Muscle development is a goal for people who want to be strong and have a toned figure.
Muscle mass refers to the volume of muscle tissue. In other words, it is that body mass that determines your strength and physical endurance. But increasing muscle mass is not an easy task. We must make a continuous effort, following a proper diet, exercising enough, and resting.
At the same time, it is important to understand that developing muscle mass is a long-term project. The results obtained vary depending on our lifestyle
Because I know that many people want to have a strong and toned body, in today’s article I suggest you go through a full guide in 5 steps that will show you how you can start building muscle mass safely and naturally.
The Full Guide on How to Start Building Muscle Mass in 5 Steps
STEP 1. What and When You Should Eat to Build Muscle Mass
Through food, we receive energy and substances, due to which all vital metabolic processes take place, and tissues receive material for development and growth.
Muscle gain occurs only when three essential nutrients are present in the body – protein, fat, and carbohydrates.
If you don’t feed them at some point, the muscles simply stop growing, which, of course, is a serious problem for those who want to gain muscle mass.
1.1 The 8 basic principles of a healthy eating plan through which you can start building muscle mass
1) Don’t expect to work miracles overnight
If you want to follow a high-calorie diet to increase your mass, you need to become aware that it must be followed for a long time, maybe even for life.
Like the situation in which you set out to lose weight, no miracle recipe will bring you to the ideal weight in the blink of an eye, but rather there is a way of life to assume.
Starvation or overeating can only wreck your metabolism, by no means to indicate on the scale the weight you dreamed of.
2) Assume the idea that you eat food to nourish your body
That is the tissues, muscles, bones, and organs, not to look in a certain way. Before you ask yourself if you eat what it takes to look the way you want, ask yourself if you eat what is right for you to be healthy.
A proper diet plan for you, in direct relation to the lifestyle you have, is one that does not disturb any of your body’s functions.
3) Processed products are unhealthy
Whether you want to lose weight or gain weight. You just have to get them out of the equation and ignore them whenever you are tempted to eat them because they have no nutritional value.
4) The diet of a day when you go to the gym will be different from that of a day when you have a break from exercise
Think of your body as a car engine, which, the longer it has to travel, will need more fuel.
Likewise, your body will need a higher number of calories for a day in which you set out to work your muscles in an intense workout.
5) Eating often, in small or medium portions, is preferable to eating infrequently, in large portions.
This principle is valid regardless of whether you want to lose weight or increase your muscle mass. I recommend 5 meals/ day, divided into the 3 main meals + 2 snacks between meals.
6) Protein is the basis of any diet!
They play an essential role in muscle development, tissue repair, but also in achieving the feeling of satiety rather.
Greek yogurt, turkey, chicken, beef, fish, eggs, or protein powders are a blessing when it comes to proper nutrition, so include them in your daily menu.
7) Fats are necessary
Without them, many of the body’s functions would deteriorate. However, there are good fats and bad fats that are harmful to your body. Walnuts, fatty fish, olive oil, egg yolk, or avocado are part of the first category.
The fats present in processed fast food products, snacks, or sweets are the ones you should avoid.
8) Carbohydrates also have their role in a balanced diet
They even help to develop muscle mass, and if that is your goal shortly, next time put in the shopping cart also whole grains, white potatoes, brown or wild rice, and any type of beans.
1.2 How many calories do you need?
The fundamental principle of building good muscle mass is that you should always know how many calories are consumed per day. Otherwise, it will never be possible to achieve the proposed goal.
Muscles only grow when the body receives calories. Not all go to tissue construction. This process occupies only a certain part. Therefore, the energy value of the food received should always exceed the number of calories burned.
A. A balanced ratio of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates
A carefully balanced ratio of nutrients allows you to build exactly the right diet to increase muscle mass.
When it comes to macronutrients, the following percentages make up a generally good rule:
• 20 – 30% protein
• 55- 60% carbohydrates
• 10 – 25% fats
When you eat a food that contains protein, your body breaks down those molecules (of protein) into amino acids, also known as the building blocks of muscle mass.
You will find many recommendations regarding the percentage of protein needed, the most common being
probably somewhere at 1.3-1.8 g / kg body weight.
It should be noted, however, that this percentage is calculated differently depending on objectives, age, sex, current weight, etc.
Essential for building muscle mass even when following a diet to lose weight. Carbohydrates protect muscle mass, which means they will prevent muscle tissue from weakening.
Our body’s preferred source of energy, carbs promotes maintaining muscle mass and new weight gains.
As in the case of proteins, the calculation of the daily requirement of carbohydrates should be made taking into account the current data and the objective in question.
Contrary to many people’s beliefs, fats are not our enemy. Of course, we are referring strictly to healthy fats, so the remaining difference between the level of protein and carbohydrates must come from fat.
1.3 What foods should be included in the daily diet to increase it?
1. Fods high in carbohydrates will help you increase it
• Wholemeal bread
• Cereals (oats, rice, buckwheat, wheat, millet, corn)
• Wholemeal pasta
• Potatoes (NOT FRIED)
2. Foods high in protein that help increase muscle mass
• Green peas
• Fatty Fish (tuna, salmon, sardines, mackerel)
• Greek yogurt
• Chicken meat (without skin, we will take fats from other healthier sources)
• Turkey meat (without skin, we will get fats from other healthier sources)
• Dairy (milk, cheese, cottage cheese)
3. Foods high in healthy fats that help increase muscle mass
• Olive oil
• Avocado oil
• Fatty fish (salmon, cod)
• Nuts of all kinds (walnuts, almonds, pistachios, cashews, Brazilian nuts, pecans, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts) – unroasted
• Nut butter
• Coconut milk
• Coconut oil
• Seeds (chia, pumpkin, sunflower, flax, hemp, sesame, poppy)
STEP 2. Fitness for Muscle Growth
2.1 Can you increase it without exercise?
Is it possible? I’m sorry to let you know, but it isn’t! In simpler words, the muscles must receive an impulse in the form of a correct physical load, then they must receive quality nutrients (to have a caloric surplus), and in the end – enough time to regenerate.
2.2 Building it takes time
Building the muscles of a nicely proportioned body requires months and years of hard work, not days and weeks and most practitioners fail due to lack of knowledge.
Keep in mind that the process of building muscles is a slow one, a lifestyle where the training in the gym must necessarily complete a proper diet and sufficient rest.
2.3 Tracking progress
If you want to build muscle mass, you have to push your body beyond the current limits. The best thing you can do in this regard is to write down your workouts, weights and the number of sets/ repetitions performed as well as your body weight.
Try to gradually exceed your maximum values, don’t forget, little makes a difference. At certain times check your results, adjust new goals, and pursue your goal.
2.4 Train correctly
Ensure an effective number of sets/ repetitions so that you can carry out an effective workout to the end. It doesn’t start with very heavy weights to radically reduce them due to exhaustion personal pride is not a solution in the gym.
Work correctly, slowly, to allow the most efficient pumping of the muscle. The feeling after training must be one of satisfaction and good mood, not a shaky effort to get home exhausted.
STEP 3. Recovery and Rest
All these workouts in the gym, or at home, will be felt someday, you need to rest accordingly. Beware, exercise is only a small part of the equation, the rest of the miracle occurs at home, through food and sleep.
Numerous studies have shown that lack of sleep promotes, among other things, an increase in the level of cortisol in the body, and can lead to a decrease in testosterone and growth hormone.
This translates into decreased muscle growth capacity and even increased body fat deposits.
Sleep at least 7-8 hours a night.
STEP 4. The Use of Supplements Helps Muscle Mass Growth
4.1 How to increase muscle mass without supplements
It is important to know that supplements are called supplements for a specific reason. We need to see them as a little help, not as a basic thing in building muscle mass.
You can certainly increase muscle mass without them through a proper diet and training, but it will take longer of course.
4.2 Do supplements help increase it?
The answer is: obviously YES!
4.3 What are the best muscle mass gain supplements?
If you decide to buy certain supplements to help you during the effort, and of course to increase muscle mass,
I have prepared below a list of my recommended supplements, in order of importance:
• Multivitamins and minerals – nowadays food is increasingly poor in nutrients and many people do not have a sufficiently varied diet
• Omega 3, 6, and 9 – maintains a healthy level of cholesterol, has a positive influence on cognitive functions, and offers an anti-inflammatory effect
• Magnesium – reduces fatigue and exhaustion, supporting normal muscle activity
• Whey Protein – useful to supplement your proteins during the day
• Gainer – a drink with protein and carbohydrates – I recommend it to those with a fast metabolism or to those who experience problems in weight gain or lack of appetite as a response to increased calorie intake
• Creatine – ensures the strengthening and increase of muscle mass, supporting regeneration after a demanding workout
STEP 5. Proper Hydration Helps to Gain Muscle Mass
It is impossible to gain muscle mass if you do not pay attention to proper hydration. The optimal daily amount for those who want to build muscle mass is 2-4 liters.
The exact amount is determined by the individual weight.
Do not drink water while eating. This creates an obstacle in the natural process of digestion and absorption of nutrients and prevents the digestive system from functioning properly.
Water is best consumed between meals (at least 30 minutes before, and after meals).
Be aware that training and body transformation is like a long run, not a sprint. It is necessary to put continuous and 100% effort. First of all, it is important to learn to be satisfied with yourself and to use your physical features.
So, to build muscle, you need to remember the following important points:
• Training only partially determines the success
• A balanced diet is required so that muscle mass building starts
• Your health should not be neglected in achieving a goal
• Recovery and rest are an integral part of the muscle-building process
• Never be lazy when training
• Hydrate properly if you want your muscles to start growing
• Supplements help increase muscle mass
If these points are met, then the result is assured.
I wish you a lot of success and a lot of muscle mass! 😊
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