A Handy Little Guide to Building Muscle Posted in: Fact Sheets, Featured, Food Power – Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Whether you’re starting out, or just trying to reach the next plateau in muscle building, here’s a quick useful guide on how to pack on the pounds and reach new levels of strength.

Before we start we have to understand our individual needs, so I’ll assume, like I was, that you are on the thinner side and despite your best efforts eating you’re still struggling. If you were female then eating whatever you like and not getting any bigger would make you the envy of all your friends, unfortunately though it’s the opposite for men.

Worry not though, here’s our guide to building muscle and adding inches to your frame.

1. Keep rest between sets less than 60 seconds

The first major mistake seen at the gym is people who go with friends and spend half the time having a catch up. There’s a time and a place and while working out is not. The same goes for using the phone, yes the facebook feed is a laugh but before you know it you’ve been sat on the bench press for 2 minutes watching a cat rolling on top of a watermelon. Don’t let your heart rate drop or you’ll be walking out feeling like it was one big warm-up.

how to build muscle

2. Don’t work out for more than an hour

When the 60 minute mark is up the body starts to break down muscle through catabolic breakdown which results in excessive breakdown of bodily tissues. In short the more efficient the workout, the more efficient the muscle building and retention.

3. Eat, eat and eat

You may think that you’re getting enough protein and calories in your diet, but that may not be the case, if you’re skinny by nature then eating every 2 to 3 hours can be really beneficial to providing a fast metabolism with constant nutrition.
Aim for 2 grams of protein per pound of body weight, as for calories a good method to use is multiplying your bodyweight (in pounds) by 17 calories, so if you’re 170lb then 2890 calories per day would be optimal.

Protein powder is great if used in moderation

Good food choices for meals are chicken breast, fish, salmon, lean meat and turkey, along with wholegrain rice, brown pasta, whole wheat breads, or potatoes, veggies, and then a healthy source of fats such as nuts, olive oil, flax seeds, and avocado, or cottage cheese, peanut butter, nuts, and any types of seeds.

4. Change up your routine once a month

Muscles become accustomed to the same workout every time, the best results are when you shock the tissue into adaptation by keeping things fresh. The same goes for rep range, take a bit of the weight off and do more repetitions. Put more weight on and do less. The changes you make don’t have to be big, but make sure to switch it up every few weeks.

5. Try a mass gainer

Mass gainers are one of the only ‘supplements’ (if you can call it that) I use, it’s so convenient that it’s become part of my daily routine, Blend a few pieces of fruit and vegetables add milk or water, even oats or peanut butter and then a couple scoops of a powder high in calories, carbohydrates and protein. Then if I don’t have a meal ready to go or I’m just too busy to eat, this is my saving grace, so convenient.

6. Don’t eat right before bed!

Many people eat a lot during the evening, that’s not good for muscle building however. Sugary snacks can cause a spike in insulin, which in turn causes the body to release less growth hormone during sleep.

The solution: Eat a combination of carbohydrates and protein an hour before bed. The protein is excellent for muscle growth while sleeping, and the carbohydrates provide a slow release energy that doesn’t disrupt sleep.

The best choice is turkey on wholemeal pitta bread, this is due to the plentiful supply of L-trytophan available in turkey, when combined with carbohydrates L-trytophan assists in helping provide a deep sleep. Which as earlier stated, releases more growth hormone.

7. Slow it down

Many people seem to think that if their form when lifting is good, then they’re doing it right. But the point is that generally the slower the decline in the repetition the better. Aim for 1 second up 2 seconds down per rep.slow

So there you have it, 7 super tips that will help you achieve your weight gain goals. If you have any advice please comment and don’t forget to share.

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