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Are you looking to get fit? If you’re trying to build muscle mass, you’re starting a long, difficult, and fulfilling journey at the gym!
It’s not as easy as just lifting some weights and hoping for the best!
If you want a body that could be on the cover of Sports Illustrated, you’re going to need to put some work in. But how do you do it?
Building muscle, unfortunately, isn’t as easy as gaining fat. There are strategies to it. Don’t worry though, we’ve got you covered.
Keep reading for a few muscle building tips that will set you on the path towards a rockin’ bod
1. Lift Heavy
Lifting heavy weights is the best way to gain muscle. Heavy means heavy, don’t underestimate yourself!
It’s tempting to take it just a little too easy and only lift what you know that you can do comfortably. When lifting, you want to figure out what your 1 rep max is. Your lifts should start off at around 90% of that max.
Another way to figure out if you’re lifting heavy enough is by paying attention to your body. You want to be able to do 6 to 8 reps (or 8 to 10, depending on your routine) before your form starts to fail.
This should leave you wiped out.
If you’re lifting and you can just keep going forever, you’re not lifting heavy enough.
2. Increase Calories
If you want to build muscle, you need to feed your body.
This might be confusing to someone who’s been used to dieting. Think about it like this. Your body can’t make something out of nothing. It needs fuel.
You don’t have to commit to something as extreme as a bulk, and if you’re a new lifter, you might even be able to find your maintenance calories and build muscle from there.
Eventually, though, you’ll need to add small amounts of calories to your diet. Try adding 100 per week and see if you notice any changes. If not, go up to 200 and so on. Slow gains are gains that you can maintain without worrying about fat.
3. Don’t Skimp on Protein
When you’re adding calories, don’t forget protein. Your body needs a lot of it if you’re expecting to build a substantial amount of muscle.
Protein needs vary by the person, but you should try to include protein in every meal and consider supplementing with protein powder or bars.
Protein is one of the most important supplements for muscle growth.
4. Take Rest Days
You need to let your muscles recover if you want them to grow. This means that you shouldn’t hit the same muscle group every day.
While one full rest day per week is suggested, you can also exercise every other day that week if you change muscle groups. For example, on Monday you can work on glutes and legs. Tuesday, you’re covering back and chest, and so on.
Don’t overdo it.
5. Cut Down on Cardio
This might seem counterproductive. You want to be going over your calorie limit every week. Going under (with cardio) isn’t helpful. Your muscles won’t benefit from it.
Cardio is still important. A short jog every day as a warmup or even intervals of HIIT training can allow you to maintain your muscle while also working on your cardiovascular health.
What Are Your Muscle Building Tips?
Gaining muscle isn’t easy, but it is super fulfilling and fun. If you lift heavy, pat attention to your diet, and follow as many muscle-building tips as you can, you’ll be there in no time.
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