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