When it comes to personal fitness most people strive to achieve one of three goals. These include either building muscle, burning fat, or maintaining current body composition. If your goal is to build more muscle, here are 7 tips to help you get started.
1. Stay in a Caloric Surplus
Everyone has a unique basal metabolic rate (BMR), this refers to the amount of energy your body needs in order to perform its basic functions. There are plenty of BMR calculators online that can help you find your specific BMR. Once you know your BMR and the amount of calories you need to consume everyday to maintain your current body composition, simply add 300-500 calories above your BMR amount to promote muscle building.
2. Eat Clean
Eating clean means sticking to eating whole foods and not stuffing yourself with junk food just because you are trying to eat in a caloric surplus. Eating whole foods provides more nutrient dense calories, which will help you build muscle and keep the fat off.
3. Stick to Your Macros
“Macros” is short for “Macronutrients” or in other words the amount of fat, protein, and carbohydrates you consume on a daily basis. For optimal muscle gains it’s best to keep your protein high and your carbohydrates moderately low. The best macro configuration for building muscle is: 45% protein, 30% fat, and 25% carbohydrates.
4. Find a Gym
It’s important to find a gym that you feel comfortable in and enjoy going to. Do some online research about the gyms in your area and then go visit a few of them. In order to build muscle you’re going to have to lift weights, so finding the right gym for you is important.
5. Fuel Your Muscles
When building muscle is your primary purpose, it’s important to fuel the muscle prior to breaking it down in the gym as well as afterwards. Make sure to eat a light meal that fits your macros prior to going to the gym, and a larger more filling meal that fits your macros after the gym.
6. Lift Weights, Tear Muscle
Muscle can’t be built until you break down the fibers in your current muscles. When choosing what exercises to do, you can’t go wrong with some basic compound exercises. The best muscle building exercises are deadlifts, squats, bench press, standing barbell press, bent barbell rows, and pull-ups. Sticking to these exercises and performing them twice a week at rep-ranges of about 4 sets of 8-10 repetitions will produce some mega-muscle building results.
7. Get Some Rest
Make sure to get a good night’s sleep every night especially on days that you go to the gym. Your muscles heal and build while you sleep which makes sleeping and recovery just as important as diet and exercise.
Building muscle isn’t rocket science, just remember to have your diet in check and know exactly what you are feeding yourself. Be sure to hit the gym at least 4 times a week and stick to compound movements. Finally, get enough rest and let your body recover and you’ll be building muscle in no time.