How to Gain More Muscle with 6 Expert Tips
Building muscle isn’t as simple as gulping down a protein shake and then pumping pounds of iron. In fact, many people–including gym rats–don’t know how to gain more muscle, using the latest research and recommendations from experts.
They’re stuck doing outdated routines and exercises, and consequently, their progress is also stuck.
If you want to know how to gain more muscle the right way, here are 6 tips straight from fitness experts and trainers:
1. Fuel Your Muscles
“You should be wolfing down five to six small meals a day,” says Men’s Fitness writer Rachel Cosgrove, a certified strength and condition specialist. “As long as good-quality fuel keeps coming into your body; particularly protein and carbs; you’ll have the calories to build muscle and the metabolism to lose fat.”
Eating a large number of calories is important because these are what fuel your muscles with energy, but some calorie sources are better than others. Click here for 5 of the best foods that build muscle.
A good protein shake is always a good addition to your daily diet because it delivers nutrients to your body faster than food does. Cosgrove recommends drinking one protein shake during your workout and another right after your workout.
2. Limit Cardio Exercises
Cardio is great for burning fat and strengthening your lungs and heart, but it’s not the best exercise for building muscle.
You should limit cardio, but don’t eliminate it entirely. It’s an important tool you can use to keep layers of fat off your muscles and to maintain a healthy muscle-to-fat ratio.
When you do cardio, limit your workouts to 30 minutes or less. According to a recent study from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, 30 minutes of intense cardio burns fat more efficiently than long, low-intensity workouts.
3. Less Is More
“Your reps should be between six and 12 per set for the most muscle growth,” says Cosgrove. Then she adds, “And your workouts should never last much longer than 45 minutes.”
It’s easy to think that pushing your muscles through more reps and longer workouts will help you gain the most muscle. But in reality, shorter workouts, where you focus more on lifting heavier weights, instead of doing multiple reps, are better.
Also, studies show that working out for more than an hour can actually reduce your body’s production of growth hormones. You need those hormones if you want to get ripped, so don’t overdo it!
4. Change Things Up
Consistency is better than variety, says Christian Finn, a certified personal trainer with an advanced degree in exercise science. However, Finn also adds that he doesn’t recommend doing the same routine week after week, and month after month.
“Every four to six weeks, you need to alter some part of your routine,” Cosgrove says. But both Cosgrove and Finn recommend that you only make minor alterations. You can change the number of reps you do or the amount of time you rest. You could also change some of your exercises, but don’t overhaul your whole routine.
5. Work Out Your Whole Body
When your body releases higher levels of growth hormones, your ability to build muscle mass and strength can improve significantly. Studies show that working out more muscles and bigger muscle groups is one of the best ways to stimulate the release of growth hormones.
Another benefit of working out your whole body is that it ensures balanced training, which helps your muscles grow quickly and safely. It also helps you reduce your chance of injuries and preserve your flexibility.
6. Get Proper Rest
Your muscles need a chance to recover and rebuild. You can speed up this process using a protein powder like Optimum 100% Casein Protein, but it’s also important to get a proper amount of sleep.
According to studies, you need to get at least 7 hours of sleep every night to keep important hormones in balance.
Lack of sleep can also reduce your testosterone levels, which negatively impacts a man’s ability to build muscle.
One study showed that men who slept less than 5 hours a night for one week had lower testosterone levels. When they skipped sleep entirely, their testosterone was reduced by the same amount as aging 10 to 15 years.
Get Ripped with These Tips!
Now you know a little bit more about how to build more muscle the right way. There’s still a lot you could learn, and researchers and trainers are constantly making new discoveries. But with these 6 tips, you should be able to improve your workouts, your recovery, your muscle growth, and get ripped!