Some want to look like the next incredible Hulk, others simply work on toning their physique, yet again others want to stabilize their joints with muscular strength. Good news for everyone up front, no matter what their motivation: We are born with all the muscle fibers we will ever have. It’s not a matter of growing new fibers but sculpting the ones we already have. Sounds doable, right? If you want to bulk up, there are a couple of basics that will help you get started.
1. Hit the Gym
Muscles are built by progressive overload. This means you must continually overload the muscles with resistance. Most commonly, people hit the gym to lift weights. The workout stimulates damage in your muscle fibers. It forces your body to respond with repairing the tears. That’s when the muscle grows. Essentially, you need to teach your body that you are going to be lifting heavier weights on a regular basis, so it’ll have to respond bigger muscles to tackle the challenge.
Ever thought about working out in the office? Here are some ideas for you (with a wink of the eye).
2. Munch on Proteins
The right nutrition is a real game changer for muscle growth. If you’ve ever seen bulky bodybuilders gulp down raw eggs, you might have asked yourself in disgust: WHY?! There’s a reason. It’s protein. Protein contributes to the maintenance and growth of muscle mass. It’s needed in the diet to provide the essential amino acids that the body cannot produce on its own. Amino acids, the little building blocks, are critical in repairing and rebuilding the tiny tears in your muscle tissue cause by workouts.
While eggs are rich in protein, we certainly don’t recommend getting your share of proteins from a serving of raw eggs. At least serve them scrambled, sunny-side up, poached, or any other way your culinary skills allow. There are also many other tasty sources of lean proteins like chicken, fish, broccoli, and milk, just to name a few, as well as high-quality nutritional supplements (like FitLine ProShape Amino) to secure your supply. Check out these recipes and get inspired for your next protein-packed post-workout meal.
3. Get Rest
Pumping iron alone isn’t going to get you where you want to go, neither is eating your way through protein paradise. Gaining muscle is as much about what you do outside of the gym as inside. Adequate rest is crucial in gaining muscle mass. It allows you to recover and become stronger, and thereby handle the increased weight, and increased number of sets and reps needed to gain further.
Keep in mind that an extra day or two of rest is more beneficial to the body than an extra day or two of training sessions. When tired one day or in doubt of your recovery time take a day off! Listen to your body.