1. Eat more calories: Although eating more is needed to repair muscle damaged through training, make sure it’s not all junk. Think about proteins, slow release carbs like pasta and rice, and as much fruit and veg as you like. You need to be adding about 300-500 calories a day over and above what you’d eat normally to function in every day – and spread that over six meals a day.
2. Don’t overload the training: There comes a point where lifting weights just becomes counter-productive. A 45 minute session should be plenty, anymore and your body starts producing hormones like cortisol which inhibit muscle gain. Keep the workouts shorter, but make them count.
3. Rest: It may come as a bit of shock, but resting is super-important for muscle growth. When you pump iron you damage muscle fibres and they need time to rebuild themselves stronger. So remember to rest for muscle gain.
4. Supplements: Food supplements such as whey protein are commonly used in bulking out, mainly because it is a more cost effective way of consuming protein. Other supplements including ZMA and creatine are also used by some bodybuilders, although there are contradicting studies as to whether they are effective.
5. Get stronger: Sounds obvious, but the only real way to build muscle is to build strength, and that means lifting heavier weights over time. With regular quality training, and a lot of patience you’ll see results – but remember that building muscle mass does not happen overnight and should be taken slowly.
is ti just me or does 45 minutes strength training sound like a lot to do? I always thought my 20 minute sessions were enough. Or maybe that's because I prefer cardio so am keen to get onto that.
I've actually just started getting interested in how to get a bit more muscle definition to my abs (no washboard stomach yet!) so this is very helpful.
There's some formula to only eating so many calories per pound of body fat to get the optimal muscle gain - and making sure you eat the right things of course!
I knew you had to eat more protein, but I didn't realise the amount of calories you should increase each day from just any food. A great reason to lift more!
I'm wary of supplements, but I know those who are serious about bodybuilding see it as a cheaper way to bulk out.
Interesting about the limit on training. I guess you can overdo it sometimes
I've never been very keen on the idea of supplem,ents. But I guess if you're a man the pressure is on more to look muscular. Personally, I think you should just eat more natural protein.