Building that “cover model body” that gets featured in magazines requires years of training and unlimited workout sessions. On top of that, there are many techniques, methods, and rules for building strength and muscle.
You’ve probably built some great muscles so far, but once you’ve reached a certain point, growing your muscles beyond that can be a serious challenge.
To overcome this obstacle, you must understand how muscles work. Trying to build a great physique will be a waste of time if you don’t know how and why muscles grow. Fortunately, once you understand the basics, you’ll be on your way to impress others.
Make sure that your daily workout regimen incorporates these eight rules of building muscles.
1. Calories Are Not Everything
Well, they are the key to building muscles but they aren’t everything. You can satisfy your cravings on cheat days eating fast food or sugary items you love. Most of the people think that it is necessary to keep the energy level up. Even many nutritionists overestimate the amount of energy required for building muscles and eventually recommend too high of a calorie intake.
This results in you getting fatter and not really building any substantial muscle. You should stick to a proper diet plan where your calories intake must not be too excessive relative to the calories you burn. Usually, it is recommended to have 300 more calories every day as compared to what your body actually burns during workouts.
2. Diversify Things
Even if you are following the most effective training plan, your body will eventually adapt and will stop further growth. Even those negative reps will become ineffective within a couple of months.
Since your body has adapted to the workout, your body will no longer build muscle.
The best way is to change things a bit. This can be done by changing the rep ranges, weight, rest periods, or even choosing a different plan after a couple of months. This allows your muscles to grow to new levels of strength and size.
3. Concentrate On Protein
To be honest, your muscle growth depends 20% on your workouts and 80% on your diet. Even if you are killing it at the gym, you will not be able to out exercise a bad diet.
Protein intake is the most important determinant for building muscle mass. In fact, it is the only nutrient that can stimulate muscle growth. A recommended daily protein intake is two grams per pound of body weight daily. You should intake protein every three hours to ensure maximum muscle growth.
4. Give Your Muscles Some Time To Adapt
We did mention that you should diversify your workouts but at the same time, you must give your muscles some room to adapt to things. The tissues must be stressed enough to trigger growth and at the same time given enough time to heal.
It doesn’t matter whether you are a physique athlete or a performance, muscles must go through recovery process for maximum growth.
Experts recommend that you must not over-stress any of the body parts for more than two or three times a week. This means that you should take a deload every two to three months to allow your muscles and nervous system to recover from your training.
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5. Free Weights First
Free-weight exercises encourage muscle growth because your body is doing movements with resistance. Using free weights will allow your stabilizer muscles to get stronger, which leads to a more athletic body and better performance. Free weight training also strengthens joints, tendons, and ligaments.
Once you have finished your warm-up, start the workout with some free weight movements.
6. Eat After Training
You must eat a carbohydrate and protein rich meal after your workout for best results. Once you are done training, your body will shuttle the carbs and protein to your muscles to help repair them, instead of sending carbs straight to fat. This growth promotion will allow your muscles to get the necessary amino acids needed to grow.
Insulin is an anabolic hormone and helps to drive the necessary nutrients required by muscle cells and promotes their growth. Eating carbohydrates such as sweet potatoes, oatmeal, or rice gives your muscles plenty of nutrition compared to eating pizzas and donuts, which will add more body fat.
7. The More Muscle, The Harder To Grow
Muscles grow extremely slow. However, once there is enough muscle mass added, it becomes really challenging to add more. Your body can only hold so much muscle naturally, without any illegal compounds.
There is no shortcut to growth, and the closer you get to your genetic potential, the harder it will be to build more muscle.
The point is here is that you should be patient and disciplined. Hit the gym daily, challenge yourself with new workouts and weights, and diversify your training. Rushing this process will only get you injured or depressed.
8. Stay Hydrated
Last but not the least, drink plenty of water throughout the day. Staying hydrated helps to reduce hunger pangs and is good for muscle growth. Studies show that being dehydrated by one or two percent will affect your performance.
Drinking water or other low-calories drinks help keep your body hydrated. Keep your drinks at a cooler temperature and enjoy a refreshing bottle of water.