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In pursuit of the swoley land? You came to the right place! Get ready to learn 5 things that will accelerate your muscle gain!
This first point is all about training and specifically the concept of progressive overload. This is a method of measurable progression that will make sure that you are moving in the right direction of muscle gain. Progressive overload basically means that you are continually increasing the need for your muscles to get stronger and grow.
The idea is that every time you go into the gym you want to be better than the week before. You can do this by increasing the weight from the last training session, doing more reps than last session, or increasing both reps and weight. This is a for sure way to get your muscles to grow because they are forced to. For your body to get stronger it must build more muscle, that is why you challenge the muscle harder and harder every week.
Apart from progressive overload you also need a sound training program. Studies show that it is beneficial to train everybody part twice a week in to increase muscle growth. Think about it like this, when you train that is a chance to grow muscle. Say someone trains every body part 1 time a week for a year, that is 52 chances to grow a year. If you train every muscle twice a week that is 104 chances to grow a year! This is only to a limit however, that doesn’t mean you should train every body part every day, we still need proper recovery. All we know is that training everything twice a week is a lot better than once a week.
When we eat food, particularly protein, it stimulates a thing called muscle protein synthesis. This is basically the on switch for growing bigger muscles. The only way to do that is to eat protein, train, or take an amino acid supplements. However, you can’t just take amino acids and train and expect to get jacked, you still need the bricks (protein) to build with. A good rule of thumb is 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight. If you want to get more technical you can do one gram per pound of lean body mass, but sometimes that gets too complicated so just stay with the one gram per pound.
If you eat protein with every meal you will fuel your body with what it requires to build new muscles and you will be turning on muscle building mode. With that being said you also need to maximize how many meals you need to eat to grow. Studies show that having 5 protein feedings a day is optimal for muscle growth. Some say you need 6 and others say you can do it with 3, but we know that 5 is optimal. Meal timing also matters when it comes to building muscle. With eating 5 meals a day you can comfortably eat every 3 – 3.5 hours to maximize the time your body is in muscle building mode.
We have all heard it, “YOU GOTTA EAT BIG TO GET BIG BRO!”. While there is truth to this statement, it is all not that simple. I am going to take a shot in the dark and say that most people don’t want to gain a ton of fat while trying to put on muscle. Although some fat will come on we don’t want to poof up or else we would be eating double doubles and ice creams because its bulking szn.
So how do we stay lean and put on lean body mass? Well it is quite simple, our body doesn’t need a ton of energy (calories) to build muscle. You can build muscle in a calorie deficit, maintenance, and in a surplus. In a deficit, if you are maximizing your training and protein intake, you can put on muscle. Your stored fat has enough energy to keep your body fueled so you can be in a calorie deficit and put on muscle. With saying that you only need to be in a slight deficit, if you are in too much of a deficit your body will not build muscle. In a maintenance phase you can also put on muscle because again you have enough energy from fat and enough protein from your food. Being in a surplus is the easiest way to put on size and muscle because your body has plenty of nutrients so it can store it all and use it. However, with being in a surplus you will put on a little bit of body fat. To reduce the amount you put on I suggest a very small surplus (200 calories) and a slow crawl to build muscle. This stuff takes time, but if you maximize everything the muscle gain will come.
This one is huge and is commonly overlooked when it comes to muscle building. Like all the motivational Instagram posts say, “muscles are torn in the gym, fed in the kitchen, and built in bed”. This is all accurate information, but sleep may be one of the more important ones. It is crucial that we sleep 8 hours a night, according to studies. When we sleep, we repair our muscles and refuel our bodies so we can workout hard the next day. Notice how I said 8 hours a night, it does not have the same effect if you take naps mid-day to get a total of 8 hours, it all has at once. Furthermore, studies show that it doesn’t matter what time you go to sleep, if you get all 8 hours mid-day or at night it still has the same effect on recovery.
We also need to make sure that we are getting good enough quality sleep. 6 hours of quality sleep is better than 8 hours of constantly not being in deep sleep. This means that if something disturbs you while you sleep you may not wake up, but you will fall out of deep sleep, which is what helps us recover and grow. Some things that may take us out of deep sleep is too much light in the room, being in a noisy environment (sleeping with the TV on), being exposed to blue light from devices close to bedtime, or something moving us in our sleep. If your room is too bright at night, then it may be time to invest in some blackout curtains or an eye mask. If your room is too noisy from a TV being on or living next to a busy street, I would suggest some ear plugs or any sound absorbers in the room. When it is getting time for bed it is best to be in darker environments to stimulate sleep hormones that will help you get to sleep and stay asleep. I would recommend turning off most of the big lights in your house 1-2 hours before bed and turn your phone onto night mode so the screen emits red light, which doesn’t disrupt sleep. Lastly if something is moving you in your sleep like your dog or significant other it will be beneficial to have some room between you so they don’t bump you. This will eb harder for some, but it is a gamechanger for getting better quality sleep.
With all the advances of supplements they are now better than ever. Some of the best supplements for muscle growth include pre workouts, creatine, amino acids, whey proteins, and other muscle builders such as test boosters.
Pre workouts are great for building muscle because they allow you to progress in the gym easier. You will be able to lift more weight and get good results and progressively overload your muscles. I recommend taking something with a low amount of caffeine and then going up from there. I would not recommend taking the most right off the bat.
Creatine is one of the safest and widely studied supplements on the market. Creatine helps with muscle building by keeping the muscles full and forcing them to grow. They also help with endurance in the gym by giving you a system of energy (phosphocreatine system) that will also help your gym sessions be better. I recommend 5 grams of creatine monohydrate but taking at least 2 grams of any creatine.
For muscle growth I recommend Essential Amino Acids because they are proven to put your muscle in a growth mode rather than just recovery mode. Both Branched Chain and Essential Amino Acids are beneficial, I just recommend taking the essentials because it is like an all in one type product.
Whey protein helps with building muscle because it puts your body into a muscle building mode as well as giving your body the building blocks it needs to build muscle. Protein shakes also help you reach your daily recommended protein amount without adding nearly any extra fats or carbs. I recommend a whey protein Isolate because they are purer, easier to digest, and don’t have as many carbs or fats.
Lastly, I recommend taking some muscle builders. These help keep your body in a muscle building state throughout the day and also boost performance in the gym. The main category of these supplements would be test boosters for men and laxogenin products for both men and women. Test boosters help increase your bodies free and usable testosterone which leads to better body composition and more muscle gain. They also give a better sense of well being so your training will be a lot better too. Laxogenin is a plant that helps keep your body in a muscle building state. It also has the benefit of increasing your strength which will help with progressive overload inside of the gym.
Take a look at the top supplements in each category here: https://www.mybodygoods.com/shop-by-goal/
Now that you are equipped with all this great information it is time to put in hard work in the gym, eat all your meals, get your sleep, and get JACKED! If you follow these tips you will no doubt put on some lean body mass and get a one way ticket to swole city!