People at the gym who don’t want to lose weight normally want to gain muscle. Depending on your body type (ectomorph, endomorph, mesomorph), this can be difficult to do. It’s important to know how to maximize muscle growth, because this will not only help you to get bigger, but also to get leaner. The more muscle you have, the more fat you will be burning at rest. In other words, even if you just want to “get toned”, read this top 3 tips on how to gain muscle to reach your goals.
You won’t be able to build new muscle tissue if you don’t eat enough. Try getting 1.6 to 2.4g/kg/day of protein, every day. Your carb to protein ratio should be between 1:1 and 2:1. As for fats, always go for the full fat products. These healthy fats (saturated animal fats, monounsaturated fats) provide good cholesterol, which support hormone balance and recovery from intense exercise.
There are different tricks to help you eat enough. Here are my favorites:
- Eat something that has protein every 2-4 hours. Always have some food ready.
- Take whey protein post-workout to elevate protein synthesis. If you’re intolerant like me, have essential amino acids.
- Don’t skip breakfast!
- Aim for 6 meals per day
- Drink water: Aim for 37ml/kg of body weight
- On training days, have more carbohydrates. This will promote insulin sensitivity, which will help you build more muscle
Sleep has been called the “athlete’s steroid” because it improves performance by up to 10%. Aim for 8-10 hours per night for best results.
Your body gets better and recovers when you’re outside the gym. It releases growth hormone while you sleep, so if you want to regenerate and get more muscle, sleeping has to be a priority. If you can, take naps in the afternoon to get even better results. Keep those naps to a maximum of 60 minutes so you don’t get groggy though!
- Change up your hypertrophy training
There are different ways to make your muscles get bigger. You can:
- Lift heavy. This will stimulate muscle growth from micro-trauma (high rate of protein degradation), neural factors (better recruitment of motor units), and hormonal factors (more free testosterone).
- High volume training. Muscle fibers not only need to be recruited, but also need to be fatigued to get stimulated. To get the best results, you need to fatigue as many fibers as possible, and heavy lifting won’t allow you to do that. Try doing sets between 8-12 reps and 15-20 reps, with 45-60sec breaks in between sets. Doing supersets, dropsets and double contractions can also be very good to increase volume.
- Constant tension. These are sets done between 40-70 seconds with relatively light weights, with a slow (but not too slow) tempo. The muscle should never be allowed to relax, or you will lose the effect. Basically, no pause between reps will prevent oxygen from entering the muscle, which will increase some hormones responsible for muscle growth. Make sure to keep the muscle flexed the entire time.
At The Physical Training Company, our coaches have all studied and experimented the best techniques and strategies to help you gain muscle in the best and most efficient ways. If this is something you’d be interested in, get in touch now and we can get you started with one of our many services to help you reach your dream body now!