In last article, 5 Tips to Lose Weight Quicker we discussed different ways to lose fat, in this post I will be sharing ways to add muscle mass. Gaining muscle for many is harder than losing fat. If you are someone who has been trying to add muscle to your frame, yet are becoming frustrated because of the lack of results, then you are in the right place. Let’s get started.
1. Progressive Overload
The reason many men are not adding any muscle to their bodies, yet hit the gym consistently for months on end is the fact that they are not implementing Progressive Overload. Progressive overload is the act of increasing the workload done during your workouts so your body has no other choice than to improve its current state to adapt. Your body will become stronger as a result. Let’s assume you have been bench pressing 180 lbs for 3 reps of 9. To progressively overload you would try adding 10 lbs to the weight. You can also try changing the number of reps. So instead of 8 reps, you would be completing 9-10 rep. This seems like a small change, but it will go a long way. So aim to progressively overload when you think your progress may have slowed down.
2. Rest enough
I’ve seen this happen way too often. Someone hits the gym and becomes OBSESSED. They hit the gym every single day probably resting only 1 maybe 2 days out of the week. Even though the dedication is there, the results aren’t. Not resting or talking a rest day is seriously hindering your ability to make muscle. When you workout you are tearing the fibers within your muscles. The muscles grow when the fibers repair, because they grow back stronger. If you aren’t resting or rarely resting, the muscle will not have the proper time to grow and you can even seriously hurt yourself. Rest days should’t be the only concern though. Sleeping well and getting enough sleep is also key to gaining muscle. In fact, during REM sleep humans produce the most amount of growth hormone. So aim to sleep generally 8 hours a night, more if you are working out intensely for multiple hours a day.
3. Eat More
This tip cannot work if you just “eat more”. You need to know exactly how many calories you are putting into your body so you know 1) You are for sure gaining weight and 2) You minimize fat gain. In order to figure out how much more to eat you need to find out how many calories is needed for you to maintain the weight you are at. To calculate that, multiply your body weight in pounds by 14 and 17. So for example if you weigh 180 lbs you have to eat between 2,520 -3,060 calories to maintain your weight. That means in order to gain weight you have to eat more than 3,060 calories a day. Start at a 100 -200 calorie increase the first 2 weeks and every 2 weeks add another 200 calories. For example, for the individual weighing 180 lbs, the first two weeks he should be eating a little under 3,300 calories, then the following two weeks he should be eating 3,500 and then 3,700 and so on and so forth till you see the results you need. So determine how many calories you need to maintain your weight, and eat above that level. It should also be mentioned that you should be eating good, nutritious meals, that are abundant in carbs, fats and protein. The key to gaining muscle mass is surprisingly not determined in how much you workout, but how much food you put into your body.
Using these strategies will help increase your muscle mass and help you break through any frustrations you may have while bulking. Remember to always switch up your workouts, vary the weight and reps, sleep well, implement rest days, and eat enough to make sure you are giving your body the resources to build muscle.