The journey towards building muscle is shaped by the various methods, theories, and preferences revolving around the discipline. Whether you’re looking to improve overall health, enhance aesthetics, or boost performance, there’s a ton of advice that can help get you to that point.
However, in your intense effort to figure out which path to take, it can be all to easy to lose focus on the basics which are the actual things that matter the most when striving for that lean physique. Today, we will be reminding you that things are often simpler than they seem. Getting in peak shape is actually quite simple. It is certainly not easy, but it is simple.
Things Your Body Needs to Build Muscle
Muscle building goes beyond what takes place at the gym to the regular daily activities you do at home. Yes, dynamic movements and intense exercises are key parts of muscle building. Still, there are other components, such as sleep, diet, and timing, that are just as critical.
1. A Proper Diet
The right amount of protein and carbs, as well as the frequency in which you consume meals, are vital to muscle building. You should aim to consume a gram of protein for every pound of body weight in a day if you’re regularly working out.
Remember to spread this amount over six small meals. As great as protein is for muscle building, you don’t want to go overboard with it. Not only is excess protein converted into fat, but it’s also linked to the development of kidney stones.
How important are carbohydrates?
In the context of building muscle, carbohydrate calories play a vital role because they provide your body with energy. If you are not able to tap into an adequate carbohydrate reserve, then your body will instead use protein as fuel.
Carbs also fuel your brain and provide your muscles with the energy to function. If you’re looking to get more carbs into your diet, go for the minimally processed varieties, such as rolled oats and green-leafy veggies.
Furthermore, instead of eating three big meals a day, go for five to six small meals to keep your metabolism firing. Keep in mind that the body is wired to be fat-loss resistant and is, therefore, going to consume lean muscle for energy first. Having at least five small meals a day ensures that there’s enough fuel in the tank so that your muscles aren’t consumed.
2. Enough Sleep
Not getting enough sleep is going to be a big setback to your goal of building muscle. The sleep state is when hormones critical to muscle recovery and growth, such as testosterone and the growth hormone, are released.
Post-workout supplements have become very popular recently. This is because there is no better time to take muscle building nutrients than after an intense workout session. After the end of your workout, your muscles will be quite fatigued, and they will be in real need for nutrients. This is the best time to refuel and provide your muscles with those vital nutrients. Especially quality protein.
4. A Strong Foundation
Well-developed pecs and biceps are definite attention catchers, which is why we can’t really blame some of the newbies for concentrating solely on those particular areas during workouts. However, it goes without saying that these parts shouldn’t be your only focus.
You will also want to develop the numerous stabilizer muscles around the hips, midsection, and shoulders as they’re able to provide a great foundation to your overall fitness. Core strength is very important, and many people neglect this area during their training sessions. It’s important to challenge these parts of your body in terms of mobility and stability so that you can proceed smoothly to more advanced strength workouts.
5. No Routines
There is something very comforting about working out at around the same time each day. However, developing a repetitive routine in terms of the specific exercises you perform, and amount of resistance that you perform them at, can be an unproductive way of going about things. This is because your body easily adapts over time and so you will end up hitting a plateau much sooner. Try to add some variation to your exercises every now and then to make them more challenging. This will shock your body, and be a catalyst for further muscle growth
You can also increase the difficulty level of familiar routines by increasing the weights or adding more movements. This should keep you from being stuck doing a routine long term and, in turn, plateauing.
6. Powerful Glutes
Our culture in these modern times has become very sedentary and technology-based. This has meant that many people have developed bad backs, tight hips, and poor postures. It’s important to know that muscle building is heavily dependent on a highly functioning posterior.
You must learn to move through those hips to unleash the power in your glutes. By doing so, you can execute your workouts properly and be well on your way to building muscle efficiently with fewer injury risks.
It is through intensity of a workout that the greatest fat loss and muscle gain are achieved. You don’t want to be that person who talks in between sets or has a conversation with someone while jogging on the treadmill. It is very important to keep the intensity up as you go about your exercises. It is through very intense exercise that the most fatigue is imposed on your muscles. This means that your body will continue to burn calories and repair muscle for hours after your workout. If you’re at a level where your body can forego resting between sets, do supersets. A superset is when you perform one exercise, and then your move straight on to another exercise without a rest in between.
Building muscle is all about combining intense resistance training with a clean, healthy high protein diet. The workouts themselves need to cause microscopic damage to the muscle fibers which will then stimulate muscle hypertrophy and cause them to grow over time. In order to do this, you need to make sure you are training with progressively heavier weights, training to total muscle failure, and allowing enough time for recovery. Make sure you get all these critical components on point if you want to see dramatic improvements in your strength and physique.
As for how long until you see results, here’s a more in-depth insight, according to The Muscle Expert, that should help you understand the entire process better.