Looking to put on muscle? Forget about all the past failed attempts and gym routines. You need the right diet and exercise plan. We’ve got the know-how you need to build the muscle you’ve always wanted.
Ramp Up Your Protein Intake
It’s no secret, the more protein you put into your body, the more protein is available for muscle building. Protein is also used by the body to produce hormones for various physiological processes, so you may need more than you think. The trick to maximizing protein in your body is allow your body to store and process more protein faster than it breaks down the old proteins. The more protein your body stores, the more your muscles grow.
Embrace the Pre-Workout Shake
Most fitness buffs know how important it is to replenish the body with vital nutrients, amino acids and proteins after a workout, but having the right amounts of proteins and nutrients before a workout might be just as important to build muscle.
Focus on Large Muscles
It’s great to work the biceps and triceps but you’ll get the fastest muscle gains if you focus your efforts on larger muscle groups, especially if you’re not new to lifting. Add exercises like the bench press, military press, squats, pullups, dips, deadlifts and bent-over rows. Aim to do three sets of 12 reps of each of these.
Work Out Every Other Day
The days you aren’t working out are as important as the days you actually are. That’s because the muscles that are worked actually grow when you’re resting them. Studies have also shown that the body synthesizes protein for up to 48 hours after a serious workout.
Don’t Skip the Carbs
When you’re focused on protein, it’s easy to forget about carbs. But studies show you’ll grow your muscles faster if you feed your body carbohydrates on rest days. An increase in carbohydrate intake will allow more insulin to be produced; the extra insulin is vital to slowing the breakdown of protein.
Eat Six Meals a Day
Try to stack up on small meals throughout the day, preferably every three hours. Divide your target calorie intake of the day by six and you’ll have the calories you should consume for each mini-meal. Be sure to consume about 20 grams of protein at every one of them.
Go the Barbell Route
If there’s any piece of equipment you want to become totally familiar with when building muscle, it’s the barbell. If you’re setting up a home gym, buy a barbell and plates and you’re set to transform your body. Barbells let you stack a lot of weight at a single rep and lift heavy. Heavy lifting is the secret to building muscle fast.
Here’s a trick: Keep adding weight to your reps over time to build muscle mass fast. Do it gradually. Once your muscles start to get comfortable with a particular weight, add a few additional pounds.
Focus on the Big Four
Four big exercises must be a part of your regular workout routine: squats, deadlifts, shoulder presses and bench presses. Incorporating these four into your regular routine and focusing on the right form will bring you great results sooner.
Focus on Rep Numbers
Doing endless reps won’t help you maximize muscle size. In fact, beyond a certain number of repetitions for each muscle, muscle tissue starts to break down. Focus on doing between six and 12 reps for each exercise set.