MORE MUSCLE GROWTH IN 5 SIMPLE STEPS!May 20, 2021
Exercising several times a week, a healthy diet and enough sleep is a good start if you want to build more muscle. But that is not always enough. Sometimes you get the idea that you are doing everything for it, but that the results you are looking for are lacking. That may be demotivating, but we will reassure you that more results usually only require a few minor adjustments. If you already have the basics in order and are ready for more results, this article is for you: more muscle growth in 5 simple steps!
1. COUNT YOUR NUTRITION
Focusing on a healthy diet is always a good starting point. Think of lean protein sources, complex carbohydrates, good fats and of course a lot of vegetables and fruit. But that healthy diet also has a downside: it quickly happens that you eat too little for muscle growth.
Most healthy, unprocessed foods have a low energy density. This means that you get a lot of nutrition for relatively few calories. Just as an example: suppose you have a meal consisting of 100 grams of rice, 150 grams of chicken fillet, 200 grams of vegetables and 15 grams of almonds. That is a lot of nutrition, but in the end this meal is ‘only’ about 500 to 600 kilocalories. If you eat 5 such meals a day you will undoubtedly get a lot of nutrients, but at the same time this only adds up to about 2500 to 3000 kcal.
For the lighter, less active athletes among us this may be enough to gain muscle mass, but for a large group of people this is simply too little. Especially when you weigh more than 85 kilos or are very active during the day, there is a good chance that your maintenance needs will already go towards 3000 kilocalories per day.
Tip 1 is: count your nutrition with an app such as Myfitnesspal. This way you know exactly how many calories, proteins, carbohydrates and fats you consume in a day. Then calculate how much you should eat to build muscle mass and adjust your diet accordingly. This way you avoid putting all that time and effort into your nutrition and training, without the desired result.
2. KEEP AN EXERCISE LOG
Going to the gym four times a week is good, but how much do you achieve if you don’t know exactly what you are doing? Unfortunately, it happens all too often that training is purely based on feeling without keeping track of the result.
Yes, it is nice to try new exercises every workout that you have seen on Instagram or YouTube, but that is not a good strategy to get the most out of your potential. Instead, make sure you have a good training schedule that suits your experience and goal. Do not stop at the training schedule, but also keep track of your training! If you can bench press 80 kilos 8 times today and you will be doing exactly the same in six months, chances are that you have not built much muscle mass.
Have you gone from 80 pounds to 100 pounds instead? Doing well, then you have clearly become stronger and you have probably also built up muscle mass! Don’t be fooled by people who say bodybuilding isn’t about weight. Of course, weight isn’t all that matters, but literally every successful bodybuilder or athlete moves significantly more weight than a recreational athlete.
Look at it this way: Person 1 bench press 80 pounds for 10 reps. Person 2 bench presses 140 pounds for 10 reps. Which of the 2 do you think has more muscle mass? Right…
Tip 2 is therefore: keep track of your training sessions and focus on progressive overload with the right technique in the long term. No, you don’t have to lift more weight every workout, but you should definitely see progress after weeks or months.
We have written about it before , but if there is one supplement that contributes to strength and muscle growth, it is creatine . Numerous studies have shown the benefits of creatine and all results point in the same direction: Creatine supp orts the building of strength and muscle mass in explosive strength training.
As a bonus, creatine is safe to use, requires no breaks and is dirt cheap too. We won’t be making an extensive article on creatine here, so if you want to learn more about creatine, read here the 6 reasons why you should take creatine.
Tip 3 is: Buy a jar of creatine and take one dose per day. It is the most proven supplement when it comes to strength and muscle mass. So a shame to pass up!
4. OPT FOR FATTIER PROTEIN SOURCES
As we mentioned in point 1, a healthy diet has a small disadvantage when it comes to muscle growth. By focusing exclusively on a healthy diet, chances are that you are eating too little to effectively build muscle mass. Do we mean to say that you should then eat unhealthy food? No absolutely not! What we do want to say is that your food choices should be different from a fat loss diet.
The easiest and healthiest way to do this is to eat fattier protein sources. You may have always had the idea that you should avoid fats, but nothing could be further from the truth. The right fats are very good for you, add calories easily and are super simple. Think about it: most protein sources naturally contain a fair amount of fat. How about eggs, ground beef, chicken thigh fillet, fatty fish or full-fat dairy. All great options during your clean bulk when you want to build more muscle mass.
Tip 4 in short: Swap your lean protein sources for the slightly fatter version. Choose whole eggs instead of egg whites. Take chicken thigh fillet instead of chicken breast fillet. Choose ground beef instead of steak. Choose a piece of salmon instead of pollock. Effective, tastier and usually you hardly notice the difference in your wallet!
Oh, bonus perk, chances are you will automatically tackle point one if you use this strategy!
5. TRAIN EACH MUSCLE GROUP TWICE A WEEK
If you train according to a traditional split schedule, the step to better results can be easier than you think. Where this scheme worked fine when you started and has given you a lot of gains, it may well be that the effect has slowly diminished.
This may seem strange, but it is actually very logical to explain. This is due to the following 2 things:
- Your body has become more accustomed to strength training. Where you previously limped for a whole week after an intensive leg day, nowadays it is not so bad. The effect per training is therefore less than was previously the case.
- Not only is the effect less per workout, you also recover faster. After all, your body now knows what to expect and can recover very quickly. In advanced athletes, a muscle can even recover in as little as 24 hours!
The damage per training is therefore less and you also recover faster. Isn’t it surprising that training every muscle group once a week is no longer enough? Instead of making progress, you end up at roughly the same point at the end of each week.
Train each muscle group twice a week! As a result, you no longer give your body the chance to fully recover and return to the starting point. By training a muscle group every 3 or 4 days you stay in an anabolic state for longer and you will notice that your strength and muscle mass slowly but surely increase again.
Of course, do this with sense. Do not perform your complete training twice a week, then you run the risk of being overtrained or even injured. So split your training into 2 and then add another exercise if necessary.
So instead of doing 5 exercises for your chest once a week, divide this over 2 sessions with 3 exercises each. In both sessions, focus on heavy, compound exercises and use isolation exercises as support to fully train the muscle.
Tip 5 in short: train each muscle group twice a week and emphasize heavy basic exercises. Oh, and while we’re at it, apply tip 2 right away where you try to make a little more weight or a little more repetitions every workout.