Just like losing weight, building muscle can be a challenge. But, with determination and a persistent routine, this fitness goal is doable. Putting on healthy muscle mass not only increases physical strength and physique but can maximize our metabolic rate and improve our fitness performance. Whether you’re just starting your muscle-building journey or need a few tips, check out our six essential tips for effective muscle growth.
6 Tips to Building Muscle Mass
1. Set goals and track your progress
Before you start racking those weights, take the time to get specific with your journey. Set realistic daily, weekly, and monthly goals in a journal. Be sure to list your current weight, where you would like to be at this certain time, and how you will achieve these goals. Having a fitness journal also allows you to keep track of your progress and easily make adjustments if needed.
2. Lift heavy
An important aspect of muscle growth is consistent, multi-joint workouts with heavy weights (of course). Plan out a weekly routine of when to target big and small muscle groups, including when to do compound and isolation exercises. In the meantime, it’s also really important to target those different muscle groups at various angles. Symmetry is key to shaping appealing muscle growth.
When building muscle, start with weights you can do in a 6-8 rep range. Remember to focus on mastering form and technique before adding additional weights to your workouts.
3. Train big and small muscle groups
To emphasize tip #2, know the difference between compound and isolation exercises. Building muscle and getting stronger all depend on the type of exercise you do. Compound exercises train multiple joints and muscles, while isolation exercises target smaller muscle groups. You need both types of exercises implemented into your routine for effective growth.
4. Diet is key
When it comes to achieving any kind of fitness goal, diet is the most important. Diet takes up about 80% of our results, especially if your goal is to build muscle. You can’t do so without the proper nutrients. Be sure your diet consists of large protein, healthy fats, and a combination of carbohydrates. Aim for 5-8 meals daily (adjust if needed) and look to replacement meals like protein shakes. But above all, never miss your meals, especially before and after workouts.
5. Rest and recover
Giving your body healing and recovery is a common mistake when building muscle. It’s important to remember that muscles grow outside of the gym. It doesn’t matter if you’re working out twice a day. Your body naturally needs rest. Try opting for at least 7-8 hours of quality sleep a night and listen to your body if it needs an additional rest day.
6. Be consistent
Along with having confidence and a positive mindset, consistency is essential to see results. Be patient while sticking to your diet and fitness routine. Find ways and habits that will keep you motivated, like surrounding yourself with positive affirmations and a healthy support system.