5 tips to gain muscle

5 tips to gain muscle

Getting serious in the gym is a crucial way to add muscle mass to your frame, but nutrition plays a huge part. You can pump iron all you like, but if you’re not eating right then you won’t get the results you want. 

Here are 5 top tips on how to build muscle mass:

1. Eat more calories: Although eating more is needed to repair muscle damaged through training, make sure it’s not all junk. Think about proteins, slow release carbs like pasta and rice, and as much fruit and veg as you like. You need to be adding about 300-500 calories a day over and above what you’d eat normally to function in every day – and spread that over six meals a day.

2. Don’t overload the training: There comes a point where lifting weights just becomes counter-productive. A 45 minute session should be plenty, anymore and your body starts producing hormones like cortisol which inhibit muscle gain. Keep the workouts shorter, but make them count.

3. Rest: It may come as a bit of shock, but resting is super-important for muscle growth. When you pump iron you damage muscle fibres and they need time to rebuild themselves stronger. So remember to rest for muscle gain.

4. Supplements: Food supplements such as whey protein are commonly used in bulking out, mainly because it is a more cost effective way of consuming protein. Other supplements including ZMA and creatine are also used by some bodybuilders, although there are contradicting studies as to whether they are effective.

5. Get stronger: Sounds obvious, but the only real way to build muscle is to build strength, and that means lifting heavier weights over time. With regular quality training, and a lot of patience you’ll see results – but remember that building muscle mass does not happen overnight and should be taken slowly.


The Author

Laura Briggs

Laura loves running, Pilates and Yoga, and is forever trying to find the time to fit these activities into her life around a busy family. When she's got time to herself you might find her knitting, or in the kitchen trying out an elaborate recipe - healthy of course!.

Comments

Emma C.
3 September 2015

Emma C.

is ti just me or does 45 minutes strength training sound like a lot to do? I always thought my 20 minute sessions were enough. Or maybe that's because I prefer cardio so am keen to get onto that.

Freya W.
2 September 2015

Freya W.

I've actually just started getting interested in how to get a bit more muscle definition to my abs (no washboard stomach yet!) so this is very helpful.

Elliot M.
26 August 2015

Elliot M.

There's some formula to only eating so many calories per pound of body fat to get the optimal muscle gain - and making sure you eat the right things of course!

Matthew C.
21 August 2015

Matthew C.

I knew you had to eat more protein, but I didn't realise the amount of calories you should increase each day from just any food. A great reason to lift more!

Pete R.
14 August 2015

Pete R.

I'm wary of supplements, but I know those who are serious about bodybuilding see it as a cheaper way to bulk out.

Callum M.
14 August 2015

Callum M.

Interesting about the limit on training. I guess you can overdo it sometimes

Sasha B.
14 August 2015

Sasha B.

I've never been very keen on the idea of supplem,ents. But I guess if you're a man the pressure is on more to look muscular. Personally, I think you should just eat more natural protein.

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