Many people seem to think that it’s easy to learn how to gain muscle mass. The problem is that most of them don’t do enough research. So what happens is that they make a lot of mistakes, and then they become frustrated when all their efforts don’t pay off.
There’s a Right Way and Wrong Way to Gain Muscle Mass
To avoid such problems, here are some clear-cut rules you need to follow so that you will gain muscle mass more effectively:
- Define your focus. Some people think that bodybuilding and weight loss are synonymous, but for workouts, these are two completely different objectives. That’s why high intensity training is good for people who want to lose weight, but it’s actually counterproductive if you’re a pipsqueak who wants to be bigger, stronger, and more muscular. For that, you need heavy weights and lots of calories.
- Eat more. We’ll presume for the moment that you’re on a sensible diet and you’ve actually done your research on what and what not to eat. But when you start learning how to gain muscle mass, you’ll need calories. About 500 more calories than your usual intake should suffice. Do not take too much calories though, because you’ll just turn the extra calories into fat instead of muscle.
- Space out your meals. Instead of three big meals a day, try eating 6 small meals. This keeps you from getting hungry, and the meals also provide you with the protein and carbs you need.
- Drink protein and carb shakes. Whole foods are great, but then protein shakes are good too. With shakes (Recommendation: Zeal for Life Protein Shakes), you make sure you get adequate carbs and protein that your diet may not provide. For the most part, they’re also much easier to digest.
- Don’t forget to stretch. Quite a few people keep forgetting the very important step when they work out. Stretching is not just for yoga fanatics. Stretching before and after a workout makes you more flexible, improves your recovery, and also prevents you from getting injured.If you keep on having pains after working out, that may mean you didn’t stretch properly.
- Limit your cardio workouts. About twice or three times a week of jogging should suffice. And don’t jog for a couple of hours at a time. Instead, keep it to 30 minutes. Your best bet is to sprint for a full minute then alternate with a couple of minutes of jogging.
- Don’t spend too much time on your lifting exercises. Your proper weightlifting workout for the day should last for just 45 minutes. You should make sure you warm up before your workout, and you need a cool-down routine as well. About a dozen sets for each muscle group is okay, but more than 20 sets is overkill. Your reps for each set should range anywhere from 6 to 12, so that you only spend 40 to 70 seconds each set. When you lift weights, after an hour your body will start producing cortisol in response to the physical stress, and this will impede on your progress. Cortisol signals your body to store fat and burn muscle.
- Perform exercises that focus on several muscle groups at once. These exercises include pull-ups, rows, deadlifts, and squats. You can train your entire body or concentrate on either your upper your lower parts, but this is more efficient than working on just a single muscle group per session. By doing this, you reduce the risk of injury when you work out. You become stronger and your muscle development gets better. Besides, it helps you look so much more attractive.
- Change your workouts regularly. The body has a strange way of adapting to various strenuous events. So after a month or so, you may want to vary your workout a bit. Your 45 minutes per workout is enough for about 6 to 8 different exercises, and each one should have alternatives. Or, you can just vary the sequence of the exercises instead.
You should note down your workout details in your journal, so that you have an accurate record of what you’ve been doing.
- Get enough rest. Make sure that you give your muscles enough time to heal, grow and develop by resting them after a workout. Get enough sleep as well.
Learning how to gain muscle mass also means appreciating the time needed to attain noticeable results. Shortcuts aren’t recommended because they may eventually become harmful for you. Just make a habit of lifting weights and following your muscle building program. Give it time and dedication and you’ll begin to gain the muscle mass you want.