How to build muscle is one of the most fundamental questions of bodybuilding. The answer is simple enough, eat properly, train hard and be consistent. In this article, we will be going over these three important steps to help you build muscle faster and more efficiently.
#1 – Diet
Ever heard the saying “muscles are made in the kitchen.” This has a lot of truth to it. If you do not provide your body with the nutrients it needs, you will struggle to build muscle. When you exercise you break muscle down and cause damage to the muscle fibers, the body then needs to repair and rebuild these damaged muscle fibers. For the body to do this, you need to provide it with the correct nutrients.
To build muscle effectively, you need to follow a caloric surplus diet, consisting of the correct amounts of protein, fat, and carbohydrates. Although everyone is different, and what works well for some, may not work so well for others, generally a macro split of 40/30/30 works well, meaning 40% of calories come from protein, 30% from fat, and 30% from carbohydrates.
To keep track of the number of calories and percentage of macros you are consuming, use a phone app such as fat secret or myfitnesspal.
#2 – Exercise
Going to the gym and working out is the easy part, but making sure you work out hard enough, with correct form, while avoiding overtraining is very important and can take some practice. A workout consisting of weight training should last around 1 hour. Training for 2 to 3 hours a day will not produce better results; it will cause you to over-train which can have an adverse effect on your goals.
Your body repairs and builds new muscle when you are resting, not when you are in the gym. So avoid training every day of the week. 4 to 5 workout sessions a week is more than enough to build muscle. Taking a full week off of gym every 6 to 8 weeks may also not be a bad idea, this will allow your body to fully recover from all those intense workouts you are hopefully doing.
Using correct form when doing an exercise is very important, as it reduces the risk of injury and will help you build muscle faster. When you do an exercise, you need to make sure you use proper form; this will ensure that you activate the correct muscle groups and get the full benefit of the specific exercise you are doing. Lifting weights that are too heavy, just to feed your ego, will slow down your progress.
#3 - Consistency
Do not lose motivation if you have been training hard for a week and do not notice a difference yet. Building muscle does not happen overnight. Consistency is key; you need to keep at it. Stick to your diet and training routine, and as the weeks go on, you will start noticing your body change, you will get stronger, weights that felt too heavy in the beginning will start to feel lighter.
A quick recap
- Follow a proper muscle building diet
- Track how many calories you eat
- Keep workouts to around 1 hour
- Rest at least a few days a week
- Use proper form when exercising
- Consistency is key