When it comes to aligning yourself to maximize muscle growth, there are a few things you should make sure you are doing. This article is going to lay some of the groundwork to help you put yourself in a position to add the quality lean mass to your frame that you’re looking for.
Regardless if you are a stay at home mom or a competitive bodybuilder, everyone should be looking to maximize muscle growth in order to not only enhance your physique thanks to what we consider beautiful muscles but also naturally boost your metabolism by adding that lean muscle. It is understood that the more lean muscle mass you have on your frame, the more calories you will burn — even while at rest. Here are some things you should be doing to maximize muscle growth.
1. Eat more quality protein
As Americans, we have no issue taking in more than enough carbohydrates and fat in our diet. However, protein seems to be one of the macronutrients that some find difficult to reach when it comes to their daily requirements. To maximize muscle growth, many people strive for 0.8-1.0 grams of protein per day per pound of bodyweight. Therefore, someone who weighs 150 pounds would be looking at 120-150 grams of protein each day. Those who do not reach their requirements through whole food sources generally look to add a protein supplement such as a protein shake or protein bar to their daily nutritional plan.
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Protein is what aids in repairing and rebuilding broken down muscle fibers from your intense workouts. Without protein (amino acids), you will find it nearly impossible to add the quality muscle you are striving for.
2. Get enough sleep
Too many people over-emphasize what they do in the gym as being a critical part of maximizing muscle growth. While that aspect should not be overlooked, it’s what you do outside of the gym that will yield the best results. Combining proper nutrition (like mentioned above) with adequate rest, you put your body in a prime position to add the quality lean muscle mass you desire.
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Each night you should strive for a minimum of seven (7) hours of sleep. When you get good quality sleep each night, your body has the ability to recover and repair properly. Additionally, it’s vital to give your muscles enough rest before hitting them again in the gym and breaking down the muscle fibers yet again. It’s recommended that you have a minimum of 24 hours rest before you work the same muscle group(s). For instance, if you hit shoulders on Monday, don’t work them again until at least Wednesday.
3. Progressive overload training
If you’re not challenging your muscles, they will not grow. Anyone can walk into a gym and pick things up and put them down but if you aren’t overloading the muscle on a constant basis, don’t expect to look in the mirror and see progress towards your goals.
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When you work out and do your resistance training, it’s necessary to challenge your muscles in ways that it’s not used to. For instance, if you normally bench 135 pounds, the next week either try to do more reps, more sets, or toss more weight on the bar. Or, change up the exercises and angles at which you work a muscle group. This progressive overload put on the muscles will not only stimulate the muscle fibers but will aid in breaking them down so they can be rebuilt bigger and stronger.
The problem so many people face is when they go to the gym and do the same workout each week and use the same weights. Your body will eventually adapt and no changes will be made. When you challenge your muscles, work towards that intense and deep contraction with each rep in order to maximize muscle growth. You will be able to hit the muscle differently and force it to change and adapt by building dense and strong fibers.
Matt Weik, owner of Weik Fitness, LLC, is a well-respected fitness expert/author with a global following. His work has been featured all over the globe as well as having published more than a dozen books. He is a certified strength and conditioning specialist, personal trainer, and sports nutritionist. Find out more at www.weikfitness.com.