Americans are exercising more than ever, and all for different reasons. The health and fitness industry in the US is a $30 million one, and has grown by 3-4 percent annually in the past 10 years, according to data from the International Health Racquet and Sports Association. While weight loss has been one of the main goals being pursued, there’s is another one that keeps popping up on fitness fans’ radars: muscle building. As of 2018, the U.S Protein Supplement Market has surpassed $5.72 billion, and is forecast to grow by 6.2 percent until 2024. Every fitness magazine is now splattered with guides on bulking out your muscles either using your diet, supplements or exercise routine. If you’re looking to build muscle, whether it is for its fat-burning benefits or the prevention of ligament injuries, there are a few basic concepts you should stick to.
Eat Right And At The Right Time
For those looking to build muscle, their diet will be a crucial part of the puzzle. If you’re just starting out, you are more likely to miss out on the nutrients you need to support your muscle growth, particularly since muscle size increases 0.2 percent per day in the first 20 days of a strength training program, according to a past study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology. In addition to keeping your diet fresh and filled with whole grains, you will need to increase your caloric intake. Use a simple formula or online calculator to help you work out your intake, including your macros. Most formulas will look like (1g protein x bodyweight x 4) + (1g fat x . 25 calories x 9) + (Carbohydrates x 4) or similar.
However, it is not just about what you eat, but when you eat it. Keep your eating pattern to 3-hour windows, which will maximize your body’s fat-burning abilities. Some experts also recommend aiming for a protein intake of 20-30 grams at each meal. Skip the simple carbohydrates until immediately after your lifting session, and opt for unprocessed complex carbs, such as sweet potatoes or beans around 4-5 hours after your workout.
Make Protein A Non-Negotiable
Protein is key to muscle growth. Ideally, you will want to aim for around 0.73 grams of protein per each pound of body weight per day. Other studies, such as one published in the Journal of Applied Psychology, suggest that you do not exceed 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight. According to their data, this is the maximum amount your body can tolerate. When it comes to your protein sources, lean meats such as chicken and beef are great starting points.
However, your protein intake can also come from oily fish and seafood, such as salmon and shrimp, along with vegan options like greek yogurt, cottage cheese and edamame beans. These can be great snack options throughout the day, and are all high in protein. One cup of edamame beans contains around 18 grams of protein. This is the same as an 85 gram serving of shrimp or salmon. You can also supplement your protein intake with liquid sources, such as whey protein shakes.
Alternatively, growth hormones secretagogues such as Examorelin or Ibutamoren may boost your GH levels and stimulate muscle growth without disrupting your cortisol levels or causing other unwanted side effects, according to FitnessEdge, and can also provide improvements to sleep quality and energy levels. Some believe that because ibutamoren preserves protein in the body, combining it with a high protein diet promotes muscle growth and maintenance.
Follow Your Lifting Sessions With A Rest Day
Your growth hormones are highest while sleeping, which correlates with the practice of taking supplements and muscle building foods after your workout. When it comes to your workout routine, muscle building thrives on repetitiveness, which means certain muscles in your body will be feeling the strain of those reps. It is important to give them time to recover and heal from intense activity.
Also, it helps to condition your muscles to handle the rise in exercise intensity. Finally, your sleep patterns can wreak havoc on your body’s response to your diet, exercise routine and general well being. It is important to get all parts of the puzzle right – rest included.
Finally, aim for consistency in both your dietary and exercise habits. Muscle gain thrives on repetition. Therefore, you need to be consistent in your exercise regime and your eating habits. It is not enough to simply adopt these tips – you must stick to them long-term to witness real results.