Effective Strategies To Build Muscle

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Working out has become a popular activity that many people engage in for various reasons. Some individuals workout to build muscle, while others do it for the less tangible health benefits like stronger bones and increased lifespan (1).

Others may take up working out as a new hobby, while some may have a specific goal, like getting into figure contests and bodybuilding. However, regardless of why individuals choose to work out, certain things must be remembered to ensure they get the most out of their workout.

Why work out to build muscle?

For some individuals, the answer to why they work out will always be to put on muscle. However, building muscle is not an easy task for everyone. For example, lean men who cannot gain muscle weight often eat and exercise incorrectly. It is essential to remember that change takes time, and if one is vying to grow and build muscle, one must ensure they are following the right approach.

How to build muscle naturally

One of the most effective ways to build muscle naturally is through weight lifting. When one lifts a heavy weight, the contractile proteins in the muscles must generate force to overturn the resistance the weight provides.

This can result in structural damage to the muscles, stimulating a repair response in the body. The damaged fibres in muscle proteins increase in muscle size. Mechanical fatigue also occurs when the muscle fibres exhaust the available supply of ATP, an energy component that helps the muscles contract. This can lead to muscle gain as well.

What is important for achieving muscular hypertrophy: Mechanical damage and metabolic fatigue are important to achieve muscular hypertrophy. This means there needs to be significant metabolic stress on the muscles and a moderate degree of muscle tension (2).

Researchers have found exercises that involve shortening (concentric) movements at fast-to-moderate speeds for 1-3 seconds and elongating (eccentric) at slower speeds (2-4 seconds) to be highly effective.

Do you need to work your muscles to the point of failure? One common myth is that you need to work your muscles to the point of failure to see results. However, this is not necessarily true.

Researchers found that for maximum gains, there needs to be significant metabolic stress on the muscles, plus a moderate degree of muscle tension (2). Therefore, you do not necessarily need to work your muscles to the point of failure to achieve muscle growth.

Conclusion: In conclusion, individuals have various reasons for working out. For those looking to build muscle, it is essential to ensure they follow the right approach.

Change takes time, and even if one sees progress, there is always room for improvement. By keeping these things in mind, individuals can optimize their workouts and achieve their fitness goals.

Building Muscle: The Importance of Training Volume and Rep Ranges

Build muscle

If you’re looking to build muscle, you’re probably familiar with the concept of lifting heavy weights to stimulate muscle growth. However, there’s more to muscle building than just lifting heavy weights. This blog will explore the importance of training volume and rep ranges for muscle hypertrophy.

Training Volume

Training volume is the number of reps multiplied by the number of sets performed during a workout. Research shows that training volume is a primary determinant of muscle hypertrophy (3). You may need to go lower in weight to increase training volume than you might guess.

How Many Sets?

While more sets generally result in faster muscle growth, there’s an optimal number of sets per muscle group beyond which gains in size will be slower (3). As a rough guide, 10-12 sets per muscle group per week is a good starting point. However, you can adjust the number of sets upwards or downwards based on how your body responds.

How Many Reps?

Conventional wisdom has it that training with light weights and high reps builds muscular endurance but makes little contribution to gains in size. However, recent research challenges this notion.

Heavy weights and lower reps have long been considered the “best way” to build muscle. That’s because lifting heavy weights places tension on many muscle fibres, sending the “make me bigger” signal to those fibres. However, lifting heavy weights isn’t the only way to put a large number of muscle fibres under tension.

Training with lighter weights and higher reps – where you “go for the burn” and your muscles feel like they’re pumped up and about to explode – generates a large amount of metabolic stress, which has also been shown to increase the activation of muscle fibres (4).

In fact, plenty of research exists to show that lighter weights and higher reps do a surprisingly good job of stimulating muscle growth (5,6).

This means you can use heavy and light weights to stimulate muscle growth. If lifting heavy weights causes pain or joint issues, go light instead. You can switch from heavy weights and low reps to light weights and high reps without missing out on any gains.

Rep Ranges

As long as you train hard and push yourself, high reps (15-20), medium reps (12-15), and low reps (5-8) can all be used successfully to build muscle. This gives you many more choices about the type of training you do.

For example, if you prefer using lighter weights on specific exercises and heavier weights on others, you can do so quite happily without worrying that you’re putting the brakes on muscle growth. Your muscles will grow if you train hard and push yourself.

Conclusion

While heavy weights and low reps are a great way to build muscle, they’re not the only way. Training volume and rep ranges play a significant role in muscle hypertrophy. You may need to lower the weight used in a workout to increase training volume. And, as long as you train hard and push yourself, high reps, medium reps, and low reps can all be used successfully to build muscle.

So, next time you’re at the gym, consider switching up your routine and trying different rep ranges. You might be surprised at how effective lighter weights and higher reps can be for muscle growth.

The Importance of Progressive Overload for Muscle Building

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A woman performing bicep curls

If you’re serious about building muscle, you’ve probably heard of the term “progressive overload”. But what does it mean, and why is it so important?

In simple terms, progressive overload refers to gradually increasing the demands you place on your body during workouts to promote muscle growth. This can be achieved through various methods, such as adding weight, increasing reps, or increasing training volume.

Adding Weight

One common progressive overload method is adding weight to your exercises while keeping the same repetitions per set. For example, if you can lift 100 pounds for 8 reps, you could try lifting 102.5 pounds for 8 reps in your next workout and then 105 pounds for 8 reps afterward.

Increasing Reps

Another method is to increase the number of repetitions per set with the same weight. For instance, if you’re able to lift 100 pounds for 6 reps in your first workout, you could aim for 7 reps in your second workout and eventually work up to 8 reps in your third workout.

Increasing Training Volume

Increasing training volume by performing more sets for each muscle group is another way to achieve progressive overload. For instance, you could aim to do 8 sets per muscle group per week in the first week, then increase to 10 sets in the second week, and finally, 12 sets in the third week.

It’s important to note that you can’t continue to add sets indefinitely without negative consequences. There is a limit to how much training volume your body can handle before it becomes counterproductive. As you approach the muscle mass limit your body can add, progress will become slower and more gradual.

Overcoming Plateaus

It’s also important to recognize that you may hit a plateau in your progress at some point. This means you may lift the same weight for the same number of sets and reps as you did in your previous workout. This is normal and can be overcome by reducing the number of sets, reps, and weights to allow your body to recover properly.

However, your ultimate focus should always be on improving your workout performance over time. While you may not see progress in every workout, the goal is to give your muscles a reason to get bigger. You can achieve the desired muscle growth by challenging yourself and pushing your limits.

In conclusion, progressive overload is a crucial component of muscle building. By gradually increasing the demands you place on your body during workouts, you can continue to see progress over time.

Whether you choose to add weight, increase reps, or increase training volume, the key is to keep challenging yourself and pushing your limits. With persistence and dedication, you can achieve the muscle growth you desire.

Training Frequency: How Often Should You Train Each Muscle Group?

When it comes to building muscle, one of the most important decisions you’ll make is how often to train each muscle group. While training each muscle group once a week can lead to muscle growth, it may not be the most effective approach for most people. Let’s look closely at the research and some effective training strategies.

Research on Training Frequency

Research suggests that the major muscle groups should be trained at least twice weekly to maximize growth. This includes muscles such as the chest, back, legs, and shoulders (7,8,9). Training these muscle groups more frequently can lead to more efficient muscle growth.

For example, instead of training your chest once a week with multiple exercises, you could split your chest workout into two weekly sessions, focusing on different exercises each time. This approach increases the volume and intensity per session, leading to better muscle growth.

Effective Training Strategies

One effective training split that allows for training each major muscle group twice a week is the upper/lower split. This approach involves training the upper body on Monday and Thursday, the lower body on Tuesday and Friday, and taking Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday off. This approach ensures that each muscle group is trained twice a week, which can promote efficient muscle growth.

Another effective training approach is the push/pull/legs split, which involves training push muscles (chest, shoulders, triceps), pull muscles (back, biceps), and legs on separate days. This approach can also be done twice weekly, with each muscle group trained every 4-5 days.

It’s important to note that training frequency should also be individualized based on factors such as training experience, goals, and recovery ability. Training each muscle group twice a week may be too much to handle if you’re a beginner, while more advanced lifters may benefit from training each muscle group three or more times per week.

In Conclusion

When designing a training program, it’s important to consider the frequency with which each muscle group should be trained. While training each muscle group once a week can lead to muscle growth, training more frequently, such as twice a week, maybe more effective for most people.

The upper/lower split and push/pull/legs split effectively achieve this frequency. Consider individual factors when determining the appropriate training frequency for your goals and abilities.

Exercise Selection: Building Muscle Safely and Effectively

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A woman performing band curls

When it comes to building muscle, certain exercises are often considered “essential” for achieving results. These exercises, such as the squat, deadlift, and bench press, are effective for working multiple muscle groups at once, making them an efficient use of training time (10).

However, it’s important to consider whether these exercises are “joint-friendly” and whether they cause any aches or pains in your knees, elbows, shoulders, or back.

If you find that a particular exercise causes joint pain or discomfort, don’t be afraid to replace it with a similar exercise that doesn’t cause the same issues. There is no single “must-do” exercise that can’t be replaced with something else.

Your muscles can be stimulated just as effectively with alternative exercises that don’t cause the same level of pain or discomfort.

Here are some tips for selecting exercises that can effectively build muscle while minimizing the risk of joint pain or injury:

Consider Your Goals

The exercises you choose should be based on your specific fitness goals. For example, exercises such as bench presses or push-ups are effective options if you want to build muscle in your chest. Exercises such as bicep curls or chin-ups are effective for building your biceps.

Consider Your Body

It’s important to consider your body and any joint issues or discomfort you may have when selecting exercises. If a particular exercise causes joint pain, look for an alternative exercise that targets the same muscle group without causing pain. For example, if squats cause knee pain, try lunges or leg presses instead.

Focus on Form

Proper form is essential for reducing the risk of injury and maximizing the effectiveness of your exercises. Before adding weight or intensity to an exercise, ensure proper form and technique. Consider working with a personal trainer or fitness professional to ensure you’re performing exercises correctly.

Explore Alternatives

Many alternative exercises can effectively stimulate the same muscles without causing joint pain or discomfort. For example, if overhead presses cause shoulder pain, try lateral raises instead. If deadlifts cause back pain, try hip thrusts instead.

In Conclusion

While certain exercises are often considered “essential” for building muscle, it’s important to consider your specific goals, body, and any joint issues or discomfort when selecting exercises.

Don’t be afraid to replace a particular exercise with an alternative that targets the same muscle group without causing pain. You can effectively build muscle with the right exercise selection and proper form while minimizing the risk of joint pain or injury.

How to Optimize Caloric Surpluses for Muscle Growth

Building muscle isn’t just about lifting weights in the gym. To maximize muscle growth, you must ensure that your body gets enough of the right nutrients to fuel muscle growth. However, there is an upper limit on the number of nutrients your body can use for muscle growth, beyond which adding more calories won’t lead to a faster rate of muscle growth.

Let’s delve deeper into the relationship between caloric surpluses and muscle growth.

The Importance of Caloric Surpluses for Muscle Growth

When you’re trying to build muscle, you need to consume more calories than your body burns each day. This is known as a caloric surplus, and it’s essential for muscle growth. Consuming more calories than your body needs provides your body with the energy it needs to repair and grow your muscles after your workouts.

However, it’s important to note that simply consuming more calories won’t necessarily lead to more muscle growth. Your body can only use a certain amount of nutrients to fuel muscle growth, beyond which adding more calories won’t lead to a faster rate of muscle growth.

Finding Your Optimal Caloric Surplus

For novice lifters, a good starting point for a caloric surplus is 10-20% more calories than required for daily maintenance (11). A surplus of 5-10% more calories may be sufficient for more advanced lifters.

To determine your optimal caloric surplus, you first need to calculate your daily maintenance calories. This is the number of calories you need to consume to maintain weight. You can use an online calculator to estimate your maintenance calories based on your age, gender, height, weight, and activity level.

Once you know your maintenance calories, you can add a percentage of calories to that number to create your caloric surplus. For example, if your maintenance calories are 2,000 per day, a 10% surplus would mean consuming an additional 200 calories per day, for a total of 2,200 calories per day.

Remember that your caloric needs will change as your bodyweight and activity level change. You should monitor your progress and adjust your caloric intake accordingly.

The Risks of Overeating

While consuming enough calories is essential for muscle growth, overeating can be counterproductive. Consuming more calories than your body can use for muscle growth can lead to fat gain, which can be difficult to lose later. Finding the right balance between consuming enough calories for muscle growth and avoiding excess calorie intake is important.

In conclusion, caloric surpluses are essential for muscle growth, but it’s important to find the right balance between consuming enough calories for muscle growth and avoiding excess calorie intake. Finding your optimal caloric surplus and monitoring your progress can help you maximize muscle growth while minimizing fat gain.

To Grow Muscle, Eat More Protein

grilled vegetables and fried egg with beans and sausage
Photo by ROMAN ODINTSOV on Pexels.com

Protein is an essential nutrient that is critical in building muscle and increasing strength. While the average person may only need to consume around 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day to maintain good health, athletes and people looking to build muscle require considerably more protein (12).

Scientific research suggests that most athletes must consume between 1.2-2.0 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day (13). Endurance athletes generally require less protein than bodybuilders and strength athletes, who need to consume higher amounts of protein to support muscle growth and repair.

In fact, research shows that bodybuilders and powerlifters can benefit from consuming as much as 2.2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day (14).

It’s important to note that protein can come from both animal and plant sources, and athletes can choose the sources that best fit their dietary preferences and needs. Some high-protein animal sources include chicken, beef, fish, and eggs, while high-protein plant sources include beans, lentils, tofu, and quinoa.

In addition to consuming enough protein, it’s crucial to distribute protein intake evenly throughout the day. Studies have shown that consuming 20-40 grams of protein per meal can maximize muscle protein synthesis, which is essential for muscle growth and repair (15).

It’s also important to note that consuming more protein than necessary does not necessarily lead to greater muscle growth. Consuming excessive amounts of protein can result in weight gain and may strain the kidneys, so consuming protein in moderation is important (15).

In summary, protein plays a crucial role in muscle growth and strength, and athletes and people looking to build muscle require considerably more protein than the average person.

By consuming enough protein from various sources and distributing protein intake evenly throughout the day, individuals can maximize muscle protein synthesis and achieve their desired outcomes. As with all things related to nutrition, it’s important to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the right protein intake for your individual needs.

Carbohydrates for Muscle and Strength Gains

When it comes to building muscle and strength, many people focus primarily on protein intake and overlook the role of carbohydrates. However, carbohydrates provide energy during intense training sessions and support brain function during workouts and competitions.

Recent research suggests that consuming 5-7g/kg of carbohydrates, or 2.3-3.2g/lb, optimizes muscle and strength gains (16). To calculate your daily carbohydrate needs for muscle and strength gains, simply multiply your weight in kilograms by 5-7 or your weight in pounds by 2.3-3.2.

Carbohydrates are particularly important for high-intensity exercises such as weightlifting and other resistance training. During these activities, carbohydrates are broken down into glucose, which provides energy to the muscles. Without adequate carbohydrate intake, you may struggle to complete your workouts at a high level of intensity and may even experience muscle fatigue and reduced performance.

In addition to providing energy during exercise, carbohydrates also play a crucial role in the recovery after workouts. Following intense training, the body’s glycogen stores become depleted. Glycogen is a stored form of glucose that the body can use for energy during exercise. Consuming carbohydrates after a workout helps to replenish glycogen stores and support muscle recovery.

It’s important to note that not all carbohydrates are created equal. High-quality carbohydrates, such as those found in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, are preferred over processed or refined carbohydrates like white bread and sugary snacks. These whole food sources provide valuable nutrients and fibre that support overall health and wellness.

In conclusion, carbohydrates are vital in supporting muscle and strength gains. Aim to consume 5-7g/kg of carbohydrates daily to maximize your gains and support optimal performance during workouts and competitions. Remember to choose high-quality sources of carbohydrates and fuel your body with the nutrients it needs to reach your fitness goals.

What About Fat?

When it comes to building muscle and strength, most people tend to focus on protein and carbs. However, fat intake is also crucial for achieving these goals. In fact, low-fat diets have been linked to low testosterone levels, which may impact athletic performance (17).

But why is fat important for muscle and strength gains? First and foremost, getting enough fats in your diet is crucial for vitamin absorption and hormone production (18). Fat-soluble vitamins like A, D, E, and K require dietary fat for proper absorption (18). Without enough dietary fat, you may be at risk for vitamin deficiency.

Furthermore, adequate fat intake is important for hormone production, including testosterone, which plays a key role in muscle building (20). Research suggests low-fat diets may reduce testosterone levels, negatively impacting muscle growth and athletic performance (21).

So, what is the recommended fat intake for muscle and strength gains? It’s generally recommended to consume 20-40% of calories from fat, 0.5-1.5 grams per kilogram of bodyweight, or 0.2-0.7 grams per pound of bodyweight (19).

It’s important to note that not all fats are created equal. Healthy fats, like those found in nuts, seeds, avocados, and fatty fish, are important for overall health and should be prioritized in your diet. On the other hand, unhealthy fats like trans fats and excessive saturated fats should be limited or avoided altogether.

In summary, fat intake is important to consider when building muscle and strength. Adequate fat intake is crucial for vitamin absorption and hormone production, and low-fat diets may negatively impact testosterone levels. Aim for a balanced intake of healthy fats, and be mindful of your overall calorie intake.

Get more sleep

A good night’s sleep is essential for overall health and well-being, and it plays a critical role in muscle recovery and growth. If you’re serious about building muscle, you must prioritize sleep as part of your training program.

During sleep, the body undergoes several processes that promote muscle repair and growth. One of these processes involves the release of human growth hormone (HGH), which is essential for building muscle and maintaining healthy levels of cortisol, the stress hormone.

A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that sleeping for only five hours per night for one week reduced testosterone levels, a hormone critical for muscle building, by 10 to 15 percent (22).

The National Sleep Foundation recommends that adults between 18 and 64 should aim for seven to nine hours of sleep per night to optimize health and well-being.

Sleeping well is as important as proper nutrition and exercise regarding muscle growth. Here are a few tips to help you get a better night’s sleep:

  1. Stick to a consistent sleep schedule: Going to bed and waking up simultaneously daily can help regulate your body’s internal clock and promote better sleep quality.
  2. Create a sleep-conducive environment: Ensure your bedroom is quiet, cool, and dark to promote a restful sleep environment.
  3. Limit caffeine and alcohol: Caffeine and alcohol can disrupt sleep quality, so avoiding these substances before bed is best.
  4. Wind down before bedtime: Spend time relaxing before bed, such as reading a book, taking a warm bath, or meditating. This can help calm your mind and promote better sleep quality.
  5. Consider sleep aids: If you’re having trouble sleeping, consider talking to your doctor about using sleep aids. However, using them only as directed and under medical supervision is essential.

In conclusion, sleep is a crucial factor in muscle recovery and growth. Aim for seven to nine hours of sleep per night, and prioritize good sleep hygiene to get the most out of your training program. Doing so will help ensure that your body has the time and resources it needs to build the muscle mass you’re striving for.

What About Supplements?

When it comes to building muscle and losing fat, most people focus on their diet and training. However, some individuals turn to supplements to enhance their results. While supplements aren’t as important as proper diet and training, they can still be beneficial if used correctly.

Unfortunately, the supplement industry is filled with false claims, pseudoscience, and ineffective or harmful products. Many supplement companies use flashy marketing and fancy packaging to sell junk products full of cheap, ineffective ingredients.

Despite this, there are natural substances that have been scientifically proven to enhance strength, muscle endurance and growth, fat loss, and more. One of the most researched and effective supplements is creatine.

Creatine is a molecule found naturally in the body and in foods like red meat. It has been extensively studied and shown to have numerous benefits, including building muscle, improving strength, improving anaerobic endurance, and reducing muscle damage and soreness (23, 24, 25).

Despite some claims that creatine harms the kidneys, research has repeatedly shown that healthy individuals who supplement with creatine experience no harmful side effects, even with long-term use (26, 27). However, individuals with kidney disease should avoid using creatine (28).

While supplements are not essential to building muscle and losing fat, they can be useful if used correctly and with high-quality ingredients. It’s important to do your research and choose supplements that have been scientifically proven to be effective, like creatine. And, of course, remember that dedication to proper training and nutrition is the most important factor in achieving your fitness goals.

Rate of Muscle Gain

Muscle gain is a slow process, and it’s important to have realistic expectations about how much muscle can be built and how fast it can be built. In the first year of serious training, it’s realistic to expect to build somewhere between 10 and 25 pounds of muscle (29,30). This number can vary based on factors such as genetics and bone structure. People with large bone structures and good genetics may see gains of up to 25 pounds, while smaller individuals with less favourable genetics may find that 10 pounds is about the limit.

In year two, gains will likely be halved, with an expected gain of 5-12 pounds. In year three, gains are halved again, with an expected gain of 3-6 pounds of muscle. Claims that you can gain 18 pounds of muscle in two weeks, 34 pounds of muscle in 28 days, or other such claims are unrealistic.

Eating enough food to support muscle growth is important, but adding more calories won’t automatically lead to a faster growth rate. While nutrition is crucial, muscle recovery also requires adequate sleep.

Building muscle is a slow process requiring proper nutrition, adequate sleep, and realistic expectations. While making significant gains in the first year of training is possible, gains will likely decrease in subsequent years. Eating enough protein and carbohydrates, and getting enough fat, is essential for muscle growth. Additionally, sleep is important for recovery and hormone production.

Muscular Potential

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A before and after picture.

Are you frustrated with your muscle-building progress? Do you feel like you’re not making the gains you should be, no matter how hard you work out? It might be time to re-evaluate your expectations.

Research shows that your maximum muscular body weight depends mostly on height and bone structure (31). Tall people can build more muscle mass than short people. People with large, thick frames can gain more muscle than people with narrow builds and small wrists/ankles.

This relationship between bone structure and muscle-building potential is so strong that some scientists believe that how much bone you have is the limiting factor in natural muscle-building.

But don’t be discouraged! You can still achieve impressive results with the right training and nutrition. Casey Butt, a Ph.D. researcher, has developed formulas to determine the maximum muscle mass you can gain naturally based on the muscle size of the world’s top bodybuilders before anabolic steroids existed.

According to his research, these numbers show that most guys won’t build a 200lb lean and muscular body. The average height for males in the US is 1m75/5’9″. Unless you’re taller, the only way to get to 200lb is to let your body-fat increase…or take anabolic steroids. Working hard won’t make it happen for natural lifters.

It’s essential to have realistic expectations and goals. Be proud if you reach 90% of your muscular potential in a lean condition. That’s an impressive accomplishment that few people can achieve.

Reg Park, a famous bodybuilder and powerlifter, had 18.5″ arms, competed at 214lb, and was 6’1″ tall. He could squat 600lb and bench 500lb. You’re unlikely to do better than him. Really.

Training and nutrition methods have indeed improved, and people gain strength and muscle faster today than in Reg Park’s time. But human genetics haven’t changed – there’s still a limit to how much muscle you can gain naturally, and this still depends mostly on your height and frame size.

While natural bodybuilding competitors rarely weigh over 200lb, they can achieve impressive results with dedication and hard work. Remember, your body type is unique, and your muscle-building potential will depend on various factors.

So, don’t be discouraged if you’re not making the gains you hoped for. Instead, focus on setting realistic goals and developing a workout and nutrition plan that works best for your body type. You can achieve impressive results and build the best possible version of yourself with dedication and hard work.

Conclusion

Building muscle and getting fit requires dedication, hard work, and knowledge. A well-rounded approach that combines proper nutrition, consistent training, and effective supplementation can help individuals achieve their goals.

It is important to understand that everyone’s body is unique, and progress may not always come as quickly or easily as one hopes. However, anyone can significantly improve their health and physique by setting realistic goals, tracking progress, and staying motivated.

It is also important to note that no shortcuts or magic pills exist to build muscle and get fit. While supplements can be helpful, they do not replace proper nutrition and training.

In the end, building a strong and healthy body requires a commitment to a healthy lifestyle and a willingness to put in the effort. With the right approach and mindset, anyone can achieve their fitness goals and lead a more fulfilling life.

For an evidence-based training program that will give you more muscle than you have right now without beating up your joints, check out my FBX program.

Frequently Asked Questions: Building Muscle

Is Training or Diet More Important for Building Muscle?

Training matters most for building muscle because lifting weights stimulates your body to build muscle mass and strengthen. Your body adapts to the stress and adds muscle mass, making it better prepared for the next session.

Nutrition plays a role in muscle building, but you must eat enough calories, hit your protein needs, and drink enough water to support the process.

Can I Build Muscle Without Counting Calories?

You can build muscle if you eat enough calories to grow and lift heavy weights. Counting calories is helpful for skinny individuals looking to gain a lot of muscle mass, but it’s not necessary for everyone.

Can Muscle Turn into Fat?

No. Muscle and fat are separate issues and cannot transform into each other. Eating too much food and not lifting weights can lead to fat gain while stopping lifting weights can cause muscle loss.

Is Building Muscle Easier Than Losing Fat?

Building muscle is harder than losing fat because you must train hard consistently and get stronger. In contrast, you can lose fat easily by eating 500kcal less daily. The body can lose about 4 lbs of fat a month without going to the gym.

Can You Build Muscle While Losing Fat?

Yes, you can build muscle while losing fat, especially if you have excess body fat. For skinny-fat guys new to lifting, it’s better to focus on building muscle first, then losing fat later.

How Can I Build Muscle Without Getting Bulky?

Building muscle mass is not easy. It requires consistent hard work and dedication to see progress. Most guys fail to build muscle, and the ones that do will gain an average of 0.5lb of muscle per week. You won’t look like a bulky bodybuilder unless you take anabolic steroids, which are not recommended.

How Much Protein Do I Need to Build Muscle?

To build muscle, you need 1.8g of protein per kilogram of body weight (0.82g/lb). For instance, if you weigh 70kg/154lb, you need 126g of protein.

How Do I Get Enough Protein to Build Muscle?

Animal food sources are best because they typically contain more protein per serving than plant-based sources. Some examples include red meat, poultry, fish, dairy, eggs, and whey protein.

Should I Eat 30g of Protein per Meal, Max?

No, you can eat as much protein as you want in one meal. The myth that your body can only absorb 30g of protein per meal is untrue. Our ancestors hunted for food and often bulked on protein when hunts were successful, so their bodies could handle large amounts of protein.

Do You Need Supplements to Build Muscle?

No, you don’t need supplements to build muscle. The two critical factors are lifting weights and eating enough to support muscle growth. Supplements only provide a small benefit to your training and diet.

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