42 Muscle Building Tips
It's hard to believe I've been lifting weights for more than 21 years. At the end of the day, the biggest take-away is to just keep on working out. Sure, try different stuff and keep it fun...but just keep going by making it a part of your life.
Read all 42 lessons I learned below:
If your objective is to build muscle, then you probably know that you need to lift a heavier load than you can lift now in order to increase your lean body mass. Whether you join a gym or train bodyweight movements at home does not matter, muscle gain is based on progressive resistance, the stronger you get the more weight you can lift.
1) Compound movements are the best tools for muscle growth. Use them.
2) Try to eat the biggest meal of your day 30 to 60 minutes after lifting.
3) Get strong! You don't need to train like a powerlifter, but you need to increase your strength, just a fraction on each workout.
4) Squats have been the king of movements when building muscle. Getting bad knees from doing squats comes from using bad form or half-squats.
5) Deadlift are second-in-command when it comes to getting stronger and building muscle. Just like squats, form is everything, doing deadlifts incorrectly can result in serious injury.
6) Learn proper form. Stay informed and constantly try to improve the form or technique you use to lift a weight. There is never any good excuse for doing sub-par squats or deadlift form.7) Balanced upper body work. Don't fall into the trap of doing 7 different chest movements and one back movement. Balance your workouts correctly where you're spreading your sets evenly. It's important for your shoulder joint.
8) Beginners should stick to the basics. They need to get strong using compound lifts before anything else.
9) Maximize muscle building. Protein is stored in your body through protein synthesis, when your muscles grow larger your body drains these protein reserves to be used for other priorities besides repairing muscle damage, like making hormones. This makes the importance of eating high protein when building muscle so essential.
10) Eat more quality calories and protein. If you train with weights you should eat 1 gram of protein for every pound of body-weight. To build muscle you need extra energy, excluding the low calorie protein you are eating to get in 1g/pound body-weight. There is a simple formula you can use to measure the calories needed to maintain and increase muscle mass freely available online.
11) Train your biggest muscles. Always focus on your large muscle groups, doing 8-12 reps with 60 sec rest between your sets, intensity is key when building muscle.
12) Pre-workout shake or meal. There has been more than one study done that has clearly shown that drinking a protein shake with 9 grams' protein and 35 grams' carbs that has amino acids in it, BEFORE a workout will increase protein synthesis more than having the same drink after the workout.
13) Drink more water; Minimum 8 glasses a day
14) Stop missing workouts.
15) Always ensure that you eat a variety of whole foods with various vegetables
16) Try eat red meat more often.
17) Eat more eggs, including the nutritionally dense egg yolks.
18) Sleep minimum 8 hours a night, take naps if possible.
19) Learn to cook. Create food to suit your diet requirements and your own personal tastes.
20) Add olive oil or butter to your veggies.
21) Drink whole milk
22) Snack on nuts and almonds between meals.
23) Stop changing your workouts every couple of weeks.
24) Learn to evolve. The training you do needs to be adapted to suit your own specific needs.
25) Adding just half a pound on a movement is progress enough to enable muscle hypertrophy.
26) Not all the supplements are bad, you need to see what works for you
27) Always select your body-part training to build a balanced, symmetrical and well-proportioned body.
28) Everybody is different. You need to experiment after the first six months of training to see what works best for you, your genes, your objective and your diet.
29) Fat is NOT bad. You need healthy fats to build muscle
30) Ensure that at least 90% of your diet consists of whole foods
31) Squatting above parallel is dangerous for the knees.
32) Try 20 rep squats
33) Do cardio at least 3 times a week
34) For back training combine movements like deadlift, rows and lat movements like pull-ups, lat pull-downs and rack chins.
35) Use dips when you combine chest and triceps training
36) Always look for movements that allow you to increase the resistance that being lifted.
37) Try heavy weights with low reps for calf training
38) Be careful of bulking, gaining fat will not increase your strength
39) Eat fruit and veggies often
40) Your body needs sodium, but never more than a teaspoon a day
41) Best bicep builders will be heavy rows and heavy pull-ups/chin-ups with barbell curls a good addition.
42) Best triceps builders will be compound movements like close-grip bench-press and seated D/B triceps extensions.
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