If you are planning to increase muscle mass, you first have to know how to do it. Increasing muscle mass is not just weight training, because as with any other workout plan, diet and exercise should work hand in hand. You can hire a personal trainer to help you in your journey or you can save some money and follow this simple guide that can bring you to the sculpted body that you aim for.
9 Tips to Increase Muscle Mass
1. Eat More – This is very true if you are thin or of medium built. As you proceed with your workout sessions, you will be burning more calories than you normally do so you need to feed your body to provide you the energy you need. Eat six meals that are evenly spread throughout the day. Do not make this as an excuse to eat junk food though. Try to stick to healthy foods.
2. Eat Right – To increase muscle mass you need to increase your protein intake and lessen simple carbohydrates, like soda and foods made of white flour. Good sources of protein are turkey, chicken, lean pork, lean beef, and fish, as well as nuts, milk, and eggs.
3. Intense Workouts – This part makes most people cringe. Don’t worry, the good news is you do not need to do intense workout for several hours. One hour is all you need as long as you work those muscles to failure.
4. Know What Workouts to Do – Free weight exercises that target the large muscle groups are ideal. There are many complex moves nowadays but the simple ones often provide better results. Squats, bench presses, pull-ups, bar dips, and dead lifts are just some that you can do.
5. Picking a Weight - Start out with lighter weights and work your way slowly to heavier ones to avoid strain and build muscle endurance. Once you start training with heavy weights, lessen the repetitions and rest for at least 90 seconds between each set.
6. Avoid Overtraining - No matter how much you want to increase muscle mass, do not overtrain your body. Three to four exercises per body part is enough and move on to the next. If you overtrain your body it will lead to little or no muscle growth.
7. Give Your Muscles Time to Rest – With a high metabolism, there is no need to work out daily. As mentioned, intensity is the key. Three to four times a week is an ideal schedule for training, with a different body part targeted each day. For instance, you can work on your chest, shoulder, and triceps on Mondays; on your back and biceps on Wednesdays; and on your legs and abs on Fridays. Muscle growth actually happens during the rest period, which is why it is very essential that you skip days between your trainings.
8. Hydrate – Water does not only prevent muscle breakdown, it also promotes better digestion of the nutrients you take in. Thus, it is necessary to increase your water intake when training. The ideal number of ounces to take in is 0.66 of your body weight.
9. Take Supplements – Taking quality supplements, like whey protein, will help increase muscle mass more quickly, like protein supplements. If you cannot afford them, take the natural course by eating whole foods with large doses of protein, such as eggs, fish, and chicken.
Be consistent with your training. Do not be discouraged if you do not see immediate results because it takes time to increase muscle mass. Eat healthy, get adequate sleep, and stick to your training program. With dedication, you will soon reach your goal.