When training for muscle gain, there are many factors that can affect your progress. Apply my ten tips listed below and you will move forward in your quest to pile on pounds of lean muscle mass.
10 Quick Tips to Build Muscle For Skinny Guys
This may sound like a strange one to start with, but there are a few reasons why sleep can affect muscle building. If you are not getting enough sleep at night you are seriously affecting the amount of energy that you will have during your workouts, slowing down your results. Also while you are sleeping, your muscles are repairing any damage that will have incurred during your previous workout. This repairing and strengthening of the muscle fibres is how you get bigger. You should be aiming for eight to ten hours of sleep every night.
9. Eat enough good fats
Good fats you say?! Surely I should be avoiding fatty foods?! To an extent you should, but there are different types of fats out there. Firstly there are the bad ones, these are the saturated fats. These fats are found in egg yolks, cheese, butter, meat fat, etc. They lead to an increase in cholesterol in the blood, they should be avoided as much as possible.
Then there are the good fats, the polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. These contain essential fatty acids, such as omega 3. The body needs these for many important maintenance functions, including keeping joints healthy and promoting growth. The body does not produce these EFA’s naturally, so you need to get them from your food. Excellent sources of these ‘good fats’ include certain nuts, fish and olive oil.
8. Carb up!
When trying to build muscle mass you need huge amounts of energy for training to your optimum level. You body should be getting its required energy from carbohydrates in your diet. Like fats, there are good and bad carbs. It is the complex carbohydrates that you should be consuming. These should come from foods like brown rice, wholemeal pasta and potatoes. Try to avoid simple carbs from ready meals and other such processed foods. Eat a banana ten minutes before a workout, so your body has a source of energy for your workout.
7. Plan and log your workouts
You should have a plan of your weekly workout laid out well in advance of entering the gym. You shouldn’t go into a training session blind, not knowing what body part you are going to train or what exercises you are going to do. If you go and throw a few exercises together at random, with no structure or aim you will never get to where you want to be. Keep a log of your workouts as well, so you know what weight you have lifted a how many repetitions and sets you have performed. The reason for this is next on the list…
6. Proper form and muscle isolation
For every exercise, you should be concentrating on completing the movement with proper form. The exercise should be primarily working the muscle that is being targeted. For example if you are performing a bicep curl the focus should be on using the biceps to lift the weight. You should not be leaning back, using your back muscle or legs to lift a heavier weight. Lift as heavy weight as you can, while still performing the exercise with good form and in a controlled movement. This will also reduce the risk of injury.
5. Progressive resistance
To get bigger you need to continually increase the amount of weight you are lifting (monitor this using a workout log, see number seven on the list!). When you lift a heavy weight, you are putting stress on your muscles, tearing the small fibres within. The muscle fibres will then repair themselves stronger so they can perform the task that damaged them without the damage reoccurring. To build muscle mass you need to be continuously repeating this process, increasing the weight you are lifting, so your muscle fibres are being broken down and repairing stronger and stronger each time. Aim to add 5lbs on the weight each workout.
4. Get your Protein
Your muscles need protein to grow, if you are not getting enough protein you will not grow to your full potential. A good guide line for protein intake is 0.8 to 1.5 grams of protein per pound of lean body weight. Good sources of protein are chicken, turkey, lean beef steak and egg whites. The majority of your protein should be coming from food, but you can increase your protein intake through protein shakes if you desire. I must point out that protein shakes are not a must, I prefer to get my protein from natural food sources. Protein drinks are good if you have a busy lifestyle or for convenience after a workout.
3. Get enough calories
To grow your body needs to consume more calories than it is using up. You should be consuming roughly an extra 500 calories above your maintenance level. For example if you eat 2500 calories and stay at the same weight, you should be consuming 3000 calories to build muscle. If you are not getting bigger this is the first place you should look.
You need to allow each muscle time to recover and repair before you work it again. Training one body part every day is not a good idea. Not resting your muscles enough will lead to over training, and may even start to reverse your muscle growth. Allow enough rest time for each muscle by using split routines, with adequate rest for each muscle.
1. Lift heavy!
Finally just to get the point across, to get big you need to lift big! One piece of advice I would give to you though, is don’t look at what other people around you are lifting. Lift what is big for you personally, and build on that. If you start trying to lift the same as someone else in the gym who is twice your size, or who has bad form, it will lead to you losing the form in your exercises and will reduce your results.
That is a brief run through my top ten list of things you should be doing if you are trying to build muscle mass. I have listed these points from 10 down to 1, but they are all important factors you should be considering and should not necessary be looked at in that order for importance.
I wish you all the success in your training.