There are lots of good reasons to be concerned about building muscle. It boosts metabolism, helps you look leaner, feels stronger and maintains functional fitness. Looking for ways to build more muscle? Here are five methods to try.
Boost your reps
Don’t be afraid to go hard and fast to build more muscle. Shorten your rest periods between sets, speed up your reps and increase the number of reps per set.
Do compound exercises
Compound exercises recruit more than one muscle group at a time. Examples include squats, overhead press, and barbell rows. Compound exercises help muscles work together better.
Lift progressively heavier weights
Adjust your routine periodically to keep the routine fresh and your muscles challenged. It can be helpful to use a training journal to track your progress. As you gain strength, add more weight to your routine. More weight will help you build more muscle and strength over time.
Focus on large muscle groups
Think chest, legs, and back. Working large muscle groups facilitates protein synthesis. Protein synthesis encourages muscle growth.
For each set, lift to failure. In other words, at the end of each set, you should not feel able to lift for any more reps. Again, shorten your rest period (30 to 60 seconds) between sets. Doing this challenges muscles to work harder resulting in more growth.
What else is important for building muscle?
- Cardio counts, but don’t overdo it. Instead, focus on lifting.
- Get adequate protein. Include lean meat and dairy.
- Choose healthy, nutrient-dense meals. Include carbs for energy.
- Add supplements as appropriate.
- Get enough sleep. Recovery is an important part of building muscle. Aim for 7 to 8 hours of sleep each evening.
- Be consistent. Exercise at least three times weekly at a minimum.
- Add rest days. Consider cross-training or complete rest on these days to prevent overtraining and injury.
- Fuel and recover well – choose a small snack with protein and carbs before and after exercise. Protein drinks or bars are a good option here.
- Avoid overeating. Exercise is not an excuse to overeat empty calories.
Building muscle can be an important way of maintaining functional fitness or just gaining mass and feeling strong. Whatever your reason for building muscle, these tips can help you bulk up. Expect to start noticing changes in your body in just a few weeks. Stay consistent with your lifting regimen and see your gains grow over time.