Oh, men, is there really anything more empowering than having a chest as wide as a Chevy? Walking around with 200+ lbs. of muscle and assuming that you could probably beat up anyone in the room? If this is your image of the ideal body, look no further. As difficult of a goal as this can seem to achieve, it is easily attainable with proper patience and instruction. Where to begin?
Increasing your muscle mass, regardless of the degree to which you want to increase it, will only happen through two practices: exercise and diet. Rather than waiting before jumping into the juicy stuff, I’ll begin with exercise.
TO GAIN MUSCLE MASS IN THE GYM…
- Use free weights, not machine exercises where you have to place the pin into the weight level that you so desire.
- Be sure to give muscle groups at least a day between workouts. For example, if you are doing chest exercises on Monday, it is best not to do them again until Wednesday at the very earliest. Working the same muscle group on consecutive days will not give your muscles proper time to repair themselves.
- Lift heavy weights with low repetitions. By lifting heavy weights with low repetitions rather than a low weight with high repetitions, your muscle is forced to grow more through a strenuous short burst as opposed to endurance-building, long routines.
- Give yourself time to rest. Inside the gym, don’t be afraid to wait several minutes between workouts so your muscles can rebuild on the spot, enabling you more out of your next set. Outside the gym, take a day or two off each week.
- Do not neglect your legs. This is so vital; it’s not even funny. Leg workouts (squats in particular), force hormones up from your midsection and into your upper body, maximizing both upper and lower body muscle growth. In addition to that, you don’t want to be walking around looking like an upside-down triangle, do you?
- Be careful when it comes to cardio. Cardio is a very important aspect of exercise for anyone, but it is not helpful towards gaining mass, and that is what this article is about. I do not advise neglecting cardio and putting your heart at risk, but if you are serious about gaining muscle mass, cardio will need to be somewhat limited.
TO GAIN MUSCLE MASS THROUGH DIET…
- A balanced diet is always necessary. However, one who is looking to gain muscle mass must be willing to eat a bit more fat and a substantially higher amount of protein than usual.
- The more you eat, the better. Again, though, remember to have a balanced diet. There are plenty of people who assume that by eating a ton of junk food, they can gain weight quickly and miraculously zap it all into muscle so long as they go to the gym. This is false. Eat plenty, but make sure it’s nutritious.
- Equally important to eating a lot is to eat often. Rather than having three large meals per day, it is better to have five or six small meals per day. This helps your digesting system, and steadily provides a flow of nutrients to your muscles.
- For someone who is trying to gain muscle mass, the two most important times of day to eat is within a few hours of the gym (for energy) and immediately upon returning from the gym.
- For your post-workout meal, protein and natural sugars are what should be most present. Perhaps some meat, a glass of milk and a few pieces of fruit should be just fine.
For further questions on diet, recommendations for effective workouts, or anything really, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will get back to you as soon as possible!