When it comes to building muscles, the combination of eating the right food, engaging in appropriate exercises and recovering in between these sessions just may be the reason why some men find it hard to bulk. In the search for building bigger muscles, it often leads some men into finding shortcuts by using unnatural methods which can affect their overall health. Adding mass naturally is a slow and gradual process. If you are consistent, you will surely get the results you desire. However, for those seeking a quick fix, many will become frustrated for lack of progress.
Eat to Bulk:
Eat foods with the right mass building equation. The normal body’s building ratio is 10-35% proteins, 45-55% of carbohydrates, and 20-30% fats according to the USDA. This is typically okay for normal weight men; however, this ratio is not suitable for men who want to increase their muscle mass. There aren’t enough calories to increase weight here; this percentage is just sufficient to maintain your current weight.
Fat contains 9 calories per gram as compared to protein and carbohydrates which have 4 calories per gram each. For men who wish to enhance their muscle, consume lots of carbs stemming from whole grains, vegetables, and fruits. About 3/4 of your meals consumed should contain carbs to provide you with the energy needed to push harder in your workouts. About 1/4 of your meal should contain protein to help build muscle. The remainder of your plate should contain fats… I mean healthy fats y’all. You will need plenty of fat storage in order for the body to build muscle. Consuming a fixed percentage based on your body weight may not be accurate for everyone because every “body” does not utilize protein or carbs in the same manner. Aim for whole wheat pasta, brown rice and potatoes in your meals.
Do not be confused by the dogma of “dirty bulking”. For those people who are not familiar with this term, it simply means eating everything in sight. This is an unhealthy way of eating since it does not adhere to the nutrition guidelines. However, it is evident that if you want to increase mass, increasing your caloric intake is key — altogether the appetite must be incorporated with various exercises to yield satisfactory results.
Going to the gym every day to lift weights for the sake of it won’t get you anywhere. Scrutinized and progressive training are both important necessities towards productive strength training and muscle building. Some guys can train more often than others, but for an average person with a busy and stressful day, it’s good to set aside 20 to 30 minutes of your time two to three days every week to workout.
Strenuous weight lifting can be taxing on the body, but when you warm up with back squats, bench press or cardiovascular exercises like the stationary bike, a short elliptical workout or a quick walk on the treadmill, your muscles relax. These exercises also increase heart’s ability to pump blood while increasing oxygen intake into the cells.
When you get to the main course, start by lifting lighter weights and progress gradually each week. To achieve bulkiness, remember that you must lift heavier weights, train the muscles from different angles, focus on an eccentric portion of the lift and stretch your muscles while they are still activated.
When an aerobic program is added on top of a muscle growth program, there is an interference effect since cardio workouts burn fat and cuts calories. Restrict the amount of cardio performed to save the calories and fat needed for muscle growth. You should not completely eliminate aerobic workouts altogether. These workouts can help control or limit the amount of body fat gained during the bulking phase. The key is cutting your cardio sessions to around 20- 30 minutes post-workout. High-intensity interval training is another great option. Research has shown that HIIT cardio preserves muscle better than steady-state. Or you can choose to perform cardio on ‘no-weight’ training days.
Rest and Relax:
Getting 7 to 9 hours of quality sleep are essential as you keep stress and anxiety at bay. Real progress lies on your recovery. Always allow a 48-hour window or more for your muscles to recover while the body gets time to produce testosterone, repair the worn out muscles and pack on the few pounds you have acquired. During the day, you can take around ten minutes to stretch your muscles to prevent them from becoming stiff or sore.
It is sad to see that many men give up before they really begin. Muscle building is a game of perseverance. Remember that slow and steady wins the race!
Be on the lookout for our future article, “Does Genetics Really Play a Part in Growing Muscles?” Stay tuned!