With 34% of men aged 19-65 in the UK meeting the strength training guidelines, it’s clear that many may have goals in mind for improving their muscles in some way. However, for those who aren’t familiar with how the muscle-building process works, it’s important to know that it can’t be done overnight, and that there is a safe way of doing so. With that said, if you have a fitness goal in place to build your muscles in the new year, there are simple ways of doing so in no time.
The importance of a balanced diet
Building muscle can’t be done correctly without the proper diet. In fact, you need to fuel your body with healthy foods (and not just powders and supplements) in order to have the stamina to get through training – not to mention the fact that dietary protein is a necessity for anyone with muscle-building goals. Protein is necessary because your muscle tissue breaks down after a vigorous workout, and protein can provide the body with amino acids for building new muscle tissue – thus making it a necessity when trying to build.
Optimising your nutrition through a balanced diet is the perfect way to get the right foundation for doing so, as you need the right blend of healthy carbs like quinoa and legumes, proteins such as lean meat or eggs, and healthy fats like avocados. In order to do so successfully, seeing a dietitian, nutritionist or doctor can help you determine how much of each you should need each day in order to achieve your goals.
Along with the right protein-packed diet, proper training can help you build lean muscle. In fact, popular training regimes like CrossFit provide a form of high-intensity interval training that includes strength training and conditioning, which can help.
With many different CrossFit workouts to choose from, you can easily customise your routine and do what’s best for you – some of the most popular ways to build muscle through CrossFit workouts include reps of lifting, which promotes strength training. Using the proper equipment can also help – for example, investing in your own gymnastic rings can help you gain the benefits of pull-ups from the comfort of your own home.
Outside of CrossFit, exercises to complement lifting include pull-ups (for the arms), squats and lunges (for the legs). These can also help in building muscle, though your workout plan should be personalised in terms of how many reps you should do or how much weight you need to be lifting in order to do so safely. A personal trainer or coach can help you determine what the proper training entails for your body, as you can do damage if you approach workouts in the wrong way. For example, if you jump right in and try to deadlift more than you can handle, you’re likely to injure yourself, which will slow down your progress.
The importance of recovery
While you may be tempted to jump right in and work out as much as possible, it’s important to keep in mind that recovery is necessary – especially when you’re trying to build muscle. This is because you need to allow time for your muscles to heal and repair themselves in order to grow, and then to build more onto them. In fact, getting enough quality sleep is imperative in building muscle, as your body makes muscle-building hormones while you’re asleep (such as Human Growth Hormone, or HGH) – meaning that getting the proper amount is just as important as a balanced diet and the right exercise regime.
Gaining muscle mass and building muscle are common fitness goals for many who work out, and it doesn’t have to be difficult. With the right diet, exercise plan, and amount of rest, building muscle can prove to be easier than you might have imagined.