People have interesting beliefs when it comes to how to build muscle. There are all kinds of things people end up doing because they believe they will get them that toned and ripped body they are dreaming about having. However, there are a lot of misconceptions when it comes to how to build muscle. That’s why we wrote this article on the truth about muscle building and how to build muscle effectively.
Do you want to know one of the biggest secrets to building muscle? It involves your diet. Here are two simple formulas for you to ponder:
- Necessary Protein Intake + Resistance Training + Minor Caloric Surplus = Muscle Gain
- Necessary Protein Intake + Resistance Training + Minor Caloric Deficit = Weight Loss/Muscle Retention
There is a common mantra that says you should eat a ton of protein to gain muscle. While muscle is indeed essential to build muscle, you don’t need to be drinking protein shakes all day.
Here is how you can determine the necessary amount of protein you need to build muscle:
Plan to eat 0.6 – 0.8 grams of protein for each pound of your body weight. That means if you weigh 160 pounds, you should be eating anywhere between 96 and 128 grams of proteins every day. Basically, most people should be getting somewhere around 100 grams of protein per day.
However, what does “100 grams of protein” actually mean? Here are some numbers for you to mull over:
- 4 oz chicken – 33 grams of protein
- 4 oz salmon – 24 grams of protein
- 1 cup cooked lentils – 30 grams of protein
- 1 cup cooked quinoa – 8 grams of protein
- 6 oz Greek yogurt – 18 grams of protein
When you add all of these up, you get 113 grams of protein. This puts most people in the window of the amount of protein they should be getting to build muscle. Remember that you will have small amounts of protein in other things you eat throughout the day, including fruits and vegetables.
While we’re not saying you need to obsess over calories and count all of them, you should observe your weight to get a sense of whether you are eating the ideal amount for muscle building.
Here is how to determine how many calories to eat:
- If you are maintaining your current weight over a few weeks, your body is in caloric balance.
- If you are gaining weight over a few weeks, your body is in a caloric surplus.
- When you are losing weight over a few weeks, your body is in a caloric deficit.
- Here is a great calorie calculator for you:
This sounds simple enough, right? The key to muscle building with a healthy diet is to identify whether your caloric intake is at the necessary level to build muscle.
Another secret truth about muscle building is that volume leads to more muscle. That means you should be doing somewhere around 10-14 reps for three sets, targeting all your primary muscle groups. Keep doing this a few times every week, and you will start seeing results.
You can either try and do 3 full body workouts / week, or split your workouts up into upper body, lower body or even split it up between opposing muscle groups making sure you train every muscle still at least 2 x a week. Remember to target the following muscle groups with resistance training:
The key to resistance training is consistency. If you work out sporadically, or only with small weights, you’re not going to see the results you are after. Stick to a workout routine, and don’t forget to increase the amount of weight you’re lifting incrementally. There are plenty of excellent workout routines you can find online. You can also come into Delta Fitness in Canary Wharf if you want to learn more about how to build muscle.
The third secret that will help you build muscle is sleep. When you work out and push yourself, you’re going to need some quality rest and sleep to repair your muscles. Sleep is essential for creating anabolic hormones that include things like insulin-like growth factor (IGF), testosterone, and human growth hormone (HGH). All of these can help repair and build muscle.
When you lose out on quality sleep, these chemical compounds will not be produced enough, meaning their production will become disrupted. All that hard work you put in at the gym may get lost due to not getting enough rest and sleep.
How can you get better sleep for building muscle? Here are some things you can do to make sure you’re getting the rest and sleep you need to repair and build muscle:
- Stick to a sleep schedule – Make sure you are going to bed and waking up around the same time. Your body has its own internal clock that controls the sleep-wake cycle. When you go to bed and get up at the same time, night after night, you get better sleep.
- Avoid drinking alcohol before bed – Alcohol tends to make it more challenging to get quality sleep. You will want to avoid drinking it up to three hours before bed. Otherwise, it will suppress melatonin production, which is a chemical that helps you sleep.
- Turn off your screens earlier – Blue light from digital screens makes it harder to fall asleep. Either get a blue light filter app or turn off your phone at least an hour before bed.
We know it kind of sucks, but muscle building can be challenging. However, it is also incredibly rewarding once you see results and feel amazing in your own body. The sooner you start, the stronger you will feel, the better you will look, and the healthier you will be.
Delta Fitness in Canary Wharf has everything you need to build muscle and get that amazing body you are hoping to have. We also have professional personal trainers who can provide you with a customized workout plan that will help you with building muscle. Reach out to us today and start your journey to a better you!