Increasing your muscle mass by lifting weights requires careful attention to your diet as well as your weight-lifting plan. You will need more calories as well as more protein. Finally, working in rest periods, stretching at the end of the workout and plenty of water are also key.
Boost Your Training Volume
Working your largest muscle groups for at least two reps with a 30-second break between reps will enable you to do the right amount of damage to the muscle group for optimum growth. When lifting for bulk or growth, you need to create small tears or breaks in the muscle tissue. During your rest periods, your body fills in the tears and your muscles grow. Be as diligent about your rest days as you are about your workout to avoid injury.
Increase Your Protein Intake
You need to start your workout with protein for muscle growth and carbohydrates for energy. A shake or sandwich containing 20 grams of protein and 35 grams of carbs is a great start for your workout. Try to allow 30 minutes between your food or drink and your workout. Protein is the most essential macronutrient for muscle growth. Carbs will give you energy and protect your body from going into starvation mode. If your body feels it doesn’t have the energy to do the tasks you’re pushing it to do, it will draw energy from your existing tissues. Load protein as well as carbs before your workout to help create a high energy, muscle-building workout.
Stretch and Rest
Your lifting program may be targeting muscles that haven’t always gotten a lot of use. To stay healthy and supple, it’s critical that you include stretching and resting into your lifting program. Take a rest day after a hard lifting workout, or at least avoid lifting again for a day. Make sure to stretch all muscle groups you have worked immediately after lifting and drink plenty of water. Incorporate a snack after your workout to provide your body with protein and carbs to help build new muscle tissue and fuel your body.
Gaining muscle means adding pounds to your body. Your food and water intake must go up to effectively feed new muscle growth. If muscle growth is your target, back off of your cardio intensity and focus on exercise that will expand your muscle tissue. Feed your body with the protein and carbs it needs to repair the micro-tears in your muscle tissue.
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