Building muscle can be difficult when you aren’t sure where to start, knowing how to train, what to eat and how to progress can make the process a lot easier to incorporate into your training style. In this post, guest author Future Fit Training explore 5 tips to help you get started on your muscle building journey.
In order to build your muscle mass, you need to be pushing your muscles to the limit within your training, to then let them recover and grow.
To put yourself in a better position to start building muscle, understanding what muscle building involves is essential. Muscle hypertrophy is the increase in the growth of muscle cells, this process is often kick-started by resistance training. Essentially it focuses on pushing your muscle through weight lifting, rep count and sets which stimulates the release of muscle-growing hormones and other metabolites.
Another alternative route may be to work with a personal trainer, to learn more about the best way to train for yourself. As personal trainers, they will be qualified in at a minimum Level 3 Diploma in personal training or higher alternative PT qualification.
Maximise muscle building with progressive overload
Working in progressive overload ensure that you are continuously building on the weight you are lifting, this helps push your muscle to the limit each time to achieve muscle growth. Progressive overload takes time over months and months of training, muscle growth can become harder the longer you train. This is why is important to have a training plan in place which is built around your training framework and nutritional habits.
One way to start progressive overload is to work on increasing your weights to progress in what you are lifting, although this works it isn’t necessarily what you need to be doing for every workout. You can start to push yourself in different ways, you might start bench pressing with sets of 8, your next workout you may try and aim for 10. Rest time can also be adapted as part of progressive overload, going from say 90 seconds to 60 seconds.
Eat more protein
Exercises such as weight lifting, resistance training and cardio are excellent ways to increase muscle mass but nutrition also plays an important role in gaining muscle and achieving your goals.
Muscles are highly specialised contractile cells that are made up of water and one-fifth of protein. Therefore to maintain muscle size and build muscle, it is important to regularly consume protein-rich meals and plenty of water. The result is the less protein available for building muscle the slower the muscle-building journey will be. To account for this you need to work on building and storing your protein intake faster than your body is using it. In addition to consuming more protein in your diet, you also need to increase your overall calorie surplus by eating more when strength training. To learn more about this you can study a nutrition course in nutrition for building muscle.
Train smart, train heavy
In order to progress and build muscle, you need to be training heavy, safely and effectively. Ensuring you are heavy training will continuously cause the muscle to work to its limit and maximise muscle growth. This means that you may not be able to complete 10-12 reps per exercise, but instead, you focus on multi-joint movements with reps of 5-6. This will allow you to improve on the weight you are lifting and as you progress you will be able to complete more reps with heavier weight.
Incorporating multi-joint exercises like squats, bench presses or deadlifts into your workout routine is a smarter way to train instead of always training in isolation. Adding these types of exercises will challenge several different muscle joints and groups at one time. Using multiple muscle groups will allow you to lift more weight as you are gaining power from several different muscles which is a key indicator of growth.
Don’t skip carbs
Carbohydrates are important in helping to rebuild your muscle on your rest days, playing a significant role in muscle development by providing your body with the fuel you need for exercise. Carbohydrates are the macronutrients that give your body energy to perform various activities in the form of calories.
In this case, your carbohydrates are influenced by your current training style. If you are training in light-intensity exercise your intake would differ from when you are in high-intensity training. It is good to add these into your diet post-workout, to help your body recover by providing energy.
Importance of sleep for recovery
Sleep may not always seem like the obvious tip in helping you build muscle, however it plays a big part in aiding muscle recovery time. You should be aiming to get 8 hours of sleep per night, this is even more important when training. When your body is asleep, your muscles are recovering which will help with muscle gain, during this time growth hormone is released.
Just like having a workout routine having a sleep routine is just as important, ensuring you are getting 8 hours of sleep 7 times a week and trying to go to bed and wake up at the same time each day helps with consistency.
In conclusion, building muscle requires a commitment to both strength training and the correct nutrition. Proper nutrition involves high protein intake and amino acids whilst working on a mapped out workout program. Workout programs should be made to be adapted as you progress, this can be through weight, reps, rest periods or a number of sets completed, this will help aid long term muscle growth and strength. In summary, the two main top tips for building muscle involve nutrition and training consistency, it is with these that you will achieve your fitness goal.
This blog post was authored by Future Fit Training – a leading training provider, offering courses in personal training, nutrition and much more.