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Building Muscle 101

If you’re a seasoned athlete, then you already know that it takes a while to put on muscle, unlike beginner athletes who can see amazing transformations in only 12-weeks due to the shock on their body from lifting weights and eating right!

It’s so much easier to take off fat than it is to build muscle, but if you’re one that is constantly in the gym, lifting daily and not seeing the results that you should be, there are several factors that might be preventing this.

1. Eat for muscle. You can either eat to lose fat (hypocaloric diet – less calories than your body burns) or eat to gain muscle (hypercaloric diet – more calories than your body burns). Unfortunately, you can’t do both – lose fat and gain muscle, it has to be either-or. If muscle gain is your goal, you need to provide your body with enough calories in order to do so. Eating too little and putting your body into starvation mode will not get you the gains you’re after! If fat loss is your goal, you have to understand that with fat and weight loss comes muscle loss. On average, for every 5lbs you lose, anywhere from 1 to 3lbs of that will come from muscle!

2. Lift heavy. You can’t expect muscle to grow if you keep tossing around light weights! The core lifts such as squats, deadlifts, bench press and strict presses are the fundamental lifts you should be adding to your workout regimen every week. These are also the lifts you want to focus on challenging yourself with weight-wise as they will give you the most bang for your buck in muscle gain. A common thing I see with people is getting comfortable in their workouts and not pushing themselves to failure or going up in weight each week. Instead, they move through the motions each week to get their workouts in and then get discouraged by their lack of progress. Don’t be upset by the results you didn’t get from the work you didn’t do.

3. Change it up. This goes for both your workouts and your nutrition! With workouts, if you’re doing the same thing month after month, your body is going to get comfortable. In order to have progress, you need to change things up and keep your body guessing! Shocking your body and muscle will lead to new muscle growth! With nutrition, if you’ve been in a constant state of ‘dieting’ and eating less than your body burns, your body will not only reach a plateau, but you’ll slow down your metabolism as well. Every few months I like to increase my client’s calories and get them into more of an isocaloric or maintenance phase to help restore their metabolism and hormones and reset their bodies. To function at its best and achieve new results, we need to keep our body guessing!

4. Take a rest day! Our bodies repair, recover and grow while we are at rest. That’s why it’s so important to make sure that you’re taking off at least one full day of exercise each week! By not doing so, not only are you putting your body in jeopardy, but you’re running the risk of overtraining which comes with its own list of complications!

5. Have patience! Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither is your body! Go into every workout with a healthy and positive mindset, push past your comfort zone, get your nutrition on point, and get in your 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night! Take care of your body and it will take care of you!

If muscle gain and strength is your goal and you don't know where to start, email us to set up a consultation to set up a program to help you achieve your goals!

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