Foods, Supplements, and Types of Exercise That Help With Gaining Muscle
Are you hoping to achieve that perfect, muscular body that you can maintain throughout the year? Then you surely know that muscle gain is impossible without a good exercise regime. But usually, that’s not enough. In fact, for the best possible results, you need to change your entire lifestyle — and we’ll help you do just that.
Exercise Helps With Quick Muscle Gain
It should come as no surprise that one of the most important things you can do when building muscles is exercise. In fact, without a proper, well-thought-out workout routine, you can’t hope to achieve anything.
But where do you start? How do you figure out what exercises are useful and which you can skip? While you’ll probably change your workout routine as you learn more, here are a few exercises you should begin with.
The great thing about squats is that you don’t need any equipment whatsoever. All you have to do is stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, put your arms in front of you, and bend your knees. Straighten your back, keep your chest up, and don’t look down. Make sure to go as low as you can, and then stand up and repeat the process. And that’s it — if you do squats every day, you’ll soon notice a difference!
How low do you go?
Squats should be performed with the hips slightly lower than parallel to the floor. Your knees should not go past your toes when you complete a squat. You can squat down to any height you want, although we don’t recommend going much lower than parallel if it causes pain in your knees or back.
As one of the best muscle-building exercises, push-ups work your arms, shoulders, chest, and core. Thus, you should definitely incorporate them into your workout routine and keep them there.
How do you do a Proper Push-Up?
To properly do push-ups, place your hands on the ground and straighten your legs. Start lowering yourself until your chest almost touches the floor and then raise your body back up. As you do that, tense your abs and squeeze your glutes together. At first, you might really struggle, but as time goes by, it should get easier.
To do weight-lifting exercises, you’ll obviously need to get weights or go to the gym. Still, as any bodybuilder would tell you, if you are serious about gaining muscles, you can’t skip out on weight-lifting. So, grab some weights and start!
You can lift weights in many ways and combine this exercise with dozens of others. In fact, there’s a whole list of things you could do with them. And remember — start slow and gradually add more weight as you get stronger.
Things to do before, during, and after Weight Lifting
- DO Warm up before starting by doing 3-5 minutes of light cardio to increase blood flow, reduce the risk of injury, and prepare your muscles for exertion while gaining better flexibility.
- Start with lighter weights first to avoid too much pressure on your joints and muscles.
- DO repeat movements for at least 10 reps as this will help create strength without necessarily compromising form.
- DO various types of resistance to prevent strength imbalances by increasing strength along all planes of motion.
- Change your workout routine at least every 3-4 weeks. This will help prevent strength imbalances and reduce the chances of boredom.
- DO stretch after a workout to reduce the risk of injury by improving blood flow and flexibility and relieving stress on your muscles
Pay Attention to What You Eat
Exercise is crucial for muscle gain, but without a proper diet, it’s not likely to give you the results you want. In fact, eating the right types of food will keep you stronger and more energized, allowing you to work out longer.
But what are the right types of food, you might ask? Well, for the most part, those that are rich in protein. However, that doesn’t mean you should forget about carbs and fats — they are important sources of energy as well.
Here are some foods you should incorporate into your diet if you’re looking to build muscles:
Something as simple as an egg a day can give your body all the nutrients it needs for muscle growth. Eggs contain high-quality protein, leucine, the muscle-building amino acid, and healthy fats. On top of that, they are rich in vitamin B, which enhances energy production, and helps decrease fatigue.
Aside from being delicious, lean beef is an excellent source of high-quality protein, amino acids, iron, and zinc. In addition, it contains the same energy-producing vitamin B as eggs, allowing you to work out longer.
However, be careful about the type of beef you choose. To gain muscles, you should pick meat that is rich in proteins but doesn’t have many calories. For instance, choose ground beef that is 95% lean — it contains only 5 grams of fat and 145 calories.
Cheese probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when someone mentions muscle-building food. Yet, if you want to increase your protein intake, cottage cheese is just the snack for you. It contains plenty of casein, a protein that promotes and enhances muscle growth.
Aside from casein, you’ll find plenty of other nutrients in cottage cheese — vitamin B12 and calcium, for instance. Choose the type of cottage cheese carefully, though — cream versions usually contain more fat.
Enhance Your Diet With Supplements
The right kind of diet should provide you with many nutrients you need for muscle gain. But sometimes, if you’re looking for quicker results, you might need to take some supplements as well.
Aside from providing the nutrients that you lack, supplements can enhance your workout routine by reducing fatigue and boosting your energy levels. However, not every supplement on the market is good for muscle growth, so choose wisely. Here are a few that will help you meet your goals:
Occurring naturally in your body, creatine powers up your cells and allows you to blink, chew, and move your muscles. However, when you take creatine supplements, you can increase its levels by 40%, which has numerous positive effects!
In combination with the right exercise, creatine supplements help build lean muscle mass and improve strength. Your blood flow will be better during training, and your muscles will recover faster after. On top of that, creatine may slow down the breakdown of proteins in your body, which, as you know, help muscle growth.
When you work out, your body accumulates a build-up of hydrogen ions, causing your blood to become more acidic. Due to that, you start feeling fatigue, soreness, and eventually even muscle failure.
But when you take beta-alanine, another naturally occurring substance in the body, this process happens much slower. Beta-alanine delays the build-up of these ions, ensuring that your muscles don’t get as tired as quickly. That way, you can work out much longer, and as a result, have higher levels of muscle gain!
You’ve certainly seen bodybuilders and weightlifters carry protein shakes everywhere they go. As it happens, it’s not just a trend in their community — protein shakes actually help increase muscle mass and speed up recovery after exercise. And no protein is better than whey protein!
Aside from the already mentioned benefits, whey protein also decreases appetite and contains more leucine than other proteins. All of that makes it a crucial supplement for those who are looking to gain some muscles.
Muscle gain may not be easy, but now that you know what you have to do, you can at least take your first steps. What matters the most is that you persevere — even if you don’t always feel like you’re making progress. Eventually, it will all pay off!