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6 Tips to Gain and Keep Muscles

Do you find yourself wondering how to build muscle the right way? Step into school, find a seat, and welcome to Muscle Building 101. If you've experienced the frustration of trying various workouts and feeling stronger but not seeing the desired muscle mass improvements, leading to a loss of motivation and eventually quitting, fear not!

In this discussion, you’ll learn useful workout and nutrition tips on how to build muscle, but more importantly, you’ll understand how to utilize the mind-to-muscle connection to skyrocket your results.

How does muscle building work?

To build muscle, the growth of muscle cells is essential, known as muscle hypertrophy, wherein muscle formation surpasses muscle breakdown. A combination of strength training and a sufficient intake of protein forms the basis for muscle development.

However, it's important to emphasize that rest and recovery are equally vital factors in the muscle-building process. Out of all the valuable tips, we are listing 6 of the crucial tips needed to build muscle;

Nutrition/Balanced Diet

Eating the proper foods in the right proportions gives your muscles the nutrients they need to recuperate from exercises and become bigger and stronger. Achieving this can be accomplished through well-balanced meals comprising nutrient-rich foods from all food groups.

This approach ensures an adequate supply of protein, carbohydrates for energy, and other essential nutrients, which not only help maintain muscle but also support overall health.

Fitness/Exercise

Strength training involves utilizing weights, machines, or body weight to challenge muscles, causing mechanical tension and metabolic stress, prompting muscle adaptation. Pushing muscles to fatigue leads to fiber damage, initiating the healing process and muscle growth. To build back muscles, exercises like rows, pull-ups, and deadlifts are effective.

For neck muscles, neck curls and extensions can be performed. For leg muscles, squats and lunges work well. Shoulder muscles benefit from overhead presses and lateral raises. Thigh muscles can be strengthened with leg presses and leg curls. Finally, chest muscles respond to bench presses, push-ups, and chest fly exercises.

Recovery time

Sufficient sleep is crucial for muscle building. While adults typically need 7-9 hours of sleep per night, aiming for at least eight hours is recommended when working out to build muscle, as advised by Pearce. Ample sleep helps maintain elevated levels of anabolic hormones, supporting muscle recovery and growth effectively.

Increased Protein Intake

According to the International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN), maintaining muscle requires an intake of 0.6 to 0.9g of protein per pound of body weight.  Opt for protein-rich snacks like cottage cheese, cheese sticks, protein bars, and shakes. Health stores offer protein powders for a quick, energizing boost. Additionally, choose turkey, cheese, and cracker packs or frozen/prepackaged diet foods with high protein and low-fat, low-carb options.

Drink plenty of water

Proper hydration is vital for muscle building, but many people don't consume enough water, even without regular exercise. Besides the recommended 8 to 10 glasses of water daily, Karas advises drinking an extra 12 to 16 ounces before exercising.

Work on alternate muscles

Muscles require ample time to repair after any nerve-wracking exercise. Trainers suggest switching between your muscle groups to have efficient results. On day one, focus on training the chest, triceps, and shoulders. Day two is dedicated to the lower body, including gluteals, quads, hamstrings, hip abductors and adductors, and calves. Finally, on day three, concentrate on the abs, back, and biceps.

Conclusion

Individual results in muscle building or maintenance can vary due to multiple factors like genetics, exercise, sleep, nutrition, stress, and medical history. Choose a suitable routine and stay consistent to achieve your muscle goals.

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