The 3 pillars of building muscle
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To build muscle there are a few fundamentals that you need to follow and focus on.
However, before you start the process, you have to keep in mind that, in order to be successful with your muscle building goal, you will need to be consistent and take a long term approach to growing.
Apart from consistency and patience, in today’s article we share with you some key principles to help you to build muscle tissue.
The first area to focus on is your NUTRITION
Here are three nutrition tips to consider:
1. Eat more protein
Protein is a key building block to help you build lean muscle tissue - but are you eating the right amount? There are many different viewpoints out there about the quantity you should eat each day. A good starting point is 1.5 grams per kilogram of body weight for muscle gain.
2. Include essential fats in your diet
Not only do healthy fats support your immune system (essential for muscle building), lower inflammation and help deliver vital nutrients around the body, but foods like avocado, oily fish, nuts and oils provide a nice 9 calories per gram. If you’re trying to add calories to your diet, you’re missing a trick if you’re not eating your fats. Fats should form around 20% of your daily calorie requirements.
3. Consume enough calories
As a guide, if you are training 4 times per week, aim for 18 – 20 calories per pound of lean body mass. So for a 200lb male, at 12% body fat, we would recommend 3168 – 3520 calories per day. If you’re nowhere near the calorie requirements you need to gain mass, don’t complain when you don’t see the results. Time to make eating a priority!
The process of gaining muscle mass isn’t as simple as just working out calorie requirements and loading up on large quantities of food
To help you gain muscle mass you have to optimize your TRAINING sessions:
1. Spend your time wisely when working out
You really shouldn't be wasting time and spending more than 1 hour of actual workout time. To ensure your training sessions are productive, prepare your workout ahead of time. That means you can get started, train hard, and then get on with your day
2. Time under tension
An area where we see so many people going wrong, is their inability to lift weight slower and for longer. This is important to make sure that the timeframe being used is one which supports muscle hypertrophy. For this to happen effectively, you must make your set last a minimum of 40 - 70 seconds. 12 reps lifted very quickly could take between 15 and 25 seconds. You get a completely different result if you try the same 12 reps with a 4 seconds lowering tempo, 1 seconds pause at the bottom position, 1 second on the way up and then repeat the lowering phase.
3. Mind muscle connection
To grow a muscle, you must learn to contract it. The best way to do this is to learn how to connect your mind with the muscle you're training. So the next time you're training, slow down your reps, focus on the muscles you're training and reap the muscle building rewards!
And finally, an area often underestimated when it comes to building muscle is REST AND RECOVERY. This factor, for many, is sometimes the hardest to achieve but it plays an important role in the muscle building process.
Ensuring that you recover properly after your training sessions allows the body to replenish energy stores and repair damaged tissues. Remember that during resistance training, muscle fibres actually get damaged (little micro tears) and only afterwards, when we rest, does the body start to repair these little tears in the muscle and create muscle growth. Adequate recovery also increases your energy levels and prevents fatigue, allowing you to train on a consistent basis.
That is why recovery is just as important in building muscle, as what you eat and how you train
Some recovery techniques that you should consider including as part of your muscle building programming are mobility work, stretching and massage.
Sleep quality should be of particular focus when muscle building as it’s one of your most powerful restorative tools. A lack of it will have an impact, not only on your composition via increased inflammation, but also on your mindset, energy and decision making.
A lack of sleep can increase your cortisol levels (the stress hormone) and high levels of the stress hormone could potentially impact your testosterone level. If you don’t know this by now, you need testosterone to grow! So make sure you focus on getting at least 7 - 8 hours of good quality sleep per night.
Rest, recover, sleep AND as mentioned at the start, remember that it will take time, so be PATIENT.
Do you feel you need more guidance on getting the most out of your training sessions in order to gain muscle mass?
Why not get in touch about our online coaching service by applying HERE for a FREE ONLINE CONSULTATION with one of the M10 team.