Going to the gym and getting a pump on can be a very rewarding experience, but sometimes, progress comes way too slowly. You want to see quick results, but you’re just not getting the gains that you hoped for. While somebody types may have a slight edge when it comes to looking buff, even skinny guys can bulk up if they understand proper nutrition and exercise.
Here’s a quick rundown of all the things that will make your muscle-building efforts more effective.
Calories and Macronutrients
What are calories, anyway? Basically, a calorie is a unit of energy. You can’t hold a calorie, and calories have no flavor, texture, or appearance. Calories simply measure how much energy is released from a food item when a normal human consumes it.
There are three sources of calories, and these are called macronutrients. The three macronutrients are fat, protein, and carbohydrates. While all macronutrients provide energy by producing calories when burned, they each play a different role in the body. Carbs burn fast and are mostly used to feed your brain, muscles, and organs. Proteins build your muscles and maintain your tissues. Fats help your cells grow and burn slower than carbs. Carbs consist of pastas, sugars, and starchy foods. Meat, nuts, and similar foods are very high in protein. Olive oil, lard, and egg yolks are rich in dietary fat.
While all of these macronutrients matter, protein is the key component in getting ripped! Your ideal protein intake relies on a number of factors, including your current size and weight, activity level, and goal weight. While working out without adequate protein intake can still make you stronger, that is simply a result of increased muscular endurance rather than muscular growth. If you really want your muscles to grow big, you will have to incorporate nuts, beans, meats, and other protein-rich foods into your diet, and you’ll want to track how many grams of protein you consume in a day.
As your individual needs vary, talk to a doctor, fitness instructor, or dietitian to figure out the optimal protein intake for your goals. Note that too much protein can damage your liver and kidneys, so you can’t just go on an all-protein diet. If you want a general ballpark estimate, click on one of a number of protein intake calculators that can be easily found on a search engine landing page.
All that extra protein is useless without consistent strength training. To get the most out of your workout, you need to exercise often, and you also need to do it right. Here are some things to keep in mind when developing your exercise regimen:
If you wait a week or two between workouts, you may as well not go at all. When muscles are not consistently exercised, they adapt to your inactivity by gradually shrinking. Try to go at least three times a week at the very least, and to help you stay in the habit, try to make your workout schedule consistent. It’s much easier to stay in the habit if you have a punctual routine.
Don’t Push too Hard
It’s good to push yourself and test your strength, but going too heavy can lead to severe injury. You may be self-conscious about using low weights, but it’s better to curl 10 pounds and do it right than to curl 50 pounds and have terrible form. Nobody else in the gym cares about how much you’re lifting; they’re paying attention to their own workouts.
Adequate Rest and Recovery
Don’t exercise the same muscle groups every single day. For example, bench day should be every other day or every few days. Working the same muscle every day will hamper your gains and possibly damage your muscles. You can go to the gym every day, but try to split your workouts between days. Monday can be bench day, Tuesday can be the arms and shoulders, Wednesday can be leg day, etc. It doesn’t have to be exactly like that, but you should split it up in a way that allows your muscles to recover. Rest and recovery are vital for proper muscular growth.
Supplements are an awesome way to augment your efforts. For the best pump possible, you should consume protein immediately after exercise. Cooking a meal right after you’ve gone to the gym takes time, but protein shakes, amino acids, and other supplements can be mixed and guzzled down in mere minutes. By getting protein into your system right away, your muscles can repair themselves more quickly, leading to increased gains.
Isn’t the purpose of a diet to lose weight? Well, not always. The term “diet” simply refers to your food intake patterns. Every living thing with access to food has a diet, and if you don’t have a diet, you’ll die of starvation. A diet can be geared towards gaining weight, losing weight, or maintaining weight. Most diets aren’t deliberate or thought out, but in your case, you’ll have to do some planning. Guzzling cola and munching on cheesy poofs all day is a diet, just as much as eating only chicken, rice, and broccoli is a diet. The difference lies in the results. Naturally, the first diet is probably not very healthy. While the second diet may seem healthier, it all depends on how much food is being eaten and how nutritious the foods are.
Diet is the most important factor when it comes to gaining or losing weight. Your body needs the right types of food at the right quantities, so let’s look more into the food, what you should eat, how much you should eat, and general diet tips to help you bulk.
With consistency, patience, proper form, and good nutrition, you’ll be able to build muscle quicker than ever before. If you give it time and do it right, the results will come. In the meantime, enjoy the mental clarity and a sense of accomplishment that working out provides, and be sure to stick with it.