Everyone who has embarked on a fitness journey knows that it’s not an easy task. You may go to the gym, lift heavy weights and see only some gains. However, gaining serious muscle mass requires more than just lifting weights. It’d work best if you’ve a proper plan and schedule.
It does take sufficient time and patience to achieve your body goals. If you aren’t seeing desirable results even after months of physical training, then you’re using the wrong approach. You don’t want to waste your time and efforts, hence you must avoid the workout mistakes.
Furthermore, even if you see progress eventually, it shouldn’t stop you from achieving more. Here are five key ways to build your muscles while working out;
High Volume Training
Volume in weight training refers to the number of reps you perform on a certain exercise. A key determiner of increased muscle mass is the number of reps and sets of your exercises. Contrary to popular opinion, you might actually have to lower in weight to add training volume.
Resistance training is the best way to achieve this goal. Utilize the ‘big three’ training exercises, which include squats, deadlifts and bench-press. These exercises increase your core strength, and tone and bulk up your muscles. Include them in your training in one form or another, to gain maximum benefits.
For example, if you do five reps with an 80-pound barbell, you can increase the volume to 10 reps. You may include a one-minute break in-between these sets. During the volume training, the burning sensation you feel in your muscles is due to the lactic acid. This prompts an increase in the production of the growth hormone and ultimately leads to muscle growth.
While high volume might be associated with professional bodybuilders, don’t be afraid to try it. We all start from somewhere. Simply start lightly, then move to the heavier weights as you grow stronger.
While you may consume workout supplements for muscle growth, you also need to pay attention to your meals. The easiest way to ensure this is by eating your breakfast, lunch and dinner as you normally would. Then combine your usual meals with post-workout meals, and light snacks, which you may munch on in the evening or at night.
Increasing your number of meals means that you’ll feel satiated and the urge to eat mindlessly will also be lowered. Eating smaller meals more often compared to bigger meals less often reduce the fat from your belly.
Also, not eating for a long period can cause you to consume large amounts of food the next time you eat, or top-up with unhealthy snacks from vending machines. To stop any unusual cravings, eat at specific times every day so that your body gets used to it.
Thus, it helps in increasing your metabolic rate, thereby trimming down your waist size and reducing your food cravings.
Eat Proteins in Each Meal
Exercise training tones your muscles by removing fat from your body. Proteins play a vital role in this regard. Hence, proteins help in muscle repair, recovery and growth.
Your body needs more amino acids, the building blocks of proteins; because now you’re lifting weights and need to build the necessary muscle tissue. The more intense your exercise training gets, the more protein intake you need, to build your muscles back.
You should aim to consume at least one gram of protein per pound of body weight. This approximately equates to the number your body needs in a day. For example, a 200-pound man should consume 200 grams of protein each day.
The most straightforward way to achieve this is to consume a whole protein source with each meal. Some of the protein-rich sources include the following:
- Red meat, such as pork, beef, mutton, etc.
- Poultry, such as chicken, duck, turkey, etc.
- Fish, such as tuna, sardines, salmon, etc.
- Dairy, such as milk, yogurt, cheese, etc.
If you’re too ambitious to achieve your muscle-building goals, you may also include one or two protein-rich snacks every day.
Have Enough Sleep
Sleep is essentially important for your good health and muscular fitness. If you fail to get enough sleep while you’re on a training regimen for muscle mass, you won’t feel properly rested in the morning. It’s likely to put brakes on your muscle growth and increases protein degradation.
Moreover, lack of enough sleep affects your day’s performance and productivity at the gym. While some may argue that a few hours of sleep will enable them to function just fine, it may still hinder your fitness goals.
Sleeping for seven to nine hours each night is essential for your muscle growth. You’ll enjoy many benefits from human growth hormones because the levels spike as you sleep. Adequate sleep also helps limit the levels of the stress hormone, cortisol.
Add Weight Responsibly
Yes, you want to push your muscles to the limit and enhance its growth. However, you need to be smart and responsible, as you move ahead.
If you increase the weights, you’re lifting too fast, you’ll put yourself at a risk of injury. On the other hand, if you do it too slowly, you’ll limit your growth and achieve the desired results very slowly.
To strike a balance, you need to pay close attention to the time and efforts you’re investing in your fitness goals. For instance, if you’re lifting swiftly and with ease and your recent few reps feel similar to your first few reps, then it’s time to increase your weights.
Gaining muscle mass isn’t just about lifting weights and sweating off in the gym. While adding your training volume is necessary, however you need to be smart and responsible in this regard.
You’re suggested not to add weights too fast or else you’ll hurt yourself. Be mindful and eventually add weights in your training so that you achieve the desired results in the targeted time.
Also, pay attention to your lifestyle. Sufficient consumption of food plays an equally important role in building your muscles. It’s recommended to eat more frequently but in small portions.
While you’re at it, you need to ensure you’re consuming more proteins, as that’ll encourage muscle growth. Lastly, sound sleep should also be a part of your routine as it’s also a vital component in building and repairing your muscles.