When it comes to building muscle mass you are bound to have read about or heard numerous different ideas and theories. And the people behind them are swearing by each and every one of them saying that it is the only one that works. And you might have even tried some of them without any major success. The trick is knowing what works and what doesn’t, as in how your body reacts to certain nutrients and types of exercise regime. That way you can adjust your nutrition and fitness plan in order to get the best possible effects.
Of course, you need the Protein
This is a must, and there is no way around it. Your muscles need protein intake in order to grow. Now the sources of protein can vary. You can combine animal protein from different types of lean meat and fish, with some plant protein. Of course, you should introduce some nuts into the mix and try out different whey protein samples in order to find out which one works best for you. As for the recommended dosage, it is usually one gram of protein per pound of body weight a day. Now, this is for people who work out and stay active, for the less active individuals the intake should be lowered. In addition, consider balancing out the different protein types, since some research has shown that an increased intake of protein from animal sources could lead to kidney stones.
Don’t overlook carbs
You might think that just protein is enough, however, carbs are just as important when you want to build muscle mass. If you don’t provide your body with carbs so that it can produce energy, you will end up with using all the protein for that and you won’t be able to build any muscles. Carbs not only provide energy for muscle function but they also act as fuel for your brain activity. The best option is to opt for minimally processed carbs such as vegetables, steel-cut oats, and the superfood that is quinoa.
Adjust your meal frequency
It is not just about what you eat it is also important when and how often. This is also an aspect that needs adjusting. Start by increasing your meal intervals, having several small meals a day keeps your metabolism active. It is usually enough to have five to six meals a day. Keep in mind that If you don’t eat often enough your body will actually consume muscle and not fat, and that will make it difficult for you to achieve your goals. Your body is resistant to fat loss and will turn to attacking lean muscle first, and that is exactly what you want to avoid. So prepare a meal plan that will include the above-mentioned proteins and carbs and that includes enough meals per day so that your body will actually help you grow your muscle mass instead of depleting it.
Make sure you increase your Exercise Volume
This is essential for building muscle mass. With the right nutrition, your exercise plan will make a visible difference. First, to clarify the term training volume, it is the number of repetitions multiplied by the number of sets. And it is the main determiner of hypertrophy, also known as muscle growth. Now be prepared, you are bound to experience a drop in weight at the very start because unlike strength exercise, this accelerates fat burning. Now, as for the recommended volume for those seeking muscle growth, it is usually three to six sets of 10 to 20 reps.
You need your sleep
Sleep is one of the essential activities for building muscle. And if you are not getting at least seven hours a sleep per night all of your muscle building efforts might be in vain. And the reason why sleep is essential is the fact that most of your hormones are released while you sleep, most importantly growth hormone and testosterone. This allows your body to recover and grow and so without adequate sleep patterns, you cannot expect your body to help you get the muscle mass you want.
So there you have it. No magical cure, just a lifestyle adjustment that is bound to help you reach your goals. Keep in mind that both nutrition and exercises are important to gain muscle mass, one without the other simply doesn’t work.