The Three Laws on How to Build Muscle

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So how do you really build muscle mass as fast as possible?

Most people in search of answers on how to go about building muscle are overwhelmed and confused by all the information available. There are a million and one resource’s on the internet with somewhat conflicting information, even the good stuff out there can be hard to take in and put to any use.

To help put an end to the confusion I’ve created this short, yet comprehensive guide as a foundation to hit the ground running on your quest to gain muscle. These fundamental principals have been followed by all professional bodybuilders to create some of the most impressive muscular physiques ever seen.

Building muscle is really quite simple… it requires hard work, commitment and consistency, but it’s not rocket science. If you understand and stick to the following three Laws of muscle growth, you’re guaranteed to build a strong, healthy, muscular body… regardless of “hardgainer” genetics.

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The Three Laws of Muscle Growth

Law 1: Your Muscles Need to Get Progressively Stronger to Grow
Law 2: Your Muscles Require Sufficient Nutrients to Grow
Law 3: Your Muscles need Adequate Rest to Grow

Fail to abide by these laws and you will NEVER build any noticeable muscle, period!

Let’s take a look at each one of these three muscle building laws in more detail, and set you on the right track to packing on slabs of lean muscle mass, without wasting another minute in the gym.

Law 1: Your Muscles Need to Get Progressively Stronger to Grow

Progressive Overload to Build Muscle

Progressive overload is one of the most basic concepts of strength training; however, it’s also one of the most important to understand.

Progressive overload basically just means increasing the amount of work your muscles need to do in order to force your body to increase strength, resulting in gains in muscle mass. If you are always performing the same exercises, at the same number of reps, with the same amount of weight, your muscles will never have a reason to grow. You must constantly force your muscles to get progressively bigger and stronger.

How to achieve overload:

Increase Resistance – If your program calls for 6-8 reps to failure, but you have reach a point where you can do 10 easily, it’s time to increase the amount of weight you are lifting.

Increase Reps – Push yourself to do another 2-3 reps if possible. Get a spotter if necessary. Once you’re able to push through two more reps you can increase the amount of weight you’re lifting and go back down to a lower number of reps.

Law 2: Your Muscles Require Sufficient Nutrients to Grow

Most beginners don’t realize how important eating is to gaining muscle. In fact, it’s the number one reason people don’t see any gains for their hard work in the gym. If you’re not eating enough, or not eating the right foods, you simply won’t grow. If you only focus on your workout and don’t pay attention to your diet, you’re wasting your time training, you may as well not even go to the gym.

Eating healthy isn’t enough. While eating healthy is a good start, strength training requires specific nutrition to see results from your training.

Eating properly is one the most important factors in building muscle. You simply cannot build muscle if your diet is not in line. You will need to understand the proper amount of macronutrients (proteins, carbohydrates, fats) and calories to consume per day.

You should be monitoring your diet more than you monitor your training. There are four main requirements for your nutrition plan to ensure that you build muscle.

  1. Calories – Consuming too few calories is one of the best ways to prevent gains in muscle mass. While increasing your calorie intake may be necessary, it’s important to eat the right kind of food. Junk food isn’t going to cut it. Get your calories in from mostly whole healthy foods.
  2. Protein – Of course the importance of protein can never be understated. Protein provides the building blocks your body needs to build muscle. Your body is constantly repairing and replacing muscle tissue, which requires high levels of protein.
  3. Carbohydrates – Carbs will provide your body the energy that it needs to get through an intense training routine. After your workout, the insulin spike that most carbohydrates provide will help your muscles rebuild and repair themselves faster.
  4. Healthy Fats – Those who say that a low fat diet is a healthy diet are mistaken. The body requires a certain amount of healthy fat for a number of reasons. Healthy fat will improve your cardiovascular functions and fight overtraining. Eggs, nuts and Salmon are all great sources for healthy fats.

How Many Calories Should You Consume?muscle builder

You will need to figure out what your BMR (basal metabolic rate) and activity level is. This will determine how many calories you should be taking in on a daily basis to maintain your current body weight. In order to build lean muscle mass you will need to increase your daily calorie intake. This is known as a calorie surplus and is an essential requirement to building new muscle.

You can use a tool such as a BMR calculator and add an activity level formula to determine how many calories you are burning as a baseline. Once you’ve determined your BMR and activity level, take that number and add an additional 300 – 500 calories. For example, if your daily calorie maintenance requirement is 2500 calories, you will add 300 – 500 calories to this number.

You can use your BMR +300 calories for a lean bulk, or BMR +500 for an aggressive bulk. Use a lean bulk if you’re at an average weight or don’t want to increase much body fat, and an aggressive bulk with a 500+ calorie surplus if you’re underweight or an ectomorph (AKA Hard Gainer).

Getting Enough Protein

You will hear people claim 150 grams of protein per day is a good jumping off point. Others claim you should be consuming 1 gram of protein per day for every pound of body weight. So what’s really the right answer?

The problem with 150 grams of protein per day is that it won’t be enough for those with a fast metabolism. If you’re eating 3,500 calories per day, 150 grams of protein is only 600 calories. You’re then left to make up the other 2,900 calories in fat and carbohydrates which is completely disproportionate. On the other hand, if you choose to consume 1 gram of protein per pound of body fat you may not end up with enough protein if you’re a typical hard gainer.

A better way to approach protein, carbohydrates and fat in your diet is to follow the 30/50/20 rule.

30% of your calories should be coming from protein, which has 4 calories per gram.
50% of your calories should be coming from carbs, which also has 4 calories per gram.
20% of your daily calories should be coming from fat, which contains 9 calories per gram.

Law 3: Your Muscles need Adequate Rest to Grow

The final, yet vital part of the muscle building equation is rest. Intense weight training causes small micro-tears on muscle fibers that have been trained. These micro-tears trigger a process called ‘protein synthesis‘ which repair the damaged muscle fibers, making them bigger and stronger. In order to maximize this recovery and growth process you need the right amount of macronutrients and rest between workouts.

Muscles do not grow in the gym when lifting weights, they grow OUTSIDE the gym. It’s rest that allows muscles to heal and recover from intense weight training. Studies have shown that it can take between 2 – 5 days (depending on muscle, fitness level and other factors) for trained muscles to fully recover.

Sleep plays a crucial role in gaining muscle mass. In fact, it puts your body in a highly anabolic state after training. The majority of your Growth Hormone, which is a highly anabolic substance, is release during sleep.

Getting enough sleep provides you with the energy and focus to see through and intense workout. It also provides the optimum anabolic environment for your muscles to recover and grow.

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One Response

  1. David October 9, 2013 Reply

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