Did you know that the COVID-19 pandemic has made 77% of people pay more attention to their general health? Some individuals are going as far as creating and reaching health goals.
One common goal for people is building muscle without gaining fat. Wondering how to bulk up and gain muscle? Keep reading to learn the best strategies.
How to Bulk up and Gain Muscle Through Exercise
Working out is an effective strategy for bulking up and gaining muscle, but it’s how you work out that matters. Exercise is the only reliable way to boost muscle growth.
Here are some tips on how to bulk up and gain muscle through workouts:
Decide on a Target Repetition Number
Utilizing the repetition continuum method is useful for muscle-building training programs. This method states that weights you can only lift for a few repetitions are better for building strength.
Weights you can lift for 6-12 repetitions build more muscle, and weights you can lift for 12-20 repetitions increase muscular endurance.
To stimulate muscle growth, you’ll want to perform weight training exercises with an appropriate weight size, one that allows you to perform 1-20 repetitions.
Keep in mind that individuals respond differently to lower or higher repetition ranges in relation to building muscle. Take the time to find out if heavy weights or lighter weights work best for your body.
Choose the Right Weight Amount
Weights should be heavy enough to where performing much more than 20 reps is impossible. You should feel sore after completing your specified number of repetitions if you want to build muscle.
If your focus is bulking up, you will rarely have more than two reps left in your tank by the end of your set. This is how you can determine what weight amount you’ll need.
Go through different phases of your training program using different reputation ranges to help you figure out what gives your body the most growth.
Pick the Best Exercises
Muscle building is specific to the muscles that you work. Let’s say you want to build bigger biceps, so you’ll need to perform exercises that work the biceps.
Isolation movements and compound exercises are both beneficial for increasing muscle mass. To reap long-term muscle growth, use both isolation and compound movements during your training.
Isolation movements refer to exercises that target specific muscles. If you are a beginner looking to build muscle, you’ll find that these exercises are easier to learn and safer to complete.
Compound movements stimulate large muscle groups with one exercise. These exercise types are practical for muscle strength and can make workouts more efficient.
A common example of a compound exercise is the barbell back squat.
If you are fatigued from too many compound exercises, isolation movements will be easier to perform.
You might be able to complete a few extra sets doing isolation movements when you would otherwise be too fatigued to do another compound exercise.
When people think about bulking up, they make the mistake of going too hard, too fast. This won’t be helpful in building and retaining muscle mass.
To structure your workout to avoid overtraining, perform three sets of about 3-5 compound movements and three sets of 1-2 isolation workouts per training program.
Complete your heaviest sets when doing compound movements. Perform higher repetition and lighter sets for isolation movements.
Structuring your workouts this way allows you to benefit from each exercise type to maximize muscle-building potential.
Make a Drink Before Working Out
Lifters that drink a shake with carbohydrates and amino acids before working out have an increased chance of muscle growth.
Exercise increases blood flow to your working tissues, so drinking a shake before your workout means taking in more amino acids in your muscles.
Make a shake with one scoop of protein powder, or about 10 to 20 grams, before your workout. If you don’t like protein drinks, you can find other ways to get the same amount of nutrients.
Deli turkey sandwiches with a slice of American cheese on whole wheat bread can get close to the same result.
Drinking your proteins is better because liquids absorb much faster. If you drink one about 30 minutes to an hour before a workout, you’ll thank yourself later.
You can also add a growth hormone such as mk677 to your shakes, but read up on this dietary supplement before trying it. You can find mk677 for sale at the link.
How to Gain Muscle Through Eating
Building muscle is 50% exercise and 50% diet. All of the weight training in the world will lead to zero results if you aren’t supplying your body with nutrients.
To grow new muscle tissue, you need to be consuming certain foods. Here are the things you need to know:
Bulking vs. Cutting
Individuals that are serious about gaining muscle will follow a bulking and cutting cycle. Athletes and bodybuilders typically complete some variation of this cycle to stay fit.
The bulking period refers to training phases where you need to eat more food than your body burns to support growing muscles.
Cutting involves restricting calories in hopes of reducing body fat. However, you’ll still need to eat enough to avoid muscle loss.
Gaining muscle is impossible if you aren’t providing your body with the appropriate amounts of nutrients, calories, and protein. This type of diet will support new muscle creation.
The goal of the bulking phase is to supply your body with enough nutrients to grow without putting on more fat than muscle. Some minor fat gains commonly occur for individuals who haven’t found their sweet spot yet.
As you are working through this cycle, you’ll find your body’s maximum muscle-building rate. When you eat too much beyond this limit, the calories are stored as fat.
How Many Calories Do I Need?
If you don’t already know how many calories you need to consume based on your body weight, use a calorie calculator to figure it out.
To sustainably gain muscles without gaining fat, you should be eating 300-500 calories per day above your baseline needs.
There are different factors that affect how many calories you need on a general basis. Some factors include:
- Current lean body mass
- Physical activity
- Underlying medical conditions
Once you have the baseline, add at least 300 calories to establish a daily calorie goal that helps you build muscle.
How Much Protein Do I Need?
Protein is a necessary nutrient for building muscle. It’s recommended for those training for muscle gains to eat about 0.72 grams of protein per pound of body weight each day.
There are a variety of protein sources you can eat to gain muscle, but chicken is a common staple in the muscle-building community.
How Many Carbs and Fat Do I Need?
Carbs and fat intake vary drastically among the individual looking to build muscle. This is because you need dietary fat for your hormones to function optimally.
If you tend to eat fatty foods, start adjusting your diet from there. Most of your daily calories should come from different sources of carbohydrates.
The key is to eat protein consistently and add in carbs and fats that don’t make you exceed 500 surplus calories per day.
Pro tip: Eat carbs after your workout. You can rebuild muscles quicker on rest days if you feed your body carbohydrates at the right time.
Eating meals post-workout will increase insulin levels. This slows down the rate at which your body breaks down protein.
Don’t Forget to Get Enough Sleep
Although workouts and eating the right diet play huge roles in gaining muscle, you also need to ensure you are giving your body time to rest.
While you sleep, your muscles begin to recover from a tough workout. As your body is growing during this period, it secretes muscle-growing hormones.
In an ideal world, you should be getting eight to 10 hours of sleep. This is often easier said than done. If you can’t get eight hours of sleep, maximize the quality of hours that you do sleep.
If you are serious about building muscle, create a sleep schedule. Go to bed at the same time each night and wake up at the same hour each morning. Sleeping in a quiet, cool, and dark room can help you sleep better.
Try to get at least six hours of sleep and optimize your sleep quality. This has an underrated impact on the ability to build muscle.
Listen to Your Body
As you begin training and building muscle, you’ll notice that your body can start taking on more weight. Frequently assess your workout program if you want to maintain muscle growth.
If you continue to lift the same amount, you won’t trigger the damage and repair processes needed to build large muscles. In contrast, if you lift too much, you could lead your body to injury.
Always listen to your body. Never follow a training program blindly without listening to your body’s response.
Building muscle is far from simple, but it shouldn’t be too painful. Of course, you’ll feel regular soreness and aches, but too much pain is a sign that you are doing something wrong.
If you feel an unintended strain in any part of the body, you are likely overloading your tissues or completing exercises without focusing on your posture.
Isolation and compound movements are only helpful to your journey if you are doing the exercises correctly.
If you aren’t sure where to start in your muscle-building process, consult with a physical therapist or strength coach that can help.
Don’t Forget to Breathe!
It sounds silly as a reminder, but you really can’t forget to breathe during exercises to build muscle. Much like yoga or pilates, you should be focusing on your breath while working out.
Breathing correctly can help you keep your blood pressure down and correct your posture during certain exercises.
No matter what part of the body you are working out, coordinate lifting with your breath. This provides your heart and your muscles with the oxygen they need to perform complex tasks.
If you practice abdominal bracing, you can protect your body from injury. This practice works to create a stable base from which you can lift.
Begin by inhaling. When you exhale, draw in your belly as if you are bracing for a punch in the stomach.
This builds a sturdy foundation for lifting. The heavy lifting portions should be done during your exhale.
How Fast Can I Gain Muscle?
Gaining muscle is simpler than other crazy diet trends out there, but it’s not easy and doesn’t happen quickly.
To notice serious muscle gains, you’ll need to spend months, sometimes even years, doing weight training and eating properly. Individuals that follow the same program will have different muscle gain rates.
Most programs allow individuals to gain around 0.5-2 pounds of muscle growth each month. This is a good benchmark for people to follow.
Although this amount seems small, over time, the results will prove to be dramatic.
Ready to Increase Your Muscle Mass?
The truth is that there are various answers to how to bulk up and your program will depend on your body. In your customized plan, know that exercise and diet are the most important factors.
For continuous muscle growth, change up your routine every so often using both isolation and compound movements. Create a bulking and cutting cycle that works for your goals.
Don’t forget to get enough sleep and practice proper breathing techniques.
With this guide, you’ll be on your way to building muscles. For more articles like this, check out our website See here for more information