Wondering how to gain muscle and hit your fitness goals? Check out out top 5 tips below!
1.) Gains = More Food
To gain muscle, we typically need to be eating at maintenance calories or in a caloric surplus beyond maintenance needs. This might be as little as ~5-10%, or as much as ~15-20% above maintenance calories (depending on training age and existing body composition).
Basically, if the scale isn’t trending up – we gotta increase those calories until it does!
2.) Caloric Minimums
Most active individuals need a bare minimum of something like ~1,600-2,000+ calories per day, if not substantially more, to support their daily activity and maintain their current physique. We need to be eating MORE than our daily maintenance needs if we want to easily gain muscle.
To put it simply, our bodies need food and calories to grow. We can’t make something from a whole lot of nothing (:
3.) How to Gain Muscle: Limit Cardio
If we are trying to gain muscle, It might also be best to limit cardio, conditioning, CrossFit, HIIT, etc for this period – remember, we want to focus on lifting and growing!
4.) How to Gain Muscle: Progressive Overload
Make sure to follow a good strength training program with progressive overload. We want to increase our weights, reps, tempo, etc each week to make measurable progress over time. If we aren’t improving in one of these areas, we likely aren’t gaining muscle.
We also suggest adding bodybuilding accessory work so you can look good while you get strong (:
5.) Be Patient
Keep in mind that building muscle takes time.
Read that again.
Having said that, it’s probably a good idea to embrace the fact that you’re always going to gain some body fat while you gain muscle. You’ll likely want to spend at least ~2-4 months at a time in a caloric surplus, if not more. Doing this 1-2x each year will help you look stronger, more fit, and more athletic when you switch things up and move to a caloric deficit later.
Not sure if you’re eating enough? Check out this post: Signs You Might Be Under-Eating.