How to Gain Muscle Mass: The 4 Keys
Learning how to gain muscle mass is the key to being able to build the body that you want in a safe and healthy way. Many athletes who are just starting out cut corners and take shortcuts hoping to reach their goals sooner. While there are definitely some things that you can do to build muscle more quickly, the simple truth is that the best way to build muscle is to develop a long-term plan.
It’s important to realize that getting the physique that you want isn’t an overnight process. It’s going to take years of dieting and hard work to reach your goals. And, it will take the same effort and dedication to maintain your physique. While that may seem daunting, just think about how much more satisfying it will be once you reach your goals. Learning how to gain muscle mass isn’t easy, but it’s worth it in the end.
Here’s How to Gain Muscle Mass:
Ignore the Scale – If you obsess over how much weight you are gaining, or your lack of gaining weight, then you are going to make life miserable for yourself. When it comes to building a strong, healthy body, the scale is simply not a great indicator of your progress. It all comes down to how you look and feel.
Strong bodies are going to weigh more than weak bodies – it’s called muscle. So, instead of focusing on your weight on a daily basis take a look in the mirror. Or better yet, take progress pictures as often as possible. That way, you can see the transformation for yourself.
Over time you can go back and look at the pictures and see the progress you have made. This is an important process because it will allow you to see your progress, which can help keep you motivated.
It All Starts with Your Diet – Your diet is the foundation plays an important role in how your body looks and feels. You can’t expect to get a great body by fueling your body with awful food. So, if you are serious about building muscle the right way then the first thing you need to do is to learn about dieting. Unlike dieting to lose weight, dieting to build muscle is all about increasing your calorie intake.
This doesn’t mean you can eat anything you want; instead, it means that you have to increase your calorie intake of good foods. Building muscle mass also requires you to consume the right amounts of macronutrients. The macronutrients are carbs, fat and protein.
Carbs should make up the vast majority of a muscle-building diet. They should make up somewhere between 40 and 60% of your diet. Fats should make up around 15 to 25% of your diets. And protein should make up around 25 to 35% of your diet.
Carbohydrates give you the energy you need to get through the day and to get through the workouts you are going to be doing. Good sources of healthy carbohydrates include whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables.
Healthy fats – meaning monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats – mainly help the body maintain a healthy heart. Healthy fats are found in foods like avocados, walnuts and olives.
Protein helps the body build and repair muscle mass. It’s found in every cell within the body and helps with maintaining everything from healthy hairs and nails to enabling enzymes and hormones to grow. Protein can be found in many plant sources like chia, hemp and pea proteins.
By taking the time to formulate a solid diet plan – consisting of the right blend of macronutrients – you will ensure that you are building muscle the right way.
Lift the Right Way – The actual process of weight lifting is simple. You pick up a weight, perform a number of repetitions, then repeat. But what a lot of people don’t realize is that there are a lot of factors that come into play that will determine what kinds of results you will get. If you want to tone up then you perform a high number of repetitions with lighter weight. If you want to build strength and power then you need to lift heavy weights for low repetitions.
To build muscle you want to lift fairly heavy weights that challenge you to complete sets of 6 to 8 repetitions. This is the ideal repetition number for using heavy weight to build muscle.
Avoid Hitting a Plateau – Have you ever noticed that over time your workouts tend to get easier? That’s because the human body has a remarkable ability to adapt to adversity. If you do push-ups twice a week pretty soon your body will adapt and push-ups will get easier. While this is good because it increases your strength and stamina, it’s also bad because it means your body is about to be done adapting.
Your body won’t adapt and get any stronger than it has to; this is called hitting a plateau. So, how do you avoid these plateaus? You avoid plateauing by changing your routine up on a regular basis so that your body has to continue to adapt to new sets of circumstances. Mix in different exercises, different weights and different rep counts. Create some muscle confusion so that it makes it more difficult for your body to adapt. Try different workouts like HIIT training and don’t be afraid to mix it up.
There are many different ways to workout nowadays. So, don’t limit yourself to just one type of workout and falling into the pattern of doing the same exercises every time you go to the gym. Push yourself to try new exercises. This will ensure that you continue to make progress while keeping things interesting. One of the reasons people ‘give up’ on their goal is because they get bored. Mixing it up and seeing the results of your efforts will keep you going!