Tips for Building Muscle Mass

Posted by Nicole on July 8

If you are trying to bulk out and are having a difficult time, it could be that you are not taking the right approach yet with your exercise routine and diet. To help you build muscle mass more effectively, here are some simple tips you can incorporate into your regimen.

1. Eat enough calories.

First of all, you need to make sure you are eating enough food to begin with. Typically, you are going to need anywhere from 300 to 500 additional calories daily on top of what you would otherwise normally be eating if you are making focused efforts on bulking out.

To figure out exactly how much you need to be eating, you can consult with online tools that will calculate an estimate once you input information about your activity level, age, weight, etc.

2. Get plenty of protein.

There is no way to build muscle mass without protein. There are actually fairly specific recommendations for protein intake for people trying to bulk out.

This study says, “To maximize muscle protein accretion with resistance exercise, daily protein intakes should be ~1.6 g/kg/day and up to 2.2 g/kg/day. This intake can be achieved by ingesting 3 meals, each containing ~0.53 g/kg protein, or 4 meals containing ~0.4g/kg protein.”

If possible, you might want to prioritize proteins from animal sources since their amino acids can contribute to your muscle growth. But plant proteins are okay if that is all you can eat.

3. Consume carbs and amino acids.

As just discussed, amino acids can help you build muscle. The same is true for carbohydrates following a workout.

Kevin Tipton, Ph.D., a researcher at the University of Texas in Galveston explains, “Since exercise increases bloodflow to your working tissues, drinking a carbohydrate-protein mixture before your workout may lead to greater uptake of the amino acids in your muscles.”

4. Train hard, but do not overtrain.

You will likely have the best results if you are working out to the point that you are close to not being able to do additional reps. But if you are completely wiping yourself out to the point where you can barely stand, you probably are going too far.

5. Increase time under tension.

Your first instinct when you are trying to build muscle is probably going to be to add weight as often as you can.

Ultimately, this is not all that sustainable, however. There is a point at which you simply are not going to be able to lift additional weight.

Thankfully, that does not mean that you have to hit a plateau where you cannot continue to improve.

For one thing, you can add more repetitions. For another, you can also increase the amount of time you spend with your muscles under tension. Hold your lifts for longer or lower the weights more gradually.

6. Incorporate recovery time.

Building muscle takes time. It is not an instantaneous process, and that means recovery time is absolutely necessary.

If you keep working out the same muscle groups every single day, your body is not going to get that necessary opportunity to repair and build new tissue.

The workaround for this problem is quite simple, however, even if you want to keep working out most days every week.

You just need to alternate between different muscle groups. That way, each group gets a chance to recover, but every day, you continue to work toward your overall muscle building goals.

Speaking of recovery time, make sure you also are sleeping adequately each night. Research has showed that muscle strength improves with proper sleep.

Nick Ebner, N.A.S.M.-C.P.T., P.I.C.P., says “[Sleep] just might be the most important element of your training.”

He continues, “As we sleep, energy consumption is lowered, allowing us to use the high-quality food we eat during the day to more efficiently build muscle. Growth hormone is naturally released, improving muscular recovery and regeneration. Also, as we sleep the brain recharges. This is important for building muscle because a rested brain is a motivated and focused brain. In simple terms, when you sleep, you recover, and when you recover you replace, repair, and rebuild—all of which are needed for optimal progress.”

So, if you have been trying to slide by on 4 hours of sleep a night, it should not surprise you if you are having a hard time building muscle mass.

7. Try a supplement for male health.

Something else you might consider is taking a supplement for male health.

Testosterone plays a role in protein synthesis, which means it can be helpful in your efforts to build muscle.

The herbal supplement tongkat ali has been shown to support healthy testosterone levels.

Conclusion

It can be frustrating hitting the gym each day and not seeing the results you are looking for in the mirror.

Hopefully, however, you have figured out some mistakes you might be making and some simple adjustments you can make based on what we have shared in the list above.

Once you settle on a diet and workout routine that work for you, you may finally start seeing some improvements.

Remember, you will get the best results if you are consistent with your workout schedule and your intake of calories, proteins, amino acids and carbs.