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The 10 Healthiest Ways To Build Muscle

Man on bench press machine

Many of us guys dream of having those rock hard abs or biceps which bulge through the shirtsleeves. If you’re looking to add muscle to your frame, then hitting the weights hard is a definite. However, there are other factors you need to consider which are just as important as lifting dumbbells. Here, we list the 10 healthiest ways to build muscle that will help you get stacked:

1. Fuel Up

cooked chicken

Make sure you start reading food labels and check how many calories you’re taking in. Then add 500 calories to that number and start eating that amount every day. Ideally, you want to be aiming for about one gram of protein per pound of body weight.

2. Limit Your Amount of Cardio

treadmill

Around 30 minutes of light jogging twice a week is more than enough. Instead, you need to be doing sprint intervals to burn fat and spare the muscle. Try and do this three times a week for 30 minutes.

3. Do Less Reps

man-doing-bicep-curls-with-dumbbells-in-gym

Make sure to do no more than 20 sets per muscle group; around 12 is the ideal number. Also your workouts should last about 45 minutes with between six to 12 reps per set for muscle growth. As you get stronger move on to heavier weights but only lift them if you can do it in a controlled manner, otherwise there’s a high chance you’ll end up injuring yourself.

4. Use Full Body Workouts

man in gym

You’ll get the optimal results if you focus on workouts which target the whole body, or training upper body one session and then the lower body in another. Some great exercises that involve using lots of muscles at once include squats, presses, pull-ups and deadlifts.

5. Stretching

Man and woman stretching

Stretching of any kind using a foam roller – or maybe getting a massage – will improve flexibility, prevent injury and improve recovery between workouts.

6. Eat At Regular Intervals

Man_eating_work

You should be aiming to eat between five to six meals of quality food a day. This particularly includes protein and carbs, which help give you the extra calories needed to build muscle and boost metabolism for fat loss.

7. Mix It Up

man-doing-a-bench-press

Changing your routine every month helps you use different muscle groups and prevent boredom from setting in. Having a journal of how many reps and sets you’re doing as well is a good way to monitor your progress.

8. Train Your Whole Body

Man-seated-pulldown-lat-machine

The more muscles involved in a workout, the greater the hormone release you’ll get. These hormones help stimulate muscle growth throughout the day. Also try hitting each muscle group with the same amount of volume (e.g five sets of rows followed by five sets of bench press) to keep your training balanced and to avoid injury.

9. Drink Shakes

protein shake

Make sure you start and end every workout session with some sort of nutrition. Drinking protein shakes are a great way to fuel up the body, as one serving contains two grams of carbs for every one gram of protein. Believe it or not, whole foods are not always the best option to have after a workout as they take a long time to digest.

10. Recover Properly

man sleeping

The ideal amount of sleep per night is between seven to eight hours. Train no more than four times a week and try to avoid high levels of stress, as that can release the hormone cortisol, which makes your body store fat and burn muscle.

 

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About Matt Lawson Matt Lawson is a UK based sports journalist who covers all the latest football (soccer) news and matches for the Press Association. A keen Newcastle United fan, Matt is usually found either watching or playing the beautiful game.


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