Building muscle requires a positive energy balance, which means that you must take in more calories than you burn. You need roughly 2,800 calories to build a pound of muscle, largely to support protein turnover, which can be elevated with training. By following these tips, you’ll be able to build muscle mass more efficiently and quickly.
Your body can build at most around about 227g of muscle each week, so if you eat too many extra calories trying to build more muscle, you will gain excess fat, too. We would suggest consuming an extra 250 to 500 calories per day. If you gain fat easily, stay on the lower end of the range, and if you find it difficult to gain weight in general, aim for the higher end of the range. It will take a bit of trial and error to find the right amount of additional calories to build muscle and stay lean.
In addition, research suggests that consuming lean protein 15 to 20 minutes before, during, and within one hour of working out may help improve muscle gain. Since you are probably not going to be eating a steak or chicken breast at the gym, a protein drink or supplement may be beneficial immediately before, during, or after workouts, but is not necessary.
However, it’s not all about protein. It’s about eating many meals that meet your calorific expenditure and provide you with the nutrition as part of a healthy, balanced diet that will help you to build muscle, lose fat and get stronger. Here are eight simple tips to help you get on track…
When we talk about hypertrophy, it is important to remember that everybody is different. Two people can be on the exact same program and experience different results. However, the underlying principles of hypertrophy, like strength training, are universal.
Some athletes get jacked using bodyweight movements, or just by looking at the weights, whilst others have to work twice as hard to put on the same amount of muscle. This is an important reminder.
You can choose to follow the practices of the biggest guy or fittest female in the gym, but the methods that work for them might not work at all for you. Once you understand the principles then you can adapt and apply the right methods in order to find the best way for you.
What is Hypertrophy?
Hypertrophy is simply the increase in the size of an organ or tissue through the enlargement of the cells that comprise it.
A hypertrophy program is designed not to increase strength or improve athletic performance (although there is an overlap, of course), but to primarily cause muscular growth by increasing the size of your muscle fibers.
Remember, this plan is not designed to improve strength or power. This program is strictly for the purpose of gaining serious muscle size.
Use this plan for 6 – 8 Weeks, then change in order to stop the muscles from getting too used to a certain workload.
This one is a killer. You do not use heavyweights, but you won´t need them.
How to Build Muscle: 6-Day Split
Cycle: 6-Day Split
- 2 days workout
- 1 day off
- 2 days workout
- 1 day off, restart
Decline Smith Presses: 2 x 12.
Flat Hammer Presses: 4 x 25
Incline Dumbbell Flyes: 3 x until failure
Seated Dumbbell Presses: 1 x 25
Reverse EZ Bar Presses: 1 x until failure
Seated Dumbbell Side Laterals: 1 x until failure
Back squats: 4 x 25.
Horizontal Leg Presses: 1 x 40
Leg Extensions: 1 x 40
Leg Curl Machine: 3 x until failure
Pull-ups: 2 x 12
Deadlifts: 2 x 10
Dumbbell Rows: 2 x 10
Lat Pulldown: 2 x 10
Rear Delt Machine: 2 x 25
Barbell Shrugs: 2 x 12
Dumbbell Shrugs: 2 x 12
Upright Rows: 2 x 12
Standing Dumbbell Curls: 2 x10
Dumbbell Drag Curls: 1 x 20
Incline Hammer Curls: 1 x 15
Close-Grip Benches: 1 x 25
Tricep Press Downs: 1 x 25
Double Arm Kickbacks: 1 x 25
Dips: 1 x until failure
Seated Calf Raises: 3 x 15
Donkey Calf Raises: 3 x 15
How to Build Muscle: Principles of Muscular Hypertrophy
Progressive Tension Overload
This means that muscle fibers must be subjected to increasing levels of tension – Think progressively increasing the weights that you are lifting over time.
How to Build Muscle: Damage
When you train, you tear and stress your muscle fibers, these are called microtears. When you rest, recover, and replenish your body properly, your muscles will grow back stronger and more able to cope with the stresses that they are being put under. This results in larger muscles. This includes good quality sleep and nutrition, without both of these your efforts will be in vain.
This means working your muscles to failure. Repeated actions that lead to muscle fibers being worked to their metabolic limit will instigate hypertrophy.
Here is a good tutorial to explain the principles of hypertrophy applied to the chest.