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What is the Best Way to Gain Muscle?

What is the Best Way to Gain Muscle?

There is no one best way to gain muscle. There is no secret, no magic pill and definitely no shortcut! Putting on muscle takes dedication, consistency and most of all time.

Why do I say time? Well, some people can easily pack on muscle by just going to the gym and adding a few hundred calories to their diet. These people (mesomorphs) can easily put on muscle and usually don’t care to learn the art of mass building since it comes naturally to them. But, most people that ask me “what is the best way to gain muscle?” ask that specific question because they find it extremely difficult to put on even small amounts of muscle. Yes, I’m talking to you hardgainers (ectomorphs) out there. I’m sorry to say it, but you have a huge hill to climb due to genetics and your body’s inability to quickly put on significant amounts of muscle.

Manipulate Your Caloric intake

By far the most important thing you can do to increase your ability to gain muscle. Nothing else you do will matter if you can’t increase your calorie intake to a level that creates a calorie surplus and forces your body to promote growth. The bodybuilding commandments state gaining muscle and cutting fat is 80% diet and 20% working out. Without implementing a diet that is in line with your goals, there is no possible way to achieve those goals.

For more information on dieting in order to gain weight you should check out some of these articles. I have listed them in order of importance.

 Increase Protein Consumption

Protein is the sacred macronutrient sent to us by the gods! But seriously, protein should be your favorite source of calories. Protein is great because it is directly responsible for muscle recovery and growth through a number of different pathways. It’s a long list so bear with me while I try to knock a few of the most important ones out.

  • Raises Growth Hormone Levels
  • Raises Insulin-like Growth factor-1 (IGF-1)
  • Increases Thermic Levels
  • Increases Fat Mobilization
  • Increases Satiety
  • Lowers Blood Insulin Levels

 Take in Healthy Fat

Take in healthy fat, healthy being the keyword here. Sources of healthy fats contain “essential” fats which are fats your body can’t manufacture on its own. Restricting fats will negatively impact your growth by decreasing testosterone levels. In one study, reducing fat intake by only 20% was enough to significantly decrease testosterone levels.

Good sources of healthy fats include olive oil, flaxseed (!) and borage oil.

Limit Cardio

This one is just common sense. Putting on muscle requires eating a surplus of calories and cardio is a tool to burn more calories. So, limiting your cardio will help you save calories that can be used towards your surplus and forcing your body to promote growth.

 Rest

Your body can’t heal and grow stronger without rest. Allowing your body to take a scheduled break is a necessity if you want to get bigger. After one cycle of your workout split (3-4 days) take a day off from the gym. But, make sure to keep your macronutrients in order so your body doesn’t lack anything it needs to fully heal its self. Not taking breaks from working out will wear you down and inhibit growth in the long run.

These five tips are essential if you want to figure out the best way to gain muscle and limit fat. It’s not an easy road to follow, but well worth it if you can stick to these rules and keep working hard until you reach your goals.

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