Most of the health and fitness advice available out there is oriented around the simple desire to lose weight, and significantly less attention is given to the important work of gaining muscle. Building muscle while getting lean takes time, dedication, and lots of proper training. The good news is that most people can accomplish this goal, provided that they make a few lifestyle changes. These modifications will trigger a process called hypertrophy, which puts the muscle tissue under a bit of duress, causing it to break down and encourage the body to rebuild bigger and stronger muscles. It sounds scary, but it’s a completely normal physiological process that is necessary to occur in order to obtain that much sought-after physique. While some of the work can indeed happen quickly, it is extremely important to do so safely. The following are a few tips to help you safely gain muscle in a relatively short period of time without spending your life too much.
Eat More Protein
You don’t have to be a meat-eater or aim to be as big as The Rock in order to gain a lot of muscle through incorporating more protein into your diet. However, it’s a pretty well-known rule that if you want to build muscle and get a more toned body, you should eat more protein and take it easy on all the processed foods. It’s perhaps the only solid way to build muscle safely and effectively since it provides the required nutrients to help your body do the work. The hypertrophy process mentioned in the introduction mostly occurs when cells work to diligently regenerate the muscle fibers in question, which only happens when they are given proper protein intake from the food eaten. If you don’t eat enough protein, the body will have a harder time trying to rebuild the muscle fibers, which defeats the purpose.
Carbs aren’t the devil, contrary to popular perception, and you should eat them, too, along with plenty of healthy fats. But protein is critical when it comes to building muscle. Most medical professionals recommend eating one gram of protein for every pound of your body’s weight to ensure that you’re able to build the foundation for muscle gain. Also, don’t make the mistake of relying too much on red meat to help get you by, since that can create other health issues. You can get protein from chicken, turkey, beans, lentils, eggs, salmon, yogurt – especially the Greek variety – soymilk and soybeans, etc. It’s also important to drink a ton of water as you make this key dietary change since adequate levels of hydration coupled with an increased protein intake are crucial to being able to build muscle.
Alter Your Workout Regimen
While pursuing heart-pumping cardio workouts is great for your health and definitely aids weight loss, it’s not exactly what you want to do in order to build muscle. If you want to see your body change fast, then you should try to lift weights, and incorporate strength training into your fitness routine. Weight training is absolutely crucial when thinking of ways to build muscle and change your shape quickly and effectively. Start out in small increments, and definitely don’t strain your body any more than you need to, but begin working on this newly designed fitness routine, and you will soon see results. Lifting weights is a bit different in that repetition is really important – lifting weights just once or twice doesn’t really do much. In order to stimulate the growth of muscles, you may be required to do weight training exercises in about five to twenty repetitions, according to your own capacity. The size of weights themselves also largely depends upon your capabilities, and you can definitely work your way incrementally to heavier weights. Be sure to not strain your body more than you are able; the more you practice the more likely you will be able to carry heavier weights over time. If you want to build more muscle in the beginning, then be sure to lift weights for roughly six to twelve reps; more than that will help increase your endurance and make you stronger with time.
Also, be sure to vary your exercises and engage the different muscle groups through these repetitions, such as the biceps, triceps, and so on.
Sleep deprivation is linked to a whole plethora of health problems. Everything from high blood pressure heightened anxiety levels, weight gain, and depression can be traced to lack of sleep. It’s little wonder then, that it can also lead to diminished muscle growth. This is because your body stops producing the growth hormone that is vital for muscle building. Experts often recommend that people get the usual eight hours of sleep a night, but so long as you wake up feeling well-rested you should be ok. If you start your day feeling alert without an urge to hit the snooze button repeatedly, then you should be fine. Either way, make sure that you give yourself enough time to rest and replenish your energy, which you will need as you work towards building muscle.
Consider Hiring a Trainer
Luckily there is a lot of information available online these days, and there are YouTube videos for you to follow to help figure out different exercises. However, when you’re just starting out, it may help to consult with a professional who can provide you with different tips and tricks that will work best for your body type. While some exercises are general enough that they can suit most people as they try to build muscle, a trainer can probably provide a workout tailor-made for your physique and the goals you hope to accomplish.
You can hit the local gym and start training right away, but it’s best to take the slow and steady approach. Implement a few basic lifestyle changes, and then really commit yourself to intensive training in order to achieve the body you want. Again, building muscle takes dedication, but it’s completely feasible provided that you find a regimen and stick to it.