Several years ago, you made the decision to completely change your lifestyle. You said goodbye to fried, processed foods and started preparing delicious, healthy meals instead. Of course, there was also the drastic change in your fitness level. You made it a point to hit the gym every day and, as a result, lost quite a bit of weight. Now, though, you’re ready to embark on a new challenge: building muscle mass. Here are 10 keys to achieving this goal:
- Put forth your best effort on a regular basis – If you take just one piece of advice from this post, it should be to always work hard. Make it a point to challenge yourself with a little more weight or a few more repetitions. Don’t walk out of the gym unless you literally can’t do anything else. The last thing you want is to give a half effort. Why even bother trying to build muscle mass if you’re not willing to put in the work?
- Take time to relax – It’s one thing to work hard while you’re in the gym. That said, feelings of burnout are real the longer you go. Be sure to take a few days off every six to eight weeks and give your body the rest it needs. Without the occasional hiatus, you’re likely to get sick or come down with an injury.
- Focus on big lifts – Ask any bodybuilding pro and they’ll emphasize bench presses, squats, deadlifts, military presses, and barbell rows. Do about eight reps regularly and you’ll soon be able to use more weight and gain additional muscle mass. Another pro tip: you’re going to see the best results by doing lots of compound movements as opposed to isolation movements and machines.
- Find a training partner – Have a friend who you would consider to be a workout junkie? Then reach out to them and see if they would train with you. They don’t need to have the same body type as you or even share the same fitness goals. Ultimately, a training partner should help get your butt to the gym even when you don’t necessarily feel like working out. Of course, it also helps to have someone there to motivate you and spot you properly.
- Listen to your body – Part of bodybuilding involves pushing the envelope, so to speak. Just remember to listen to your body. What do we mean by that? Well, if you feel an odd or sharp pain, then you should probably call it a day and maybe give yourself some time off to recover. It goes without saying that an injury will stall your progress.
- Value recovery time – Want to get the most out of your days off? Then invest in regular chiropractic adjustments and deep-tissue massages. It’s important to know that a good chiropractor can keep your hips and spine aligned, while a good massage therapist can break up scar tissue to maximize blood flow and range of motion.
- Get plenty of sleep – It’s a challenge to get eight hours of uninterrupted sleep every night, especially when you’re managing work, school, and family demands around the clock. However, if you really want to achieve muscle growth, then it’s imperative to get plenty of zzz’s. If this means sacrificing an hour of TV, so be it.
- Eat lots of protein – Natural bodybuilding experts confirm that high-protein diets are the best way to support lean muscle tissue growth. Now, what does high-protein specify? Think of it this way: for best results, you want to consume one gram of protein daily per pound of body weight. That’s somewhere between 300 and 400 grams of protein a day for a 200-pound man.
- Get enough healthy fats and carbs – Protein isn’t enough to put on massive muscle gains. Don’t forget all-important carbohydrates such as rice, potatoes, oats, and fresh fruit. In terms of healthy fats, get your fill of raw nuts, whole eggs, salmon, avocado, olive oil, and almond butter.
- Believe in yourself – Not surprisingly, we bookended this list with the most important keys. If you don’t believe you can improve muscle mass, then do something else besides wasting your time. You will undoubtedly experience obstacles along the way. Nobody said that this would be easy. That said, as long as you believe in yourself, you will eventually see the fruits of your labor.
Here at Atlas Nutrition in Fort Collins, we are more than just personal trainers. Maybe you’re interested in a bodybuilding diet because you want to step onto the competition stage. On the other hand, it could be that you’re sick of your current physique. Whatever the case, you can count on us to be right there, in your corner.
We will customize a fitness regimen to meet your needs. Feel free to come to us for any of the following:
- Shoulder workout
- Upper body workout
- Leg workout
- Chest workout
- And more
Become part of the Atlas community today.