If despite the intense workouts and the time you spend in the gym, you still struggle to build muscle, you might want to take a look at our list of 9 rules to help you in the process of building muscle mass and strength:
1. PROTEIN IS A KEY PLAYER IN BUILDING MUSCLE MASS
Nothing is more important than proteins for building muscle mass. They are the basis for growth, providing amino acids which the body uses to repair the damaged muscles and to ensure new growth. You should aim at a daily intake of 1 gram of protein per 1 lb. of body weight and feel free to increase this quantity to at least 1.5 g. in case of poor recovery and muscle growth.
2. CARBOHYDRATES INTAKE FOR PROGRESS
In order to achieve maximum growth and build quality muscle, you also need carbohydrates. They are transformed into glucose, which can be used as a temporary fuel. The excess of glucose stored as muscle glycogen – stored energy which influences the recovery and strength. Also, carbohydrates can increase the insulin levels, which is very important because the insulin is the hormone, responsible for storing amino acids in the muscle tissue. Just don’t go overboard with the carbs as too much glycogen will be stored as fat.
3. FAT IS NOT AN ENEMY
Fat acquired has unreasonably bad reputation. If you need to bulk up, fat is an ally. For beginners, fat reduces the waste of glucose and amino acids. This allows the body to access larger quantities of glucose and muscle building amino acids. The fat is also a hormone stimulator. Poor fat intake can affect the testosterone levels, resulting in poor body mass.
4. EAT MORE OFTEN
You should divide your meals and protein shakes in 2-3 hour intervals, so that you would eat at least 5-6 times a day. This allows constant nutrient circulation, which nourishes the body and supports growth hormones. Why should we avoid eating several substantial meals? The larger and less frequent meals will be harder to eat for most of trainees. Just imagine eating a pound of meat over 1-2 meals plus carbs. You can eat more food by eating smaller meals and more often.
5. ACTIVATE THE GROWTH HORMONE
The growth hormone helps in fatty mass reduction, builds up the muscles and enhances the Insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) which is similar to insulin and improves muscle growth. The body naturally increases the release of growth hormone during training and sleep. However, an intake of 7 – 10 g. arginine before the workout, could enhance the growth hormone stimulated during sleep.
6. MAKE ROOM FOR GOOD FATS
You want to bulk up? As we’ve said, fats are not the enemy. You should not fall into a trap and be afraid to consume fats in fear of getting fat. Eat at least 1/2 lb of beef per day. In addition to proteins, beef also contains fats and cholesterol, which supports the normal testosterone production.
7. USE CREATINE
The most important factor in muscle contraction is the energy. Without energy, the muscles cannot function. Creatine acts as a source of energy. It helps in replenishing the adenosine triphosphate, the main energy component in muscle contraction. It is an established fact that creatine increases the strength and muscle contraction, and improves protein synthesis. An intake of just 5 g. before and after training can result in greater strength, followed by muscle growth in just several weeks.
8. CONSUME ONE THIRD OF YOUR MEALS IN POWDERED FORM
If you eat 6 times a day, use powdered proteins as a meal replacement to 2 or even 3 meals. The powder is absorbed easier than the solid food, such as beef or poultry. This way, it influences the amino acid quantities that the muscles require. However, don’t forget that real food is real food and supplements cannot fully replace it.
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9. INCREASE THE TESTOSTERONE LEVELS
Training increases the testosterone and makes the testosterone receptors in your muscles stronger. However, over the time, the testosterone increased by practice can wither down. This situation can be remedied with Tribulus. The intake of 250-300 mg. of Tribulus terestris and 100 – 300 mg Eurycoma longifolia before training and sleep, may enhance the luteinizing hormone, which improves testosterone production. Generally speaking, although correct nourishment is the most important factor for growth, you will still need a serious hormonal profile in order to bulk up.