drink after exercising.
Since exercise can increase blood flow to your working tissues, drinking a protein shake before a workout might lead to a greater uptake of muscles because of the amino acids.
10-20 grams of protein or one scoop of whey protein powder are perfect for a pre-workout shake.
This can act as a snack before a workout. Although some people prefer a protein bar or something similar, liquids are absorbed faster and are, therefore, better. Drink this 30 minutes to an hour before working out.
If you use SARMs in liquid or powder form, it’s best to take it after your workout is over. You can find SARMs for sale through Chemyo.
You should avoid doing a muscle-building workout every day because you won’t give your body the chance to grow. At least one rest day will be helpful to muscle building and won’t deter growth if you stay consistent and eat right.
You should also avoid going hard for every workout. Aim to finish a workout feeling good but not completely fatigued. Only take on a brutal workout every so often, never on back-to-back days.
It’s normal to experience soreness and muscle fatigue after a workout, especially if you are just starting to do muscle strengthening exercises. Yet, too much discomfort and exhaustion hint that workouts are too intense.
Training constantly to the point of exhaustion is counterproductive to muscle growth.
Time under tension refers to when you can feel your muscles working. If you hold dumbbells at your side, your biceps aren’t under tension. When you begin to curl, you’ll feel your muscles flex.
Experienced lifters use tension to their advantage. When you feel this tension, start to lift with a specific tempo. Curling faster is common or curling at a slower tempo to ensure good form on every rep.
If you keep your muscles under tension for longer, you spark higher muscle growth. You can do this for almost any strength exercise.
Deadlifts, curls, pushups, pullups, and squats are all exercises that you can tweak to add more time under tension.
It’s obvious that strength training is the best way to gain muscle. However, it takes several weeks and sometimes months of consistent exercise before changes become noticeable.
Strength training examples include:
Completing regular cardio is vital for overall health and supports muscle growth and function. For optimal muscle building, it’s suggested to carry out aerobic exercise at least four days out of the week.
A quick run, jump roping, or even a brisk walk can help get your heart rate moving before strength exercises. A typical warm-up is around 5-10 minutes long. Don’t forget to stretch before!
Sleep is an important variable for those looking to gain muscle, but often a forgotten one. While you are asleep, your muscles are recovering and allowing your body to grow.
During this period, your body is also secreting muscle-growing hormones.
In an ideal world, 8-10 hours of sleep is the sweet spot. This doesn’t always happen though because of busy schedules.
Try to maximize the quality of hours you are sleeping if you aren’t able to sleep for at least eight hours. Go to bed at the same time each night and wake up at the same time every morning.
Sleeping in a fully quiet, dark room can improve sleep quality. Sleep has an underrated effect on your ability to build muscle.
If you aren’t following a healthy diet and working out with various muscles in mind, you likely won’t see results.
When you follow the muscle-building tips in this guide, you can boost muscle mass in a safe and healthy way.
Eat a lot, but make better dieting choices. Drink enough water and get enough sleep. Lastly, work out hard, maximize under tension minutes, and take rest days to allow your body to heal and grow.
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