When it comes to building muscle there are a few key principles you’ve got to follow. In today’s email, I wanted to provide a brief checklist that you can follow to ensure you are on the right track.
Follow the key points below and you’ll be well on your way to building some quality strength and size!
✅ Strength/Resistance Training
It is important to bear in mind that the primary driver behind increases in muscle tissue (hypertrophy) is the work done in the weights room. Resistance training provides a powerful, anabolic stimulus with nutrition supporting your training and furthering the muscle growth post workout.
Your aim should be to look to progress over time i.e. by increasing total volume and intensity (weight) or a combination of where possible.
✅ Nutrition – Calorie Surplus
Eating in an energy surplus is needed to optimize and provide a muscle building environment and to support increased training demands.
The magnitude of the energy surplus needs to be individually determined – trial and error work best here, with a couple of hundred calories above maintenance the ‘sweet spot’ for many – unless you classify as a ‘hard-gainer’. Around a 1 – 3lb increase in body weight per month is a decent estimate for most whilst minimizing the likelihood of any unwanted fat gain. This can be higher when you just start training or switch up your routine, but watch out for excess fat if it jumps up much higher.
✅ Nutrition – Protein
Protein intake is the next port of call as this will provide the building blocks to build new muscle tissue. Around 1 gram per pound of total body weight is a good target for most. For best results, spread out these protein feedings throughout the day (e.g. 4-6 meals/snacks). As you’ll notice with our meals, we ensure all of them are high in protein, even the protein donuts and cookies to support your muscle building goals!
✅ Sleep and Recovery
More training volume and intensity is only better up to a certain point, after which it can actually be counterproductive. To support recovery and repair following a progressive resistance training program, it is important to prioritize sleep to promote recovery and the remodeling of muscle tissue. Aim to go to bed at similar times each night to support circadian rhythm health and if necessary, nap and/or catch up on sleep debt when time permits.
✅ Be Patient
Gaining muscle mass is also a slow and inefficient process in comparison to fat loss – patience and consistency is key. It may take several months/years for drastic body composition changes to occur. Stay consistent and trust the process!
We hope you enjoyed this checklist and if you found it helpful feel free to share it or forward it on to your fitness friends!!
Author: Rudy Mawer, MS – International Sports Scientist & Nutritionist