Building more muscle can be a long and slow process.
While you can pack on plenty of pounds of muscle when you start training, your progress eventually peaks, and scientific studies claim you can expect to add around 2 pounds of muscle per month.
With that said, there are certain scientifically proven tips which can help you build more muscle faster.
Here are five quick tips for building more muscle:
#1 Train For Growth
If you want to build more muscle, you need to train appropriately.
There are many different ways to stimulate your muscles, from high-intensity cardio to calisthenics.
Any kind of workout that uses your muscles can spur some growth, but studies claim resistance training with moderate reps is the best approach.
While doing 5-6 reps is ideal for building strength, more reps cause more tears in muscle fibers.
When these recover, you build more muscle. As such, many bodybuilders train using 3-5 sets of 8-12 reps for each exercise.
Some studies even suggest that training in the 12-20 rep range can help.
For instance, a 2016 study found that performing high reps with low weights was just as effective as low reps with high weights for building muscle.
The most important factor was that the subjects trained to failure to stimulate muscle growth.
#2 Shock Your Muscles
Although you should always stick to a routine for a few months at least, it doesn’t hurt to switch things up every now and then.
In fact, shocking your muscles can even boost your muscle growth.
When you train your muscles in the same way for too long, your body adapts and becomes used to it.
Once your body adapts, it’ll be harder to train to failure and keep up the rate of hypertrophy.
You can change your routine up in many ways. If you’ve been training with low reps and high weights, try switching to high reps with low weights for a week or two.
You could also try a whole new kind of training such as gymnastics or rock climbing.
Anything that activates new muscles or makes your muscles work in a different way can help shock your body and help you build more muscle.
#3 Eat Plenty of Protein
Training will help condition your body to pack on more muscle, but it needs the building blocks to do so.
When your muscle breaks down from training, it needs the right nutrients to recover and add more muscle.
Protein is essential to this muscle-building process.
The usual daily recommended amount of protein for adults is around 80 grams per day.
However, those who are training to build more muscle should focus on eating more.
The American College of Sports Medicine recommends that adults consume around 1.2-1.7 grams of protein per kg of body weight (0.5-0.8 grams per pound) every day if they partake in physical activity.
There are many great sources of protein such as eggs, fish, chicken, lean beef, and yogurt.
However, don’t neglect other macronutrients. It’s also important to get plenty of healthy carbs and even fats to promote muscle growth.
You should also focus on eating more calories than usual.
Although you may gain some fat, gaining more weight is always a more productive way to build muscle.
#4 Sleep More
The recovery process is crucial to building muscle.
In addition to training for growth and eating plenty of muscle-building foods, you also need to get a healthy amount of sleep every night.
It’s actually during REM sleep that your body repairs broke down muscles, so this is where you build more muscle.
As such, it’s vital to not flake on sleep. In general, adults should aim for at least 7-9 hours a night if not more.
If you have trouble sleeping, you may want to avoid caffeine and sugar and try to get to sleep at the same time each night.
The more you sleep, the more your body will pack on muscle.
#5 Take A Rest Day
Another important factor of recovery is taking rest days regularly.
While some people may feel fine training every day, your body can have a hard time keeping up.
Your body needs time to recover in order to build muscles.
If you train too much, you might actually lose out on your gains and end up feeling achy and tired.
It helps to take at least one rest day each week, although many people take more.
A good rule of thumb is to give each muscle group at least 1-2 days of rest.
Get plenty of sleep and eat plenty of protein and listen to your body. If you’re aching too much, it’s a good day to get some rest and work out when you feel fresh in the morning.
You won’t suddenly gain a ton of muscle overnight.
But if you train hard, eat healthily, and get plenty of rest, you’ll notice your body improves much faster.
Follow these tips and keep up with your routine, and soon building more muscle will become second nature.