You don’t have to be a bodybuilder to want to learn how to gain muscle, as there are many benefits to doing so for all women and men. Gaining muscle can help increase your metabolism since muscle burns fat and increases metabolic rate. Gaining muscle also helps keep your bones strong to prevent osteoporosis or bone fractures, plus it helps you stay lean and toned. Try out these tips on how to gain muscle, which are proven and 100% safe.
1. Eat Protein
One of the best tips on how to gain muscle is to eat protein with each meal. It’s essential to build lean muscle mass and prevent catabolism of muscles, which is the breakdown of muscle fibers. Contrary to belief, animal sources of protein aren’t the best option since they’re inflammatory and are hard for the body to process. Protein is in everything, such as veggies, whole grains, leafy greens, nuts, seeds, beans, and legumes. You can also opt for plant-based protein powders in exchange for animal sources.
2. Strength Train
Strength training helps build muscle and prevent muscle loss. The amount you should lift will depend on how much muscle you want to gain. If you’re looking to bulk up, lift heavier weights and perform fewer reps (less than 8 or to the point of exhaustion). If you’re just looking to gain muscle to tone up, lift lighter weights and increase your reps (less than 15 or to the point of exhaustion). If you can lift more than the amounts above, then your weights aren’t heavy enough for your goal.
3. Get Enough Sleep
Getting enough sleep helps your muscles recover and aids in growth. Without recovery time, muscles become fatigued and start to break down. While you’re asleep muscle fibers actually repair and regrow, so you can continue your workouts without losing results.
4. Lift after Cardio
If you want to lose weight, do your cardio after your lifting but if you’re looking to build muscle, lift after you do your cardio. Cardio breaks down muscle fibers so the last thing you want to do is run right after you lift weights if you want higher muscle gain.
5. Do Weight-bearing Exercises
Weight-bearing exercises like walking, lunging, yoga, barre, and plyometrics are all great ways to gain muscle without bulking up. These will help form lean muscles in a subtler way and they’ll also make you stronger and more flexible. Weight-bearing exercises also protect your bones against bone fractures and osteoporosis.
6. Eat Calcium-Rich Foods
Calcium is important for muscle repair, bone health, and muscle growth. The best sources don’t come from cow’s milk either. Instead, eat richer sources such as fortified almond or soy milk, spinach, chia seeds, nuts, seeds, tofu, and leafy greens, which all have twice the amount of calcium or more per serving than cow’s milk, not to mention they’re less inflammatory to your body.
7. Eat Right after You Work out
It’s also essential that you eat right after you work out. Muscle glycogen needs to be replenished immediately after a workout so your muscles can repair and rebuild. You should eat protein and a healthy source of carbs right after you work out so that muscle glycogen is replenished and the repair process can begin. A banana or berries in a smoothie with some vegan protein powder is a great option since it offers a quick delivery of both nutrients. Products like Vega Sport or Vega One by Sequels Naturals also make fantastic options.
If you’re looking to gain muscle, don’t just wing it and expect results. It can take time to see improvement, but if you keep up these tips you’ll see results quickly. Have you ever tried to gain muscle? What worked for you?