Muscle Building Made Simple.
Ready to get serious about your muscle building?
Want to start getting bigger muscles but you don’t know where to start with your muscle building? In this powerful and comprehensive guide you will learn the 5 essential pillars of muscle building.
Look, muscle building doesn’t need to be overly complicated.
It can be easy to get lost in all of the information that is out there. But the reality is that muscle building comes down to a very fundamental set of basics.
Once you understand them, and once you are able get rid of all the noise and clutter and simply focus on the things that work, than you’re muscle building will know no bounds.
1. Get Wet! Proper Hydration for Muscle Building.
Correct water consumption is imperative not only for muscle building, but also for our overall health.
A quick and easy way to determine how much water you should be drinking per day is to multiply your body weight by 0.6. The result is the number of fluid ounces of water you should be drinking per day. For a 200 pound person, for instance, they should be consuming 120 ounces. (That is about 3.5 litres.)
This might sound like a lot, but it is surprisingly easy to accomplish this by having a water bottle on your person throughout the day. I have a two-litre jug that I have with me at home, and a 1 litre water bottle when I go to the gym. It’s the first thing I drink in the morning and it’s usually the last thing that goes into my mouth at night.
Just how vital is adequate hydration? Even being slightly dehydrated can significantly decrease muscle power. Research has shown that just dropping several percentage points in your body’s water levels can mean a 15-20% net loss in muscle contractions.
Staying hydrated is also wildly important for building muscle because water is what couriers the vital nutrients in your body to your muscles. Not only that, but consider that over of your body, 80% of your brain, and 70% of muscle tissue is comprised of water.
2. YumYums! How to Manage Your Diet for Optimal Muscle Building.
To get your muscle building on track you need to ensure that you are consuming more calories than you burning. As you will more fully understand later in this article, muscle building doesn’t necessarily take place in the gym. That is where the work happens, but the results occur away from the gym. This is where your body takes the stuff you have put into it (for better or worse) to begin repairing the muscles that you have so carefully smashed at the gym.
The problem is most people look at the work they do at the gym and expect to see the results they want. This is wishful thinking. You need to be just as meticulous with what you are putting into your mouth as what you are lifting.
High performance muscle building necessitates that you consume between 18-20 times your body weight in calories per day. For a 200 pound individual they would need to be consuming between 3,400 and 4,000 calories.
Don’t underestimate the effects of proper diet. In fact, this is easily the most important part of your muscle building plan. Most rookies or novices get too caught up in supplements (more on that later) and lifting their hearts out that they neglect what makes up up to 80% of your muscle building — what you put in your mouth!
So now that you hopefully understand that you are going to have to calorie consumption will have to exceed your calorie expenditure, let’s discuss what type of calories you should be ingesting.
Just because you have to eat more than you spend doesn’t mean you get to eat whatever you want. Just like a formula one race car, you can’t simply put any kind of fuel into it and expect it to perform. Similarly for you, there are certain types of high-octane fuel that will have you performing and feeling at your best.
Obviously you want to be building muscle while gaining a minimum amount of fat. There are two main types of food that you will be focusing on for muscle building:
Protein: The amino acids in protein are the building blocks of protein. How much protein should you be consuming? 1-2 grams per pound of your body weight. So for a 200 pound person, you will want to land somewhere between 200-400 grams of protein per day. Sounds like a lot, but it is easily manageable when you space it out over the course of the day.
Foods that are high in protein include:
- Fish (tuna, anchovies, salmon)
- Nuts and Seeds
Complex Carbohydrates: If protein contains the building blocks for our muscles, complex carbohydrates are the fuel that they use to run on. Perhaps you have heard that carbohydrates are bad for you, but the reality is that simple carbohydrates (abundant in most processed food) are the only ones you should avoid. Complex carbohydrates (so named because their chains of sugar molecules take much longer to break down compared to simple carbs) provide you with long lasting energy.
Foods that are high in complex carbohydrates include:
- Starchy vegetables
- Whole grain break
Eating an abundunce of complex carbs in the morning is particularly beneficial as it will give you an even amount of energy over the course of your day compared to simple carbs which will give you a sudden burst of energy followed by a crash.
3.Prepare to Work Hard, and then Rest.
Like anything worthwhile achieving, building exceptional muscles will take exceptional effort! Simply going to the gym and “phoning it in” will get you some net muscular benefits, but if you want to experience true muscle gains you need to be willing to work your butt off.
Why do muscles grow? Our body views intense weightlifting as a threat and responds like any awesome system would — it responds buying defending itself. It does this by building bigger muscles to deal with this perceived ‘threat.’
To get to the stage where your muscles feel it necessary to get bigger, you need to get to the point of fail in your sets. You want to achieve:
Concentric Muscular Failure: When you cannot perform another repetition with correct form despite your best efforts.
To truly see awesome muscle gains you must be willing to safely take your body to the limits. Working out until you are tired, or until you ‘feel like it’ won’t get you those shirt-ripping muscles you want. You need to accustom yourself to working to the point of failure.
As you get stronger from week to week, it is imperative to not rest on your prior successes. You want to make continous gains at the gym, and this means that you are progressing either your weight or number of repetitions. Staying static in your lifting weights and reps will freeze your progress. Give your body a reason to continue to get stronger (and bigger!).
Conversely, when you are not in the gym, you need to be doing everything you can to rest and recover your muscles.
It’s easy to fall for the misconception that you need to be working out 24/7 in order to build muscles fast.
The reality is that muscles do not grow while you are in the gym. Sure, you get that nice little pump after lifting for a little bit, but that always disappears after an hour or so. Muscle growth is actually muscle repair. Allow your muscles to recover so that you can give a complete, 100% effort at your next session.
4. Don’t Fall for the Supplement Hype.
Building muscle is a difficult process. Don’t let the supplement industry fool you into believing otherwise. There is no magic pill, no silver bullet that will give you massive muscles overnight. Building muscle is a process, not a silver bullet.
Simply having the correct diet and training in place, adequate rest, and staying hydrated is enough to get you awesome muscles. Supplements might help a little bit, but without those basics covered you might as well forget it.
That being said, supplements can play a role. As long as you don’t rely on them. After all, they are named ‘supplements’ for a reason. The supplements that have always worked for me include:
- Whey protein (particularly as a meal replacement in the form of a shake).
- Fish Oil (essential fatty acids).
And that’s it. Taking huge amounts of pre- and post workout supplements are not necessary. They are not what is going to make or break your progress.
Focus on the basics, and understand that hard work and consistency will take you further than a mountain of the most scientifically engineered supplements ever will!
5. Above All, Muscle Building Takes Consistency.
Alright, so we have talked about diet, strength training, how to train, and even supplements. So now to put it all together. The reality is that all the best advice, the best gym and the best playlist on your iPod will not make up for a lack of consistency.
Commit yourself to following your muscle building goals for a set period of time. It won’t take long to see results, and once you begin to see what you are capable it will only invigorate you to work even harder to get the final results you want.
Everyone says they want to build a ton of muscle. But at the end of the day powerhouse muscle building will always be reserved for those who are willing to do the small things right over an extended period of time. That is the true secret of muscle building.