When it comes to building muscle mass, people are quick to attribute it to genetics or some other factors that are out of their hands. What they fail to realize is just how much science and research goes into this process.
Properly exercising, eating right, having enough rest and adequately hydrating are just some of the things you need to learn if you are to pack on some serious muscle mass. Sure, a person who exercises (regardless of how short and inefficient these sessions may seem) will always feel better than a person leading a dormant life. However, for a true physical transformation, you need to start taking these things quite seriously.
#1 Understand your nutrients
The first thing you need to understand in order to gain muscle mass is the right nutrients. There are three macronutrients that you need to take into consideration. The protein is the primary muscle-building nutrient and, in order to pack on some serious muscle mass, you need to consume between 0.5 and 0.8 grams per pound of your bodyweight. The other two macronutrients, fat, and carbohydrates are what provide your body with energy. During aerobic exercises (such as cardio), your body is using fat as the primary source of the energy, while during anaerobic exercises (like weightlifting), your body is using carbohydrates for energy. Going too heavy on protein and neglecting these two can seriously downgrade your performance, thus slowing you down quite a bit.
#2 Prepare your meals
In order to pack on a muscle mass, you need to A) eat quality food, B) eat enough and C) eat on time. Scheduling your meals properly can be just as important as the content of your platter. For instance, in the morning, you should combine protein, fat, and carbohydrates, your mid-day meal should contain protein and carbohydrates, while protein alone is the best choice for dinner. In order to keep track of this meal plan, you might want to prepare meals for several days in advance. This will allow you to eat properly even on a busy schedule. There’s nothing that will set you back quicker than a missed meal or frequent cheat meals due to the fact that you can’t get to make all the food yourself.
#3 Take the necessary supplements
As we’ve already mentioned, eating enough protein is key for building muscle, however, what if you can’t get enough nutrients through the regular food, you might want to consider supplementation. This is particularly true in the case of protein, where you can use whey in order to make up for your dietary deficiencies. A protein shake is also a convenient boost for those who are always on the run, seeing as how it’s portable and simple to consume. Other than this, supplements like caffeine can help increase your alertness during the training.
#4 Be persistent
The most important piece of advice that you will ever receive about improving your physique is that you need to persevere long enough in the game in order to thrive and prosper. There are people who have bulked up doing nothing but calisthenics (bodyweight exercises), even though being frequent at the gym is a more common way of doing things. Another method that you could try out is outfitting your own home gym with some basic workout equipment. You need to start with a floor mat, a pull-up bar and then look for some quality barbells online. These three items alone will provide you with all you need on a budget. You can also get a skipping rope for your cardio and there you have it.
#5 Get some rest
In order to bulk up, you need to understand how the muscle-building process works, to begin with. You see, every time you lift heavy weight, your muscle tissue is tearing apart. With enough protein intake, during the resting process, this torn tissue grows back together only thicker and stronger. In other words, if the resting period is when your muscle actually grows, then skipping it is more than counter-productive. Ideally, you would work out four times per week, have one week of active rest (walking, cycling or swimming at the local pool) and one day of absolute rest. For those who want to work out every single day, splitting days by muscle group exercises would be a smart idea.
At the end of the day, packing muscle mass is all but easy. You need to make a plan and stay committed to it. The biggest thing you need to keep in mind is that this is not a change of a single habit – it’s a change of your entire lifestyle. Is all of this effort worth it? Well, only you can know that, however, you would be surprised at just how quickly you’ll get addicted to this healthy lifestyle.