Building muscle requires a patient and enduring approach, along with a sustained dedication to the journey. Nevertheless, by following suitable training regimens and ensuring sufficient protein intake, achieving this goal is within reach for the majority of individuals.
When it comes to physique improvements, muscle building is often a top priority.
Added muscle mass will increase the definition of your muscles, improve your lean body mass, and add bulk and size to your frame in all the right places.
This article breaks down everything you need to know when it comes to building muscle, including how to work out, what to eat, and recovery protocols.
The basics of building muscle
In simple terms, skeletal muscles are like long tubes that can contract and create force, allowing you to move. Your body is always changing the protein in your muscles. If you lose more protein than you gain, your muscles get smaller. If the amount is about the same, your muscles stay the same. And if you gain more protein than you lose, your muscles grow.
To make your muscles bigger, you need to add protein faster than you lose it and reduce how fast you break it down. This muscle growth is called “muscle hypertrophy,” and it’s the main goal of strength training.
Many things affect muscle growth, including hormones like testosterone and growth hormone, and having enough protein and other nutrients. To build new muscle, you should do strength training and eat enough protein and nutrients. The right amount of strength training tells your body to make more muscle, but you also need enough protein and energy to keep your muscles growing.
While scientists are still studying how to get the best muscle gains, it’s clear that using heavy weights and eating lots of protein is the best way to make your muscles bigger.
Tips for how to gain muscle
While many types of exercise offer health benefits, the only way to reliably drive muscle growth is by using your muscles against moderate to heavy resistance. In addition, muscle growth is specific to the muscles being used.
Decide your target number of repetitions
The idea of the repetition continuum is valuable when creating muscle-building workout plans.
To make your muscles grow, you need to do weight training with a specific amount of weight. This weight should only allow you to do between 1 and 20 repetitions.
In simple terms, the repetition continuum suggests that lifting very heavy weights for just a few reps will boost your strength, lifting weights for 6 to 12 reps will help you build muscle, and lifting lighter weights for 12 to 20 reps will enhance your muscle endurance.
1. Rep-range continuum
2. Choose the right amount of weight
3. Choose your exercises well
4. Structure your workout to avoid overtraining
A good rule of thumb is to perform 3 sets of 3–5 compound movements, followed by 3 sets of 1–2 isolation movements per workout.
Generally, you do your heaviest sets using compound movements and perform higher repetition ranges on your isolation movements.
Assuming you’re performing three working sets per exercise, limit your total combined compound and isolation movement exercises to 5–7 movements per workout.
This allows you to benefit from each type of exercise while maximizing the overall muscle building potential of your training program and avoiding any symptoms of overtraining.