Do you want to gain muscle, but are finding this goal almost impossible?
If so then you may be tempted to reach for that junk food and to undergo a ‘dirty bulk’. However, there are ways that you can gain muscle without such drastic measures and certainly healthier methods.
Read on to discover how to add 5 pounds of muscle in a month.
#1: Focus on compound movements
To pack on muscle you should start to use compound movements rather than those isolated exercises.
This means that you should focus more on exercises such as the squat, deadlift, bench presses and overhead rows.
Unlike the isolation exercises that focus on one or two muscles, compound movements recruit a lot of different muscles.
Not only will you get an all-round workout, but your body will release more growth hormones and testosterone too, which will lead to bigger gains.
#2: Increase sets, not reps
Instead of increasing the number of reps you do, increase the sets instead.
This will enable you to keep the weight as heavy as possible.
It is important on the last 2 to 3 sets that you go to failure. Research has shown that when you train to failure there is increased muscle activation and more muscle-building hormones will be released.
#3: Increase your strength
To increase muscle mass you should try to increase your strength.
Aim to increase the weight you lift by 2-5 pounds each workout. A knock-on effect of strength increases is usually muscle growth too.
#4: Eat more
To gain muscle you need to eat more. You can train all you want but your body still requires the nutrients in the food to grow.
I would aim to add at least 500 extra calories to your maintenance limit.
You will need to work out your RMR (Resting Metabolic Rate) to discover how many calories you need to maintain your current weight.
If you keep a food diary you will be able to keep track on the number of calories you consume.
#5: Eat more protein
Are you getting enough protein in your diet? If you aren’t then you are sabotaging your muscle building efforts.
To gain muscle you need to consume a minimum of 1 g of protein to every pound you weigh.
Healthy sources of protein are as follows:
- Lean meat
- Quality protein powder
Try and get some protein into every one of your meals.
#6: You need carbs
Your body needs energy to grow, so you need to eat carbs, and not just any carbs.
Processed carbs have very few nutrients, but can make you fat. Instead choose healthy carbs such as:
- Sweet potato
- Whole-grain bread
You should also eat more vegetables too. They are full of vitamins and nutrients that can give you the energy you need without causing you to gain fat.
#7: Build up your endurance
To enable you to push that little bit harder in the gym you will need to work on your cardio.
Do not overdo it, but do not be afraid of losing those hard-earned gains with a little cardio.
#8: Get plenty of sleep
To help recovery and to initiate muscle growth you need to get adequate sleep.
When you sleep your body will release numerous hormones that will aid your recovery.
This is why it is best to aim for at least 7 hours of sleep every night. Preferably a little bit more.