If your goal is to pack on some serious muscle, you need a strategy. Everyone’s first thought is weight lifting, which does help, but isn’t enough unless you have a game plan. You’ll need to change your diet and your training approach if you want to see a dramatic transformation.
If you’re training smart, you won’t need to spend as much time in the gym. If you’re eating with intent, you won’t need to cut out your favorite cheat foods completely.
Here are some tricks that will help you see real results fast.
#1: Prioritize Protein
When your body synthesizes protein, it enables muscle growth. If you don’t have adequate protein stores in your body, it will be much harder to build muscle. Your diet should include chicken, eggs, and nuts.
Casein protein is particularly beneficial as it’s absorbed into your bloodstream more slowly than other proteins, keeping your muscles fed longer. This type of protein can be found in Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, and milk.
Consider taking protein powder as well. Hydrolysed bovine collagen powder is excellent, as it will help with muscle growth and weight loss; it’s also great for your skin, nails, and joints.
#2: Volume Over Weight
When you’re lifting, it’s better to do more reps than it is to lift the heaviest weight you can handle. It would be best if you were doing three to six sets of 15 to 20 reps.
If you need to go down a weight size or two to complete this number of reps, do so! It’s better to start off lighter and work your way up.
#3: Stick to a Schedule
If you’re training now and again, it doesn’t matter how hard you go. You won’t see the results you want. It’s vital to train at least three times a week and be consistent.
#4: Focus on Strength Training
While you shouldn’t completely neglect aerobic exercise, scale back your cardio workouts. Cardio takes up a lot of energy that could otherwise be reserved for strength training. Swap out jogs and the elliptical for sprints or high-intensity cycling a couple of times a week.
#5: Don’t Be Afraid of Calories
To build muscle, you need to eat more calories than you burn. You need a calorie surplus rather than a calorie deficit if you want any chance of gaining muscle. To make sure these extra calories get put on as muscle rather than fat, eat more protein.
#6: Have a Smoothie Before Your Workout
Drinking a shake containing carbohydrates and amino acids before your workout can help with muscle growth. Liquids are absorbed faster than solids. Drinks containing these muscle-building elements can increase protein synthesis when consumed 30-60 minutes before a workout.
#7: Get Good Sleep
Muscle building, as well as muscle recovery and repair, occurs when you are asleep. You should be getting at least eight hours a night to give your body time to recharge and recover before your next workout.
#8: Do the Right Exercises
Compound exercises, which work muscles at multiple joints, are the best for muscle growth. Make sure that deadlifts and squats are part of your routine. They’re great strength and conditioning exercises.
#9: Vary the Intensity of Your Workouts
There’s no need to go your hardest for every single workout. This doesn’t give your body a chance to recover and grow. You shouldn’t consistently train to the point of exhaustion.
#10: Eat Throughout the Day
A great thing about working to build muscle is you get to eat throughout the day. You should eat something every three hours, so you don’t limit your body’s ability to build proteins. Carbohydrates are great before and after workouts.
A glass of milk or a small bowl of ice cream half an hour before bed will help reduce protein breakdown while you sleep.