Social media is constantly covered in the “one-size-fits-all” secrets to getting fit and looking big, and almost all of them contradict. As a result, it can feel impossible to figure out the right things that will get you the gains and goals you’ve set for yourself.
More than just the aesthetic benefits of building muscle, muscle building will help you support every aspect of your body. So if you’re aiming to burn more calories, support your joints, build your bones up, and even help your blood formulate better, building muscle is a great way to do it.
The best method to build muscle is to understand the fundamentals of muscle-building so that you can do it safely and effectively.
1. Feed Your Body Right
The building blocks of muscle are protein. If your body doesn’t have enough protein, all the iron-pumping in the world won’t build more. So it’s crucial to put protein into your body faster than it’s used to create hormones and run your body. You are aiming for 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight a day. So, if you’re 200 pounds, you should consume about 200 grams of protein a day.
2. Feed Your Body More
Protein is important, but you must add more calories because you’ll be burning more to build muscle. You can calculate the calories you need to consume daily to gain 1 pound of muscle per week. We’ve included the calculation here:
- Your weight in pounds (A) is multiplied by 12 to get your base calorie needs (B). Then, multiply this result by 1.6 to estimate resting calorie burn (C).
- Now, multiply the number of minutes you lift weights (D) per week by 5 to get E.
- To get G, multiply the number of minutes per week you do aerobic exercise (F) by 8.
- Add E and G and divide by 7 to get H.
- Finally, add C and H to get daily calorie needs (I).
- Add 500 to I to get the daily calorie needs to gain 1 pound of muscle per week.
A X 12= B, B X 1.6= C
D X 5= E
F X 8= G
E + G, then divided by 7= H
C + H = I
I + 500= Calories needed daily to gain 1 pound of muscle a week.
3. Go Big
The greatest way to build muscle is to push your body and get the whole thing involved in movements. Although bicep curls are fun, it’s crucial to do exercises that challenge several joints and muscles at the same time. A dumbbell row is a great example of this because it challenges the biceps, lats, and abs.
4. Train Heavy
Using multiple muscle groups lets you lift more weight, which is another important consideration. In order to build muscle, we have to tear it down. Tearing muscle simply means pushing it to take a little more weight than it can comfortably take.
Pushing yourself to lift a slightly heavier weight (without straining or hurting yourself) will let the muscle tear so that your body can go in with the protein and calories you’ve been consuming and build the muscle back stronger than before. The heavier the weight (within safety constraints), the greater the tear and rebuild.