Gain Muscle & Strength
Gaining muscle and strength require different techniques, respectively, which is not as difficult as it sounds. Here is what I recommend to help you get on track.
Building Lean Muscle Requires More Than You Think
A comprehensive guide to achieving long-term health and fitness goals through a combination of scientific research, psychological insights, and practical strategies.
1. Joint Support
Building muscle is half of the battle. You need to also focus on your accessory tendons and ligaments with compound exercises. Isolation workouts are great, but try to switch it up often to allow for overall growth and prevent injury.
2. Different Types Of Hypertrophy
Hypertrophy in itself deserves its own category. Simply put, there are different ways to grow your muscles which is oftentimes separated from strength training. This has to do with what exactly you are targeting (i.e. sarcomere, myofibril, etc.). Once you've determined what exactly you are trying to accomplish you can determine your rep ranges and load.
This is a robust topic so I don't want to go into any further, but there is a blog post dedicated to this. I also recommend a certified personal trainer if you at any point in time aren't sure what your workout plan should entail.
3. Protein Before Workouts
There is a substantial amount of research indicating that protein (10-20g) 30-60min before your lift can help improve protein synthesis. I normally have my clients have one of their low carb or no carb meals prior to lifting, but if you have a sensitive stomach then you might want to have a quick protein shake.
This is so important, I cant stress this enough. Take rest days often. No matter what your training split is, you should have 1-2 rest days a week. Some of my clients workout every other day with light cardio in between (great method if your schedule allows it).
You must also be sure to get adequate sleep. I recommend tracking your sleep to determine the quality and track habits that promote restful sleep. Aim for 8 hours of sleep but no less than 6. There are more benefits to adequate sleep than muscle growth, sleep affects cognitive performance and focus.
5. Lift Heavy
Lifting heavy, safely and efficiently allows for muscle growth. This challenges your muscles on concentrically and eccentrically. So you might not be able to push out 10-15 reps, but timed (see tip #7) and purposeful reps are just as important.
6. Limit Carbs Post Workout
Some studies have shown carbs immediately post workout can interfere with protein synthesis. Try to weight at least an hour before eating carbs again. That being said, eat more carbs on your off days (if your nutrition plan allows it) to aid in the recovery process.
7. Time Under Tension
As mentioned in tip #5, slow and purposeful exercises are also very important for muscle growth. Focus on your form and slow concentric and eccentric moves. This will challenge your muscles to maintain the load for longer (accomplishes tip #1 too).
8. More food
You will need to fuel the muscle growth and ideally, maintain a healthy body fat percentage. To do this, you should do what many refer to as a "clean bulk." You should increase your food intake with healthy and lean options, getting your fat from unsaturated fat sources like nuts and avocados and your carbs from clean sources like oats, rice and oatmeal. It is also important to minimize your consumption of processed foods and sugar.
As mentioned in tip #4, sleep is important for recovery. Sleep will also help your focus in the gym and improve your overall health. You'll notice that with adequate sleep; you aren't sore as long, you can focus better and improved mood. To really master restful and adequate sleep, you should also be getting sunlight first thing in the morning.
10. Here Are Some Products I Recommend
Black Magic Supply Handcrafted Multi-Source Protein 2 lb
BZRK High Potency Pre-Workout
If You Need More Help Reaching Your Goals
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As always, please consult with your medical professional prior to engaging in exercises or changes to your diet. It is also important to mention that these recommendations might not work for everyone, but that's ok! Some items not discussed are mental health well-being, which is just as important but looks definitely for everyone.