The goal of building muscle is to increase your body’s overall muscle mass, which can lead to a healthier weight and a more toned physique. There are several important elements that go into developing muscles, including proper nutrition, training and recovery.
Building muscle requires a combination of consistent training and a healthy diet that is high in protein. Your protein intake should be in the range of 1.2 to 1.7 grams of protein per kilogram of your body weight. Protein is an essential nutrient that helps build muscle, protects your cells and provides other health benefits. You can get protein from a variety of foods, including meat, fish, eggs, dairy products and legumes.
Training for muscle growth should progressively overload your muscles with increased sets, reps and weight. This is called training volume, and a 2015 study in the journal “Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research” found that there is a direct relationship between training volume and muscle growth.
To maximize your gains, your workouts should include both compound movements and isolation exercises that target specific muscle groups. The combination of these movements is key to stimulating muscle growth, and they should be performed at a moderate-intense intensity. A certified personal trainer can help you come up with a training plan that fits your goals and lifestyle.
For beginners, it is recommended that you start with bodyweight exercises before adding resistance. This allows you to familiarize yourself with the movement pattern and ensure that you are doing it properly before increasing your load, says Sekely. In addition, it’s best to perform your exercises in a workout setting that is conducive to completing the movements with good form, and this will help prevent injury.
It’s also crucial to drink plenty of water and consume a high-protein diet, which is recommended by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for muscle growth and general health. You can track your calories with a food tracking app or try keeping a journal, which can minimize guesswork and help you make more informed decisions about your food choices. The most important thing is to be consistent, because the more often you train and eat to promote muscle growth, the better your results will be.
Large increases in muscle mass take months to years to develop, but you can maximize your gains by training consistently and focusing on proper nutrition and recovery. Taking time to rest and recover between training sessions is critical to helping your muscles repair the damage you do in the gym, so you can come back stronger for your next session. This includes getting plenty of sleep and consuming enough calories to support the growth of your muscles. The right mix of carbs, proteins and fats will provide the energy you need for your body to function. In addition, it’s important to avoid sugary drinks and snacks.