If you’re keen to improve your physique, muscle building will probably be your top priority. More muscle mass increases muscle definition, adds size and bulk to your body in the correct places and boosts lean body mass. But growing muscles takes persistence, commitment, and time,
Although building muscle seems like a daunting prospect, with a proper training programme and by eating the right foods, most people can achieve their muscle building goals.
Building Muscle – The Basics
In anatomical terms, skeletal muscles are sets of cylindrical parallel fibres which contract, produces force. Muscle contractions allow external human movements.
The human body is constantly recycling and renewing amino acids – the building blocks of protein – in the muscles. If you add less protein to your body than it removes, muscle mass is lost. When net protein synthesis balances correctly, you’ll see no obvious change in your muscle size. If you deposit more protein into your body than it can remove, the muscles grow.
If you want to build muscle, you have to boost your protein deposition rate while also minimising your protein breakdown rate.
Boost your body’s muscle mass, or muscle hypertrophy, represents a key goal of your resistance training.
The process of muscle building has several factors driving it, such as growth hormone and testosterone, and nutrient and amino acid availability. In order to build more muscle tissue, the body’s main tools for increasing its protein synthesis rate are consuming enough nutrients and protein, and carrying out regular resistance training.
The hormonal response of the body when subjected to the right level of resistance training is to build muscle, however enough energy and protein must be available to make sure the process causes muscle gain rather than muscle loss.
At the present time, resistance training with heavy or moderate loads, paired with consuming a relatively large amount of protein is the accepted way of boosting muscle mass.
Top Tips For Gaining Muscle
Although many exercise types bring their own health benefits, if you want to boost muscle growth reliably, you must use them against heavy or moderate resistance.
- Choose your target repetition number – you should be using enough weight so that you can only perform between 1 and 20 repetitions. Between 6 and 12 repetitions is the target figure for developing muscle growth.
- Use the correct amount of weights – you should choose weights that are sufficiently heavy that performing over 20 repetitions should be impossible.
- Choose the right exercises – building muscle relates to which muscle you’re working, so if you want bigger biceps then you have to carry out exercises which work your biceps.
- Avoid overtraining.
How Can I Eat Correctly To Build Muscle?
As well as working out, you need to eat the right diet. Most bodybuilders and athletes follow a cutting and bulking cycle. When you’re in a bulking period, you consume more calories than you’re burning so you can boost your muscle growth.
When you’re in a cutting period, you restrict calories so you’re reducing your body fat while training and eating sufficient amounts to prevent muscle loss. The primary goal of bulking is to supply the body with sufficient nutrients for growth, but not enough calories to gain fat instead of muscle.
Although a small amount of fat may be gained during bulking periods, if you consume between 300 and 500 surplus calories each day, you should build muscle without storing a large amount of fat.
How Many Calories Do I Need To Eat To Build Muscle?
Eating between 300 and 500 calories extra each day will help you sustain muscle building without gaining excess fat.
These calories should be on top of your baseline calorific needs which will vary depending on your sex, age, physical activity levels, medical conditions, occupation, and lean body mass. You can use online calculators the work out your ideal calorie expenditure then add on 300 to 500 calories to work out your calorie goal each day.
Protein is vital for gaining muscle, and you should consume about 1.6g for every kilo of your body weight each day. Dietary fat is also important for correct hormone function. You should consume around 0.5g – 1.5g of fat per kilo of your body weight each day.
How Quickly Can Muscle Be Gained?
Although it’s surprisingly easy to gain muscle when compared with some other body contouring goals, it still isn’t easy and won’t happen quickly. It takes a long time to gain serious muscle, and you need to persevere with a regular regime of eating properly and training with weights. Different individuals gain muscle at different rates, even if they follow an identical program.
Nevertheless, if you train consistently and have good nutrition in the long-term, you should gain between 0.25kg and 0.9kg in muscle every month. Although that may not appear to be much, over time you’ll find the results are fairly dramatic. If you train consistently for several years, you could gain between 9kg and 18kg in muscle – an impressive change in your physique.
Building Muscle – What Do I Need To Know?
Essentially, if you wish to gain muscle, you need to understand that you won’t see results instantly, but if you’re consistent and committed to your programme, you will eventually notice more bulk is creeping on. To see good results, though, you must follow a rigorous training programme and follow the right diet.
A workout programme to build muscle must rely primarily on isolation and compound movements using weights, however the specific repetitions, sets, and exercises you use should be adjusted to ensure long-term and consistent gains in strength and muscle size.
When it comes to nutrition, you must consume enough fat, protein, and calories so that you can exceed your energy expenditure every day by enough so that muscle is built, but not enough to cause you to gain excess fat.
Big muscle mass increases are possible, but they take many months or even years of training consistently to achieve, so you need to have patience and dedication to achieving your goals.