Author: Troy Theodosiou
Gaining muscle fast is achievable with persistence and commitment. The key is to establish a diet and workout routine that are tailored specifically towards gaining muscle.
Just as you want to be specific with your training goals and monitor your progress, you also want to keep track of your nutrition. Training hard won’t translate to new muscle unless you’re eating enough calories, and a food diary or tracking app gives you an objective measure of how much you’re actually eating. It also lets you make adjustments easily if you’re not making the progress you’d hoped for.
Start with basic strength training. Most workouts for your major body parts should start with compound training exercises that allow you to lift more weight overall, such as the bench presses for chest, overhead presses for deltoids, barbell rows for back and squats for legs. This will allow you to lift heavier on these exercises, while you’re still fresh and have enough energy to better stimulate muscle growth.
Recovery is imperative for muscle growth, and there’s no better way to recover than by simply sleeping more. In a perfect world, you’d get eight hours of sleep per night, but that’s not always realistic. You can, however, control when you go to bed, thereby giving you the best chance of getting as much sleep as you can.
Low-carb diets are wildly popular for losing body fat, but they’re the opposite of what you need to grow muscle. To get big, you can’t be afraid to gain a little fat, and as long as you’re eating clean food and enough calories to grow—but not too many—a little fat is all you’ll gain.
As a starting point, include carbs in your pre-workout meal and post-workout meal, as well as in the shake that you consume during workouts. From there, you can add or subtract carb meals based on how you’re progressing toward your goals.
Stay hydrated. Working out as hard as you have to in order to gain muscle can dehydrate you quickly. Combat this by carrying a water bottle with you wherever you go, and drinking whenever you feel thirsty. Drink extra water before and after workouts.
Calories that sneak in through beverages are usually forgotten. This is especially true when we are talking about alcoholic or sugary drinks, including fruit juices and soda. These drinks can be found anywhere, tempting you at gas stations, schools, movie theaters, airports, your workplace, even at the gym. Be mindful that alcohol consists of approx. 7-9 calories per gram which is twice as much as carbohydrates and protein!
Take supplements, but don’t rely on them. You can’t rely on muscle-building protein shakes to do the job for you. To build muscles, you need to be getting the vast majority of your calories from calorie-rich whole foods. That said, you can help accelerate the process by taking certain supplements that have been shown not to harm the body.
Creatine is a supplement that has been shown to increase your ATP stores, which is the chemical compound that your body uses to fire your muscles. This means you can do more reps before your ATP stores are depleted, which means more total volume.
Protein shakes are an acceptable supplement to have around for when you’re having trouble eating enough calories between meals.
To increase muscle mass in combination with physical activity, it is recommended that a person that lifts weights regularly or is training for a running or cycling event eat a range of 1.2-1.7 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day, or 0.5 to 0.8 grams per pound of body weight.
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