Gaining muscle mass is generally a good thing, even for those who, at the moment, may believe that this is not a good idea. First of all, getting lean muscle mass doesn’t mean getting bulky. Just take a look at Alicia Vikander who gained 12lbs of muscle mass for a role in Tomb Raider and still looked toned and feminine.
In fact, being toned and lean-looking is much easier when you have more muscles, seeing as how it boosts your metabolism and helps you burn more calories in resting state. This means that just by having muscles, you’ll have an easier job maintaining healthy body weight. Overall, building lean muscle isn’t that easy and here are some top ingredients to aid you in your fitness efforts.
Why protein matters
The simplest way to describe muscle building process is to say that while you’re working out you’re tearing your muscles so that they can repair to be bigger, better and stronger than they ever were before. Seeing as how this muscle tissue can’t repair out of thin air (especially if it’s supposed to increase in total mass), which is why you need protein as the muscle-building material.
According to some estimates, you need to consume, between 1.2 and 1.7 grams of protein per kilogram of your body weight every day in order to ensure this is so. Naturally, this is in combination with regular exercise.
Work with weights
The next thing you need to understand is the fact that it’s possible to build muscle even with callisthenic exercises, yet, it’s much easier to do so by lifting weights. However, in order to do so the right way around, you need to start by developing basic groups of muscles. For the first three months, it would be smart if you were to focus on exercises like squats, bench press, pull-ups and deadlift, as well as work on your core.
This will ensure that your body is ready for exercises that target specific, smaller, groups of muscles, later on. Also, remember that doing each exercise properly helps you develop your body much more effectively, as well as reduces the risk of injury.
The eating schedule makes all the difference in the world when it comes to your muscle gains. First of all, you need to consume protein with your every meal. The part that a lot of people get all wrong is the belief that they, for some reason, need to focus on protein exclusively.
For healthy nutrition and effective muscle-building, you need to eat carbohydrates and fats as well. If we had to oversimplify this statement, it would be safe to say that you need to eat fats in the morning (so that your body has the time to digest it) carbohydrates 3-4 hours before the training (for the energy) and protein just as you’ve finished training. In fact, it would be ideal if you could use post workout protein in powder form as soon as you finish your training so that the muscle building process can start right away.
Don’t ignore rest
In the first section, we gave a brief rundown of the basic muscle-building process and for those who missed it, muscles need to repair in order to grow. This happens during your rest which is why it’s pivotal that you give your body some time to recuperate.
You need to start from getting enough sleep, seeing as how someone who exercises regularly needs to sleep 8-9 hours every day. If you train twice per day, make sure that at least 6-8 hours pass between these exercises. Showering with hot water after the workout is also known to help facilitate the regeneration within your muscles.
Source of protein
In the first section, we’ve briefly mentioned the fact that you need a certain quantity of protein for your muscles to grow, yet, not all protein is made the same. First of all, there’s this thing called bioavailability of protein, which determines how much of the consumed protein can your body actually use in the muscle-building process.
At the top of the list, you have egg whites, lean chicken breast, tuna and similar nutrients. These are at the very top when it comes to protein obtained through food. The only way to top this is to go for supplements like whey or casein protein powder. The source of protein makes a difference between clean and dirty bulk.
Finally, building lean muscle takes time, yet, how much time depends on how efficiently you can adhere to the five simple suggestions listed above. Sure, additional factors like gender, age and genetics may also play a role here, yet, with enough determination, will and perseverance, you’ll be able to build a physique of your dreams in no time. Other than this, you’ll grow more confident, become stronger and feel better in your own skin. It really doesn’t get any better than that.