The focus for many who take to fitness is to lose or maintain a certain range of weight, understandably. But what if your aim is to put on some weight or bulk?
A human body has about 600 muscles which aid in holding, binding and also help us move. Muscle growth is not only desired by bodybuilders but also non-bodybuilders. Remember, muscle mass typically declines with age.
People have opted for different measures to attain that goal through medication, exercise and dieting.
Everyone on this path has their own reasons as to why they want to gain mass; for some, it cane be body image satisfaction, after sickness or preparing for a competition. So, what should you consider?
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Set realistic goals
Have you heard of the saying “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail”? This is as important as setting realistic goals.
Having realistic goals will help you to know the direction and measures to enable you reach your goals. It will help you to be accountable for their outcomes, and be patient.
Do not compare yourself with others and don’t let setbacks discourage you; everyone accomplishes their goals in their own time.
A well-balanced diet and nutrition plan make all the difference in the quest to grow bigger.
Whole foods have more nutrients than processed foods, and tend to contain more complex carbohydrates and protein.
Drinking enough water (6-8 glasses) every day is important because one tends to lose essential minerals such as magnesium and potassium when sweating. This leads to dehydration that will result in loss of muscle volume.
Water also aids in protein synthesis, removal of toxins from the body and supplementing a good workout.
Healthy fats are important for gaining caloric surplus, which is essential for muscle growth. Examples of healthy fats include avocados, coconut milk, vegetable oils, eggs, legumes, nuts, pumpkin and sunflower seeds and wild fish, including salmon.
Eating more calories than your body burns is key as the extra calories are turned into muscle.
Both male and female store fats and distribute mass differently. With this in mind, one needs to focus on exercises that go in hand with their body type.
The exercises that have been proven to aid in gaining muscles include overhead press, bench press, pull-ups, lunges, squats and push ups.
The overhead press, for instance, works the muscles in the deltoids, upper pecs, scapular stabilisers and triceps. In short, it bulks up the muscles in one’s arms, shoulders, back, abs and legs.
Don’t over exert yourself. It is also healthy to skip some days for the muscles to relax.
It might be hard to be consistent considering the first days you’ll get tired and your muscles will ache. But this should now empower you to continue because if you give up you won’t attain your desired muscles.
Progress with intensifying your workout routine but be sure to keep it within your physical capability.
Get enough sleep
Sleep is just as important as exercising and eating healthy.
It is especially important to remember this today; a time when people are seemingly always busy.
With many rushing through life, sleep routines have been destroyed while we remain oblivious to the negative impacts that comes with it. These include increased risk of heart disease, stroke and depression.
Long working hours and shift changes should not be an excuse. A well fed, well rested body will always show positive change.
It is recommended that one sleeps for seven to eight hours everyday for a good rest and to give your body time to recuperate from the day’s strain.
Enough sleep will increase your productivity and boost the immune system.