muscle-building

Building Muscle 101

Whether your a man or a woman most of our aesthetic fitness goals revolve around putting on muscle. Guys want sizeable mass. Girls are looking for “long,” “lean,” and “toned” muscles. Call it what you want what you want is muscle.

GIRLS! Did you hear that? YOU WANT MUSCLE.

All caps, and italics for emphasis. 

Building muscle may seem like this arduous process, but it’s not. It takes time, but it isn’t complicated.

How to Train

  • Strength Train with Full or Body Splits: If you already have a solid base of muscle (and low body fat percentage), then traditional body part splits might be just what you need to take your training to the next level. Think chest/back, a dedicated leg day, etc. These dedicated splits are usually best for those with precise aesthetic goals, figure or bodybuilding competitors. Full body splits, or total body workouts are just fine for those who are looking to build their strength base or maintain a healthy lifestyle. Either way, you HAVE to strength train if you want to see any change in your body
  • Progressive Overload Protocol: Regardless of your type of strength training (full body or partial body splits) your body responds to resistance or stimulus that’s placed directly on it. TO CONFIRM: that still means weight lifting and strength training. While your body is responsive, it is also adaptive, meaning if you’re doing the same shit and over and over and over again, you’ll start to plateau. You must continually progress through your training to increase either load, volume, or duration. If you’re hanging out with the same program for too long, you’ll see changes in your body at first, but progress will start to fade. To continue to stay on track, you need a progressive overload. Bishes, go heavier! If you’re doing the same workout or program for up to four weeks, you’re most likely ready to progress.

It takes time to see results to stick with a program and may require you to make some fine tuning adjustments on drills, reps, rest, and load if you feel like something may not be right or you’re ready to be challenged sooner than you may think.

How to Eat

  • Caloric Consumption: It’s easy to get overwhelmed when “dieting.” What should I eat?  When do I eat? What is Marcos? All valid questions, but none are the addressing the most basic issue and biggest saboteur. DEFICIT. You have to be burning more than you are consuming to lean out. Understanding your caloric needs is the first step to seeing major progress. Here is a basic outline for calculating your baseline caloric needs for weight loss, maintenance, or gain. If you’re serious about your goals, seek a dietitian or nutritionist for an expert opinion to confirm your exact caloric goals. My friends, I am SELF-RESEARCHED with no formal education in nutrition. That’s some fine ass print. 
  • Protein Consumption: After you understand your caloric needs your next focus should be on where those calories come from, specifically, protein. Protein is crucial to building and repairing muscle; it’s needed to maintain your existing mass while you execute a caloric deficit, and keeps you satiated.
    • Studies show that 1 gram of protein per pound of lean body mass is adequate for muscle building + fat loss. Lean Body Mass is calculated by knowing your total body fat percentage. It isn’t as simple as stepping on a scale, a skin-fold test using calipers or specialized scales will give the most accurate results. You can find personal trainers, nutritionists, or dietitians with access if you take the time to do some digging.
    • If you don’t care that much about it and want to start with this rule of thumb, studies are showing that around .7-.75 of total bodyweight (the number you see on a standard scale) is sufficient to maintain strength and muscle. Again, this is an AVERAGE. Obviously, the more active you are, the more protein you’ll need

Either way, it takes time and some experimentation. Sound familiar?

How to Recover

  • Quality over Quantity: More training doesn’t necessarily mean better training. When you lift your muscles tear, you are literally breaking your body down, and when you recover your muscles rebuild to be stronger with more sizeable mass. You can only train so much before it’s counterproductive. If you’re not giving yourself the time to rebuild, you won’t see change. Rest days are NOT a bad thing. They are necessary.
  • The Importance of Sleep: If you’re not training, you’re recovering, but you’re only TRULY able to recover while your body is fully at rest. That means sleep! If you’re not prioritizing your sleep, you won’t maximize any of the above. Get as close as you can to 8 hours, people. Seriously.

While building muscle has impressive aesthetic outcomes, it’s also essential for building a healthy body and therefore the quality of life. Be deliberate about the weights your choose in the gym, and I guarantee you will like the results.

AND NO, GIRLS, YOU WON’T GET BIG.

Let’s not even go there. Okay?

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