How To Build Muscle – Beginner’s Guide To Muscle Building
I decided to put together all the information in a easy to understand and effective manner on how to build muscle. This is a guide to beginners lifters but I believe some intermediate lifters might have missed some of the important points what I’m going to tell.
And one more thing. These rules apply only to NATURAL gym goers who train without any illegal substances such as steroids. Since when using steroids it really doesn’t matter how you train you’ll pack muscle relatively easy no matter what the training style is (compared to natural trainers).
So first the very important point what you should drill to your head is this:
BUILDING MUSCLE AND STRENGTH TAKES TIME, A LOT OF TIME!
Everybody whos telling you something like “new cutting edge working routines that will yield 30 pounds of lean muscle over 30-60-90 days” is full of bullshit. To a certain degree this MIGHT be possible if the individual is genetically gifted and has just started lifting and all the things such as workout programs, diet and rest are in pristine condition. But for an average Joe like you and me we can forget those kind of results.
To really see your physique change in muscle mass you should be looking at about 6-12 month intervals. But don’t be scared because this is the time when YOU will see the results better but your friends who haven’t seen you in a while will for sure notice that your doing something way earlier!
So don’t be discouraged if you won’t see the results right away, it’s all part of the process.
I’m going to give you the information that will affect 95% of all your gains for the rest of your life as a lifter right here. The fitness industry is very shady market and they’re only interested in your money not your true progress. And let me tell you one thing…
THERE IS NOT A SINGLE SUPPLEMENT WHICH WILL AFFECT GREATLY TO YOUR MUSCLE BUILDING GAINS!
Yes that’s right. Supplements don’t build muscle and strength, HARD WORK and STICKING with it is what will yield the results you’re looking for! So get in the right mindset at the start and accept that this thing will take time, allow yourself to fall in love with lifting and everything else will follow. That I guarantee to you 100%.
So enough with the rambling let’s get to the most important principles of muscle building and strength gaining as a natural lifter!
#1 BASIC COMPOUND EXERCISES
The corner stones of your workout routines have to consist of these multi joint movements which task your whole body to the greatest degree. And these exercises include:
- Bench Presses
- Overhead Presses
These exercise are absolutely crucial for natural lifters to gain the most amount of muscle and strength in the fastest time humanly possible. As a natural athlete muscle size and strength are strongly linked together unlike people training under the usage of steroids.
As we already know building muscle takes a lot of time so we want to spend our time in the gym the most efficient manner and that is to build your workout around these heavy basic compound exercises. They will give you whole body strength and the best possible muscle gains as well as direct carry over to every day tasks and athletic performance what ever your chosen sport happens to be.
Having a strong squat will make you run faster, throw ball harder, jump higher. Strong deadlift will assist you in generating heavier punches, throwing opponents as well as performing better on everyday tasks such as lifting furniture and groceries.
#2 PROGRESSIVE OVERLOAD
Fancy term huh? Don’t be intimidated by it since it’s really simple and the most important lifting principle inside the gym you have to understand. This is where you monitor your progress and push yourself to a new level on a consistent basis.
And what this really means is, you have to aim for lifting more reps or more repetitions per set everytime you enter the gym.
Let me give you a couple of real life examples how this works: Last week Mr. / Mrs. X did Squats of 155 pounds on a bar for 2 sets of 7 repetitions each. The following week he / she should be aiming for atleast 8 repetitions for the first set and 7 repetitions for the second set or 8 even for the second, OR add 2.5 – 5 pounds to the bar and get 5-6 reps for both sets.
This is the bare essentials of progressive overload and it’s a huge topic in itself if one wants to get really in-depth to it but as a beginner you really don’t have to. But as with everything else it’s better to aim for small steps over long period of time than add 10 pounds every week even if you can. The more you add on a weekly basis the faster you’ll stall and you have to start progressing again with a slower pace.
#3 PROPER FORM
While doing these compound movements it’s absolutely vital to have proper lifting technique, known as form. If your lifting form is screwed you gonna end up injuring yourself when the weight start to get a bit heavier and this will be something you have to avoid at all costs!
In my opinion you should really study the correct form and experiment yourself what works for your body type since we’re all different and what one person says works for him isn’t necesseraly the optimal way for YOU!
Youtube is a magnificent tool for learning the proper form. There are literally hundreds of really experienced coaches who offer this information of lifting technique for free. You got even the most elite guys in the world giving 10-30 minute run downs of different exercise mechanics and how one should perform them. This absolutely good resource to learn from.
Eventhough the information in youtube is available and really good, you should take a lot of time to perfect the lifting techniques. I’d suggest about 1 month of only technique drilling and keeping the weight quite light before you start to train wight heavier loads. The best thing would be to get someone experienced to check out your form and give pointers to you.
As funny it may seem if you’ve not heard this before is that what actually happens in the gym when you train you’ll create microtears to your muscles. So basically in the gym your breaking down your muscles. And this is where the diet comes into play.
When you digest food your body will have the nutrients that it requires to REPAIR the broken down muscles, so opposed to the general thought, the actual growth of the muscles happens OUTSIDE of the gym! So in a way you could think that in the gym you break the muscle down and outside you make it bigger.
So there is actually two main ingredients to designing succesfull diet to optimize your muscle and strength gains and those two are:
- Calorie Surplus
- Enough Protein
Calorie Surplus means that you have to eat more calories than you spend in a day. And this is because your body needs fuel in order to be able to build the broken down muscle fibers. Even when your protein intake is sufficient enough and all the other nutrients are in place if you’re not eating enough to give your body adequate amounts of fuel to properly function, there simply will not be any muscle growth happening! A good idea is to get a rough estimate how much you spend in a day and how much you eat. Once you learn that you don’t really need to count any calores as you will have a good feel of how much you should eat.
Enough Protein means just that, enough protein. Protein is the nutrient that your body uses to repair the broken down muscle tissue, carbohydrates won’t do it and fat won’t do it. So needless to say it’s really important. There is a lot of different information about the optimal protein intake amounts for muscle building but a good rule of thumb is 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight OR 1 gram of protein per pound of Lean Body Mass.
Proper rest enables your body to recover from the constant battle with the weights. Different stuff going on your life can affect the ability to recover fully. If you’re stressed out your cortisol levels are higher and you won’t recover as good, you cannot sleep enough or the quality of the sleep is not good enough.
This can stop the whole process of building muscle and will definately slow it down.
The biggest repair of the muscle happens during sleep so you should aim for 7-9 hours good quality sleep per night. That will ensure that you’ll be giving your body the best possible “enviroment” to grow. The sleep requirement is also very dependent on person. Some people experience progressive gains with just 5 hours a night, others demand atleast 9 hours. It’s up to you to determine what amount of sleep suits best for you so that you feel recovered and energized throughout the day.
All this been laid out for you know you might wonder where the hell are all the supplements? Like I mentioned before, 99% of supplements on the market for muscle growth is total BS. BUT there are ofcourse some that might work for you and HERE is my another article for supplements that are researched and proven to work.
If you decide to use supplements it’s totally up to you. But remember, if you don’t use them you won’t be missing out on anything. Muscle and strength are build up by working hard in the gym coupled with correct diet and sufficient amount of rest! If you’re not one of the people with 1-in-a-million genetics or use steroids your only option is to work hard and stick with it and the results will follow.
So to recap all the stuff let’s go through them one more time:
- Basic Compound Exercises should be the corner stone of your workout routines
- Aim for Progressive Overload with more reps or more weight
- Always use Proper Form when lifting
- Eat in a Calorie Surplus
- Eat 0.8 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight or per pound of lean body mass
- Get enough Sleep (dependent on a person but a good rule of thumb 7-9 hours per night)
- Supplementation is NOT MANDATORY by any means
Honestly as long as you’ll have these rules in pristine condition you will be building atleast 90-95% of muscle that you potentially can build. Don’t believe any of the FAST RESULTS crap. In life nothing really comes fast and building muscle and strength is not an exception to that!
Did you find this article helpful? Drop me a comment down below if you have any questions or suggestions in mind. I’d love to hear what you think 🙂 Check out my comprehensive article on supplementation at HERE!
Train hard and train SMART!