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 a little more experienced in that. Of course, getting a personal trainer is the best choice, but not everyone wants to do that. Firstly it is really expensive and secondly, some people don’t like an additional human intervention. So, we decided to help 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 that 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, let’s begin with our 5 best tips for making gains:
1. Food - Your Energy Source and Yours Construction Material
You probably want to ask – why we started with the food but not from the workout? And we will say you one secret, food is more important for getting gains than a 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 on 60% of your success and another part we will discuss below later. Anyway, we need to understand that our organism will not grow if we will not make at least a small calorie surplus. In other words, you need to 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 on the web now, like this one. You can just enter your data and you will see your calorie norm. So, as you possibly know, the main things you need to count for your nutrition are proteins, carbohydrates, and fats, and when you want to get gains you need to concentrate on the domination of protein and correct carbohydrates. That how should it be:
1. Proteins – Construction materials:
As you possibly know, you cannot build a house without construction materials, same is here, protein is your 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 lb. So, the main protein sources are animal-sourced proteins, since they contain complete amino acid composition. Also, there are plant protein sources, most of them have not full amino acid composition, but it can be a 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 lb. contains around 10g) depending on meat (1).
The best source of protein:
- Chicken breast
- White and redfish, seafood
- 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
- Nuts (but contains a big amount of fats)
2. Carbohydrates – your energy source:
If we are comparing nutrition to a house construction again, carbohydrates are your 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 lb of your body weight. You need to understand one important thing here though, you have to concentrate on 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, that’s partly true, but we need to understand that they contain too much sugar, so we need to stick to one or two fruits per day.
The best sources of carbohydrates:
- Wild rise
- Wholemeal bread
- Wholemeal pasta
- Other cereal products
People usually are afraid of fats, but fats are one of the 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 types of fat and bad type of fat. Bad fats are mostly used in processed foods and semi-finished products. Also, animal source products contain them, that’s why in our list above is we mention lean meat. Besides, we need to control fats as they contain more calories than carbohydrates and proteins. We recommend you to try hold in a range of 1 g for 1 kg, or 0.5 g for 1 lb of your body weight (2).
Good sources of fat:
- 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 many 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 have a huge amount of disputes about the number 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, the tension in your muscles must last about 30-40 seconds. Depending on your tempo of executing an 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 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 a very important factor, we will try to review the 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 the energy to work out. Possible there is a simple reason, it can be simple dehydration. In our muscles, there is a huge amount of water also, the work of your muscles is controlled by the central nervous system. So, if there will be a lack of water in the organism, your strength will be lower. With filling organisms with water, protein synthesis is accelerated and the activity of hormones is stimulated, which is really important if you want to make gains.
Basically, it is recommended to drink at least 1 litter or 0.3 gallons (for women 20-30% less), but if you are working out, trying to gain muscles, or trying to increase your stamina, you can easily double this numbers (3).
Your brain activity
Basically, you need to understand that your brain is made 80 percent of water. And for producing huge amounts of tasks it needs a big amount of energy. When the amount of energy is reduced in an organism, you start to feel hunger and getting thirsty. To get energy from food, you need to wait a while, so water can be an instant supporter at that moment. Besides, you need to understand that water is a 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 the 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.
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 hormone production, such as growth hormone (which directly is responsible for muscle growth). Actually, women have a benefit in this, they have almost equal growth hormone production all day, but men are different. Men need to sleep to allow the body to produce more growth hormone. Also, if you will not sleep enough, the production of other bad hormones will be stimulated, like cortisol. Cortisol is the 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 are 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 the level of them in your body. Check out our articles about the 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 a lack of energy, you can just take creatine or pre-workout.
So, basically, the 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 analyze for more information. But for the beginner or even intermediate athletes, 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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