Like most things in life, if you want to gain muscle, you have to work hard to reach your goals. There is no shortcut to muscle gain, no matter what anyone else tells you. Sure, you can take steroids and bulk up that way, but not only is it unnatural, illegal, and unhealthy, it is just plain cheating.
Wouldn’t you be a whole lot prouder to know that you achieved your goals through hard work, and that you did it without the help of steroids? Gaining muscle is a two-step process. If you want to know how you can naturally gain muscle, read on to learn more.
This may sound strange, considering the fact that you want to bulk up and not get smaller. But, before you can gain muscle, you need to lose fat. You want the food you eat to be turned into energy, not fat, and in order to do this, you need to get yourself down to a healthy weight, and even if you are considering steroid use, it is not going to help you get rid of the fat.
When you have lower levels of body fat, you have lower testosterone levels, as well as decreased sensitivity to insulin. But, if you lower the percentage of body fat, you can increase your testosterone, which is going to help you to build more muscle mass.
There is a scientific process involved with both testosterone and insulin in regard to gaining muscle. Both can provide better rates of protein synthesis in the muscles, which means that more muscles are going to be built. Once you start to lose fat and become leaner, your body will be much better at creating more muscle. In fact, for each pound that you gain after slimming down, it will be more muscle rather than fat.
Another reason to slim down is so that you will look better. Obviously, that is one of the main reasons why you want to gain muscle in the first place. But, even before you start gaining muscle, losing weight is going to help you look healthier.
Studies show that the better a person looks, the better they feel about themselves, and that they are going to work harder so they can look even better. So, instead of waiting for several months to get more muscle, you will look trim and lean, which is a whole lot better than looking fat.
You will lose weight a lot faster than you will build muscle, just because of the way that our bodies work. It is pretty much impossible to naturally gain more than a half a pound of muscle weight per week, but it is quite easy to lose a pound or more each week without losing any muscle tone. It is recommended that the average person should have about 12-15 percent body fat.
This is enough to make you look healthy, without putting you at risk of not getting enough to eat. There is no need to go below 10 percent body fat. In fact, this can be extremely difficult, and unless you are planning on becoming a professional competitive body builder, it isn’t the least bit necessary.
Too many people are under the mistaken believe that skinny is healthy. When you come right down to it, if you don’t have enough body fat, you could be doing a lot of damage to your health, including reducing hormone levels and damaging the immune system. We do need to have some fat in order to be healthy.
Bulk up slowly
There is no fast way to bulk up in a healthy manner. Sure, those who take steroids can see a muscle growth of one to two pounds a week or more, but this is neither healthy nor natural. You really do need to be careful when you start to bulk back up, in order to make sure that you do it in a way that is not going to harm your body.
Did you know that if you try to gain muscle too quickly that it can lead to gaining more fat? By trying to rush the process, you are ultimately going to end up doing yourself more harm than good, and defeat the purpose of your efforts.
The human body can only synthesize approximately one half of a pound of a muscle weekly, and that is only in the early stages when you are new to the world of weight lifting. If you gain any more weight than a half a pound, you can be sure that it is going to be fat and not muscle. Over time, with proper training, you will build muscle rather than fat. But, as we have already mentioned, it all takes time.
This is why so many people resort to steroid use. They can eat and eat and eat, and eat some more, and the majority of weight that they gain will be muscle and not fat. But, this is not the case for those who prefer to gain muscle naturally. So, remember, if you really want to do it the old-fashioned way, you need to do it slowly, especially in the beginning.
As previously noted, the ultimate goal is to gain about one-half pound per week, which is approximately two pounds each month. This is going to be the optimal gain for muscle growth, and to ensure that you don’t end up packing on the pounds in the form of fat.
When you have a low body fat percentage, and you combine this with a good weight training routine, you can be sure that you are going to get the muscles you want, without getting fat. This is the absolute best option for natural lifters, because you get to stay lean while still bulking up.
Your training should be optimized for muscle gain, and there are certain types of training routines that are going to work better than others to help you achieve your goals. There are three things that you need to consider when creating your personal training program:
In order to gain muscle mass without gaining fat, it is important to focus on compound movements instead of isolation movements. Concentrate on things like curls, abs, leg curls, triceps extensions, etc. to help you achieve more muscle growth.
Your body needs to want to build more muscle, and you have to make it want this. The best way to do this is to work out consistently, but slowly, increasing the weight you lift a little bit at a time, and to use what is known as progressive overload.
Don’t overdo it
If you are new to weight lifting, it is extremely important to not overdo things. If you work out too hard, you are actually doing to more damage to your body than good. When it is this early in the game, you don’t need intense workouts in order to grow. It is recommended that in the begging you should work out no more than three days each week. Once you begin to bulk up, you can increase it to four workouts per week.
How to build muscle naturally, and quickly without using steroids
If you have patience, you can build muscle naturally, and it isn’t going to take forever. You don’t really need to use steroids, and if you are, you could be doing yourself a lot of harm in the long run. The best way to start building muscle naturally is to follow these steps:
- Lose fat and achieve a 12-15 body fat percentage, which will make you look better and help to increase testosterone levels
- Start gaining about two pounds per month. Any more than that will result in gaining fat rather than muscle
- Don’t work out too much, and follow a routine that is progressive overload-based
By following this particular system, you will be able to bulk up and become stronger, while still staying lean and looking terrific.
Tips for quickly building muscle
Everyone is different, and everyone’s bodies react differently to workouts. Not everyone can build muscle at the same rate. For some, it may only take a few months. For others, it could take several years to achieve their body-building goals.
Then there are others who just don’t have any idea where to start or what to do. They only know that they are not happy with the way that they look, and they want to do something about it. No matter what group you are in, it never hurts to get some advice about working out to gain muscle naturally. Here are some tips that are going to help you to do just that.
Do lifting exercises
In order for muscles to grow, they need to tear and heal, which means that you have to do actions that they aren’t used to. This is why lifting exercises are so important, unless of course you already do a lot of heavy lifting on a regular basis.
Do exercises with barbells, dumbbells and various lifting machines to really help build those muscles. It is important to use the absolute heaviest weights you are able to use in order to get the most benefit. If it is too easy, your muscles aren’t going to be working much, so they aren’t going to grow.
Do multi-joint exercises
You are going to benefit a lot more from multi-joint exercises than you will with single joint movements, as they do not build muscle as fast. Doing such exercises as squats, deadlifts, and bench pressing is going to work larger muscle areas, and do it faster than if you were doing single joint exercises. You can also use more weight with multi-joint exercises, which as we mentioned in the above tip, is necessary in order to be able to gain more muscle mass.
Use heavy weights
A lot of people make the mistake of not using enough weight when they are trying to build muscle. You should be using a weight that is going to thoroughly exhaust your muscles by the end of every set, doing sets of 10-12 repetitions, with three to eight sets for each exercise.
It is a good idea to work out with a partner, because you will end up with muscle failure at the end of every set, and it is good to have someone to help them when the weights are too heavy. It is always a good idea to have a spotter anyway when you are working out with heavy weights. If you don’t have someone to work out with, stop when you feel too tired to lift, wait for a few seconds, and then complete the set.
Don’t do cardio
Cardio is great if you are trying to lose weight, but it is not ideal for anyone who wants to build more muscle mass. When you do cardio exercises, you are burning calories. Your body actually needs those calories to create more muscle. It is best to keep it to a bare minimum, such as about five minutes of cardio as a warmup. The rest of your workout should revolve around weight training, and only weight training.
Eat more than normal
In order to gain a pound of muscle, you need to increase your weekly caloric intake to at least 3,500 calories. Ideally, you should be gaining about a pound or two of muscle each week, so you should increase your daily caloric intake by 500 to 1,000 to reach the ideal for building muscle mass. But, you can’t just go out and eat everything you see.
You need to be eating certain types of foods, particularly those that are high in protein and complex carbohydrates. Add such foods as lean beef, fish, poultry, dairy products, coconut milk, avocados, etc. for more protein. Sweet potatoes are delicious, and are a good source of complex carbohydrates.
Use dietary supplements
It may be that you are not able to get all of the nutrients you need from your diet. In this case, it is important to use a combination of dietary supplements to get those important nutrients, particularly protein. It is also a good idea to use a supplement that will help your body to better absorb protein so it goes straight to the muscles, such as MassZymes 2.0. This is going to allow you to get the protein your body needs without having to eat yourself out of house and home.
Get plenty of rest
Muscles grow when they are resting following being traumatized from working out. In order to build muscle mass quickly, you will need to fully exhaust each muscle group that you are working on, and then those muscles need to rest for at least 24 to 36 hours, but ideally, it is best to wait 72 hours to get the most benefits after a training session.
For instance, if your muscles are aching after a workout, do not work those muscles again until you are no longer feeling pain in them. This is why it is recommended that you work a different muscle group each time, so you can keep working out a few times a week. A sample workout schedule could be shoulders and chest on Mondays and Thursdays, legs on Tuesdays and Fridays, and back, abs, and arms on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
Use proper recovery methods
While you are resting various muscle groups, you can take other steps to help them to recover and grow. During the 72 hours that those muscles are resting, use ice (ice baths, cold showers, ice packs, etc.), wear compression clothing, enjoy a massage, try foam rolling, and of course, keep on doing stretching and breathing exercises.
It goes without saying that you also need to get plenty of sleep. Most experts recommend that everyone needs to get at least seven hours of quality sleep each night.
Watch your stress levels
When you are under a lot of stress, it can wreak havoc on your testosterone levels. Your muscles need that testosterone in order to be able to grow. If you find yourself becoming stressed out over anything, look for ways to relax and de-stress. Try some breathing exercises or meditation.
Yoga is also great, and you can also use power yoga to help build muscles. Don’t let the little things get to you, and if they do start to build up and stress you out, use whatever relaxation techniques work for you.
Gaining muscle isn’t something that happens overnight. You really do have to work at it, and the older you get, the harder you have to work. If you are over the age of 30, you are going to experience hormonal deficiencies that are going to affect how quickly you gain muscle mass.
If you are finding that your workouts aren’t getting you to where you want to be, and you are over 30, it is a good idea to visit your doctor to have your hormone levels tested. Once you find out if there is an imbalance or deficiency, you can take steps to correct the problem.