A Beginner’s Guide to Packing on Muscle

How do I build muscle?!

muscles blogGreat question, and if you are looking to do this then you have come to the right place! In this post I am going to outline the main points you need to follow to gain lean muscle. The principle of building muscle is not a complicated one, as you will find out it is actually fairly simple. However, it takes dedication, motivation and a whole lot of sweat!

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So let’s go through the basics…

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Resistance Training
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As you might have guessed… to build muscle you need to train them using weights. When you stimulate your muscles via weight training it breaks down the muscle fibres by tearing them. Once you have done this they will then repair themselves and will grow to be bigger and stronger (this requires adequate nutrition principles which I’ll go through later)
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If you are just starting out on your muscle building journey then you will notice strength and size gains fairly quickly as your body is not used to this stimulus and will be shocked into a reaction. However, if you have been weight training for a while you will need to use different techniques to stimulate a reaction from your body. Techniques such as:
  • Progressive Overloadmuscle blog 1
  • Dropsets
  • Super/Giant sets
I’ll go through these at a later date

Nutrition
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Ever heard the saying “70% diet and 30% training”? Well the figures might no be exactly right but the principle is. The hour or so gym session is very important but means nothing if what you are feeding your body in the other 23 hours of the day is absolute garbage.
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Our bodies are very sophisticated machines that require the right fuels to work at optimum performance, so we need to put the right foods in to get the results that we want (yes, that means eating your veggies!)
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To build muscle you need to be in a calorie surplus – putting more calories in to your body than you are expending through exercise and daily activity. Not only do you need to do this but you need to look at the macro split you are achieving this surplus with. Your 3 macros are:
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  • Proteinmuscle blog 2
  • Fats
  • Carbs
These 3 make up your whole food intake. So when building muscle you need to take in adequate Protein as this is what will help your muscles to repair after you have broken them down. You should be looking at taking in 1g of Protein per lb of bodyweight. So if you weigh 200lbs then that equates to 200g of Protein per day.
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Once you have done this, you need to make up the rest of your calories from Carbs and Fats. To workout how may calories you need per day is going to be down to trial and error. For males start by consuming around 3000 calories daily and females 2500. If after 2 to 3 weeks you aren’t seeing any gains then add in another 250 calories and repeat as necessary.
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For more on Nutrition check out my post Nutrition: The Key Guidelines 

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Rest and Recovery
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The old saying of less is more definitely applies here. It is vital that you allow your body enough time to recover. This means taking enough rest days to do this. Personally, I try not to weight train more than 3 days in a row before having a day off but it is completely down to your schedule and when you can fit it in.
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muscle blog 3Most important is sleep, and getting enough of it. When we sleep our bodies are recovering and regenerating so sleep will be your friend when it comes to muscle building. Aim for at
least 7 hours per night (8 or 9 if possible).

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I hope this helps you on you journey to packing on muscle, keeping it simple really does help and not overcomplicating the process. Hit the gym, eat well and sleep… that’s what it takes!
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Please let me know how you’re getting on with your training and if you have any questions then feel free to get in touch. Don’t forget to subscribe to get alerts when new posts go live.
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Happy lifting!
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