Build muscle is all about stressing your body’s muscle cells enough to cause them to grow bigger. This can be accomplished with any type of strength training. It can be as simple as using your own bodyweight or as complicated as Olympic lifts. But in order to get the most bang for your buck, you should focus on training volume and time under tension. That means lifting as heavy of a load as you can safely handle while still being able to perform at least eight reps per set (without failing).
You can also speed up your muscle growth by changing your workout routine more often. This is important because your muscles adapt to the stress you put on them over time. Creating a new threshold that is challenging for your muscles can help keep your gains lean and prevent overtraining.
For most people, it will take four to six weeks of consistent training before they begin to see significant strength increases. This is because the first few weeks of a new routine are mostly neurological changes, as your muscles learn how to fire the right muscle fibers and respond to training.
Once your muscles have adapted to the current level of stress, it is time to increase the weight you’re lifting. This will require weighing yourself and adjusting your caloric intake accordingly. If you’re gaining fat along with your muscle gains, try adding in 200 calories to your daily intake.
In terms of protein, most people should aim for roughly 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight to support muscle growth. Aside from the fact that it is one of the best nutrients for building muscle, protein also helps reduce body fat. You can find high-quality protein sources such as eggs, fish, chicken, turkey, beans and Greek yogurt.
Getting sufficient sleep is another key element to promoting muscle growth. Studies have shown that sleep deprivation can lead to a decrease in the amount of testosterone your body produces, which is necessary for building muscle. Ideally, you should be sleeping between seven and nine hours every night to help promote muscle growth.
Many people who train hard fail to give their muscles adequate rest between sessions. This can lead to overtraining, which can then hinder your ability to build muscle. Aim for a minimum of two days of rest between training sessions to allow your muscles to recover and prepare for the next session.
There are myriad little factors that can influence your ability to build muscle, but most fall under the loose category of living a healthy lifestyle. Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, drinking water and staying hydrated, getting regular cardiovascular exercise, and getting at least seven hours of sleep each night will all support your muscle-building efforts. Of course, your specific plan for how to build muscle will vary based on your specific strengths and goals. But by taking the time to make a thoughtful plan and assessing your progress regularly, you should be able to hit your muscle-building goal in no time.