Building muscle is no overnight game. Safely gaining lean muscle mass takes time and requires tremendous effort, dedication, and consistency. If you are someone looking to increase your muscle gains, it is essential that you remain patient and not overload your body with too much food and exercise for the sake of instant gratification.
To help you in your fitness journey, we have put together a brief guide that will help you optimize your gains without needing to follow an ultra-scientific nutritional plan or drastically changing your workout regimen.
If you are keen on increasing your muscle size and strength, you must lift heavy weights to place your muscles under stress and create muscle tears which will ultimately cause them to grow as they rebuild. That means not every exercise you perform should have you pumping out 10-15 reps. Use weights heavy enough that allows you to do 5-7 reps per set while making sure that you train to failure.
Another critical tip is to continuously but gradually add more weight to the bar and keep lifting heavier as you progress to avoid hitting a plateau. That is known as progressive overload, without which you will not add more muscle mass to your body.
Focus On Compound Lifts
Multi-joint movements should be the backbone of your workouts. These help you pack on more muscle in a quicker period than any other isolation exercise as they target your entire body instead of one or two muscle groups. Some core lifts you must stick to include the bench press, pull-ups, squats, deadlifts, and calf raise.
That is not to say that you entirely neglect split exercises. Throwing in a set of barbell curls now and then would not harm, but these full-body movements should be the staple in your workout routines to promote maximum muscle growth.
Increase Protein Intake
Protein is the building block of muscles. Working out breaks down your muscles, and protein helps repair muscle tissues and stimulate growth. If you are struggling to build more muscle mass, consider increasing your protein intake. Shoot for around 1 gram of complete protein per lbs of body weight, and increase it to 1.2 grams if you still struggle to see gains. As stated on this Crazy Bulk review, if you find it hard to consume the recommended amounts of protein, you may consider using supplements like whey protein powder to boost the protein content in your daily diet. There is a wide range of 100% natural, safe supplements suited for your fitness needs.
With that said, do not forget that there is no substitute for whole foods. In conjunction with a healthy, well-balanced diet, supplements can nevertheless be quite beneficial in accelerating your muscle growth.
Get More Sleep
Did you know that your body builds muscle while you are asleep and not in the gym? Recovery is a critical component of muscle growth, and the best way to solidify your recovery phase is by getting the maximum amount of REM sleep time.
After all, it is during sleep the pituitary gland in our body releases the growth hormone, stimulating tissue growth and muscle repair. For optimal gains, you would want to aim for a minimum of 8-9 hours of sleep each night.
Spending your whole day in the gym or stuffing 5000 calories is not necessarily going to build muscle, but you would likely fail and risk your overall well-being. With that said, you can make some minor tweaks to accelerate your gains safely and effectively.