10 Tenacious Muscle Building Tips
In my last post, 12 Incredibly Effective Weight Loss Tips, I talked about some easy to implement weight loss strategies.
This time around, it is all about building muscle.
You’ll notice that some of these tips are the exact opposite of certain weight loss ones, and others will contradict what you are used to hearing.
So without further a due, let’s dive into the first tip.
Tip #1 Get More Sleep
This is one of those things that you’ve probably heard a thousand times and now you’re hearing it again. Sleep is a big player in the regulation of your body’s hormones. When you don’t get enough sleep, cortisol and ghrelin levels increase.
Ghrelin is responsible for stimulating hunger, which can cause you to overeat, and cortisol is a stress hormone that suppresses the immune system in order to help protect the body from a dangerous situation. Increased levels of cortisol will cause your body to produce less testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone.
So how much sleep should you get in order to pack on some serious muscle? Many people would say something like 8 hours, but that answer is a little too standardized for me. Some people may need less than 8 hours, while others may need more. The best way to know how much sleep you need is to use your body’s own internal clock.
Your body will wake you up when it has fully repaired and rested itself. This may occur around 8 hours or it may not it really just depends on the person. So if you are still waking up to an alarm clock, this means that you are sleep deprived.
This is because an alarm is waking you up before your body is ready to be woken up. If this is the case for you, I recommend going to bed sooner (before midnight), and I also recommend trying to go to bed at the same time every night. This will get your body on a schedule making it easier for your own internal clock to wake you up.
Tip #2 Drink More Water
The truth is that most people walk around dehydrated all day, and that is terrible for trying to build muscle. Water is important for helping your body absorb the nutrients that you consume. Another importance of water is keeping your joints lubricated.
When you continuously workout in a dehydrated state, your joints will start to hurt over time. As for how much water you should be drinking, I recommend 0.6 ounces for each pound of bodyweight.
This means that a 200-pound man should drink approximately 120 ounces of water per day. It is also important to note that if you’re doing a lot of physical activity, or live in a warmer climate that you should drink more than this recommended amount.
Tip #3 Don’t Go Into Workout in a Fasted State
When you are trying to build muscle, it is important to have some food in your system before you hit the weights. Eating a meal before you workout will fill your muscle cells up with glycogen.
Your body can then use this glycogen as fuel for the upcoming workout. If you workout in the morning, and can’t eat before you workout, don’t fret.
Going into your workout in a fasted state provides some benefits as well. In fact, if you are trying to lose weight, I implore you to go into your workout in a fasted state. You can read more about why this is in my post titled: 12 Incredibly Effective Weight Loss Tips.
Tip #4 Eat a Meal Within 45 Minutes of Working Out
When you go to the gym and workout, you are breaking down your muscle tissue. Your body needs the proper nutrients in order to help rebuild the broken down muscle.
Typically, you want your post workout meal to contain a 2:1 carb to protein ratio. You don’t want the protein content of your meal to be too big because that may inhibit the rate of absorption for the carbohydrates.
Having adequate carbohydrate intake is important because this will help to spike your insulin, which will then allow nutrients to be shuttled directly into your muscle cells. You also don’t have to be obsessive with eating something within 45 minutes of your workout.
If something comes up, causing you to eat an hour and a half later, don’t worry about it. The main thing is that you eat something after your workout when you get the chance to.
Tip #5 Get Stronger
Yes it’s true that getting stronger will lead to an increase in muscle size. This muscle increase will be small, but it will be myofibrillar hypertrophy.
Myofibrillar hypertrophy is responsible for building that dense and defined muscle that looks awesome. You can learn more about the importance of myofibrillar hypertrophy in this post: How Many Reps to Build Muscle or Burn Fat?
Not only that, but how many buff guys do you see in the gym that are weak? The answer is probably not very many. You need to get strong and build a good amount of strength if you want to build an impressive physique.
With that being said, strength isn’t the end all be all. So, don’t get strictly caught up in only caring about strength instead of how you look.
Tip #6 Train with Higher Reps for Lagging Body Parts
Higher reps will create sarcoplasmic hypertrophy. This type of hypertrophy results in a quicker muscle gain size compared to myofibrillar hypertrophy.
This is why if you are struggling to add any quality size to a certain body part, I recommend that you train with higher reps. Still be sure to start your workout with lower reps, then move on to higher reps.
This will ensure that you use the heaviest amount of weight possible during your strength building sets. As an example, if you are training chest, start with an exercise such as the incline dumbbell press for 3 sets of 5 reps.
After you finish completing all 3 sets for that exercise, do some higher rep work. This could be something like an incline dumbbell chest fly for 3 sets of 10-12 reps.
Tip #7 Eat Enough Calories
Notice how I said make sure that you eat enough calories, not eat more. The problem with eating more and more calories is that you will gain some fat if you eat too many calories.
Gaining fat while gaining muscle is counterproductive because you will eventually have to burn off that fat in the future. Not only that, but you will also look terrible while you are bulking up to build that muscle.
Here at Rohmer Fitness, we want to build lean muscle, without any fat. In order to do that, you must eat enough calories to build muscle, but not too much where you gain fat.
The best way to do this is to eat approximately 250 calories over your maintenance level. This will have you gaining roughly half a pound a week, which is the threshold for the amount of muscle that your body can build naturally.
Tip #8 Don’t Obsess Over Protein
There is no doubt that protein is essential for building muscle. However, there is no need to be obsessive with eating crazy amounts of protein every couple of hours.
Your body only needs a certain amount of protein to build muscle, going beyond that point is unnecessary. The amount of protein that you need is actually only .8 grams per pound of body weight. This means that a 180-pound person would need to eat about 144 grams of protein a day in order to build muscle.
Tip #9 Use High Frequency Training for Lagging Muscle Groups
In addition to training with higher reps for lagging body parts, you can also increase the frequency for that lagging body part. This basically means that you will be increasing the overall volume for that body part.
For example, if you normally work out your chest 2 times per week, you will now be working it out 5-7 times per week using this method. The key with this protocol is to use higher reps and light weights to help avoid overuse injury.
In fact, I have created an entire chest specialization program using this method, and you can get it for free by clicking here. This program will help to take out all of the guess work, and it will help you add up to an inch on your chest within the next month.
Tip #10 Take a Digestive Enzyme Supplement
This is the part where I’m supposed to talk about the latest protein powder or creatine supplement, but instead I’m going to tell you about one of the most underrated supplements ever. Don’t get me wrong, creatine and protein powder are good supplements for building muscle, but I wanted to focus on digestive enzymes.
Digestive enzymes are substances that help your body break down and absorb the nutrients from the foods that you consume. This is important because if your body can’t absorb all of vitamins and minerals that you are consuming, then what is the point of eating them in the first place?
Digestive enzymes will allow you to maximize the nutrition in the foods that you eat. If you have some extra money, definitely invest in a high quality digestive enzyme supplement.
Building loads of quality muscle takes years. It’s important to be patient and consistent with your efforts if you really want to pack on some serious size. There will never be a quick, natural way to build muscle, it will always be a slow process. So use these tips, but remember that they won’t work like magic.
If you enjoyed these tips, then click on the picture above to receive a free checklist, plus two additional tips that I didn’t include in this post. Also be sure to leave a comment and share this article with your friends!