Do you want to increase your muscle mass and burn calories more efficiently?
Have you ever wonder how to gain muscle mass naturally?
You can’t do that overnight (every bodybuilder can tell you that), but you are going to be closer to your goal if you follow these next steps carefully.
Although many builders use supplements to gain muscle mass, in this article we will talk about natural ways to boost your muscles.
But, first let’s take a look at the factors that affect muscle building:
4 factors that affect muscle mass building:
1. The level of experience in training
Newbies are at an advantage since when they start weightlifting they can gain more muscle mass faster.
They can progress very fast if they follow their program adequately and consistently.
On the other hand, experienced weightlifters will occasionally stagnate at certain points.
Believe it or not, the amount of muscles you build during the first year of training is twice as big as the one you get during your second year of training.
Every next year that amount drops for 50 %.
Unfortunately, we can’t change our genes naturally.
If you are one of those rare people who can eat a candy bar and don’t gain weight you can thank your parents for your good genetics.
Anyway, you got to know no matter what body type you are you can shape your body with more or less effort. The most important thing is to believe in yourself and to take exercising the right way to have a healthy life, first of all.
Don’t get upset if an 18- year- old full with strength and hormones can train longer and harder and gain more muscles than you in your 40s.
Age is one of the reasons why you lose muscle and bone mass, especially if you aren’t physically active.
When it comes to muscle growth, when you are younger the odds are in your favor. When you are older, as expected, the muscle growth rate significantly decreases during the years.
4. Training and diet
These 2 things are very important for your muscle building.
If you give your best and see things realistically, set long-term goals and avoid ideas such as extremely fast muscle gain, you can expect good results.
So, how to gain muscle mass naturally?
1. Change your diet regime
First, you need to change your diet.
Your body uses food as fuel for exercising and recovering muscles.
Your muscles can’t recover and grow with a lack of food.
Men, generally need at least 2500-3000kcal a day to build muscles.
Skinnier men with fast metabolism need more to boost the growth of muscles.
You need to increase the intake of calories, especially proteins because they are the ones that build muscles.
Pay attention to the next rules related to your diet if you want to increase muscle mass:
Increase the intake of calories.
For example, if you spend 2000 kcal a day, you need to intake 2500 kcal or more. But, be careful not to overeat.
Eat enough proteins to support the growth of muscles.
Your goal should be to eat 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight.
For example, if you weigh 160 pounds, eat at least 160 g of proteins every day.
Drink enough water.
Your body needs water to build muscles.
Drink at least 8 glasses of water per day.
Instead of having 2 or 3 big meals during the day, change your diet habits and eat 5 or 6 small meals per day.
One or two of those meals need to be high in protein.
Fats are good as long as you eat the right kind and amount!
Saturated fats found in butter, chips, or bacon need to be limited to about 20 gr or less per day. That’s the bad news.
The good news is that unsaturated fats are actually useful and necessary.
Fats are important for the proper distribution of vitamins A, D, E and K, and they help improve your sight and the health of your skin.
The amount you need is 50-70 gr of monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats per day depending on your total intake of calories.
Monounsaturated fats are found in olive oil, oilseed rape, avocado, sesame oil, and nuts like almonds, cashews, peanuts, and pistachios.
Polyunsaturated fats are found in corn, sunflower and sunflower oil, flaxseed and flaxseed oil, soy and soy oil.
Omega 3 fatty acids are found in oily fish such as salmon, tuna, trout, and sardine.
There’s a good way to find out how much fat you need to intake in grams.
You should multiply the intake of calories by 0.001 for the maximum amount of trans fats; 0.008 for the maximum amount of saturated fats; and 0.03 for “good fats”.
For example, if you intake 2.500 calories, you need to limit the intake of trans fats to 3 g or less, the intake of saturated fats to 20 g or less, and the intake of mono and polyunsaturated fats to 75 g a day.
Read what to eat before and after a workout here.
You need a multivitamin supplement in addition to a well-balanced diet.
That will make sure that your body gets enough vitamins and minerals necessary to stay healthy.
There are many kinds, depending on your age, sex, and daily nutritional requirements.
Eliminate junk food
Every time you want to indulge in junk food or sweets remember the good old saying “you are what you eat“.
So if you eat junk your body will look like one.
French fries, hamburgers, unhealthy snacks, sodas are a big NO.
So, the basic rules to gain muscle mass related to food are:
- Eat more calories than you spend
- Drink enough water
- Eat 4-5 times a day carefully chosen ingredients
- Eat food high in proteins
- Avoid unhealthy, junk food
- Eat food high in carbs such as pasta, wholegrain cereals, and wholewheat bread
- Keep a food diary to easily follow the amount of food and calories you intake
- Add smoothies with fruit, veggies, and cereals to your diet.
What to eat to gain muscle mass?
You can read my list of best muscle building foods here.
How to gain muscle mass fast?
Start working out.
As I already said, it’s impossible to increase your muscle mass without a proper diet, but also without good exercises for muscle growth.
To increase your muscle mass your muscles need hard training so that they start growing. (1)
You will increase your testosterone with exercising, a hormone which has a huge impact on your muscle mass.
When you weightlift you involve your muscles and your muscle fibers crack and create space for expanding and creating new stronger fibers.
That’s why you need to lift heavy weights and do 6-8 reps in each set.
If you want to increase your muscle mass you need to use an “overload” system, for example when you easily do 8 reps with a certain weight you need to increase the weight for your following set so that you put more effort in finishing 8 harder reps.
By doing that you are stimulating the growth of your muscles.
In addition, your training needs to last at least 45 minutes.
That means 45 minutes of exercising without checking your phone, resting, or chatting.
These are the rules you need to follow when you exercise:
Forget about muscle pain and inflammations.
Focus on adding weight.
Try to lift more than the last time.
You will become stronger and that will affect your overall muscle mass.
If you don’t lift more than last month or year, you are not building muscles.
Do complex exercises
How to build muscle naturally?
Do exercises that include more muscles at the same time.
You will be able to lift bigger weights since you will encourage muscle growth.
Squats, deadlifting, and bench press are one of the exercises your training program must include.
Do body bar exercises
You can lift more with a bar than with any other equipment.
Also, you can adjust the weight you want.
Body bar exercises involve more muscles and they boost muscle growth.
Start with smaller weight and gradually increase the weight so that you avoid injury.
One of the biggest bodybuilding mistakes is related to rest between the sets.
Your muscles need to recover from hard training to become bigger and stronger.
However, they can’t recover if you overwhelm them every day.
Even your brain needs rest.
Rest well 3-4 times a week.
Help your muscles recover by eating a lot of food, drinking water, and sleeping.
Increase training frequency
The more often you train the faster your muscles will grow.
Also, when you do exercises more often you learn the technique better.
When you exercise frequently you increase the protein synthesis and thus your muscles volume.
What’s the conclusion?
So, you read how to gain muscle mass.
Now when you know what to expect, you can set realistic goals. (2)
Many of you are already fit and muscular, but you may need to get rid of fat layers under your skin.
Enjoy your training and remember building muscle mass is a long-term process, it doesn’t come that easily.
Be committed and hard-working and you won’t be disappointed.