How to increase muscle
- Sleep. All recovery happens during sleep. You may have heard it said not to bother going to the gym if you’ve had less than 5 hours of sleep because rest comes first. This is where our brain relaxes, and our muscles get repaired. It’s when hormones do what they’re supposed to do. That whole saying about needing 8 hours of sleep is not just what your parents told you in order to make you go to bed in time. Sleep is incredibly important for muscle gain and strength.
- Protein. The building blocks of gaining muscle.
- Water. H2O plays a significant role in muscle gaining. It transports nutrients needed for producing protein and glycogen structures, known to be the building blocks of muscles in the body.
- Stretching and maintaining mobility in muscle recovery and health. Without a range of motion, it is challenging to lift correctly. You wouldn’t be able to even hinge a barbell far enough to do a deadlift if you don’t have the hamstring flexibility to do so. The basic movement of your limbs will significantly impact your road to gaining muscles.
- Recovery meal. A well-balanced meal, including a good dose of protein within a 2 hour window of working out is essential (the sooner the better). If you know you wont have an opportunity to eat a meal within that time frame, grab a protein shake post workout to maximize gains.
- Avoid ice baths six hours before or after heavy lifting. It can mitigate inflammation in the recovery phase, resulting in a slow build-up of muscle..
- Creatine helps produce your cells’ most basic form of energy. This organic compound increases energy production during high-intensity exercises and increases strength and muscle gain.
- Sauna. When we exercise, we tear our muscles. It is in the recovery in which they build and grow. Saunas have been known to increase heat shock proteins and increase human growth hormones such as endorphins. After strength or weight training, go to a sauna as soon as possible to get the most out of the workout.
Tips in the gym:
- The rule of thumb is that 1-3 reps will cause your central nervous system stress, but actually results in very little muscle growth. The ideal number of reps would be five to eight, depending on one’s program, capacity, and capability.
- Slow eccentrics. Keep your movement slow on the way down. This can be extremely challenging but a great way to train from home, especially without weights.
- Blood flow restriction training. This combines low-intensity exercise with blood flow occlusion, producing similar results to high-intensity training. It is putting a tourniquet in a muscle area, doing 30 reps with something light weight, then 15 onwards. There have been impressive studies on increasing muscle sizes and endurance from this. (Do not try without a professional’s supervision)
- Remember that your program is tailor-fit for you. Rep ranges vary from person to person. New clients are advised to start two days a week, while others need three days of strength training with four to six movements with squatting, hinging, pushing, and pulling. It will never be the same for any two clients. So remember to take it at your own pace and stay on track with all the tips we’ve mentioned for your sustainable fitness journey towards muscle gain.