A lot of people find it hard to put on muscle and then even harder to keep it on.
I always have people asking me “Adam, what is the best way to put on muscle”
And there are several things I always tell them and that’s there are various things that attribute to this
The consistency of someone working out, their progressive overload targets each month, their nutrition, their genetics, their technique, and mind to muscle connection.
So various things make a difference when it comes to you building muscle.
But if you hit all these areas that I am going to list down below then that’s all you can ask of yourself.
Some people will gain muscle easier than others it's just the way it is.
But you will generally get anywhere between 4lbs of muscle to 12lbs of muscle in your very first year of training.
Then after that, you will start to level off and roughly only gain around 3lbs to 6lbs.
And again, this differs per person as we are all genetically different.
And also, you will only, possibly see more lean muscle gains on the higher end of that spectrum if you do everything I mention to the T. And I mean executed perfectly.
But let’s take a look at the things you should be doing as best as you can to make sure you are getting the best results possible.
1 – Nutrition
If you aren’t doing this step, then you’re already missing out on muscle growth. There is a reason why this is the first thing on the list and that is because nutrition is everything.
How you perform an exercise and along with multiple things on this list will dictate how much growth you have BUT if your nutrition is not in order then you can say goodbye to some of the hard work you have been putting in.
2- 0.5g protein to 2.0g per pound of bodyweight
Now moving forward with the nutrition you need to make sure you're getting an ample amount of protein in. As we all know protein is the building block of muscle synthesis but how much we need differs.
Everyone is different so as long as you’re getting between the numbers up to you should be fine. So, you can see why if your nutrition isn’t in order which is the first step, then you won’t be getting the right amount of protein needed.
3 - Mind to muscle connection
This isn’t some random jargon like people think it is. The better connection and focus you have with the muscle you are engaging the more tension you can build.
Some people understand and can do this better than others, but it is something you can cultivate over time and build. I also teach my clients this as I help them achieve their goals but it’s something you should want to get good at.
4 - Control your tempo more
Control your speed of the exercise. Don’t just flop around like a fish when performing an exercise, especially if you are handling a lighter load of weight. Control your body.
Control your movement and you will not only overtime hit your muscle more but also, this will allow you to get a better mind-to-muscle connection for better growth over time.
5 - 15 reps or more!
More reps build more muscle over time. Lifting heavy won’t necessarily get you more muscle growth. This is a very very broad topic but to try and sum it up, more reps equal more growth over time, but you need to do it with a challenging weight.
Strength matters too but if you can only lift 4 reps on a shoulder press and there’s someone who could crank out 20 reps with good form but is really struggling with the last few and their shoulders are on fire, they’ll gain more muscle growth over time.
6 - First 3 to 5 reps should be a slow tempo and then the rest should be a regular tempo
If you have been working out for a while and aren’t completely new then add this method in. because of the slow contraction and movement you do at the start of the exercise, the intensity carries out into the remaining 12 to 15 reps of the set when you start to move faster.
I explain this well on my YouTube channel as it's easier to describe better in person or on video but add these in as overtime of applying them make a big difference!
7 - Create progressive overload
You have to keep challenging yourself over time. Every month or so you should increase challenges to your routine such as adding more time to an exercise or adding a bit more weight.
Moving at a slower tempo even. There are multiple ways to do this but naturally, your body will want and need to be challenged and you have to be ready to implement that if you want to keep growing.
8 - Switch your exercise routine every month or so
This causes you to try new things and also gets you to learn new exercises and possibly understand things you didn’t before. Plus, it makes it more fun. Try different exercises.
If you’re doing or are sick of the same old ones then try something different. I personally always keep 80% of my stuff the same and change other methods but you don’t have to. Have fun with it. This also gets you to feel more empowered and want to continue working out.
9 – add in static reps
Static reps are another great method to make things harder. I like to do this with my biceps, but it can be done with any body part or almost any exercise. They really put a lot of tension on the muscle and have helped my arms grow to what they are over time. Again, it's easier to explain on video or person as I do on my YouTube channel AtoZbodyfitness. But they should be definitely added to your routine.
10 – make your first set a strength set
One way I also helped increase my strength while still putting on muscle overtime was just combining one strength set at the start of my workout and then following that set with 2 other sets of 15 reps or higher.
This way I was lifting heavy and helping to still produce strength in my body while also completing 2 other sets with lower weight but higher reps to help stimulate more muscle growth. Can’t go wrong.
11 – add in supersets
Supersets have also helped me to really grow muscle over time. Right after you completed a set or can’t lift the weight anymore, just drop the weight and get a lighter one and continue to do repetitions.
Sometimes I add this in at the end of a workout and do it at every end of the session nicely. I’ll also drop set with three weights to really tire out the muscle. But you do what you can handle and what you are comfortable with.
12 – have some carbs before and after your workout
Eat carbs before and after. There have been enough studies to show that consuming some carbs before and after will better help performance when exercising help with energy increase.
Does this happen overnight? No, but consistently doing it will make a difference. Also, Carbs have something called a protein sparring effect to which they act as protein in regards that they help to also build muscle. Don’t neglect carbs!
13 – creatine can be beneficial
Creatine has been shown to help increase muscle tissue and also strength gains over time. Again this is something that you need to take over a period of weeks to a month to start seeing any effect but it's something you should consider if you're trying to build muscle and gain strength.
So just remember even if you do everything perfectly some people are prone to just respond better to gaining muscle.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t or won’t gain any yourself. Your genetic disposition of it will just defer to how you are made but you can still make great strides depending on how hard you work.
You just gotta play with the cards you were dealt; it is what it is. But that aside you can still make some impressive gains.
For anyone who wants to know the best way to put on muscle just make sure you add in these rules
And over time you will see results.
Just don’t give up.
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor nor a nutritionist. This is all from the experience I have gained through myself and through schooling I have taken from a health and fitness course. Through my videos, I share my personal and educational experience that I have acquired over the past years of training individuals through fitness and nutrition.
As always, I strive to help as much as I can by bringing you fitness education through means of all my social media platforms. My passion for fitness guides me to give people the help they need in whatever way I can. If you have been able to find the information I release helpful then I’m happy I was able to serve you.
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Action – Consistency - Growth