Building muscle is something that can help you get a toned and shredded look. There are ways to make it easier, but we need to look at what muscle is and what makes it grow.
What is Muscle and How Do You Build It?
Muscle is a soft tissue that brings about movement, balance and force through contractions. It is made mainly of protein and water, this is why these are debatably the most important
To build muscle, you must do resistance training that will result in the muscle tearing. When the muscle repairs it results in new tissue being developed and growth of the muscle.
To make the most of this muscle growth, you must eat in calorie surplus.
Lift Heavy Weights
To build muscle, you need to tear the muscle and refuel it with nutrition to allow it to build. The best way to tear the muscle is to lift heavy weights because the more the muscle will tear in lifting.
This doesn’t mean go overly high and ruin your lifting form, form is more important to prevent injury. Choose a weight that you can lift for at least 6 reps (between 6-12) to build muscle (hypertrophy) – at least 70% of your 1 rep max.
Rest for at least 1-2 minutes with sets of 4 in each exercise.
Eat in Calorie Surplus
Being in a calorie surplus means to eat more calories than you burn daily, to understand what calories are and calculate your required intake.
The issue of eating in a calorie surplus is the gaining of fat and excess weight. The muscle building is made easy because the muscle will be filled with fuel allowing you to be “swole”.
This doesn’t mean that you can and should eat whatever you want in ensuring the calorie surplus, it requires balance and understanding your macros.
Drink a Lot of Water
Your body is made of about 60% water, but your muscles are made up of more than 70% water. It makes sense to drink more water when trying to build muscle because during your daily activities your body loses water through sweating, some dehydrating foods and obviously, urinating.
Take time to drink water throughout the day, aim for at least 2-3 litres of water per day. You may not get to that number daily through drinking water. You get some water from food, fruits, vegetables and all other fluids that you consume.
Eat a Lot of Protein
The building blocks of all muscle is protein, therefore to maximize your muscle building, you have to eat more protein. This doesn’t mean you have to overload on protein shakes or high protein meals and snacks.
A common recommendation is to eat about 2 grams of protein per 1 kg of body weight or 1 gram of protein per 1 lbs of body weight.
Drink Less Alcohol
Alcohol is known for dehydrating you and this dehydration makes you look leaner because of water loss, but actually reduces muscle size also due to this and can lead to fat gain. It also negatively affects the hormones that optimize muscle growth, such as testosterone.
This is highly dependent on your alcohol intake therefore, don’t drink to get drunk all the time. A glass of red wine is scientifically proven to be healthy for you, therefore one glass wouldn’t hurt.
If you want to build muscle, you need to sleep at least 7 hours. Your body produces muscle-building hormones called Human-Growth Hormones (HGH) in your sleep. There is also increased blood flow which helps with recovery.
Most of the time to repair and grow comes through your rest and nutrition. This is why it is recommended that you allow at least 24 hours for a muscle group to recover before you train it again to ensure this growth and repair.
Muscle building is not easy like any fitness goals you put in place, it requires patience and consistency and the points listed above. Develop long term habits that lead to your muscle growth and not only short term goals.
These are sustainable changes that you can slowly include into your daily life. I had attached the picture so that it can be a guide for you, so save it.
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