How to Build Muscle
Aside from burning fat, building lean muscle is definitely one of the most popular fitness goals out there.
When I first entered the fitness scene, I thought I knew a lot about building muscle but when I look back now it was actually quite the opposite! I had some pretty impressive results from the start but then a plateau happened that I could not get over. I fell in love with working out but people would still ask if I was working out rather than it being super obvious and that was VERY frustrating!
So I tried everything, from weight gaining supplements to grueling workout regimens. Over the years (many years), I finally got the hang of it. What I realized in the end was that building muscle could happen a lot more successfully as long as I followed 3 main strategies: a dedication to strength training, a focus on compound exercises, and a high-protein, high-calorie diet.
In combination, these 3 factors will get you weeks, if not months, closer to your weight training goals.
Let’s take a closer look…
How to Build Muscle in 3 Easy Steps
Strategy #1 – Strength Training
Strength training is the first thing you need to pay attention to. What I mean by a “dedication to strength training” is that you have to commit yourself to making regular improvements in strength.
The key measure of strength is, of course, how much weight you can lift. But regularly increasing the amount of weight you can lift, you’ll make the biggest gains in size. You need to lift heavier to build muscle.
The best approach is to find a repetition range that works for you and stick to it. Generally speaking, 3-4 sets of 6-10 reps per exercise will effectively build muscle mass over time. As soon as you get into the high end of this range (by really pushing yourself), it’s time to add on the weight. This is how you get stronger, and by lifting heavier weights, you’ll build more muscle.
Strategy #2 – Compound Exercises
The next thing I want you to focus on is compound exercises. Compound exercises involve larger muscle groups, like your chest, back, quads, and glutes, as well as smaller muscle groups like your biceps and triceps. Isolation exercises, on the other hand, focus on a single group of muscles. A concentration curl is a good example of an isolation exercise.
But compound exercises are much more effective for building muscle. What I’ve learned over the years is that I don’t need to spend hours working out my triceps. Instead, lifting much heavier weight in compound exercises like the bench press will pack on the muscle in both my chest and triceps. You’ll save time, but you’ll also notice a difference in your gains.
Don’t get rid of isolation exercises altogether, but make compound exercises the focus of your workouts. This is a sure route to muscle building success. Exercises like barbell rows, bench presses, overhead shoulder presses, deadlifts, and squats are all great examples of compound exercises. You may want to check out two of my most popular muscle building workouts for men and women – Rutina Wesley and Chris Hemsworth Thor Workout
Strategy #3 – Eat More
This doesn’t mean eating to a point of compromising your health, but in order to build muscle, it’s critical that you take in more calories and more protein in particular.
Protein contains amino acids, and these are the building blocks of lean muscle tissue. In order to build muscle, you need to continuously “feed” your muscles with more protein. Makes sense, right? But in addition to protein, your body also requires more calories overall in order to accomplish this task. Building muscle requires energy, and that’s what calories are for.
Of course it’s important that these calories come from healthy sources, and that you eat a healthy, balanced diet.
To increase your protein intake, I recommend investing in a high quality protein supplement like Optimum 100% Casein Protein or Gaspari Nutrition Myofusion. These are my top picks for protein supplements. Have a shake in the morning to start your day off right, and follow up your workouts with a second shake for optimal muscle fuelling.
Once you start eating more, and eating more protein, you’ll notice your muscle gains skyrocket. There isn’t a bodybuilder out there who won’t tell you that eating is key to building muscle!
Want a good muscle building protein-rich snack? Check out these Promax Protein Bars.
Have any questions or feedback about How to Build Muscle? Please leave a comment below…