January 19, 2023
This post is for all you ladies out there wanting to get jacked AF! Or just build a little more definition and strength. We get soooo many questions wanting to know what the best way is to add muscle. So, consider this your ultimate guide. Keep reading to find out exactly what you should do!
So here’s the thing, YOU NEED TO EAT ADEQUATE AMOUNTS OF PROTEIN TO GAIN MUSCLE (and to live a healthy life). How much? At least 1 g per pound of your bodyweight to see growth. Protein provides the essential amino acids that your body needs to build new muscle and retain the muscle you already have. If you don’t consume enough protein, your body may break down your existing muscle to fuel your workouts or even just survive. Quite simply, this is Not. Good. Some of our favourite sources of protein include fish, eggs, chicken, turkey, legumes and tofu. (PS: Check out our Protein Plus Meal Guide for help with meeting your protein requirements!)
Consume Adequate Calories
To build muscle, your body needs the fuel to put in the work. If you are burning more calories than you are consuming, your body is going to use whatever stored resources it has to just to keep your body running (and no, it doesn't always target your fat). However, if you consume enough calories, your body can utilize those calories for other things such as building lean muscle. Here’s how you can do that:
Of course, physical activity is equally as important as nutrition when it comes to building muscle. Lifting weights damages muscle cells and causes them to tear. As your muscles heal, they grow bigger and become stronger. However, for this to happen, you need to lift loads that are heavy enough to push your muscles sufficiently to cause muscle growth. Here are some ways you can optimize muscle growth:
Drink Enough Water
Bet you didn't expect to see this one on the list. But the truth is water does the complete opposite from bloating you. You're going to be working your body and sweating to see those gains, but that loss of water in your muscles will slow down their growth and recovery. So staying properly hydrated will keep your body functioning properly and ensure that effort you put in is getting noticed.
Sleep can have a powerful impact on your ability to build muscle. Firstly, sleep is important for muscle recovery. And without proper muscle recovery, your muscles can’t grow. When you sleep, your body produces hormones that are considered “anabolic”. Put simply, anabolic means "building up". This means that sleep promotes growth in the body because these hormones help to increase muscle protein synthesis as well as muscle retention. Lastly, sleep can also affect your performance in the gym. If you are not well rested, you are more likely to feel lethargic and less motivated during workouts. Read all about how you can improve your sleep here.
Above all else, this may be the most important ingredient for building muscle. Your ability to gain muscle is affected by so many environmental and biological factors such as hormones, genes, stress, sleep and genes. Remember, the body is complex. It takes time and a lot of hard work to change your body composition. Don’t give up if you don’t see results within the first couple of weeks. Keep eating well and training hard and eventually, the gains will come.
Give these suggestions a try. If you’ve hit a plateau, re-evaluate, try something different with your nutrition or workouts and keep moving forward. It’s not easy, but it’s worth it!
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