Gaining muscle mass is always associated with heavy weight-lifting. While this holds true to some extent, reality is far from it. Putting on muscle mass is a delicate balance between your workouts and your diet. You just can’t gain muscle mass by pumping iron in the gym and indulging in a double-decker beef and cheese burger at the same time. Also keep in mind that it takes time to build muscle and it takes a lot of effort to maintain that muscle mass in the long run. Be patient with yourself and give your body some time to adjust. That said, gaining muscle mass is not an unattainable goal. With perseverance and dedication, you can easily gain muscle mass.
Let’s take a look at a few ways that you can gain muscle mass, the easy way!
Increase Your Calorie Intake, Wisely!
Adding muscle mass means that you will have to increase your calorie intake. However, this does not mean that you are free to eat as many fries, burgers and pizzas you want!
Increasing your calorie intake in a healthy manner should be your goal. Remember, if you want to gain muscle mass, you will have to increase your calorie intake but, if you want to reduce body fat then you will need to decrease your calorie intake significantly. You can increase your calorie intake by indulging in lean proteins, healthy fats and carbs. Always keep a food journal so that you can log in each and every one of your meals.
Proteins Are Essential
Muscles are pure protein and what better way to build muscles than consuming proteins! When you are on your way to build muscles, it is essential that you increase your lean protein intake.
From increasing positive nitrogen balance to increasing muscle recovery, proteins are the building blocks of our muscles. However, you need to be cautious about the proteins you take in. Be sure to indulge in lean proteins pre and post-workout to get maximum benefits. Skinless chicken, lentils, fish, tofu, beans and unsalted nuts are all good sources of lean proteins. Aim for at least 1-1.5 grams of proteins for every pound of bodyweight when you are trying to build muscle mass.
Fats Are Not Your Enemy!
Proteins are considered essential when you are trying to build muscles but did you know that fats are just as important? It may sound counterintuitive but fats are an essential part of your diet. Restricting your fat intake can negatively impact body growth and this is something that you do not want. Fat intake affects testosterone production in the body and we know that muscle growth depends a lot on testosterone production in the body.
According to a research, it has been found that individuals who take less than 20% of fats in their diet have lower testosterone levels as compared to individuals who take around 40% of fats in their diet. Olive oil, flaxseed oil and nuts are all good sources of fats.
Strength Training is Important but Ease Up on Cardio
Lifting weights has always been synonymous with building muscles. Following a strict workout regime that includes strength training will give you the sculpted muscles that you have always dreamt about. Though cardio is considered important as far as your warm-up and cool down is concerned, it is not that essential when you are trying to increase your muscle mass.
Increasing muscle mass is all about bulking up and cardio actually helps you to achieve a leaner and slimmer body. Cardio is important when you are trying to lose body fat. You can indulge in a cardio workout every once in a while, but focusing on strength training is the key to bulking up.
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Always Give Yourself a Rest Day!
Taking a day off from strength training may seem like a big mistake but it is important that you listen to your body and give it a rest day. Follow a workout schedule where you have at least two days of rest. Rest is essential as it prevents your body from entering the ‘over-training zone’.
This over-training zone is the point where the testosterone levels in your body fall down and actually lead to muscle waste! The best way to avoid this dreaded scenario is to take plenty of rest and follow a workout schedule which ensures at least 2-3 days of rest!
Move On to Lifting Heavier Weights!
If you want to pack up muscles, it is best to lift heavier weights. However, if you are a beginner, stick to lighter weights when you start and then progress slowly and steadily to heavier weights to challenge your body. Always check your form during exercise to prevent any injury.
Building Muscles is Not a Difficult Thing! Stick to a Healthy Diet and Maintain a Proper Strength Training Routine to Get the Results You Want!