There comes a time in many people’s lives where they are ready for a personal change. For many people, this comes in the form of a physical transformation. They want to get more in touch with their bodies, get healthier, and change their physical appearance.
There’s a reason getting in shape is one of the most popular new year’s resolutions: it’s a life change that has an endless amount of positive benefits. If you’re trying to bulk up this year, you might need a few muscle-building tips, however.
Building lasting muscle isn’t as easy as just heading to the gym and picking up a few weights. It takes a lot of determination, focus, and planning. Need some bodybuilding tips to help you get started down the path towards a better body?
Read on and we’ll walk you through everything that you need to know.
1. Adjust Your Diet
Before we even get into the element of exercise, we’ll need to talk about the area of bodybuilding that the majority of beginners overlook. When it comes to building muscle, what you eat is almost as important as the work that you actually put in.
As such, you’ll need to pay special attention to your diet if you want to succeed in hitting the muscle and weight goals you’ve set for yourself. When we say diet, it’s important to note that we don’t mean it in the cutting-back sense of the word. That’s another common mistake.
No, if you’re attempting to build up muscle, you’ll actually want to eat more than you are likely used to. This might sound counter-intuitive, but it makes a lot of sense if you take the time to understand how your body works (as you should).
Your body makes muscles out of nothing. It needs extra calories to burn while supporting muscle growth. So when you’re getting ready to bulk up, you actually need to overfeed yourself just a little bit.
These extra calories will kick in once you’re in the gym, putting your grind in and turning that extra food into verifiable muscle. The extra food will have you more energized and ready to go.
Eating less will actually limit the ability of your body to produce muscle. Many people decide to build muscle in an effort to lose fat. However, if you’re simply cutting down on how much you eat, your body will enter conservation mode.
You won’t have the energy or calories you need to produce the muscle you desire.
What Should You Be Eating?
Of course, just because you’re eating more doesn’t mean you should be eating anything. Eating a bunch of ice cream and french fries isn’t going to do much good for you once you’re at the gym.
Instead, you’ll want to use protein-heavy foods and grains to pad out your diet. Good sources of protein include chicken, eggs, fish, nuts, and beans. Protein can also be found in some vegetables, but you’ll want to do some research there.
How much protein you’ll want to ingest will be up to your particular size, weight, and fitness goals. However, aiming for 1 gram of protein per pound of weight isn’t a bad place to start.
Supplement that with lots of fruits and vegetables to keep your energy levels up without weighing your body down with sugar and fat.
You can also look into SARMS for sale if you’re looking to increase your muscle fast. These can be taken with your meals for an ideal pre-workout prep.
2. Embrace Free Weights
If you’re not exactly a gym rat, heading to the free weight section might make you a little nervous. There’s a lot of big, bulky guys there and not a whole lot of personal instruction.
It might feel a lot safer to head over to the machines and be guided through your workout in this method. However, these machines will not help you to build the muscle mass you want as efficiently as the free weights will.
Put it this way: those big guys are over there for a reason.
What advantages exist for free weights? They help you to develop proper form which will be key to building muscle over the months that pass by. They also provide a wide range of motion that you won’t be able to find in the more limited functionality of the machines.
As you start with your free weights, you’ll want to stick with basic movements. Don’t feel the need to get too complicated out of the gate.
Basic exercises such as deadlifts, squats, curls, and bench presses will be more than enough to help build up your muscle mass. A combination of these simple exercises can attack nearly all your major muscle groups.
That means you’ll be well on your way to your fitness goals.
Pick a Routine and Stick With It
Building muscle is really all about repetition. If you want to be successful and reach your fitness goals, it’s important to develop a sense of routine. Not only will this be important for pushing your muscles to their limit, but it will also help you stick to your exercise.
A routine is helpful mentally to help ensure you show up each day and do what you need to do. Failure to establish a routine may result in you falling out of touch with your goals altogether.
If you don’t have the ability to come up with a routine on your own, it isn’t too hard to find a number of fantastic ones online. You can also speak to a personal trainer or even other friends about routines that might work out.
When you show up to the gym each day, you should know exactly what exercises you’re going to do. Repetition this way is the only way to build up true muscle mass.
This will also help you to become an expert in these simple moves. You’ll begin to feel more confident and this can add energy to your workout. You’ll also lessen the chance of injuring yourself during the workout.
3. Don’t Train Every Day
You’re excited about building muscle and transforming your body. That’s a great thing! That energy will help push you through your routine for many weeks to come. However, you don’t want to push yourself too far.
A smart weekly workout routine will not have you lifting weights at the gym each and every day. While hitting it hard every single day might seem like a smart way to speed up the process, it can actually do more damage than help.
If you hit the gym every single day, you’re very likely to strain your muscles. This can lead to injuries, some more serious than others. No matter what, an injury will likely keep you away from the gym for weeks, tarnishing all that progress that you had made.
So: don’t go to the gym every day. How often should you go? For a beginner, it’s a good idea to go either three or four times a week. That should be enough to help build muscle while still giving your body some time to relax.
Your muscles need some time to recover from the serious strain that you’re putting on them. Take that extra time to eat healthily and put some energy into other areas of your life. You’ve earned it!
4. Gradually Increase Weight
If things are going well, a few weeks into your new routine you should find that you have, actually, begun to develop some muscles. Congratulations!
This is a big milestone. You deserve to throw back a protein smoothie and celebrate. Of course, to keep this progress going, you’ll need to make some adjustments to your workout regime.
As you get stronger, you can’t be expected to keep lifting the exact same weight totals all of the time. These weight totals will no longer challenge you in the way you once did (and that will be pretty cool to experience as well).
Once you’ve got your form down and things are moving as they should, you should increase the amount of weight you’re taking on. A good rule of thumb is to increase your weight limits once every two weeks or so.
This will push you to keep at your limits, expanding your muscles and never letting yourself get too comfortable. If you keep at the same weight without making these changes, you’ll get complacent. So will your muscles, and you’ll see additional growth that you’re aiming for become hard to achieve.
5. Avoid Other Vices
We already mentioned that you’re going to want to stay away from the fast-food drive-thru line when you’re trying to bulk up. We hate to break it to you, but that’s not the only place you’re going to want to stay away from.
You’re going to need to get into the true mindset of an athlete when starting to bulk up. That means avoiding all sorts of things that can do undue damage to your body. Like what? Drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes, for starters.
While a night out on the town (or a full weekend out on the town) might sound like a good time, it’s going to make it much harder for you to hit your fitness goals.
A drink every now and again isn’t going to kill your regiment. After all, you deserve to have a little fun. But if you’re in the serious habit of any of these vices, it will be time to kick them to the curb.
This will help create an overall healthier lifestyle that will contribute to the work you’re putting in at the gym.
6. Get Plenty of Rest
We already spoke a little about not overstressing yourself at the gym. Don’t go every day and don’t put too much pressure on your muscles. If you can take a few days off each week, your muscles will recover and you can put them back to work with full energy another day.
Of course, you’ll want to prioritize rest of all sorts. Rest is optimal for all aspects of our health and failure to get the rest we need can make it difficult for our bodies to function properly.
How much sleep should you be getting each night? Most medical professionals would recommend somewhere between 7 and 9 hours. This sleep can be literally restorative.
As you sleep, muscle fibers that have been damaged during your workout will repair themselves. They will knit back together in a tighter formation. This tighter formation is what contributes to your muscle strength.
Cutting the amount of time you spend under the covers short? Then you’ll also be cutting short the time your muscles have to grow. You don’t want that, do you? Get into bed and consider that an important part of your workout as well.
7. Don’t Forget to Stretch
Many people think that once they have a little bit of muscle going, they no longer need to take the time to stretch. However, this is just not true.
Stretching helps the body prepare a wider range of motion. The more you stretch, the more efficient the workout you’re about to do can really be.
Taking the time to even do a brief five minutes of stretching before working out can make a world of difference. It will also help to loosen your body up, kick you awake, and prevent serious injuries from occurring.
As we mentioned before, even a simple injury can slow you down for many weeks. It’s important to do anything you can to avoid this fate.
Muscle-Building Tips and Tricks
If you’re looking to make a major change in your life this year, you might need to familiarize yourself with a few bodybuilding fundamentals. While it’s exciting to try and bulk up, it can be a lot of work as well.
Embracing the above muscle-building tips and tricks can help ensure that you’re getting the very best out of your workout experience.
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