5 Best Tips For Making Gains

It is so usual issue when people want to get muscle growth, but do it incorrectly. The reason is they just do not know how to do that, or are misinformed, or listen to friends who are just little more experienced in that. Of course, to get a personal trainer is the best choice, but not everyone wants to do that. Firstly it is really expensive and secondly, some people doesn’t like additional human intervention. So, we decided to help for you to figure out with 5 best tips for making gains. What do you need to do, to start making gains CORRECTLY. 

Things you need to understand first: 

A lot of “more experienced guys” just recommends you to go to the gym and start to eat more. And after, in some time you will start to pay attention that all what is growing are your cheeks and belly. So, there is definitely some truth in eating more and going to the gym. Anyway, we want you to understand, that without discipline and consistency, it will be difficult to see good effective results. Firstly, we want to warn you that the best way is to obtain food scales and start to make your workout diary.  So, lets begin with our 5 best tips for making gains:

1. Food - Your Energy Source and Yours Construction Material

correct food

You probably want to ask – Why we started from the food but not from the workout? And we will say you one secret, food is more important for getting gains than workout. Of course you will not gain muscles without workout, but you neither will gain them without food. We can say in percents, from food depends about 60% of your success and other part we will discuss below later. Anyway, we need to understand that our organism will not grow if we will not make at least small calorie surplus. In other words, you need eat more than your body burns per day. So, this was the reason why we recommend for you to obtain food scales, you will need to count calories you are eating. 

How should you count it?

It is not difficult, you need to count your daily calories basis, in other words, how much calories your body uses per day. We will not provide any formulas, you don’t need it just because there are different calculators for that in web now, like this one. You can just enter your data and you will see your calories norm. So, as you possibly know, main things you need to count for your nutrition are proteins, carbohydrates and fats, and when you want to get gains you need concentrate on domination of protein and correct carbohydrates. That how should it be: 

1. Proteins – Construction materials: 

As you possibly know, you cannot build house without construction materials, same is here, protein is yours body construction material. In other words you need to eat more high protein containing products. Our recommendation is about 1.5 g of protein per 1 kg of your body weight, or 0.7 g for 1 lbs. So, the main protein sources are animal source proteins, since they contain complete amino acid composition. Also, there are plant protein sources, most of them has not full amino acid composition, but it can be good alternative for vegans and vegetarians, and also good extra protein source for you though. So, 100g of meat contains around 20g of protein (or 1 lbs. contains around 10g) depending of meat (1).

The best source of protein: 
  • Eggs
  • Chicken breast
  • White and red fish, sea food
  • Lean beef
  • Milk products
  • Protein shakes and protein bars (check out our post about 5 Best Whey Protein in  2019)
  • Soy, Tofu and other soy products
  • Beans
  • Nuts (but contains big amount of fats) 
2. Carbohydrates – your energy source:

If we are comparing nutrition to a house construction again, carbohydrates are yours builders. It’s an energy giving you an opportunity to use construction material for building muscles. So for muscle growth you need about 5g of carbohydrates for 1 kg  or about 2.3 g for 1 lbs of your body weight. You need to understand one important thing here though, you have to concentrate in complex carbohydrates (not containing sugar). They are not raising sugar in your blood extremely fast and giving you long lasting energy source. Possibly you will ask – and how about fruits? they are healthy? Yes thats partly true, but we need to understand that they contains too much sugar, so we need to stick to one or two fruits per day. 

The best sources of carbohydrates: 
  • Oatmeal
  • Wild rise
  • Wholemeal bread
  • Wholemeal pasta
  • Lentils
  • Other cereal products
  • Beans
3. Fats 

People usually are afraid of fats, but fats are one of main thing body need to function correctly. Besides, you need to be afraid of the amount of fat and also remember that there are good type fat and bad type fat. Bad fats are mostly used in processed foods and semi-finished products. Also animal source products contains them, thats why in our list above is we mention lean meat. Besides, we need to control fats as they contains more calories that carbohydrates and proteins. We recommend you to try hold in range of 1 g for 1 kg, or 0.5 g for 1 lbs of your body weight (2). 

Good sources of fat: 
  • Red fish
  • Avocado
  • Nuts
  • Olives and olive oil
  • Black chocolate (above 70%)

2. Create Environment for Your Body - Working-out


Yeah, as we said before food is number one, but without working out it will be just diet which contains too much calories for you and making you fat. So, to make gains you need to lift heavy weights and better do it without any rush. If you will do it slowly, firstly you will learn to control your body better and will avoid injuries. We are not writing a working out program/plan for you, because it will need one more separate article.

Amount of reps? 

Traditionally athletes has huge amount of disputes about amount of reps for gaining muscles. Should it be around 6 to 10, or 10 to 15? Last scientific researches showed one truth for us, it doesn’t matter how much, it matters how long. In other words, tension in your muscles must last about 30-40 seconds. Depending on your tempo of executing exercise, you need to be on your limit in your 30-40th second. You should not be able to lift your weight after that period. Two small remarks for you: don’t rush to raise heavier weights rapidly, you will injure yourself. Besides, you must to be disciplined and better make your workout diary. Unfortunately, without regular working out you will not reach your goals. 

3. Don't Slow Down Your Organism - Water

It is very important factor, we will try to review main factors of the water and why you have to drink enough: 

  • Muscle activity and strength

I think that everyone had this issue, when you are coming to the gym and just do not have energy to workout. Possible there is a simple reason, it can be simple dehydration. In our muscles there is a huge amount of water also, work of your muscle is controlled by central nervous system. So, if there will be lack of water in organism, your strength will be lower. With filling organism with water, protein synthesis is accelerated and activity of hormones is stimulated, what is really important if you want to make gains. 

  • Water balance

Basically it is recommended to drink at least 1 litter or 0.3 gallon (for women 20-30% less), but if you are working out, trying to gain muscles, or trying to increase your stamina, you can easy double this numbers (3). 

  • Your brain activity

Basically you need to understand that your brain is made 80 percent of water. And for producing the huge amounts of tasks it needs big amount of energy. When the amount of energy is reduced in organism, you start to feel hunger and getting thirsty. To get energy from food, you need to wait a while, so water can be the instant supporter in that moment. Besides, you need to understand that water is kind of mechanism that is responsible for transferring commands from your brain to your body. So, the better connection between your brain and muscles is, the quality of workout will increase as well. 

  • Maintaining the health of all body systems

Water is transferring all minerals and feeding elements to your body. If you will be not drinking enough, your organism will start to take it from all possible places in your body and will start to accumulate fat better. 

  • It is good joint lubrication

When we are making physical activity, we are straining our joints. So, water is a good lubricant and helps also enhance the joints. Anyway, you need to understand that the quality of your workout really depends on it. 

drink more water

4. Regeneration - Sleep

This one is really good news for sleeping long lovers. So, one of the main reasons why sleep is so important is hormones production, such as growth hormone (which directly is responsible for muscle growth). Actually women has a benefit in this, they have almost equal growth hormone production all day, but men are different. Men need to sleep to allow body produce more of growth hormone. Also, if you will not sleep enough, then production of other bad hormones will be stimulated, like cortisol. Cortisol, is an opposite hormone to growth hormone, it is responsible for stress. Besides, you can start to lose your muscles because of cortisol. So, think about it better, and sleep at least 7-8 hours per day (4). 

5. Stay Healthy - Vitamins, Minerals and Extra Supporting Supplements

All mentioned above is very important, but you should not forget about vitamins and minerals. When athletes are working out, they are sweating a lot, and vitamins and minerals are going out from your body with sweat. Anyway, you should take complex vitamins and minerals to maintain level of them in your body. Check out our articles about best vitamins for Men and Women.

Also last but not least are fitness supplements. It is good extra support for your muscles and it just makes life easier. Sometimes you are not able to eat such amount of food, so it’s easier to take a protein shake. Or when you feel lack of energy, you can just take creatine, or pre-workout

Bottom line

So, basically facts mentioned above are the main facts you need to know for your progress. Having this basis, you can choose a correct working out plan for yourself too. When you will see your progress and will become more curious, you always can analyse for more information. But for beginner, or even intermediate athlete, this is more than enough to know. We hope you enjoyed this post, and don’t forget to write your comments with reviews and possible recommendations. We are opened to new ideas and will be glad to hear it from you.

Please note – we do not recommend you take ANY steps featured on this site without consulting a doctor first.

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Vitalij Kacanovskij

I am a personal trainer and ex men's physique participant. I currently work in the IT sector, but I still love everything that is related to fitness. I will try to provide the best possible information into my Blog and for this website visitors!
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