Essentially, building muscle comes down to taking in more calories than you burn, progressively lifting more weight, and ensuring you give your body sufficient time to recover.
Let’s explore those three fundamentals in more detail.
Consuming More Calories Than You Burn
To build muscle, you need to consume more calories than you burn. But you need to ensure you are consuming the right things.
For muscle gain, protein is essential. You should aim to consume at least 0.8 grams of protein for every pound of bodyweight if you want to see muscles like your biceps, triceps, and pectorals grow; as long as you’re combining your protein intake with regular training sessions.
In addition to adding more protein to your diet, you need to make sure you regularly consume carbohydrates and healthy fats.
You should aim for carb-rich post-workout meals. Carbs after a workout will increase your insulin levels, which slows the rate of protein breakdown. Also, if you feed your body with carbs, you can rebuild muscle faster on the rest days you take for recovery.
After a workout, you could opt for a banana or a peanut butter sandwich. You could also consider taking a post-workout supplement. Indeed, pre-workout supplements could be beneficial as well. To learn more, check out this helpful guide about the best supplements to gain muscle.
Progressively Lifting More Weight
If you want to build muscle, you need to strength train. Over time, you’ll be able to lift more weight. The more weight you can lift, the more muscle you can gain; when you also have the right caloric intake and recovery approach.
To be able to lift more, you can either increase the amount of weight that you lift or increase the number of reps you do. To achieve the best results, you’ll need to do both.
If you’re serious about building muscle and work out with weights regularly each week, you can steadily increase your muscles by using heavier dumbbells or putting heavier plates onto the bar every week or two.
To add more reps, you could employ drop sets, which means you perform your usual work set and then drop the weight to perform another set.
Whatever approach you use, make sure you increase weight gradually. If you overdo it, it could lead to a serious injury, which could keep you away from your training for several weeks or months.
Giving Your Body Sufficient Recovery Time
If you think that you’ll be able to build more muscle by strength training every single day, you need to think again. To gain muscle, it’s vital that you take rest days so that your muscles can recover from your rigorous workouts.
Strength training is only half of the muscle-building equation. Why? Because muscles actually build while you rest and sleep.
As you sleep, your body uses much less energy, so the nutrients that you have consumed are mostly devoted to repairing the tears in your muscle fibers. Likewise, when you take days to rest, your muscles have time to repair.
When you first start lifting weights to build muscle, you should aim to work out three or four times a week and rest on the other days. And make sure you get plenty of sleep each night.
If you’re completely new to building muscle, it can be challenging to get the right balance between the above three fundamentals.
It could be helpful to use an online calorie calculator.
You could also get advice from a personal trainer. He or she will be able to come up with the right training program and diet for your specific body type and circumstances so that you can begin building muscle quickly.