Among the most frustrating elements of fitness is the fact that it can prove quite difficult to gain significant amounts of muscle mass. Bear in mind that we’re not talking about becoming a bodybuilder here. However, 5-10 lbs. of new muscle would definitely welcome considerable addition to the physiques of those who head to the gym, on an aesthetic level at least.
Fortunately, gaining lean muscle isn’t as difficult as most would presume it to be. You should just go about it in the right manner. When some basic principles are used in conjunction with others, it leads to growth of significant lean muscle. Below are tips on how you can create the perfect environment to efficiently grow new muscle.
This is the secret and most crucial aspect to gaining lean bodyweight. Most people are finding it challenging to gain lean muscle simply because they’re not eating enough. Of course, there’s more to this than just calories. No matter how hard you’re training or what you’re eating, it’s physiologically impossible to gain muscle if you aren’t eating enough.
Numerous factors are involved in gaining lean muscle, but the starting point is calculating what your total daily energy expenditure (TTDE) is. This is basically the number of calories required to maintain your bodyweight. According to scientific studies and research, men’s average TDEE is 2,700-2,900 per day, whereas that of women is 2,000-2,100.
You should ascertain that your calorie intake is higher than your TTDE if you wish to gain lean mass. However, don’t focus on gaining weight solely. You want to gain lean muscle with minimal or no increase in body fat.
Take in Plenty of Carbohydrates
Carbs are a great source for fuel for the human body. If you fail to eat carbs, the body will break down muscle to amino acids, which is then converted to glucose. Carbohydrates are stored in form of glycogen. Under normal circumstances, the body can only store approximately 400 grams at a time. Carbs play a crucial role in the release of insulin, which is the most potential anabolic hormone in the body.
Take Your Carbs at the Right Time
The primary times to eat carbs are after waking up and after working out. Such timing is essential to maximize the effect of carbs. Also, you should take some carbs several hours before working out. You require insulin to promote an anabolic environment, and carbs will help that.
Take Plenty of Protein
Muscle, as you all know, is protein. Protein mainly comprises amino acids. It’s impossible to build on lean muscle without adequate supply of proteins. The amount of protein one ought to take is mostly dependent on their weight. It’s recommendable that you take 1-2 grams of protein for each pound of bodyweight.
Case in point, if you weigh 200lbs, you’d require 200 grams of protein each day. Break the amount into smaller servings throughout the day. This will promote better absorption and assimilation. Take good kinds of protein such as chicken, whey, and beef.
Gaining muscular body weight without gaining fat is among the challenges you’ll face while on this quest. The way to solve this is by eating 5-6 meals each day, spaced 2-3 hours apart.
If you were targeting 3,200 calories each day, it would translate to 1,066 calories per meal when broken into the typical three meals. That’s way too much for the body to take in one sitting. The biggest bodybuilders even don’t need over 700-800 calories at a time. Take small meals, but more frequently. This’ll prevent you from over-consuming calories (portion control). Excess calories in a single meal will be converted into body fat.
Also, taking smaller, frequent meals promotes efficient muscle growth as it helps regulate insulin levels. It’ll prevent muscle tissue from being broken due to staying for long without food. Amino acids last only three hours in the bloodstream. You don’t want the muscle tissue broken down for the amino acids. You should hence ensure to take a meal with a complete protein every 3 hours.
Take Enough, Good Fats
Healthy fats help in reducing inflammation, lowering blood cholesterol and improving the heart’s health. Look for poly and mono unsaturated fats. A suitable way to up on dietary fats is to get some peanut butter and consume your turkey sandwich/chicken breasts with vinegar for flavor and oil. Supplement with Omega 3 or eat fish twice a week.
The Mediterranean diet is among the most moderate fat diets which have proven long term success. Despite healthy fats being advocated for so much, you shouldn’t fear moderate amounts of saturated fats. However, remember to tend towards mono and poly unsaturated fats for most of the fat intake you need.
Quality Pre-Workout Meals
A pre-workout meal is basically a whole foods’ meal which falls within 3 hours of your workout. Take the right food, and in the right amounts. Pre-workout meals provide for more energy during your workouts, protect your hard-earned muscle and enhance for more muscle growth.
When considering what to take, you must understand the rates of digestion for different foods to determine the meal timing. Generally, dietary fat takes 6-8 hours, carbs 2-3 hours, and protein 3-4 hours. Fortunately, your meal doesn’t have to be fully digested in order to have a good, energy-filled workout.
Your pre-workout meal should feature:
Dietary fat- The meal should be low in fat as fat takes longest to digest. Avoid fatty meals and oils for pre-workout meals.
Protein- 4-8 ounces of meat or dairy sources which are low in fat will work. Meat and dairy contain Branched-Chain Amino Acids which will help decrease protein breakdown and increase protein synthesis during and after the workout.
Carbohydrates- Go for low Glycemic carbs that’ll fill up glycogen stores to give you energy during tough workouts while creating a more anabolic effect.
High Quality Post-Workout Meals
Post-workout meals help by preventing muscle breakdown, increasing protein synthesis, enhancing faster recovery and promoting glycogen replenishment. Eating immediately after working out has been proven to generate superior results. This is the opportunity to maximize on the training effect.
Considering that dietary fat slows digestion, your post-workout meal ought to be low in fat. Fast digesting carbohydrates are ideal to help replenish glycogen stores and maximize the insulin effect. Eating processed carbs at post-workout is the only good time for such.
A fast-digesting carb in liquid form, combined with whey protein, is ultimately a great post-workout meal for anyone, from athletes, recreational exercisers to bodybuilders. This is the only meal where you can consider a protein shake.
Have Milk before Bed
Take a combination of protein and carbohydrates before heading to bed. Calories are more likely to prove effective during sleep, reducing protein breakdown in the muscles. You can try a cup of cottage cheese or skim milk with a cup of raisin bran, in addition to a bowl of fruit. Eat as soon as you wake up. The more diligent you’re the better results you’ll achieve.
Loads of Water
People tend to overlook this crucial factor- adequate water consumption. 70% of the body is strictly water. Whenever you’re dehydrated, your muscle suffers as well. A pound of muscle can hold quite a considerable amount of water. In addition, water enhances the body’s ability to release testosterone- a hormone that’s actively involved in muscle growth. It’s necessary that you take water, and loads of it. Keep your body well hydrated at all times, whether at home or when working out.
Work the Biggest Muscles
If you’re just beginning, almost any workout will be enough to increase your body’s protein synthesis. However, if you’ve been lifting for some time, you’ll build most muscle quickest by focusing on larger muscle groups. Such include the back, legs and chest. Add deadlifts, pull-ups, bench presses, military presses and dips to your workout. Do 2-3 sets of 8-12 reps, with about sixty seconds’ rest between the sets.
Supplement if Possible
Yes, you can gain muscle without supplements. They’re just more of an assurance that you’re getting all macronutrients and calories you need. In case you decide to spend on supplements, prioritize good protein. Look for supplements which are low in sugar, but high in protein.
Creatine would be suitable choice as it fills out your muscle cells, keeping them from fatiguing easily. Always remember to drink lots of water with Creatine.
If you’re over 30 years old, then hormonal deficiencies can slow the rate of your muscle gain. In case you feel that you’re gaining muscle too slowly, or have symptoms related to hormonal deficiencies, it’d be wise to visit your doctor. Have the doctor test the levels of your hormones and address any deficiencies or imbalances.
In the quest for growth of lean muscle, rest is probably the most abused and most underrated factor. What people fail to comprehend is that the real muscle growth takes place while one is resting. Don’t overwork tired muscles. Don’t train the same parts of your body too frequently. This can impair your recovery significantly and might lead to overtraining syndrome. Be responsive to your body’s cries. Never train aching muscles, except in HST training.
Research has proven that high stress levels tend to quickly drain testosterone- a muscle-building hormone. Also, it results to increased levels of cortisol- a muscle-damaging hormone. In case you find yourself at school or work with constantly high heart rates, shallow breaths, high body temperature or a moody personality, it’s likely you’re so stressed. You ought to learn how to breathe deeply, relax and plan your day out to give yourself more time and less stress.
The above fifteen tips are secrets to gaining lean muscle quick. That’s basically how you can get your body in its anabolic state effectively. A nutritious diet is as important as working out. Proper combination of both will ensure that you achieve your aim soon. What have you been doing wrong? Rectify your mistakes and do it right. After all, you’re not seeking anything less than success.