To build muscle mass, it’s a given that you need to take in more calories than your body is burning, roughly around 2500-3000 calories are needed to build up one pound of muscles. That muscle mass is also used to support your protein turnover naturally increased by training.
For building muscle mass the right way, there’s a lot of sources and ways; consuming a set amount of extra calories per day according to your body mass, routinely working out and exercising to further strengthen your muscles, resting so that your body gets the natural amount of sleep for it to be healthy, and added supplements to help in gaining muscle mass.
This article tells you how you can build muscle the proper way without encountering lackluster results, and how to maintain those efficient results for future context.
Nutrition – Better diet choices
The main mistake most people do while trying to gain muscle mass through calorie intake is, they end up consuming more than necessary and become obese. That shouldn’t be your main goal while trying to gain muscle mass, so a healthy amount of extra calories (250-500) per day should be enough for you to naturally build up body mass without getting overweight.
This too depends on your metabolism rate and affinity to put on weight, for example, if you struggle with putting on weight no matter how much you eat we suggest taking in 400-500 extra calories each day, and if it’s the opposite, stay on the lower end of the extra calorie intake. Figure out your body’s limit and adjust your calorie intake according to that.
Start your day with a healthy and calorie concentrated breakfast including dishes like, omelets, cheese, smoothies and the sort. Not only will a healthy breakfast give you energy for the rest of the day and any workouts you may be doing, but it will also help you get used to eating more and set up a natural routine.
Throughout the day, make sure to eat with an interval of 3 hours, this will make sure you don’t consume a lot of smaller meals deterring you from actually eating the lunch and dinner, but instead eating hearty meals every 3 hours to build up more muscle and set a routine. Eating smaller meals decreases stomach capacity, while eating fuller meals stops those cravings.
By training your body to get hungry at specific times, you’ll end up developing a better eating routine filled with calorie filled content.
To build up muscle specifically, you need one important thing; protein. If you weigh around 90 kg, you’ll need an approximate of 200g protein per day intake. For this you don’t necessarily have to turn to protein shakes and the sort, proteins can also be acquired by foods such as:
- Red meat
- Poultry and fish
- Eggs and dairy
Fruits and vegetables can also be eaten with each meal of course, just make sure to check the calorie content and sugar count of the fruits or vegetables to not offset your routinely intake.
What to avoid
Eat healthier fats (avoid trans-fats) to improve health and fat loss, more water, and eat whole foods for example poultry, fish, fresh meat, pulses, vegetables, fruits, and oats etc. Avoid processed foods as they only build up fat and not muscle, leading to an unhealthy state of body and mind. Junk foods must also be avoided as they do your body more harm than good.
Training – how much to train and eat before or after
The amount of calories you consume to build up muscle mass should be dependent on your level of activity (physical exertion) and fitness. Some people work out more, burning more calories, and to replace calorie loss, they need a higher calorie intake than a person who doesn’t exert that much physically.
What to eat and drink
Before working out, ideally you shouldn’t consume a lot of calories, this is to limit overeating and taking in more calories than you can burn, resulting in leftover calories and unburned fat. Limit your food intake to only after the workout.
Again, eat fruits or vegetables with the meal you eat post workout (they contain lesser carbohydrates), and take in food with more carbohydrate content after workout to balance the fruits and vegetables out. Foods with high carbohydrate content include but are not limited to; pasta, quinoa, oats, rice, bread, etc.
The most important thing is to discard the artificially sweetened drinks and shift towards water, as training causing water loss by sweating which can in turn cause a hurdle in muscle building and recovery. So consume a lot of water to help with muscle recovery and encourage muscle mass buildup (your muscles need water to grow, just like plants).
Supplements – additional help
If all of these collectively does not seem to be working well for you, there’s also a quicker solution to help you gain muscle mass quicker than diet and work outs, and that is, the following supplements:
- Protein supplements – protein shakes and powders are a great source of acquiring quick protein, but you have to watch your natural protein intake so that it doesn’t get offset.
- Creatine – helps draw more water and nutrients into your muscles, leading to increased muscular strength and muscle fibers.
- Beta-alanine – helps you produce more carnosine, avoiding acid build ups that lead to strength and stamina loss.
- BCAAs – provide amino acids vital for muscle growth.
These supplements are sold by stores such as Huge Supplements.
How to train
Inside the gym, full body workouts are ideal for building up muscle mass as your hypertrophy increases the more you use a body part. Focus on glutes, quads, and hamstrings, a.k.a. the largest muscle groups in your body. Exercises the likes of squats, lunges, burpees will help build up muscles for those groups.
Start your weight and strength training little by little, and even if you’re a beginner there’s a high chance you might end up gaining more muscle mass through weight training than those who have constantly been at it. Weight and strength training can lead to increased muscle mass and hence more weight.
Strength training works to stress and tear down your muscles in order to build up a better, healthier form of them, leading to muscular growth. The one type of muscle fiber; fast twitch muscles are more likely to increase in size through frequent training because they fatigue more quickly, so along with strength training, CrossFit style workouts are recommended.
Focus on compound lifts to perpetuate the release of muscle building hormones the likes of testosterone and growth hormone. Along with that, decrease your cardio (walking, treadmill) because that will make you lose muscle faster than gaining, leading to a failure of your goal.
Rest – Recovery time for muscles
After a rigorous session at the gym, you should always give your muscles some time to recover, not just by sleeping, but by giving your sore muscles a massage, working around the tissue to soothe it. Working out means nothing if your muscles are not recovering at the pace they’re being worked.
Take breaks in between a hefty work out and try not to work the same muscles too much after they’re sore from a day’s work out, let them heal for 2-3 days.