It’s tricky to know how to gain a significant amount of muscle mass, as well as lose some fat. Thankfully, it’s not difficult: the secret lies in precise workouts, planned rest days, and good nutrition.
Here’s our guide to making the changes to help you bulk up.
First, make sure you’re eating enough protein. Meat is your best source; aim for 1 gram per pound of bodyweight. So a 14 stone man will need around 160g of protein every day. In real food terms, this could be a chicken sandwich, 2 eggs, 1 cup of cottage cheese, a handful of cashews and a chicken breast for dinner. For more ideas, here are the ten best muscle building foods.
If you’re an experienced lifter you will get the best results by targeting the biggest muscle groups, such as the quads, chest and back. Squats, deadlifts, bench presses and military presses are all good. Gym machines can also be helpful in focussing the training on particular muscles. Here are 5 of the best gym machines to use.
Studies show that intense weight training increases protein synthesis for up to 48 hours after. This means your body is building muscle after the exercise ends, not during. So give your body the rest it needs to build quality muscle. A monthly pay-as-you-go gym pass is ideal for following this regime.
Enjoy your rest even more by eating plenty of carb-rich food. Research shows that this will raise your insulin level, which, in turn, slows the rate of protein breakdown that occurs after a workout. Good choices are bananas, peanut-butter sandwiches and baked potatoes.
A recent study published in Nutrition & Metabolism suggested that men who ate protein regularly – every 3 hours in this study – increased their muscle-building potential more than those who ate every 6 hours. Here are 14 dishes containing 20g of protein – apparently the ideal amount for each meal.
You will definitely see results if you focus on the larger muscle groups and rest between days too.
I have protein at every meal and snack, which works out at around every 4 hours - 8am, 12pm, 4, 7pm, so I will need to eat around 40g of protein at each meal. Sounds like a lot!
It's surprising how fast you can get results following these steps. Only took me about 6 weeks before you could really see the difference.