For a beginner, the gym might seem like a scary place to be. But you’ve decided that you want to put on some size and maybe some strength.
Maybe you wanted to look good for the summer or maybe you wanted to make this your lifestyle.
Whatever the reason, starting your muscle building journey as a beginner can be quite confusing.
I know it’s a bit intimidating and exciting at the same time, but muscle growth doesn’t happen over time.
And the fact is that those gym models didn’t make it in a snap. But, growing and building your muscle mass is possible, and it’s possible for everyone.
Here are the top recommendations by many experts on how you can effectively grow your muscle for beginners.
Tips That You Should Know
As a beginner, you should understand that effort, dedication, and hard work are the focal points when building muscle, but you need some guidance too.
Check this list and make it your reference when you decide to start your muscle growth journey.
1. Maximize Muscle Building
Protein is the primary source that can make your muscles grow larger.
All the proteins that you store by eating protein-enriched foods and protein supplements such as whey are stored in a process called protein synthesis.
When you exert effort, and your body creates hormones, stored protein is being used.
To ensure that you have enough protein storage, you need to stack and maximize and store proteins faster than your body breaks down old proteins.
There is a very popular formula that might have seen around the internet:
Muscle growth = protein synthesis > protein breakdown
Remember it. Print it on a T-shirt if you have to, but this is the fundamental to muscle growth.
The more you promote protein synthesis and the more you avoid, or suppress breakdown, the better the results.
To make this happen, create a meal plan with a protein count, same with your current body pounds. If you are a 160-pound man, shoot up to 160 protein count.
You can also take supplements such as creatine as a booster. Here’s a link to some top creatine supplements for muscle growth you can check out.
2. Go Big!
Compound lifts and movements are the following things you should do to grow your muscles.
According to Ebenezer Samuel, C.S.C.S., a Men’s Health fitness director, you need to perform multi-joint movements to challenge your muscles at once.
Constantly stimulate muscle groups at the same time, which is why routines of squats, deadlifts, pullups, and bench presses must be in your routine.
Of course, it’s always important to add diversity to your workouts.
So, don’t just repeat the same exercises over rand over again. Add some isolating exercises that will stimulate specific parts of a muscle group: such as biceps curls, triceps pushdowns, shoulder presses, etc.
3. Eat More
Never skip a meal.
You want to gain muscle mass, not lose them. Always feed your body with protein-enriched foods.
As per Cole Matthews, a fitness expert, you need to eat every 3 hours and have a program that has 20-30 grams of protein.
Add in your diet plan grain-based carbohydrates, fruits, and vegetables.
And make sure that you’re getting enough calories that will help promote muscle growth. You can also use this calorie calculator that will help you with the whole process.
Ideally, you would want to be at a slight surplus of 100 calories above your TDEE (total daily energy expenditure) or match it.
Your TDEE is the amount of calories that your body requires to maintain its current weight.
Don’t get too caught up with your calories, though. Just because you need to consume 2,000 calories does not mean that it’s worth it to eat pizza every night.
Make sure that your meals are relatively healthy with a good selection of vegetables, grains, meats and nuts.
Having a cheat meal here and there will not hurt your progress, it might even help promote better muscle growth. But, having junk food on a regular basis will harm your results in the long run.
4. Do And Maintain Strength Training
Most people differentiate strength training with muscle growth. However, the two go hand in hand quite often.
The more you challenge your muscle the better the muscle growth.
That being said you must remember that form comes first.
Don’t just grab the heaviest dumbbell you can find at the gym and start cheating your way through your reps and sets.
Focus on a nice and controlled movement with good range of motion (ROM) and focus on the eccentric contraction of the exercise.
With strength training, you would want to aim for 4-5 repetitions, whereas normally your goal is 8-10 repetitions per set.
What you could do is make your last set of a specific exercise a strength training one.
Muscle growth depends on weight lifting and doing core exercises which means you need all your strength-focused and trained to some resistance.
If you don’t have access to weights resistance bands, plyometrics, and calisthenics are an excellent alternative as well.
5. Water, Water, and Water!
Hydrate always! As adequate hydration is crucial in building your muscles, never miss your water. Drink your water before and after your workout.
You can boost this by adding electrolytes to your water, or you can have a spare bottle of an energy drink.
Recommended glass of 12 to 16 ounces before working out and maintaining 8 to 10 when doing vigorous routines.
6. Sleep Is A Must
Did you know that sleep deprivation reduces your body’s protein synthesis (muscle growth) and can cause protein degradation, which is the most vital element for growing your muscles?
So make sure to enjoy a good night’s sleep and allow your body to rest.
Not to mention that sleep is prime time when your body releases growth hormone (HGH), which is responsible for muscle growth and strength development.
7. Everyday Training Doesn’t Exist
You don’t have to train like a maniac. That’s the most common thing you’ll hear from any fitness expert.
Allow yourself four days a week of working out and give your body enough time to recover.
Don’t overtrain, and if you think you’re making an extra effort, you’re actually not. You’re hurting your muscle-building efforts.
8. Work With A Trainer
If you don’t know how, where, and what to focus on to grow and build your muscles, there are always experts and professionals that you can ask for help.
Sometimes, it’s worth paying extra bucks in having a pro trainer to assist you rather than doing it all alone.
Especially nowadays with all of this information noise on the Internet where you have so many conflicting opinions that it’s almost impossible to gauge how to build muscle as a beginner.
Professionals are experts in their field and know all the ways to achieve your goal. Plus, they can spot if you’re doing the correct form or not.
Building muscle takes a lot of effort, time and consistency.
But with the proper guidance it’s possible for you to build your dream physique.
Remember, moderation is key.
You need to practice a few essential factors to ensure that you’re not exhausting your body and hurt the entire muscle-building process.