Muscle and Size
Packing on muscle and size takes a lot more than just pounding weights in the gym. You also need to give your body the nutrition it needs to grow. Without the right nutrition you're wasting your time. If you want to step on the scales a few months from now with an extra 5, 10 or 15 pounds of muscle growth, along with bigger arms, broader shoulders and a bigger chest, read on to discover how to make your muscle size ambitions
The basics for Muscle & Size
Adding muscle and size requires a real balance between diet and training. Training must be designed to apply progressive overload to the chosen muscles in order to elicit the ‘training effect’ and cause the muscles to grow. Whilst training should target specific muscle groups it is often best to target compound exercises as these will utilise several muscle groups and are generally more functional than isolation exercises. Diet should be built around providing the muscles with sufficient levels of energy to help perform exercise and fuel the recovery process. Calories should be consumed systematically throughout the day from a variety of nutrients including protein carbohydrates and healthy fats. The high volume of calories will ensure the body always has a source of energy to feed the working muscles.
Training for muscle and size generally involves a working the muscle to fatigue with a variety of resistance exercises. The training programme should involve a low range of sets and repetitions, utilising a heavy load.
You should have at least 4 training sessions per week. Attempt to have at least one day of rest after two consecutive days of exercise. You should seek the advice of a fitness professional regarding the correct form and technique of the exercises you plan on doing and ensure a thorough warm-up is performed before you start a programme and a thorough cool down is performed after the programme.
The weight you use on each exercise is dependent on your current level of fitness. The weight you select should be heavy enough so that the last repetition causes fatigue. Attempt to have 2-3 minutes rest between each set.
Nutrition for Muscle & Size
1. Increase your calorie Intake
The most effective way to get bigger is a strategy that combines exercise and good nutrition – and it's vital to pay attention to both. If you're completing the correct exercise but not eating adequate calories you'll find it impossible to increase muscle size and shape significantly. Eat regular meals – every two to three hours – and increase daily calories to 500 above your weight maintenance figure.
2. Eat good quality Protein
A lack of quality protein will result in loss of muscle tissue and tone, a weaker immune system, slower recovery and lack of energy. If your goal is to put on muscle size while maintaining definition and tone, extra protein from high-quality sources is a must. Include performance products that contain high quality whey protein to your diet to satisfy your body's needs. These products should not be your only protein source, but should complement other proteins in your diet such as fish and lean meats.
3. Optimise the Training Effect
When you exert your muscles, especially during high intensity weight training, your muscle fibres are naturally broken down. Your body over-compensates for this by building new muscle that's bigger and stronger than before, so you're able to do the same amount of training with less effort next time. This is known as the training effect. However, as with any building, you need the blocks to do it with. Those blocks are protein, nutrients, good calories and water. The use of sports nutrition products will help you train harder for longer and recover more quickly.
4. Prevent muscle breakdown
Muscle contains a potent supply of amino acids and energy. Stress, intense training and daily life break down muscle for fuel, destroying hard-earned muscle. Reduce this effect by including products containing L-Glutamine, ZMA and Branch chain amino acids.
5. Maximise your ability to train
If you're training hard it's important to make sure you're getting your full complement of vitamins and minerals. Introduce products that support a healthy body increases the speed of muscle repair.
6. Recover recover recover
After a tough gym session, your body needs protein and carbohydrate. Ensure recovery by including a post-workout supplement in your training regime.