Keys To Building Muscle
Muscle is built naturally when your body goes through a strenuous activity. It seems pretty simple, however there are many variables to building muscle that people don’t take into consideration. Not knowing these variables can greatly hinder your muscle growth and even cause injury. Here are a few things you need to know about building muscle.
1. Lift weights This may be a bit obvious but weight training is hands down the best way to build muscle. The reason for this is because you can always increase the resistance to any exercise.
2. Rest Rest is probably the most important key in order to build muscle and prevent injury. However, there are so many people that don’t understand how rest comes into play when building muscle, and I use to be one of them. In order to build muscle you must first break down the muscle fibers (via lifting weights) and then give your worked muscle 48-72 hours to recover. Working out the same muscle every day won’t help you build muscle because you will constantly be breaking down your muscle fibers without giving them a chance to grow.
3. Finding the right weight Lifting to much weight can easily cause injury and not lifting enough weight won’t build muscle, so how do you find that happy medium? Pick a weight that you can complete 8-12 reps with good form. If you can only complete 3-6 reps your only building strength, which is still good but it doesn’t build muscle.
4. Increase the weight Your muscles will only continue to grow if you put them under an increased amount of stress. For example, say I can complete 8-12 reps of bicep curls with 30 pound dumbbells. If I were to stay at the same weight for 1 year, my biceps would reach a point where they wouldn’t get any bigger because 30 pounds wouldn’t be enough to break down my muscle fibers. It is important to increase the weight and constantly progress. If the current weight your using is starting to get easier, it might be time to increase the weight.
5. Keep your workouts short It is important to keep your weight training sessions to around 45 minutes. If you are training for hours a day in the gym a stress hormone called cortisol will be released. This is very bad because cortisol is a catabolic hormone that breaks down muscle. Remember, you need to stimulate your muscles, not kill them.
6. Consistency Building muscle doesn’t just happen over night. It takes a lot of hard work and time. This alone makes people stop trying to build muscle because they don’t see quick results like the magazines promised. If you ever want to see results you have to stick with it for months. There are so many people out there that go out and create a extremely intense workout plan and strict diet that they follow for a week and then stop completely. Make sure you find a workout plan and diet that you can stick with.
7. Drink water It is always important to stay hydrated and drinking enough water is curtail if you want to build muscle. Here is a simple formula to follow to make sure you are drinking enough water: Body weight (lbs) X 0.6 = water intake in ounces.
8. Eat Whole Foods Eating whole foods will help you achieve a lower body fat percentage, so the muscles you’ve built will show better. Here is a list of some foods you should be eating every day. Carbs: Brown rice Whole grains Oats. Fruits and Veggies: Bananas Oranges Apples Spinach Broccoli Salad Carrots. Protein: Meat Poultry Fish Eggs Nuts.
9. Get enough Protein You need 1g protein per pound of body weight daily to build and maintain muscle. Here is how much protein each type of protein source has.
Chicken: Chicken breast, 3.5 oz — 30 grams Chicken thigh — 10 grams Drumstick — 11 grams. Fish: Fish fillets — 22 grams Tuna, 6 oz can — 40 grams. Nuts and seeds: Peanuts, 1/4 cup — 9 grams Almonds, 1/4 cup — 8 grams Cashews, 1/4 cup — 5 grams Pecans, 1/4 cup — 2.5 grams. Eggs and Dairy: 1 egg — 6 grams Milk, 1 cup — 8 grams Cottage Cheese, 1/2 cup — 15 grams Yogurt, 1 cup — 8-12 grams Cheese, 1 oz — 7-8 grams