10 Tips for Building Muscle Now

10 Tips for Building Muscle Now

Are you trying to get stronger? We can help with that. Are you in it for the less tangible health benefits, like stronger bones and an increased lifespan? Maybe you just want to a new hobby, since everyone seems like they’re spending more time and attention focused on exercise and showing their gains on social media.

For some guys, the answer to the exercise question will always be that they’re looking to put on muscle. Whether you have a very specific goal, like getting into figure contests and bodybuilding, or you just want to fill out a t-shirt, you have to start somewhere, even if you’ve always struggled to add and keep weight onto a skinny frame in the past.

The 10 Principles to Pack On Muscle

1. Maximize Muscle Building

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The more protein your body stores—in a process called protein synthesis—the larger your muscles grow. But your body is constantly draining its protein reserves for other uses—making hormones, for instance.

The result is less protein available for muscle building. To counteract that, you need to “build and store new proteins faster than your body breaks down old proteins,” says Michael Houston, Ph.D., a professor of nutrition at Virginia Tech University.

2. Eat Meat

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Shoot for about 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight, which is roughly the maximum amount your body can use in a day, according to a landmark study in the Journal of Applied Physiology.

For example, a 160-pound man should consume 160 grams of protein a day—the amount he’d get from an 8-ounce chicken breast, 1 cup of cottage cheese, a roast-beef sandwich, two eggs, a glass of milk, and 2 ounces of peanuts.

Split the rest of your daily calories equally between carbohydrates and fats.

3. Eat More

Grilled chicken and rice salad bowl

 

In addition to adequate protein, you need more calories. Use the following formula to calculate the number you need to take in daily to gain 1 pound a week. (Give yourself 2 weeks for results to show up on the bathroom scale. If you haven’t gained by then, increase your calories by 500 a day.)

10 Tips for Building Muscle Now