The increase in muscle mass should be a beginner in bodybuilding seen as a first step that needs to be done to have good results. In other words, through this basic principle, ie by increasing one of the largest tissues in the body, we can not only improve physical appearance and reduce body fat percentage, but mainly optimize metabolism so that conditions and synthesis in general are further accelerated and improved.
Nevertheless, increasing muscle mass is one of the main goals of veterans in bodybuilding gyms, especially for those who are looking for better and better aesthetics. Whether they are men or women, they know that it is important to increase their muscle levels so that they can achieve their results. And, it is important that when we talk about increased muscle mass, we are not necessarily talking about extremely large individuals, but we are also talking about points such as reduction of sarcopenia (loss of muscle mass and strength), reduction of systemic, chronic and metabolic diseases, as well as complete optimization. your body, including psychological aspects, and therefore also promote a significant improvement in the quality of life in general.
However, if you do not follow certain points and do not use the right protocols and, above all, individualize for you, they may not always want to become synonymous with power. Without proper planning when it comes to diet, training, rest or even periodizing your entire system, the ineffectiveness of your results will certainly be great.
So today, we will know some points that can be crucial for better muscle growth, faster and also with higher quality, strive for lasting gains and of course always improve and / or protect your health as much as possible.
1 – Add volume to your workout, but shorten your workout time
If we are thinking of adding volume to our training, we soon think that it will also be necessary to extend the duration of sports training when it is completely unrealistic. This is because volume calls do not necessarily talk about total training time, which we know should not be high.
When you add volume to a workout but don’t want to increase its total time, you need to recruit this time from somewhere, so you can do this by reducing rest periods between exercises and sets because the number of exercises increases, you can use fewer sets, but with more exercises you can opt for circuit training.
Generally speaking, stimulating the body as much as possible in the shortest possible time can generate really significant gains, even if we are not talking about stress training as such, but metabolic training.
However, you should always use maximum intensity when exercising. There is no point in wanting to train in a row, but lightly. You need to understand that the body understands the intensity of training and not necessarily the volume. Therefore, if possible, never lift loads, never neglect good performance, among other things.
Especially for small muscles, such as the arms or even the deltoid muscles themselves, this can be a very interesting strategy.
2 – Increase the variability of your training
Many people have been in gyms for years and doing the same things. Poor people! The body can very easily adapt to any stimuli, and if you always do the same things, it will know how to deal with each situation, and if adaptation already exists and the stimulus is insufficient, it will certainly not adapt again and still can current returns rather than progress.
Increasing the variability of training consists in adjusting the series, exercises, rest between sets and exercises, various techniques, ways of using equipment, exercise combinations, training divisions and so on.
It is unnecessary to make very simple changes. Let your body really feel the change! The larger these changes, the greater the need for adaptation and the better the results.
3 – Eat more!
Most people believe they eat enough, when in fact they eat too little! Due to poor diet and poor eating habits, most of them are not properly nourished, and therefore the results are compromised.
Eat at least six solid meals a day. If necessary, one or two cocktails a day can help. If you spend a lot of time awake, you may want to consider adding extra food.
If, on the one hand, too much food is bad and can damage the body and health, too little food also damages and jeopardises the results.
When we talk about proper nutrition, we are also talking about the consumption of all macro and micronutrients. So you should take care of the “big three foods (proteins, carbohydrates and lipids)”, but you should also take care of micronutrients, consuming foods that are rich in them.
Remember to have a good protein content in your diet to ensure adequate protein synthesis, remember to consume sufficient carbohydrates and, of course, to have a good lipid intake, especially to ensure sufficient synthesis of endogenous hormones.
4 – Rest more
When it comes to bodybuilding, the more you can relax, the better. So many people sin by overtraining and not providing proper rest to their bodies.
Improper rest can damage your results, but it can also damage your health, especially if you get overtrained, which is chronic overtraining. Basic physiological functions such as digestion, sleep and the production of compounds (including hormones) in the body that are harmful to health are affected.
Rest really means rest! Therefore, you should think about days without any physical activity, whether aerobic or anaerobic. You should think about a good period of sleep every day and you should also emphasize rest between workouts and others, as well as between groups.
One of the first essential requirements for bodybuilders is a good night’s sleep. Many of them lack something essential, such as sleep, due to a disorder or even the use of many substances. Thus, a normal good professional and / or coach usually plays a role in improving this aspect.
With the right rest, your results will be better, because your exercise and metabolism will be better overall.
5 – Focus on an energy-rich diet
Many bodybuilding practitioners do not perform well because they are unable to eat as much as they need to meet their nutritional needs and allow for excess energy. This is due to the fact that they do not actually eat too little, but rather eat foods with a relatively low energy density. This basically means that the volume of food is greater than the amount of energy received.
For example, who has more calories: 100 g of lettuce or 100 g of oil? If you answered oil, you’re right! This is because each gram of oil provides 0.8 grams of lipids, which is about 7.2 kcal. Each gram of salad provides an average of 0.2 kcal, which is something insignificant.
In other words, if you simply “fill your stomach,” you will have losses to satisfy your body’s needs. Focusing on a high energy density diet should therefore be seen as essential for gaining muscle mass, also due to dilatation of the gastrointestinal tract or even discomfort.
Look for foods that are caloric and low in volume. Among carbohydrates, opt for pasta, quinoa, rice cream, baguettes. Look for sources in lipids such as virgin oils (coconut is excellent out of season), oilseeds and avocado itself. When it comes to protein, use more protein that provides enough fat, such as red meat, deep-sea fish, pork with a higher fat content.
Obviously, you don’t have to fill up with trash and junk. However, you will need to consume good food and high calories to gain muscle mass.
6 – Use selections and meal replacements (meal replacements)
The use of supplements such as Gainers has been very common in the past, with a focus on dense energy consumption rather than good and adequate distribution of macronutrients. However, these supplements began to leave the scene, especially as the fashion for higher lipid and lower carbohydrate diets began.
However, Gainers did it and they are improving their composition more and more: they stopped having high levels of monosaccharides or oligosaccharides, stopped having low quality proteins in their composition, became more concerned about the lipid and fiber levels in the product and also started adding good levels micronutrients to become even more complete. The proteins present today come from excellent sources of high biological value, such as, inter alia, whey protein, albumin, casein, isolated milk protein.
Today, it is possible to find high quality hyper caloric foods and they can undoubtedly be important allies in your diet , especially in the offseason, where you need a lot of energy and you will not always be able to eat everything you need every day.
You will find hyper caloric foods with a higher fat content, higher carbohydrate content, more or less protein per serving, etc. Some will always suit your individual needs.
7 – Lower aerobics
Aerobics is part of training, especially for a better quality of life. Nevertheless, they are undoubtedly beneficial for the cardiovascular and cardiorespiratory systems and can be excellent allies in your routine if they are well adapted to the intensity, frequency and duration of your individual needs.
However, excessive aerobics can mean a reduction in muscle gain. In addition to releasing significant energy that can be used to build muscle tissue, some anabolic hormones overcome and, in addition to catecholamines, stimulate the production of catabolic hormones, especially glucagon and cortisol.
There are people who use a lot of aerobic exercise in their routine when out of season, when in fact they should focus on strength training. For an individual who has great difficulty gaining muscle mass, aerobics exercises may not be very interesting.
In addition, there are people who want to overcompensate for eating without rules and exercising excessively with aerobic exercise, which is NOT a good idea, especially given the level of stress created by the body.
Therefore, observe the different reactions of your body with more or less aerobics and you will be able to adapt to your own abilities and needs.
8 – Drink more water than other liquids
Water should be the main fluid taken by someone who wants to gain muscle mass . Given that the body makes up approximately 69% water and 70% muscle by the same compound, it is clear that it is directly responsible for the volume of these tissues. In addition, water participates in countless physio metabolic reactions, which can NEVER be low.
Fluid consumption is really important, but more than that it should be considered water consumption. This is because sodas and other carbonated drinks in addition to having empty calories (empty nutrients), you will also have a huge dilatation of the stomach, which can cause gastrointestinal problems and eat less than you should.
Juices and other beverages of this kind should also be set aside a little. This is because they are rich in simple sugars, especially fructose, a carbohydrate that is most easily converted to body fat and which, when in excess, can be compared to a toxin. Juices lose much of the fiber from the fruit that is beaten, as well as a certain amount of vitamins and minerals.
Of course, this does not mean that you should not consume juices or even soft drinks under any circumstances, but try to avoid them and always prefer water, which is around 0.35 ml per kg of body weight.
9 – Increase testosterone levels
Testosterone is the main androgen in the body. Being a steroid hormone, this is what has the main function when we talk about virilization characteristics, ie typical male properties. In addition, it plays a role in the central nervous system and is closely related to an individual’s mood, his sense of well-being, among other points that are essential for a good quality of life.
Testosterone is one of the main anabolic hormones in the body, and therefore to increase muscle training. It also indirectly promotes lipolysis, which means burning body fat.
Without good testosterone levels, the body is damaged and muscle growth is virtually impossible. It is no coincidence that elderly men often have problems with muscle loss, excessive body fat accumulation, increased levels of depression and increased sleep quality. Even women can suffer a lot if they do not have adequate testosterone levels in their bodies.
Thus, increasing testosterone or at least keeping it at an optimal level is essential. However, this will be due to healthy habits such as the quality of your sleep as well as its duration and, if possible at night, simple and intense training with a small volume, with a good diet, remembering the importance of consuming unsaturated lipids such as omega -3 (the source should be the main fish oil), in addition to mainly saturated lipids, from animal sources (whole eggs, lean red meat, lean pork, some fish more fat, etc.), which are rich in cholesterol, which is a precursor steroid hormones, good intake of vitamins and minerals such as zinc, magnesium, etc.
In addition, you can use supplements and compounds that optimize testosterone production, such as d-aspartic acid, tribullus terrestris, and others, including some pro-hormonal substances that are of good origin. The use of synthetic hormones is not interesting due to reflection factors and damage to health. It is noteworthy that women should not take prohormones or even substances that increase testosterone, as a simple increase can cause severe virilization and incorrect adjustment of endogenous hormonal levels.
Remember that high testosterone levels are not only physiological but also harmful. Therefore, it is not advisable to increase them too much, as this would have a negative effect on your health. High testosterone levels can increase blood lipid levels, cause rebound problems such as aromatization, or damage the hormonal axis.
It is also important to check your testosterone levels regularly with biochemical tests to identify possible changes, so they can be corrected as soon as possible.
10 – Consume more milk and dairy products
Milk and dairy products are an excellent ally for those who want to gain muscle mass, and even for individuals who simply want to have a good quality of life. This is because they are rich in the best bioavailable source of calcium in the world, they have high levels of vitamins and minerals such as vitamin D3 (calcium ally), vitamin A, zinc, magnesium and sodium itself, which must never be deficient in hyper-caloric diet.
Milk and dairy products have very high biological values. By the way, when we talk about them, recent studies show that the capacity for protein synthesis through dairy products is much greater than when it is stimulated by other proteins. Although it is not known exactly why, this is most likely due to the kinetics of these proteins, in addition to their biological value, richness in PDCAA, among other things.
Thanks to the vitamin and mineral supplements that milk and its derivatives bring, this food is extremely nutritious. For example, calcium is important, among other things, in bone formation, muscle contraction, neurotransmission, the strength of muscle contraction and also its durability (necessary in the process of gaining muscle mass). Zinc, magnesium and vitamin D3 are important allies in the production of testosterone, a hormone whose importance was mentioned in the previous topic.
The sodium present in milk and its derivatives is also important in muscle contraction, controlling blood osmolarity, reducing fatigue and hydrating many body tissues, including muscle tissue.
It is worth noting that milk has a good level of carbohydrates, which are essential for the body. The same food, as well as its derivatives, are also a source of lipids, mostly saturated, which contribute to the synthesis of testosterone and also to supply the body with energy.
If you have no restrictions on milk and dairy products, whether due to galactosemia, allergies to milk proteins (especially casein) or even lactose intolerance, they can be excellent allies in your diet. You can choose from traditional milk and its many derivatives, such as yogurt, cheese (white and yellow, fresh and ripe), preparations that contain milk (such as vitamins). As these are very versatile foods, there is no excuse that you will not eat them daily in your diet.
Gaining muscle mass requires essential and crucial steps such as adequate diet, training and rest. However, using tips and small “cat jumps” can be very beneficial, as it will further improve your body’s anabolic processes and speed up, streamline and last longer muscle mass.