Even the laziest man on earth that walks by the gym or gazes at billboards with chiseled male models will long for a body transformation, and the first step towards it is building muscles.
Muscle gains don’t come easily, and they don’t come cheap, either. So, it doesn’t matter whether you’re a professional bodybuilder or a temporary enthusiast. Before you start training, consider learning these eleven crucial fundamentals to build muscles.
1. Eat More Than Before
You can’t rely on your existing diet to gain more muscles. Eating inadequately won’t get you the desired bulk, no matter how long you’ve been slogging on the rowing machines or lifting the barbells. One of the essential fundamentals to gaining muscles is to increase your calorie intake.
However, if you’re finding it difficult to grab more foods regularly, you better correct your daily diet chart. It’s best to consult a certified dietician and develop a proper diet chart for muscle-building purposes. Maintain healthy and high-calorie-based breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily. This will provide your body with the required calorie intake, which you can work out to build muscles.
2. Train Hard to Gain
There’s only one rule to build muscle— train and train hard. If you think only a few reps of sit-ups, bench presses, push-ups, or curls on the weekend will do to make yourself look shredded and bigger, you’re taking it all wrong. First, you need to change your workout routine, instruments, and how you exercise your joints and muscles.
You must hit the gym about five days a week, no matter how busy you are due to work, education, or side hustles. And it’s not just about going there; it’s all about diligently following the squats, deadlifts, curls, chin-ups, etc.
A tip-off on weight lifting is to keep your reps fewer but the weights higher. Consistency is the key, not how many reps are between the weekends you’re throwing on social media handles.
3. Drink Shakes Before Working out
One of the key fundamentals to gaining muscles is to keep your body hydrated during working out. And when we say ‘hydrated,’ it’s the muscles we indicate mostly.
According to researchers, muscles induced with carbohydrates and amino acids will likely perform better during tearing and building. So, drink a shake working out that contains such elements in it. Those who drink their protein shake before a workout experience better muscle performance than those who don’t.
Since liquids go down your system and absorb into your muscles faster, it’s wise to have it before allowing your body to lift weights and do crunches.
4. Maintain Post-Workout Diet and Rest
It takes more than gulping a protein shake before a workout that helps your muscles grind toward tearing and building; it’s also what you give your system post-workout.
According to experts, when you take rest after working out and eat healthy foods containing carbohydrates, your muscles grow more. Proper rest and diet in between your workout schedule will boost your immunity too.
Resting your muscles help them to stay intact and prepare for the next workouts. Besides, eating foods with enough carbs will increase the insulin level in your system, making the protein breakdown process slower. So have bread, milk, bananas, protein shakes, peanut butter, etc., to supply your body with adequate carbs.
5. Increase Protein Intake
A protein synthesis’ occurs inside the body when you increase your protein intake. The more protein you take, the larger your muscles will grow.
The reason behind increasing protein intake to grow muscles is that protein in your body produces hormones. There is a shortage of protein in the process. Consequently, you’ll fail to build bigger muscles. That’s why storing more protein in your body will compensate for the shortage.
A simple rule of thumb can be having protein as per your body weight daily; one gram per pound of your weight. Eggs, cottage cheese, milk, chicken, etc., can provide you with the required protein intake. Moreover, make sure you have a balance between carbohydrates and fat apart from protein intake.
6. Put Muscles Under Tension
Many professional bodybuilders or fitness trainers offer a simple solution to build muscles faster. It’s called ‘time under tension.’ What this process actually entails is holding the muscle tension out for a few seconds to push the muscle blocks.
For instance, you might’ve seen a few bodybuilders in your local gym do this. They curl up the dumbbell inward fast while working out their biceps and hold it like this for about two to three focused seconds. Then they lower the dumbbell as naturally as possible to avoid any cramps or contractions.
Those focused times hold the biceps under tension for a while, making them buffer with each set of reps. Doing the time under tension is a little painful initially, but with endurance and repetition, you can achieve the desired muscle shapes in time.
7. Sleep Tight to Grow
This might sound crazy, but sleep is a super tonic to grow muscle with proper nutrition and shape. When you’re asleep, your muscle is relaxing from the strenuous training and growing from all the tears and breaks it’s gone through. Sleep is also the secretion period of the muscle-growing hormone, hGH (Human Growth Hormone), which enriches the muscle quality and shape.
Having proper naps for an hour a day and at least six to seven hours of night sleep is a brilliant yet inactive way to recover from training stresses. So, it’s not just working hard, but resting to allow your muscles to recover too.
8. Ensure Proper Supplements
Building muscles with supplements is a tricky task. Taking the right supplement is recommended for those who want to gain bigger muscles. People who are hard gainers need to find the proper supplement to match their requirements. It covers up for their nutrient deficit and helps them hit their bulk target.
You should look for the appropriate protein formula for your body which will help your muscles respond according to the hard training you’re doing. Also, it’s important that you don’t jump between several supplement types at the same time.
Try to stick to the one that suits you the best. Or else, too many varieties of formulated protein supplements may have health deteriorating effects in the long run.
9. Strong Muscles Support Bones and Joints
If you develop bigger and stronger muscles, they will support the bones and joints in your body. Well-built muscles are partially responsible for taking in the stresses received through hips and knees while walking, running, or jumping.
They absorb any impact or shock from sudden movements or falls, saving your joints from pain and damage.
10. Healthy Muscles Regulate Sugar Level
Building muscles takes sugar and fatty acid in your body; it helps your blood reach the desired sugar level. That’s why working out is an excellent way to keep your sugar level in check.
Doing this will prevent many diseases caused by excessive sugar in your blood, including heart disease, blood vessel damage, stroke, etc.
11. Strong Muscles Means Strong Bones
It’s a surprising fact, but putting pressure on your bones makes them sturdier while working out especially resistance-based exercises. That’s why you’re helping your bones grow stronger by taking all those loads from the kettlebells, barbells, dumbbells, etc.
Resistance exercises for building muscles give your bones a denser form, improving bone strength. Stronger bones mean you are improving the ability to tackle injuries from sudden slips and falls, which could otherwise lead to sprains, fractures, etc. This is essential in preventing fracture or breaking of bones due to collisions or falls. Also, since bones get more fragile with age, it’s wise to take care of them early in life. Hence, working out to build muscles is a great way to strengthen your bones ahead of time.
Bodybuilding requires sheer determination, a proper diet, enough rest, and consistency.
If you can do so, attaining your dream body will be a matter of time. However, be patient and persevering in maintaining your workout schedule. Make sure to occasionally get your health checked by a certified physician to avoid internal or long-term injuries.