One of the most common questions I always get “How do I gain more muscle?”. Without further ado, let’s delve deep into how you’re going to gain your next 6KG of muscle in the next 6 months!
If you’re new to bodybuilding, chances are you’re constantly on a lookout for the latest supplement or a the best training routine by Schwartzenegger. Many of us in the process overlook the incomparable importance of sleep. Since there isn’t a single supplement, training programme or a diet that can compensate for the insufficient rest, let’s get straight into the simple science behind sleep.
What’s so crucial that happens while we sleep?
Growth Hormone Production
During sleep, up to 70% of human growth hormone secretion takes place. As you’d imagine, poor quality or insufficient sleep will negatively impact those numbers.
Ever heard of Adenosine? It’s a neurotransmitter, which produces ATP, a complex organic chemical that provides energy to support many things, including muscle contraction. You often see bodybuilders take Creatine to aid this too.
So if you’d like a more powerful mental alertness during your training sessions, sleep.
Endless studies suggest that protein ingestion before sleep will result in much greater muscle and strength gain, all thanks to the process called the protein synthesis. So take a leaf out of Rocky’s book and drink some eggs before bed. Or don’t. Salmonella is thought to have rather negative effects on building muscle. Besides, protein absorption is actually lower from raw eggs, but that’s a story for another edition of PT Today!
2: Caloric Surplus
“Kamal, I’ve literally tried everything, but I just can’t seem to gain any weight.” is the most common message I receive from endless number of people.
Let’s clear something up – if you’d like to lose weight, consume less calories than you burn. If you’d like to gain weight, consume more calories than you burn. You’ll only gain weight and build muscle tissue if you have the right amount of protein and calories in your system.
First things first, we have to figure out what your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) is, which is essentially the number of calories you need to survive and support your day. This can be calculated online using a basic BMR calculator, or by a nutritionist if you’d like a more accurate reading.
Let’s take an average 5ft 10”, 25 year old male office worker called Jimmie, who weighs 80kg you’ll need approximately 1890 kcal a day to support your basic bodily and organ functions, without any exercise taken into account. So if Jimmie lays in bed all day, that’s how many calories he’ll need to consume in order to stay at 80kg. Now depending on how much weight Jimmie wants to put on, he could start by slowly increasing this calories up to 3000 a day to maintain his lifestyle and training routine, as well as gain weight steadily. If 8 weeks later the weight gain isn’t rapid enough, you’d simply increase your caloric intake. If you’re creating your diet plan yourself, please be sure to consume 1.5-2.0g of protein per 1kg of body weight. So Jimmie should be consuming 120-160g of protein per day.
3: Progressive Overload
Consistency is key, but not when it comes to repeating the same training programme without any adaptations, it’ll only result in a plateau. If you would like to grow bigger muscles, you must make greater demands of your muscles. Your muscles have no reason to make any adaptations if you don’t progressively overload them by forcing them to do more than they’re accustomed to.
Progressive overload simply suggests that in order for you to get bigger and stronger, you must make your muscles work harder than they’re used to. This can be done by increasing the resistance weight, as well as reps, volume and frequency of training or decrease the rest periods in between sets. Use one or a combination of techniques above to gain as much muscle as you can in record time.
Disclaimer: I strongly advise if you’re using the progressive overload principle over a prolonged period of time, that you schedule in a deload week within your training plan. During your reload week, simply recuse the intensity and/or volume of your training to allow your body to regenerate cells, especially the connective tissue. This also prepares your body for the tough training plan that it’s about to take on after the deload week. It’s important to look after your body, you only get one!
Say hello to your new fitness guru – Kamal Mamedov. I’m the Co-founder of Fortitude Fitness – the most atmospheric gym in Suffolk, Personal Trainer, Sports Massage Therapist and an Instagram Influencer. In 2019, we’ll cover the hottest health and fitness topics, as well as bodacious business and lifestyle tips.