2. Exercise for muscle growth
Outside of eating enough food, you'll also need to train for muscle growth by learning hypertrophy training. Just hitting the weights here and there can help, but if you really want to see those muscles grow, you’ll need a solid, strategic plan when you head to the gym.
The right lifting strategy can depend on personal and multiple individual factors. Some beginners can see muscle growth just from bodyweight exercises, while more advanced lifters will need a more specific training plan that incorporates the right weight and the right amount of reps.
Typically hypertrophy training emphasizes time under tension - meaning more reps at a fairly heavy amount.
Scaling back on cardio can also help. While running and HIIT can help you lose fat, they can also burn extra calories needed for building muscles. If you want to get the most out of your gym time and gain as many pounds as possible, skip the cardio and stick to the weights.
Many experts will also suggest you try progressive overload by structuring your gym plan in advance, repeating the same training each week, and aiming to increase the reps and/or amount of weight for a total of four to six weeks. Then switch things up again.
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3. Take rest days
Muscle growth happens during periods of rest. This means taking breaks from lifting weights and getting plenty of sleep are crucial to the muscle-building process.
This concept can be really hard for some to master, since it's human nature to think lifting more, more often will result in more growth. But the opposite is actually true.
If you are lifting weights every day or multiple times a day, you are constantly tearing down your lean tissue and not giving it a chance to heal and strengthen - or grow! Being extremely sore all the time is typically a good indicator you're doing too much. Take rest days as you need them, at least 1 to 2 days a week.
Rest also includes getting plenty of sleep. If you aren’t sleeping enough or getting quality sleep, your gains will suffer. Prioritize rest and let those muscles recover!
4. Be patient
Last but not least, give yourself time to be successful. Results take time and consistency, so be patient and stick to your regimen.
Gaining massive amounts of muscle mass takes years of hard work and training. So you'll need to find a plan that is sustainable long term and find a maintenance program that keeps you motivated to keep your gains.
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