Even when muscle growth is more enjoyable than fast loss for the reason that we can eat a little more it still is hard, we need to put in the time, hard work, sacrifice, discipline and patience but it´s not complicated. There´s so many information out there that can be overwhelming so having a guide which we can follow and adjust to fit our needs is very helpful and that´s what we´re going to be talking here.
Before we get to the principles there are 3 points that we need to talk about:
It takes time to build muscle, the more time we´ve been training the more time it will take to gain muscle mass so patience is key. When we´re beginners and we´re starting our fitness journey, it´s easier to gain muscle but as time pass by and we get more trained muscle growth slows down so we need to be really patient and stick to the principles.
2.- Body composition
Our goal is to help get in our best shape possible and sustain it by improving body composition and doing it in a natural way, this means no drugs so we won´t get big. The reason for this is simple, excess weight whether it´s from body fat or muscle mass is dangerous, excess weight leads to health problems because our body needs to work harder.
Now lets go to the principles:
1. Eat a little more. Our body needs nutrients to recover, grow and build new muscle so we need to make sure that the food we eat is just enough for our body to maintain daily functions plus recover, grow and build that extra muscle but if we eat too much we´ll gain the excess as fat. For some of us 300 calories more is enough, up to 500 calories per day. We can increase carbohydrates to create the calorie surplus and if you want to stay as lean as possible, carbohydrate cycling is the best option. The day of resistance training increase carbohydrates and on rest days or cardio days keep calories at maintenance.
2. Resistance training.- We need to use both types of hypertrophy to get the best results so working on the 6 – 8 rep ranges and also 8 – 12 is the best option. We need enough volume and frequency training for each muscle group so hitting each muscle 2 times per week is the best option, and we need to work to failure or past failure at least in one exercise per muscle group or in the last set of all exercises.
3. Cardio training.- Doing some cardio on rest days is great to help us stay lean.
4. Realize that is takes time to build muscle, do not try to gain too much muscle mass fast because you´ll end gaining a lot of fat, slow and steady wins the race if we want to keep fat as low as possible.
5. Push pass the pain, we need to challenge our body in order for it to change, we need to make sure that we´re making progress every workout this is why progressive overload and periodization are great training tools to make sure that we get the results we want.
6. We need 8 hours of good quality sleep every night, our body and muscles needs to recover after hitting them hard so they can grow, a big part of that recovery and growth gets done while we sleep. Turn off all electric devices 30 minutes before going to bed and use those 30 minutes to do some breathing exercises to calm your mind and relax your body and muscles which improves the quality of sleep.
7. Keep stress as low as possible by avoiding negative people and negative situations, if you can´t do that which I know it´s difficult just don´t take things personal, do not worry about what others think and say of you, focus on yourself on being better every day.
This 7 principles are the best strategies for muscle growth with as less fat as possible, I know it seems like a lot but I´m sure you can do it. Remember that the more time you´ve been working out the more time it takes to build muscle so be patient and follow this principles for as long as you need, you can make the adjustments you need to make them fit your lifestyle and your progress.
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