A Complete Guide to Gaining Muscle Mass
Table of Contents
- 1 A Complete Guide to Gaining Muscle Mass
- 2 Introduction
- 3 Why Is Muscle Development Important?
- 4 How Does Muscle Gain Lead to Fat Loss?
- 5 Lean or Bulky: How Is It Different?
- 6 The Significance of Testosterone
- 7 Ways to Raise Your Testosterone Levels
- 7.1 Partake In Proper Exercise
- 7.2 Consume Good Nutrition
- 7.3 Abstain From Alcohol
- 7.4 Get Reasonable Amount of Sleep
- 7.5 Use Muscle-Building Supplements
- 8 Training Principles for Building Mass Muscle
- 9 Training Mistakes to Avoid
- 10 How to Train For Mass Muscle?
- 11 Nutrition for Gaining Mass Muscle
- 12 Nutrition Mistakes You Need To Avoid To Achieve Goals
- 12.1 Insufficient Intake of Vegetables
- 12.2 Eating Too Close To Bedtime
- 12.3 Skipping Meals
- 12.4 Poor Eating Consistency
- 12.5 Improper Ratio of Macronutrients
- 12.6 Eating too much
- 12.7 Eating Too Less
- 12.8 Too Much Sugar
- 12.9 Too Much Salt
- 12.10 Not Drinking Enough Water
- 12.11 Not Using Supplements
- 12.12 Not Preparing Your Own Meals
- 13 Diet Plan for Building Muscle
- 14 What Supplements Should You Take?
- 15 Conclusion & Final Thoughts On Muscle Boosters
- 16 Disclaimer
The fitness industry in the US is growing at an unprecedented rate, and for good reason. The rise in obesity caused by unhealthy lifestyles and work habits is putting many Americans at the risk of severe cardiovascular diseases and illnesses such as type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure.
The effects of obesity also have drastic consequences at a macro level. Severe illnesses and diseases lead to low productivity and efficiency, leading to many absent and unproductive days at work that cost millions of dollars to the U.S. economy in terms of lost output and efficiency.
Fortunately, the fitness industry is gaining penetration across greater levels of the American society, which, as a result, is pushing many to resort to intense training and exercise to reduce body fat percentage and lower their body’s BMI (Body Mass Index) levels.
Regardless of what workout program you follow, muscle development is at the core of getting rid of excess body fat and helping you get the ripped body image you have long desired. The rise in popular Hollywood culture, especially with actors and actresses achieving a high muscle definition for a particular role, is inspiring many to take on the challenge to achieve a similar feat. Increasingly, gaining muscle is becoming associated with boosting self-confidence and attractiveness.
However, gaining muscle also has a number of health advantages aside from helping you look ripped and healthy, and it is with approach that we explore how you can gain greater muscle tone in your body.
In this eBook, we aim to provide important pointers on how you can achieve greater muscle growth in order to encourage fat loss and allow you to achieve the ripped body you have always wanted to have. Regardless of whether you want to become lean or get muscular, we will cover some of the most important pieces of advice and tips to help you get the results you want!
Why Is Muscle Development Important?
No matter which intense workout program you come across that is designed for losing fat, you will notice that muscle development is at the core of the exercise program. But, the question you should ask is ‘Why?’ What role does muscle development play in your fitness journey?
The answer is quite simple. Muscles are a reflection of your strength, but its benefits are more than just about keeping you physically strong. It also has a range of benefits for your internal biological body, such as acting as a preventative measure against obesity as well as aging.
When there is more muscle on your body, the higher your metabolic rate tends to be. The metabolic rate is the rate at which your body converts the food you consume into energy and thus the higher the rate, the more calories your body naturally burns. You might have noticed how many athletes and trainers are able to eat small portion of unhealthy and/or junk food and still be able to keep their muscle tone in perfect definition.
However, this should not be your goal in the least. The point is that having a greater muscle body will help you have a protective mechanism against piling up unnecessary body fat, which can help you keep your blood sugar and heart levels operating healthily.
Increases Bone Density
In addition to metabolic advantages, high muscle growth is also beneficial for ensuring healthy and strong bones. This is particularly important for those with weak bones experienced in old age or with those who have osteoporosis, particularly women. High bone density cannot simply be achieved as a result of consuming more calcium; it is deeper than that. The supporting muscle tissue fibers also need to be strengthened to allow proper range of motion and flexibility.
Higher muscle tone increases the load of your bone and acts as a protective cover. This can play an important role in preventing osteoporosis and bones from becoming brittle as a result of old age.
Improves Resistance against Diseases and Illnesses
A much more surprising benefit of having more muscles is that it can improve your body’s resistance against diseases and illnesses. Muscles are developed through higher protein intake in your body, which can generate a backup defense mechanism for fighting against harmful body cells due to bacteria or a virus entering your body. The availability of higher protein can ensure that vital and healthy nutrients are effectively supplied to your internal organs without there being a risk of muscle breakdown.
More importantly, it can be beneficial for helping your body restore and recover damaged or tired muscles and organs a lot more quickly. Cancer patients that undergo chemotherapy are able to endure the harsh effects of the treatment if they have more protein levels in their body.
As a result, having higher muscle growth is not just for showing off or to see who can lift heavier weights. Rather, it has a number of important biological benefits to the body that can help you live longer and healthier.
How Does Muscle Gain Lead to Fat Loss?
People often become afraid at the very mention of ‘muscle gain’, thinking their bodies would become akin to those competing in bodybuilding competitions. As a result, they stress on losing body fat to lose weight and become slim and healthy.
However, muscle gain is directly linked to fat loss, which is why some of the most popular body transformation programs, such as Tony Horton’s P90X series, Sagi Kalev’s BodyBeast, or Shaun T’s Insanity program, all emphasize some or a sufficient level of muscle development to eliminate fat count. You can either choose the lean muscle or the big muscle route, either way your weight loss goals can still be achieved.
So how does this happen? Well firstly, the human body naturally burns more calories everyday to keep muscle mass compared to that for fats. In other words, the more muscles your body has the more calories it will burn naturally every day.
Building muscle, therefore, is inextricably linked to substantially boosting your metabolism which turns your body into a blast furnace for shedding excess body fat. This can play an immense role in reducing your body fat percentage drastically.
More importantly, high intensity training involving weights can help you achieve what is known as ‘the afterburn effect’. A study published in the Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise shows that women who lift a substantial amount of weight for more than 5 reps can burn twice the amount of calories within a two hour period post-workout compared to if they performed higher reps using lower weights.
However, there is a catch. The rate at which your body burns calories through higher metabolic rate is also impacted by your eating and sleeping patterns. Compromise on these, whilst keeping your workout intensity at optimum levels, and you can be sure of not gaining the right results. This is why having proper eating habits and sleeping routine is essential so that you can induce fat loss and build muscle simultaneously.
Therefore, contrary to popular opinion, muscle building does not necessarily amount to gaining heavier muscles. Depending on the diet, types of weights and reps, and the particular exercise program, you can also obtain an athletic body with a high muscle tone. Athletes such as professional Olympic swimmers and basketball or soccer players, for instance, are a great example of this.
In fact, achieving fat loss in this method can help you sustain your high metabolic advantage for a lot longer. Weight lifting or any other kind of resistance training is bound to increase your metabolic rate a lot more in comparison with just doing cardio exercises.
To summarize, you can significantly reduce your body fat percentage through muscle gain. The higher metabolism from lifting higher weights and performing resistance workouts can be really helpful to shred fat so long as your sleep and eating habits are normal.
Lean or Bulky: How Is It Different?
Now that you have ascertained that muscle building in of itself does not cause you to become big like Arnold Schwarzenegger in his Mr. Olympia days, we can now move on to discuss how gaining muscle is different for whether you intend to become lean or bulky. This is perhaps the first things you need to decide for yourself, and each configuration has its own rules for not only what kind of resistant training you should undergo, but also how many calories you need to consume.
A lean muscular body type is commonly referred to as ‘cutting’. In this workout approach, the main emphasis is on reducing body fat levels through rigorous cardio exercises along with resistance training to tone and increase your muscle growth and definition. Shaun T’s Insanity or T25 program, for instance, is a great example of this.
Such programs revolve around high or max intensity interval training designed to target key body fat areas as well as muscle groups such as glutes, quadriceps, abdominals, and core muscles. Focus on building muscle is mainly achieved through bodyweight exercises along with some use of dumbbells or resistance bands. Other workout programs also involve pull-up bars.
As for diet, the emphasis is primarily on achieving a calorie deficit, a minimum of 1200 calories. The right number of calories will vary according to gender, frequency of exercising, and lifestyle factors, such as how sedentary you are. You will also be recommended to have 4-5 meals at every 3-4 hours in order to keep metabolism high and induce as much calorie burn as possible. The key to gaining a lean muscular body is to shred body fat whilst maintaining or increasing muscle mass.
The workout program for gaining a bulky muscular body differs substantially from that needed to get a lean body. There is a lot more emphasis on lifting heavy weights with low reps and principles such as muscle shocking are widely applied in many weight lifting routines.
The key is to breakdown muscle tissues with greater force and consistency in order to force it to repair and rebuilt in larger sizes and densities. For this reason, there are more weights used, some of which include dumbbells, barbells, weight plates, gym balls, benches, kettle bells, Olympic weights, gloves, and more.
For diet, there are lot more calories required in order to gain a larger body size and supplement larger and denser muscle growth. Bodybuilders and trainers aim for a calorie count between 3000 and 6000 calories. However, it is not the calories that are important, they are only given to give an estimate of how much food you should consume. The key is eating the right foods at the right intervals and portions for your muscles to get a surplus of proteins necessary for rapid muscle recovery, rebuild, and growth.
The high calorie count is especially important since the muscle fibers and tissues are getting worked with a lot more impact and force compared to in lean body programs. As a result, the muscle tissues need a faster route to recovery in order for you to be able to lift weights with the same consistency to achieve effective results.
Cut Or Bulk: What Should You Choose?
If the aforementioned information is of immense interest to you, it is likely that you will spend time deciding which is a better option for you, cutting or bulking. In cutting, the main goal for you is to shred body fat whilst making sure you maintain your muscle. Whereas, in bulking, the goal is to build new muscle by enlarging your body weight whilst keeping your fat gains to an absolute minimum.
The short answer is that there is no one simple answer for each and the right choice can vary according to a number of factors including fitness goals, body fat percentage, and body type. If you are a beginner, gaining muscle will be the least of your concerns since you will be mostly preoccupied with losing body fat. However, if you are aiming to partake in a long-term fitness journey and want to benefit from having a sustained high metabolic rate through more body muscle, then bulking may be a better option.
In either case, the key thing to consider is your body fat percentage. The higher it is, the better it is for you to go with cutting as opposed to bulking. This is because in bulking, which requires increasing your calorie intake, it is normal for one to gain body fat after which you are supposed to go on a cutting phase to get ripped.
However, if you have a substantially high body fat level and opt for gaining mass muscle, you will need to devote a longer time for getting rid of excess body fat. This does not mean it is not workable; not at all. But, considering you are new to fitness and most likely have a shaky level of motivation and inspiration; it can become quite easy for you to give up on your fat loss efforts.
For this reason, it is best that you first go for the lean body route, which will give main priority to losing body fat percentage without losing your body’s existing muscles. You should ideally aim to have a body fat percentage somewhere in the 10-15% range. Once you achieve this, you can then easily move on to gaining higher muscle mass and obtain a bulky muscular body frame.
To maximize results, you need to ensure that your workout program is designed intelligently so that losing body fat does not lead to loss of muscles. If this happens, gaining more muscle will become extremely challenging.
The Significance of Testosterone
You may have heard how men are naturally advantageous for building muscle in comparison with women. This is usually due to men having higher testosterone levels and, as a result, gives them a considerable edge in helping them gain muscle mass and reduce fat a lot quicker. So what makes testosterone so beneficial?
Testosterone is a hormone that is naturally produced in the body and serves as an important catalyst for speeding up the process of muscle rebuilding and growth. In the case of men, testosterone hormones are produced in the testicles, which are also responsible for many of their sexual characteristics. In addition to sustaining muscle mass, testosterone is also responsible for maintaining a sufficient supply of red blood cells, emotional well-being, sexual health, and bone growth.
The amount of testosterone is subject to dietary intake and frequency of intense exercise. However, there are many factors that can lower it, mainly illnesses and imbalances in the body. Some of these include chemotherapy, chronic illnesses, physical injuries, loss of or infection in testicles, obesity, stress, and depression.
Individuals that have low testosterone levels will thus find it a lot more difficult to maintain or grow their muscles. Fortunately, testosterone levels can be increased through proper and intense resistance training, as well as good nutrition. But, the assumption that higher the testosterone levels, the better your muscle building efforts tend to be is an oversimplification.
As the amount of testosterone levels fluctuate or increase normal to high, muscle gains do not increase as desired. It is not that there is no muscle growth whatsoever; rather, they do not increase proportionally to rise in natural testosterone.
This was evidenced by a study conducted and published by the Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science involving a test group of young men. They administered drugs and other dietary supplements to increase the natural count of testosterone for a period of 20 weeks.
Researchers found that participants did see improvements in muscle mass; however, they were not on par with their expectations. This led them to conclude that if increases in testosterone levels are within the normal range of 300-1000 ng/dl, muscle gains will not be as significant. The implication from this study is that in order to achieve mass muscle, testosterone levels need to be raised by a substantial amount.
The conclusion is that high testosterone levels are integral to gaining larger and denser muscles. However, if you are intending to become bulky naturally, any further increase in testosterone count will not contribute to additional muscle growth. There is a point beyond which your muscle tissues will not grow larger in size.
Nevertheless, it is important that you implement techniques to boost your body’s production and release of testosterone. The following sub-section explains how you can achieve this.
Ways to Raise Your Testosterone Levels
Since testosterone levels decline after you reach the age of 30, it is essential for you to ensure your body naturally produces a sufficient level of it in order to achieve effective weight loss or muscle gain results. The following are some of the ways through which your natural testosterone levels can be raised.
Partake In Proper Exercise
We have all heard of how exercise can help boost your testosterone levels. What you may not know, however, is what techniques and tips are best for raising it.
Lifting Heavy Weights
One of the first things you should pay attention to is lifting heavy weights. Regardless of whether you lift low weights at high reps or high weights at low reps, any kind of weight lifting can kick-start your testosterone production substantially.
Workouts, such as squads, dead lifts, and Olympic lifts, in particular, if done at least thrice a week is one of the many factors of making sure your testosterone levels skyrocket. You don’t necessarily have to start off with lifting extremely heavy weights in order to see sudden rises in testosterone levels. Start small using kettle-bells or dumbbells and build your way up in order to become strong enough to comfortably lift barbells and other heavier cable machine weights.
Secondly, sprinting can also be a great exercise to increase your testosterone levels. Performing periods of high-intensity sprints is found in research to be extremely effective; with it, you can make sure that your testosterone levels are high even after you have recovered fully from the workout.
Use Shorter Breaks
It is important to take breaks in between workout sets to give enough time for your muscle tissues to be supplied with oxygen in order to continue doing further exercises. However, you should never mistake this for taking lengthy breaks. Instead, shorter breaks can be an efficient method of boosting your body’s metabolic rate and providing the impetus for an increased production of testosterone hormones.
Depending on how intense your workout is and how tiresome your muscles get, always ensure your rest period is within the 3 minute range. Anything above this and you will limit your potential to boost testosterone.
Do More Leg Workouts
Doing more leg exercises, such as squats, lunges, and knee raises using weights, for example, are very effective for increasing testosterone production. This is because of the large muscle groups found in the lower body and any exercises that work these muscles can significantly raise your metabolic rate, as well as testosterone levels.
Do High Intensity Cardio Training
While it is true that too much cardio can lead you to lose muscles, it is nevertheless key to making sure your testosterone level and metabolism rate are high in order to induce rapid fat loss and muscle gain. However, running for half an hour is not beneficial at all. Unless you are training to compete in a marathon, doing a steady cardio training for several minutes at a time can cause your testosterone levels to become normal.
Studies have found that cyclists have lower testosterone levels compared to bodybuilders. As an alternative, do multiple workouts in quick succession with alternating high and low intensity.
Consume Good Nutrition
Have More Protein
You may have noticed how almost every workout program places great importance on having a high-protein diet. This is important for a number of reasons. Firstly, a diet rich in protein from eggs, chicken breast, quinoa, and other sources is vital for allowing your muscle tissues and fibers to recover instantly from a heavy and intense workout session, in addition to helping it grow and become stronger. After all, your muscles are made from protein, so it is natural for you to consume more protein to make more muscle and influence high testosterone production.
However, consuming protein in limits is the key. If your protein consumption is too much, your body will simply use it as fuel instead as a signal to increase muscle size and strength. Additionally, try to ensure that your protein intakes comes from animal sources instead of plant sources. Doing so will be beneficial for raising testosterone levels.
Do Not Forget To Have Healthy Fats
It is quite easy to forget just how important fats are as a macro nutrient to not only supplement your fitness goals, but also lead to higher testosterone levels. Fats can be divided into saturated fats and unsaturated fats.
Unfortunately, many nutritionists and fitness experts have said much about the negative consequences of eating saturated fats to the point that we can barely consider to appreciate some of the advantages it can offer for the purpose of gaining muscles, one of which is the benefit of boosting testosterone production in the body.
Allocate 10 percent of your daily calorie intake to eating saturated fats and another 10 percent to eating unsaturated fats.
Abstain From Alcohol
It is also useful to stop consuming alcohol altogether. This is because alcohol has the effect of limiting the production of testosterone in the body, as well as causing degradation and inflammation. Regardless of how much you train and maintain your intake of macronutrients, alcohol can jeopardize your testosterone production and present many health problems and fitness challenges.
Get Reasonable Amount of Sleep
Getting adequate sleep is one of the most basics of achieving good fitness results along with exercise and nutrition. When you sleep, you put your body on recovery mode, allowing your worn out muscle tissues and fibers and bones to restore strength and become energized for the next day.
More importantly, your body also enables hormones that are critical for muscle rebuilding, such as testosterone and other growth hormones at peak level. Thus, when you get a good uninterrupted sleep for several hours, your body is being supplied with valuable growth hormones and testosterones to enable muscle recovery and growth. In other words, you build muscle while sleeping!
For best results, make sure to get 7-8 hours of sleep every day, especially when you work your back or legs. A lack of sufficient hours of sleep will not only deprive you of releasing testosterone in the body to enable muscle recovery, but also make it difficult for you to continue lifting weights with the same intensity and force.
As a result, you will witness poorer workout performance and further limit your potential to gain muscle mass.
Use Muscle-Building Supplements
If you are keen on boosting your testosterone levels significantly and gain the muscle mass your desire, you will have to use supplements as part of your diet. This is because there are only so many amino acids and hormones your body can produce and release to stimulate muscle rebuilding and growth. For better gains, hormones and enzymes from supplements will be highly beneficial. The following are some supplements you can use:
Creatine is naturally produced by our bodies, the bulk of which is stored near our skeletal muscle tissues. The rest are stored throughout the body. Creatine supplements are used for facilitating greater muscle density, rapid recovery from workouts, higher storage of glycogen, and improved high-intensity muscle training sessions.
But, most important of all, Creatine can be extremely beneficial with regards to stimulating the production of testosterone due to its impact of converting testosterone into a more potent form of hormone called dihydrotestosterone, or DHT. The positive impact of having a large increase in testosterone levels is supported by a wide number of studies, which only establish the credibility and reliability of Creatine.
Fenugreek is one of the many natural herbs that have a profound result on raising testosterone count in the body. In the International Journal of Sport and Nutrition, fenugreek was found to have a dramatic rise in testosterone levels, as well as fat loss gains. Aside from improving muscle building potential, fenugreek also has the advantage of increasing libido and enhancing sex drive.
Another natural source of raising testosterone levels is ginger. It is known for providing a range of medical benefits, especially with regards to countering cancer, nausea, and inflammation. The Tikrit Medical Journal found that ginger can be an effective means of improving testosterone production.
In summary, testosterone is a vital hormone that is responsible for driving muscle rebuilding and growth. While it is produced naturally in the body, there are many ways through which its production is increased, allowing you to improve your muscle building goals. Some of the ways through which this can be done are doing proper exercise, having a diet rich in proteins and fats, refraining from alcohol, getting adequate sleep, and using supplements.
Training Principles for Building Mass Muscle
Training for building muscle requires making sure you adhere to a number of core principles. It is these very principles that will determine the efficiency of the techniques, which, in turn, will only improve your chances of achieving the muscle definition and density you need.
Many bodybuilders and trainers have all subscribed to these principles in order to obtain large and ripped muscles. Assuming you are new to gaining muscles, quick gains are important for your motivation. If you lift heavy weights without the proper method and approach, you will most likely compromise your chances for muscle growth and develop a body you are not proud of. So let’s look at these muscle mass building principles and techniques.
Even if this may come across as extremely obvious, it is important to establish that lifting weights is the main driver of achieving ripped and large muscles. Bodyweight exercises, such as push-ups and squats, for instance, may be beneficial, but the benefits of lifting heavy weights at low reps can cause your muscle tissues and fibers to grow multi-fold.
There is simply no question about the effectiveness of lifting heavy weights in forcing your muscles to grow the way you want them to. This is known as stimulation. Consistently applying a high amount of force to target a specific muscle causes it to expand and grow in size. As you continually lift heavier weights, you gain muscle weight and contribute to more fat loss.
Gradually Increase Weight Load
In order for you to gain size, it is necessary for you to persistently lift heavier weights. If you lift the same weights over x number of weeks or months, it is unlikely that you will force your muscles to increase. This is why it is important that you progressively raise your load on a weekly or monthly basis.
Another benefit of using this method is to prevent your body from hitting a plateau; this is where your muscles become conditioned to a particular weight and your body adapts to the point that you no longer can increase your muscle size.
Work Every Part of Your Body
One of the secrets of having an incredible muscular body is that all body areas are in good proportion. For this, it is essential that your workouts target every muscle group in your body from your abdominal and back muscles to quadriceps and glutes; otherwise, you will increase the risk of having a disproportionate muscular body.
Ideally, your workout schedule you have a day for each muscle group. For example, on Mondays you can have a leg day in which you do a range of exercises targeting all the different muscles surrounding your legs while on Tuesday you can have a chest day followed by a cardio or total body workout the following day.
The main benefit of targeting different muscle groups is to prevent imbalances in the body. Your muscles cannot become stronger or larger in size if you perform isolated workouts. In fact, different muscle groups are connected to one another and ensuring proportionate muscle building will be extremely effective for giving you a well-rounded physique.
Say you want to develop strong arms; lifting weights targeting biceps and triceps alone will not be useful for building mass. Targeting different muscle areas through dead lifts and squats are just as important for giving you definition and larger arm size.
Many people enter a workout program with the hope of targeting only a specific muscle group, such as abs and arms, and ignore their lower body. You might have come across some bodybuilders with ‘chicken legs’, and if you don’t want to be taunted with terms such as this, you better ensure your workout schedule covers all areas of your body.
Utilize Compound Exercises
It is wrong to assume that you can build bulk by focusing on one muscle at a time. In fact, you need to workout in a way that targets multiple muscle groups at once for faster and more effective results. These are known as compound exercises, and go in so far as boosting your growth hormones and testosterone levels. Exercises, such as dead lifts, military presses, squats, and bench presses, are some of the best examples of compound exercises.
Incorporating these in your workouts can boost your results significantly irrespective of whether you are training for becoming lean or bulky.
Always Supplement Your Workouts with Warm-Up and Cool-Down Exercises
We all know just how important it is for us to warm-up before lifting heavy weights. It helps kick-start enough blood flow to be able to indulge in high-intensity exercises without experiencing strains or injuries. However, equally important to warm-up exercises are cool-down exercises. These mostly consist of stretches after a workout to allow your heart rate to gradually come down to its normal level and remove the stiffness in your muscles.
Many of those who have done some form of weight training may not like the idea for staying in the gym for an extra 10-15 minutes performing stretches, especially if their gym clothes are dripping with sweat and are out of breath. However, considering you workout for an hour or more, an additional 10 or 15 minutes should not be too much to ask. More importantly, doing cool-down exercises can go a long way in minimizing chances of muscle soreness due to DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness), which is experienced 24-72 hours after a workout.
The pain arising from such soreness can be unbearable and leave you almost paralyzed and prevent you from working out the next day. More importantly, cool-down exercises can prevent risk of injuries in a manner not many think of.
Maintain the Right Number of Reps and Sets
The number of sets and reps is the differentiating factor between bulking up muscle and become shredded or lean. It is thus highly important that you adhere to the right numbers for you to gain the results you seek. For bulking, bodybuilders and trainers usually rely on lifting heavy weights at reps between 5 and 10 per each set. The right number of reps will depend on individual strength and goals.
As far as sets are concerned, if you are a beginner, you start with at least 3 sets. When you feel you begin to get the hang of workouts and your muscles become stronger, you can then move on to 6-9 sets or beyond 12 sets to maximize your results. The reason why you are not supposed to start off with too many sets is because lifting heavy weights at such a frequency can damage your muscle fibers. The main focus should be on giving consistent stimulation to muscles and increasing the load as you become stronger.
Have Proper Form
No amount of workouts will be beneficial for you unless you have the right range of motion and form. Without good form, any weights you lift won’t effectively target your muscle groups. There is also a risk of injuries that can prevent you from lifting weights in the long run. Those who get injured can take weeks to fully recover before resuming their workout schedules.
If you are new to weight lifting, make sure you first practice your form with a light weight. Once you learn how to do the workout with the right technique, you can then do so with heavier weights. It is possible for you to break your form when lifting heavy weights. If this is the case, you may be lifting too heavy weights and need to lower the load.
Watch any documentary or read a book on bodybuilding and you will instantly see the name of Arnold Schwarzenegger pop up. The former 3-time winner of the professional Mr. Universe title and 7-time winner of Mr. Olympia, Schwarzenegger was famous for the concept of what is known in the bodybuilding world as muscle shocking.
The main idea behind shocking is performing an irregular and inconsistent workout routine in order to keep the muscles confused. Although consistency is important in muscle building, overtime, the muscles will adapt and become used to the workouts to the point that you no longer feel your muscles are getting worked.
Through shocking, the muscles are in a state of frenzy due to the inconsistent order of workouts and load being applied to them. This prevents the muscles from hitting a plateau and forces them to grow in strength and size. For muscle shocking, you must change your workout routine every few weeks, usually between 8 and 12. However, you should make sure that you have reached at least the intermediate level before trying any muscle shocking approaches.
A good way to condition your body is through strength training. Then you can use shocking methods such as descending sets, cheated repetitions, supersets, forced repetitions, and reverse pyramiding.
Training Mistakes to Avoid
There are many mistakes that many trainers tend to make in their journey to acquire more muscle tone. Here are a few.
You should never skip cardio exercises altogether on the assumption that it can reduce or limit your muscle mass. Having cardio once a week is sufficient for ensuring fat gains from high calorie intake is minimized for best results. More importantly, having a cardio workout can be essential for strengthening your cardiovascular system including your veins, heart, and capillaries, which will be beneficial in getting rid of toxins from your body and strengthening your muscles.
Although people do cardio workout through different exercise machines such as a treadmill or a stationary bike, it is preferable that you play a game of soccer or basketball with friends over the weekend. Another effective way to fulfill your cardio workout is through high intensity interval training. Irregular spikes in your workout routine will be important for raising your heart rate and inducing rapid fat loss.
Another common mistake many trainers do is over-train. The concept of more is better may be beneficial, but in the case of bodybuilding, it should be tread with caution. In the initial stages, it is necessary to go slow and not rush your workouts. Another problem is working the same muscles multiple times a week, especially if you are not taking out enough time for recovery. It is important to note that although your workouts are what will contribute to muscle building, real muscle growth is attained outside the gym.
Too Much or Too Little Sleep
We have already established just how important a good, uninterrupted nightof sleep is for facilitating muscle rebuilding and formation. If you are sleeping less than 7 hours a day, your body will unlikely recover fully in time for the next day’s workout, thus inhibiting your muscle building goals.
At the same time, this does not mean that you should sleep for 12 hours on the weekend as doing so will lead to weight gain. Thus, aim for a sleeping routine that utilizes at least 7 hours, or 8 hours for best results. You will be surprised how energized and motivated you will feel upon waking up and thus benefit from a better and improved workout performance.
Expecting Professional Gains
At no point in your workout program should you expect to gain muscle like professional bodybuilders and experienced trainers. Considering you are just getting started with losing body fat and building muscle, looking like Arnold Schwarzenegger or Jay Cutler in their prime should be the least of your concerns. Expecting to look like them will only discourage your from committing to the workout program and also make you train too hard to see quick results. Obtaining a fragment of their physique requires a considerable amount of dedication, hard work, and of course time. Unless you are training for Mr. Olympia, never set the bar too high to begin with.
Professional bodybuilders spend many years training and building muscle in the right areas with consistency and a range of professional weight lifting and nutrition methods. Most professional trainers spend more than 7 years developing their muscle and definition, which is why it is a big mistake to think you can achieve something close to what they have.
Instead, focus on building muscle at your own pace. Remember, your body is not used to bodybuilding and nor your metabolic rate is as high as professional bodybuilders. Your main concern should be on conditioning your body and gradually increase the load to see better results.
Going the Lone Route
If you have no experience lifting weights, the last thing you should do is to do so on your own. This is because proper workout routines involves making sure you have the right form and techniques in order to see excellent results without injury. Seeking the advice of an experienced trainer, however, can go a long way in making sure any muscle tone you develop is sustainable. A trainer can also be useful for keeping you motivated and helping your decide what particular workouts, sets, and reps you should opt for according to your physical limits.
Although it is perfectly possible to create your own workout schedule without the assistance of a trainer, it may not match the effectiveness of a trainer’s exercise program.
In summary, training for bulking is no easy task. It requires adhering to the right workout routines that utilize principles such as shocking, using the right number of reps and sets, and other key fundamentals. Without these principles, you will be unlikely to see good results.
How to Train For Mass Muscle?
There are literally a gazillion workouts and many such programs that you can try to develop the muscle pump and strong muscles you long to see. However, for the purpose of keeping it concise and to the point, we are going to explore the tips and tricks of none other than the former 6 time Mr. Olympia winner, a bodybuilding legend and icon of muscle mass, Arnold Schwarzenegger.
In the workout program known as ‘Arnold’s Blueprint’, we are going to show how Schwarzenegger performed his workouts and how you can follow the same techniques and tips to achieve incredible results.
Arms are one of the first things people look for in a workout. Arnold used to do a range of workouts to develop his biceps and triceps. He mentions how overtime your body becomes used to a certain workout routine after which any fat loss or muscle gains becomes difficult. This is where the muscle shocking principle is used. Arnold would use it by working his biceps using 275 pounds of weights with one rep and following it with a slightly lighter weight and doing 3 reps. The key is to never let your muscles become used to a particular workout. As a result of the shocking method, Arnold tells of how his muscles used to shiver after a workout, which is what contributed to a better response in the form of improved muscle growth.
Other than this, Arnold used the barbell curl exercise to develop thick biceps, whilst at the same time relied on concentration curls and dumbbell curls to exclusively target his biceps. For triceps, Arnold resorted to tricep push downs followed by tricep extensions.
For leg muscles, no exercise is as effective as squats. Whenever you work your leg muscles, you are actually getting an entire body workout due to large muscle groups. For big thighs, be sure to do a range of squat exercises from leg extensions, front and back squats, to leg curls and lunges.
Arnold was known for his huge chest and was referred to as the ‘oak chest’. To train your chest, you should use a combination of three workouts, the dumbbell flyes, the bench press, and the incline bench press that has to be performed at various angles in order to develop your muscles fully. Arnold gave particular focus to the dumbbell flyes.
In it, he would move his arms and lower them down as much as possible to the point that he would feel he touched the ground and move it back upwards to create as much tension as possible in the chest. This was important for ensuring a comprehensive pectoral muscle growth. Arnold always emphasizes the importance of stretching and flexing your muscles by yourself and not relying on any cable machine to support with the swing of the arms.
Arnold used to develop his shoulders using lateral raises, barbell presses, dumbbell presses, military presses, and barbell presses that were performed from behind the neck. The latter later became known as Arnold presses because of the particular way in which it was carried out. This would be a normal behind the neck press as well as a dumbbell press that would enable the shoulder to stretch properly, creating a proper range of motion.
Lateral raises performed on a 45-degree bench were also his specialty. When you perform a lateral raise, you need to extend your wrists facing the ceiling. This will be essential for developing your rear-delt.
Arnold performed a number of exercises to develop his back. Among these were the T-bar row, bent over barbell, dumbbell rows, and chin-ups. The rowing movement of these exercises was important for allowing your muscles to thicken and become wider. Arnold is reported to have used these workouts throughout his bodybuilding career, and there is no reason why you shouldn’t if you are training for mass muscle.
Arnold never forgot to work his abdominal muscles using workouts such as knee raises, sit-ups, leg raises, and crunches. Arnold, along with his other Gold Gym partners, always relied on performing Roman chair sit-ups of 500 reps. Of course, you shouldn’t be expecting to hit that mark from the get go. Try to do as many reps as you can and grow your stamina and strength from there.
Training for mass muscle will definitely not be easy at first. The main thing is to start small and slowly increase your weight load. One thing you should make sure you get right before starting your workout is your form. Without proper form, you will not be targeting the right muscles as effectively and will not witness good results.
More importantly, your training needs to complement your nutrition. The following chapter explains what nutrition is needed for gaining mass muscle and what some of the mistakes are that people make that you can avoid for achieving a bulky muscular body.
Nutrition for Gaining Mass Muscle
Nutrition will be the key to making sure your weight lifting gains are not compromised. Although protein will compromise most of your calorie intake, you will also need to ensure you are getting the right portions of healthy fats and carbohydrates, as well as fruits, vegetables, and other nutrients that are useful for strengthening muscles and boosting their recovery and growth. Here are few details on the important macro-nutrients you will need to supplement your workout efforts.
We are often reminded of just how evil all carbohydrates are. You might hear of the ‘benefits’ of following a low-carb and high protein diet, but we are often not told of the complete story. Carbohydrates, in actuality, can be extremely beneficial in providing you the energy you need to stay strong throughout the day and for maximizing your workout performance. When you increase protein intake at the expense of carbohydrates, your body’s energy levels can diminish and get used up very quickly.
The dangers of this are that you either feel a strong sugar rush in which case you will end up binging on sugary foods and unhealthy meals, such as pastas and white rice, and gain too much weight, or you will not have enough energy to lift heavy weights and build muscle.
When carbohydrate intake is reduced, it becomes a lot more difficult for you to shed body fat. Although this is usually a characteristic of cutting routines, cutting carbohydrates causes your body to undergo a survival mode. In this, your body senses danger and risk of starvation and starts to hold on to existing body fat as a source of fuel. When this happens, no matter how much you exercise, getting rid of body fat becomes a major challenge.
A sufficient intake of carbohydrates is thus necessary for preventing your body going into this defense mode. More importantly, it is the key to boosting your workout performance.
So what kind of carbohydrates should you consume? You should eliminate or minimize your intake of simple carbohydrates and maximize your intake of complex carbohydrates. The former, such as pastas, white rice, sugar, and sweets, digest a lot more easily. The problem with these foods is that it can cause your insulin levels to skyrocket, thus making you lethargic. The higher your insulin levels, the more chance that the food is stored as excess fat.
Complex carbohydrates, on the other hand, include food sources such as brown rice and brown bread have the advantage of taking longer to digest. What makes such carbs so beneficial is that they contain higher fiber, thus keeping you full and energized for longer.
In order to build mass muscle, it is crucial that complex carbohydrates comprise of a considerable portion of your daily calorie intake. Do bear in mind that the whole point of bulking is to become larger in size, and one of the ways through which you can achieve this is by setting aside a large percentage of carbohydrates of your diet.
Fruits and vegetables are also good sources of carbohydrates since they contain sugar. In fact, they make excellent alternatives to simple carbohydrates such as white rice since they can help you stay hydrated and energized without adding too many calories. If you are undergoing a cutting phase, make sure to maximize your intake of leafy vegetables and fruits to aid fat loss and become shredded.
This goes without saying, but protein is the driving force behind your muscle growth. As the most important macronutrient, protein is just as important for a pre-workout meal as it is for post-workout recovery. Make sure to consume proteins from sources, such as eggs, grilled chicken breasts, quinoa, red meats, turkey, fish, and not to forget, protein shakes, such as casein protein.
This is important for making sure your body is supplied with protein throughout the night. The slow releasing protein of casein protein will ensure unused protein is not used as a source of energy. Casein protein constitutes 80 percent of milk protein and can be useful for preventing your excess protein from being driven out of your system via bowel movements.
We have already mentioned about the usefulness of consuming both saturated and unsaturated fats since these are important for providing a healthy cardiovascular system and boosting your fat loss and muscle gain goals provided it is consumed in the right portions. Make sure that you eat plenty of foods such as avocados, nuts, olives, and eggs. Healthy fats that are rich in omega 3, omega 6, and omega 9 will also be beneficial in strengthening bones and helping you make the most of your workouts and warm up and cool-down exercises and stretches.
Nutrition Mistakes You Need To Avoid To Achieve Goals
There are some clear warning signs that you need to pay heed to if you want to make the most of your time working out and eating clean and healthy. You could subscribe to the best workout plan and do all workouts with proper form and technique. However, if you are still not seeing results, the problem may not be with you; the problem may be with your eating habits. It is thus important to highlight the various errors many new trainers make on their road to becoming bulky. These are as follows.
Insufficient Intake of Vegetables
It can be too easy to ignore getting a sufficient portion of vegetables as part of your daily diet. Many maximize their protein intake at the expense of leafy vegetables thinking that the more protein they consume, the faster they will build muscles. However, eating a good amount of vegetables can be important for keeping you satiated between meals and prevent you from binging. Vegetables, such as broccoli, cauliflowers, and asparaguses, for instance, have a number of health benefits, one of which is facilitating fat loss.
A much more important benefit of eating more vegetables is the fact it takes longer to digest, which causes you to burn a lot more calories than usual.
Eating Too Close To Bedtime
Having a good night’s sleep after eating a heavy meal can be convenient; however, it has the danger of jeopardizing your muscle building and fat loss potential. It is normally advised that you should maintain at least a 2-3 hourgap between your last meal and your bedtime. Eating too close to bedtime can make you lethargic, affect your ability to have a good and uninterrupted sleep, and make it a lot more difficult for you to have a good breakfast the next morning.
Most important of all, when you eat too late at night, the body compensates for the unused energy by either storing it as fat or pushing it out through bowel movements. Due to the latter, it is possible for you to experience digestion problems.
You will certainly not see good results if you commit to skipping meals. Skipping an important meal of the day such as breakfast can leave you tired and low on energy throughout the day that can also limit your workout performance and potential for gaining more muscle. At a high calorie diet, having more than 5 meals that are rich in the right ratio of macronutrients is essential. Leaving one meal out can lower your metabolic rate and hinder your weight loss potential considerably.
Poor Eating Consistency
How many times you eat in a day can also say a lot about your inability to reduce weight. If you have 3 large meals a day, you are basically putting a lot of food in your body at once, which only makes it more difficult for your body to quickly digest all the food. Having too few spaced out meals can substantially lower your metabolic rate and limit your body’s natural mechanism of burning enough calories to burn fat.
Thus, instead of having 3 big meals, you need to have around 5-6 small meals. This will keep your metabolic rate high enough to burn a significant amount of calories and also make it easier for you to digest the food that you consume. More importantly, you will not feel bloated or lethargic and will be able to benefit a lot more from workouts.
Improper Ratio of Macronutrients
Read any blog or book on muscle building and you will come across just how important it is for you to obtain macronutrients in the right portions and ratio. Macronutrients consist of carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats that need to be consumed in the right combination to witness significant weight loss and muscle gain. For a start, you should aim for a protein, carbohydrate, and healthy fat ratio of 4:4:3. Over time, you need to raise the percentage of proteins in your diet to a ratio of 5:3:2.
It can be too easy to overlook the importance of macronutrients when you are trying to do clean eating. Beginners often make the mistake of giving too much emphasis on consuming proteins that usually comes at the expense of carbohydrates and healthy fats.
Eating too much
Consuming too much food may not seem to be a problem if you are aiming for a bulky muscular body. However, there is a thing of too much of calorie surplus that puts you at the risk of adding too much fat along with muscles. Even though you may develop muscles, the high fat deposits will not give you the muscle definition. Thus, you need to stick to your daily calorie intake and be wary of acquiring too much fat or carbohydrates.
This is especially true in the case of salads. Although they are good for weight reduction, eating the right kind of salads can make all the difference. Watch out for ingredients such as pastas, salad dressings, and mayonnaise in salads, as any of these have too much fat.
It is best that you count calories using a calorie counter to keep track of your daily calorie intake. In this way, you will be able to make sure that you are not going over the limit and will gain muscle as well as lose fat.
Eating Too Less
Starving yourself is another extreme that you need to avoid. We have already mentioned the drawbacks of skipping meals and the same can happen if you consume too few calories. If you are aiming to build muscle, you should be looking to have a calorie count above 3,000 calories.
However, if you end up reducing your calorie intake to less than 2,000, you will not provide your body with enough nutrients to develop large muscles and may even become lean in the process. Perhaps the biggest side-effect of eating too less is that you can even reduce your muscle mass.
Too Much Sugar
You need to regard sugar, especially white sugar, as one of your top most enemies. Eating sugary foods can not only spike up your insulin levels, make you lethargic, and increase risk of diabetes, but also cause your body to convert it into fat if it is an unused source of energy. Sugar is a carbohydrate and should be consumed from more natural food sources such as fruits.
Make a habit of checking labels on food products to decide if there is room for sugar in your daily calorie intake or not. In this way, you will always monitor how many grams of sugar you should consume daily.
Too Much Salt
Just how you need to be careful of consuming too much sugar, you should equally be concerned about how much salt you need to add in your food. Salt contains sodium and the higher the concentration of sodium in your diet, the more it can cause your body to retain excess fluid, which can make you feel bloated and increase weight. Having too much salt also leads to the risk of upsetting your hormonal system, resulting in a number of illnesses and diseases.
Not to mention that high doses of sodium in your diet can also increase the risk of high blood pressure. Due to these reasons, it is essential that you do not add too much salt in your food for seasoning.
Additionally, you need to avoid foods that are high in sodium; otherwise you will be gaining pounds without realizing. Some of these foods are pickles, olives, canned vegetables, factory packaged tomato sauces, salsa, and pastas. It is necessary for you to always check labels of food items when shopping; the amount of sodium shown on labels can help you decide what items you should consume and what you should not.
Not Drinking Enough Water
Another big mistake many can make is not drinking enough water between meals or before workouts. Water serves as an important means of filtering toxins and undigested food out of your system without leading to digestion problems. The biggest benefit of drinking a lot of water is that it can help you feel satiated and, as a result, be able to make use of proper portion control.
A good way of staying hydrated all day long is to always carry a large water bottle instead of relying on glasses. Assuming you are having meals at every 3 hour intervals, you need to drink at least 1 liter of water to avoid feeling dehydrated or starved. Sure, you will have to run off to the toilet every few minutes, but it will certainly stop you from binge eating or drinking that can compromise your diet in a considerable way.
Not Using Supplements
Many are put off by the idea of taking multiple supplements in order to see noticeable muscle mass gains. However, if you are serious about seeing effective results, supplements will be an important catalyst for speeding up your transformation. It may be a bit of a nuisance at first, but once you get the hang of it and feel the difference in your workouts, fat loss, and size of muscles, you will be eager to use it in the long-term.
There are a range of supplements that you can consider using to see drastic results. You should ideally have two supplements, a pre-workout supplement and a post-workout supplement. The former will give an immense boost to your body’s testosterone levels that will enable you to push harder when lifting heavy weights with high intensity and force. The latter, on the other hand, will be necessary for facilitating effective muscle recovery and rebuilding.
On a final note, you also need to be aware of supplements that are effective from the ones that are not. Although supplements are very important for muscle building, you need to be cautious of the fact that many brands and labels will simply be aiming to make big bucks of cheap products that will not provide any solid and sustainable results.
Not Preparing Your Own Meals
This may not be directly related to eating poor nutrition, but can be a cause of it. Relying on someone else to cook your meals can be very risky, especially if they do not share your meal plan and are not as concerned about getting the right macronutrients and number of meals on a daily basis. Or, you could be very busy and be forced to order a takeaway or have to go to a restaurant to treat yourself to a meal, which most likely will not contain the right ratio of proteins, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats, as well as the right portions.
The only way you can be sure of eating clean is to cook your own meals at home. Although this can be difficult to do at first due to scheduling problems, its benefits outweigh the drawbacks. If you are too busy to make meals, a good way is to cook over the weekend and do something known as meal prepping. This basically means cooking meals for the next 3-6 days so that you can avoid the trouble of cooking daily. In this way, you save time and also benefit from ensuring you have ready-to-eat meals.
Diet Plan for Building Muscle
It is important to point out from the onset that a diet plan for building a bulky muscular body will not be the same as for developing a lean one. For the purpose of highlighting the importance of building muscle, we are going to provide an example of a diet plan for gaining muscle mass along with a few pointers to give you enough flexibility to make your own meals. The following is a 3,000 calorie diet plan consisting of 6 separate meals.
Meal 1 – Breakfast
Your breakfast is the most important meal of the day, which is why you should not refrain from eating small meals, but make sure you eat large meals that consist of proteins, healthy fats, and carbohydrates.
A good breakfast meal should include a meal that helps you have all macronutrients. You can have 120g or one and half cups of uncooked oatmeal along with a cup of egg whites, two omega-3 whole eggs, and one tablespoon of peanut-butter. This should be more than sufficient for providing you with an immense protein boost whilst making sure you are also getting you portion of healthy fats and complex carbohydrates.
A meal such as this will keep you fueled throughout the rest of the day and eliminate chances of feeling low on sugar or energy.
Meal 2 – Morning Snack
Roughly after 2-3 hours, you should have a small morning snack regardless of whether you are hungry or not. The morning snack should include a good portion of fats, and proteins, as well as a good portion of fruits. Having 2 cups of low-fat Greek Yogurt or cottage cheese mixed with a cup of strawberries, raspberries, and/or blueberries will be more than sufficient. The snack should be fewer in calories in comparison with breakfast or lunch.
Meal 3 – Lunch
Your lunch should consist of a large meal that should have the right combination of lean proteins, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates. A good lunch can include 2 slices of Ezekiel or brown bread, 6 ounces of turkey or chicken breast, half slice of a medium-sized tomato, large leaf of spinach or lettuce leaves, 150 grams of uncooked sweet potato, toppled with mustard sauce.
Meal 4 – Pre-Work and Post-Work Meals
Your 4th meal should be another snack. However, if you are planning on working out after your 4th meal, it is essential that you treat it as a pre-workout meal. For this, you will need to consume a portion of carbohydrates and proteins. Carbohydrates will be important for providing your body with the necessary fuel to maximize your workout, while proteins will be the key to activating your muscle fibers and preparing it for muscle building.
A good pre-workout meal can include half of a large banana, along with a fist of fruits, such as strawberries, and a scoop of a protein-shake. You should wait for at least an hour before working out for best results.
Your post-workout meal should also be taken an hour after your workout. It should consist of nutrients that can allow rapid muscle recovery and its rebuilding process. A good example of a post-workout meal can be one and half scoops of whey protein and a large portion of fast-digesting food that is rich in carbohydrates, such as white rice, white baked potato, rice cakes, or instant oatmeal.
Meal 5 – Dinner
Your dinner should have a large portion of proteins, along with vegetables. This could include a having 8 ounces of lean-fat grilled chicken breast or salmon with one tablespoon of virgin coconut oil, 400 grams of acorn squash, and nearly 350 grams of vegetables, such as green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, or a mix of cauliflower, broccoli, and carrots.
Meal 6 – Late-Night Snack
Your late-night snack should be something light such as 10 ounces of non-fat Greek Yogurt along with a tablespoon of peanut butter, and 10 crushed almonds.
The aforementioned diet plan contains approximately 200 grams of carbohydrates, 35 grams of fiber, 300 grams of protein, 100 grams of fat, and 40 grams of saturated fat.
What Supplements Should You Take?
Taking the right supplements can make all the difference to your muscle building and fat-loss results. In addition to having pre-workout and post-workout supplements, you should also have a protein isolate. The following are a few details that can be important for your fitness goals.
The function of any pre-workout supplement should be to provide immense energy to the body that can allow you to push your workouts to your absolute limits. Although protein is an important ingredient in many of these supplements, many supplements make use of Nitric Oxide and creatine. The following are some of the best pre-workout supplements you should consider for building muscle:
Post-workout supplements are needed to not only provide your body with energy, but also allow muscles to repair and recover quickly enough so that you can be in a position to work out the next day. After an intense workout session, you will most likely have very tight and sore muscles. If you do not supply your muscles with the right nutrients, you will be unable to work out with the same intensity and performance the following day.
The purpose of a post-workout supplement is to enable considerable muscle growth. If used effectively along with a pre-workout supplement, your muscles will grow in size and strength due to a muscle growth surplus. That is, the strength obtained from workout supplements should offset the energy dispensed during a workout session. Here are some post-workout supplements you should definitely try.
Creatine, which is usually found near the skeletal muscle, is naturally produced within our bodies. It plays an important role in the development of lean muscle mass. However, during intense workouts, the amount of natural creatine in the body gets consumed quickly, limiting the potential for muscle growth.
By taking creatine supplements, you actually ensure greater muscle recovery, higher glycogen storage, greater muscle cell volume, and improved muscle workout performance. Due to these reasons, creatine is a top preference by many bodybuilders.
If you have done some amount of reading or researching on how to get mass muscle, you must have come across whey protein supplements at one point or another. Whey protein supplements have a reputation in the fitness industry due to its easily digestible protein, which works wonders for post-workout muscle recovery and growth. Although whey protein is taken after a workout, it can also be taken as a pre-workout supplement to enhance protein synthesis and make the muscles ready for an intense workout.
Since it digests quickly, it can immediately deliver vital amino acids and nutrients to tired muscles after a workout. Furthermore, it can be of immense convenience to those who are lactose intolerant and wish to avoid the trouble of digesting dairy foods or drinks as part of their diet. More importantly, it consists of a good number of peptides, which are small proteins that help improve blood circulation to the muscles and is also beneficial in boosting your metabolic rate.
Not to forget, whey protein can be great for staving off hunger due to its high-protein content. If you are not in the mood for cooking a meal, simply add one or two bananas into the blender along with 1-2 scoops of whey protein and 8 ounces of milk or water to make a delicious shake for protein.
You should have whey protein within an hour after a workout for best results.
Casein protein is an important alternative to whey protein. Casein protein constitutes 80 percent of milk protein; the remaining 20% is whey protein.
Although it is technically the same in terms of its high-protein content, it differs considerably by taking a lot longer to digest. This has the benefit of ensuring your tired muscles tissues are supplied with essential amino acids for a longer duration, leading to a much more effective muscle recovery. This is because if you supply your body with too much protein at once, the excess protein becomes useless and instead becomes used as a source of energy.
For this reason, it is ideal for having before going to bed so that throughout your sleep, your muscles recover as efficiently as possible by effectively utilizing every gram of protein from the shake. It is recommended that you opt for casein protein that has micellar casein, which is the slowest casein protein available in the market. Be sure to have between 20 and 40 grams of casein protein just before going to sleep.
For best results, you should combine both whey and casein protein after workouts. Doing so will assure your muscles recover rapidly and also grow a lot larger in size.
Glutamine is a very useful amino acid for muscle growth and is extremely well-known in the bodybuilding and fitness industry. Bodybuilders have long relied on glutamine to enhance their muscle recovery and enlargement goals. This is mainly due to the enhancement of leucine levels in muscle fibers that contributes to higher muscle growth and minimizes muscle breakdown during workouts.
As a result, it leads to a net effect of greater muscle size. It also has the benefit of giving a strong boost to your immune system that reduces the chances of getting ill or sick and missing workouts.
If taken as a pre-workout supplement, glutamine can be helpful in preventing muscle fatigue and lead to a rise in growth hormones. This means that you can lift higher load of weights as part of your workout to achieve muscle growth a lot quicker. In order for you to make the most of glutamine, be sure to take as a pre-workout and post-workout meal along as a bedtime snack.
Carnitine is also known for its effects on muscle growth. It improves blood flow to the muscles and also enhances testosterone growth after a workout. Furthermore, carnitine also increases IGF-1 levels that have a profound impact on building large muscles. You should aim to have carnitine of around 1-3 grams as your post-workout shake for maximum muscle mass.
Conclusion & Final Thoughts On Muscle Boosters
Whether you are a college student or someone who works a 9-5 job, the details mentioned in this eBook are sufficient to help you start your muscle mass journey and realize its various benefits.
Through greater muscle development, you can not only improve your physical appearance, but also take advantage of having a healthier immune system and stronger bones, which are especially important for old age.
However, gaining mass muscle is not the same as developing a lean and shredded body. This is because both vary in terms of calorie count and workout routines. You will need to decide which is more important for you.
But, regardless of what body type you are aiming for, any level of muscle growth will inevitably lead to fat loss, which is why we recommend it to people of all ages.
In this guide, we have provided an in-depth account of some of the training and nutritional advice that are key to gaining mass muscle along with the absolute basics to ensure you can build muscle easily according to your schedule.
By following the various nutrition and training principles mentioned in this book, you can be of sure to seeing impressive gains and prolonging your health in a substantial manner.
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