Gaining weight and converting your fat into muscle is a great way of making yourself not only look great but also feel your best as well. Some people struggle to gain weight and often find that they gain fat rather than building muscle, so if you are hitting the gym hard and don’t understand why you are either losing weight or gaining fat, then there are a few simple changes you need to make to boost your muscle building abilities.
1) Work More than One Muscle Group
Compound movements and other exercises which focus on working more than just one muscle group at a time are a great way of boosting muscle. Rather than targeting single muscles in one workout, try and target a few or do a full body workout to shock your body into muscle growth. Dead lifts, rows and squats are all great for building muscle.
2) Eat the Right Foods
You will need to increase your calorie intake in order to gain muscle, and the best way to do that is to increase the frequency of your meals. On top of this, you need to eat foods that are high in protein and low in fat. It is also essential to get a good balance of carbs, protein and healthy fats.
The best food to gain weight and bulk up muscle is lean chicken which is high in protein and therefore helps you grow muscle. Also keep track of your calorie intake so that you are giving your muscles enough calories to help growth (usually 500 more than you would usually require).
3) Do Stretches
An ideal part of injury prevention and a great way of promoting muscle repair is to warm up, cool down and stretch the muscles before and after a workout. Stretches can improve your flexibility which means that when training with your weights you have a better range of motion for your joints and muscles therefore preventing injury in both the short and long term.
4) Eat Often
When you eat lots of small meals rather than just 3 big meals during the day, you are allowing your muscles to stay fuelled which also helps your metabolism so that you can burn fat throughout the day. Six small meals of the right foods can keep you energized and will also prevent unhealthy snacking which could lead to fat gain which you definitely don’t want!
5) Vary Your Training
Try to avoid working out for more than an hour (45 minutes is ideal) so that your muscles don’t get used to the exercise and then start to burn away your muscle instead of burning fat. Also try to avoid doing too much cardio within your training program as this can lead to muscle loss, and although you can get a lean physique, if you want to build muscle too much cardio training will slow down the process. Limit cardio to 2 or 3 times a week at 30 minutes each time. Also try to change your workout every 4 to 6 weeks so that your muscles can be shocked into growing more.
6) Take Protein Supplements
Protein is vital in helping the development of amino acids in your body which are the building blocks for muscle. It can be difficult to get all the protein that you need just through your diet, so taking protein supplement shakes is a great way of ensuring your muscles have the right kind of fuel to grow.
7) Allow Recovery Time
When you sleep, your muscles are given the chance to regenerate and recover from your workout. Stay stress free and try to get about 8 hours sleep every night so that your mind and body are rested – this gives your muscle fibers the chance to repair themselves ready for your next workout. Don’t overdo your exercise either – resting is a massive part of letting your muscles reach their full potential so make sure you are only training 4 times a week at most.
During your “rest” days, don’t drink alcohol or forget about your diet plan just because it’s your day off the gym – stay healthy and you will see fast progress with your muscle growth.
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Natalie S. is an online freelance writer that contributes your work to countless health and medical related websites and blogs. She is a self-proclaimed health nut that loves sharing her knowledge to readers maintain a healthy lifestyle.