If you look on the internet for how to build muscle, most sites will tell you simply to hit the gym and eat as much as possible. Whilst this is good advice, there’s a lot more to it than just that. Sure, you can make good progress with this basic advice, but can you make the best?
Alongside just eating more and working out, there are certain tips and tricks you can implement to maximize your progress. Some of these you may have heard of, but others are ones that people frequently miss out on.
Below, you’ll find the 7 best workout tips for building the maximum amount of muscle and strength to make sure that every workout is a good one.
1. Consume Protein Before Your Workout
When you exercise, your muscles get broken down and need to be repaired. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t actually build muscle in the gym – you build muscle outside of it through your recovery. In the gym, you actually lose muscle because the whole aim is to break down the muscle fibers, and the most important macronutrient for rebuilding them is protein.
Current research suggests that eating 0.75-1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight is optimal for avid lifters. Therefore, a 180lb person would need to eat between 135 to 150 grams per day split out evenly across your meals. Having one of these doses before your workout ensures that your muscles are being drip-fed amino acids as they get broken down.
2. Don’t Skimp on the Stretching
It’s easy to gloss overstretching at the start of your workout, but it’s actually an incredibly useful tool for maximizing performance and muscle growth. Stretching means that we can take our muscles through a longer range of motion, creating more stimulus with each muscle. It also means that we feel fewer aches as we work out, meaning that we can handle more. As well as this, it reduces our risk of injuries which could leave us away from the gym for days, weeks, or even months. The key to long-term progress is to avoid injury at all costs.
3. Eat Foods Rich in Potassium
Potassium gets taken from our body during intense bouts of exercise, meaning that we need to replace it afterward. Alongside sodium and calcium, potassium helps to provide energy to our muscles. The less potassium we have stored up, the less our muscles can do. Therefore, it’s a wise idea to include bananas or potatoes in your pre or post-workout meal.
4. Focus on Compound Movements
Compound movements give us the most bang for your buck as they not only train more musculature but also teach us how to use our muscles simultaneously. Isolation movements have their place, but if you’re interested in building serious muscle fast, then you need to put compound movements at the top of your priority list.
5. Pick the Right Exercises for Your Body Type
Not everyone’s body is the same. Some of us have longer arms or shorter legs than others, because of this, certain exercises can be easier or harder. If you’re finding a particular movement uncomfortable, then it could be down to the way you’re built genetically. Try using a few different variations until you find that sweet spot.
6. Train a Muscle in Different Positions of Tension
Opposed to just hitting your muscles from one angle, try to hit them from various different points to ensure that you’re leaving no stone unturned. For instance, if you’re looking to build your biceps, then putting your elbow in different positions from in front of you to the side to behind you make sure that you hit each head as well as move the maximum amount of weight.
7. Get More Sleep
Sleep is invaluable when it comes to any health or fitness related goal. The less sleep you get, the less your body can recover, the more fat you’re likely to put on, the more muscle you’re likely to lose. Not to mention, you feel much groggier. Aim for 7-9 hours per night.