Five Winning Muscle Building Tips When Starting Out

Woman doing a push up from the floor

The best tips for beginners and anyone experiencing muscle-building plateaus

If you are hurrying to build muscle, I have some sad news.
Nothing in the world will help you put on muscle fast — unless you decide to use steroids.
This article probably won’t help you much if that’s your style. Perhaps a few tips would be helpful, but most want to keep our health intact and do things correctly.
It’s easy to get caught up on Instagram, try many exercises, and buy app subscriptions. But there is no better wait to get results than returning to basics.
Nutrition is a bit that way. Unfortunately, it’s become complicated because of all the different products and services people sell.
But, since I’ve been weight training for over 20 years, I can say that nothing beats the basics.
Our bodies aren’t that complicated — but we overcomplicate things without needing to.
You will get results by doing what your body finds challenging yet functional. Of course, a few tricks along the way help — but the standard stuff is always king.

One: Compounds all the way

If you do squats, deadlifts, bench presses and pull-ups, you will get stronger and more muscular than the average joe.
These exercises may be very taxing and take a lot out of you — but there is a reason behind this.
Using large muscle groups — a lot of them takes a mighty effort.
I always start my sessions with these big guys because they take the most energy and stamina. I then finish off with isolated exercises.
For example, perform a squat and then leg extensions.
You can follow this with calf raises or back extensions.
Save all your strength for the tough ones, and you will be rewarded with strength and size much faster.

Two: It takes work and commitment

Building muscle takes little increments of overloading those muscles as they strengthen.
Then, naturally, you are building size and strength together.
Every workout you perform pushes you further beyond that previous point of limitations. That helps the muscles to grow bigger and stronger.
But you have to keep doing this regularly.
At least four times per week. That way, you consistently apply overload, the muscle repairs, and then it breaks down again.
It could take years — but it’s worth it.

Three: Eating the right foods at the right time

If you intend to put on muscle, a little more protein goes a long way.
That’s not to say go overboard.
There is only so much protein your body can use up — the rest is converted to fat or excreted.
The best way I have found to eat protein is within each meal. So make your snacks protein-rich and your breakfast, lunch and dinner.
This should keep you covered throughout your day and ensure you’re getting little doses to keep your protein quota high but not exceeding what you need.
Keep drinking water to hydrate your body and keep your energy levels consistent.

Four: Recover well

As you should train hard, recovery must bring on those muscular gains.
Get eight hours of sleep to maximise your overnight growth hormone secretion.
Do you work from home regularly? Why not have a power nap during your lunch break?
Take supplements at night like magnesium to help muscles recover and get restful sleep. Zinc is also great, and that will help keep colds at bay.
You can get these nutrients from your foods, but keep it simple.
For example, magnesium can be added as a topical spray or cream directly applied to the sorest muscles for instant relief and relaxation.

Five: A smidgen more calories

To grow muscles, you will need a little more calories than usual.
Start with about 1–200, then see how your body responds.
Eating clean foods derived from carbs and protein makes it essential to your health.
It may be a case of adding yogurt to your snacks, a few more nuts, or some higher-fat protein like salmon or steak.
If you are a vegan, perhaps some tofu, tempeh, or beans might do it.
Play around with your macros until you find a balance, so you are still lean, giving yourself the needed calories for energy and muscle growth.
What do you find your biggest challenge when it comes to building muscle?

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