Muscular people look so fit and confident that they can easily inspire others to eat healthier and be more active. However, their journey to attain their dream bod was definitely not a walk in the park. Starting an exercise regimen is a total lifestyle change. But, once you learn how to get muscles, you can prepare yourself before hitting the gym. You need to get your mind ready in order to become healthy.
Without further ado, the following are tips on how to get muscles:
Know what to eat.
To make your workout routine effective, you have to eat right. As long as you eat the right kind of food, you will never fail to supplement your body with vitamins and minerals that can help you survive tough days in the gym. Check out some tips on how to get muscles by following a good diet plan:
Wait, what? Do we really need to eat fats just to enhance our muscles? For starters, there are healthy types of fats. The best thing about eating fats is you can still enjoy eating delicious foods. After all, the number one reason why people are hesitant to live a healthier life is probably their love of tasty food. Let’s face it – most whole foods are bland.
Now, how much fat should we consume to stay healthy? You are actually free to eat saturated fats as long as you consume only less than 20 grams per day if you aim 2,000 calories. At least you still get to enjoy bacon, potato chips, and butter. That’s great, right?
Meanwhile, unsaturated fats are the healthy ones. We really need them for nutrition. These healthy fats help in distributing vitamins A, D, E and K. They make our skin healthier and our eyesight better. Regarding the amount, 50 to 70 grams of polyunsaturated or monounsaturated fats is enough. The given range depends on the total amount of your caloric intake.
Examples of polyunsaturated fats are soybeans, soybean oil, flaxseeds, flaxseed oil, sunflower seeds, sunflower oil, cottonseeds, safflower oil, and corn. On the other hand, some monounsaturated ones are pistachios, peanuts, cashews, almonds, avocados, sesame oil, canola oil, and olive oil.
Saving the best for last, omega-3 fats are very essential. They are important to keep our blood and heart healthy. Some of their common sources are sardines, trouts, tunas, salmons, and other fatty fishes found in cold water.
Eat more calories.
Feel free to consume a lot of calories as long as your body system can handle it. Some people can even go more than 2,500 calories. However, you should resort to healthy sources in only minimal amounts. Some foods have high levels of calories that eating a small amount can already boost your energy. Interesting examples are Caesar salad dressing with almost 400 calories per three ounces, risotto with at least 600 calories in a one-cup serving, and granola with almost 600 calories in every cup.
More importantly, you should include protein in your diet if you want to have bigger muscles. The standard amount is one to 1.8 grams of protein for every kilogram of your weight. For instance, if you weigh 60 kilograms, consume 60 to 108 grams of protein. A couple of six-ounce steaks can already give you 80 grams of protein.
Eat more meals in smaller amounts.
Interestingly, many experts recommend eating five or six times a day in very small amounts instead of the usual three big meals. It turns out that large meals can tire you out easily since getting a full stomach can make you sleepy. On the other hand, small meals stabilize blood sugar, hence making a person more energetic.
Even though multivitamins have a bad reputation since they are artificially manufactured, you should consume them as your maintenance to ensure that you get all the vitamins and minerals your body needs. Besides, there are a lot of organic multivitamins already that are more plant-based rather than synthetic. Before purchasing a bottle, make sure to consider first your diet needs, health conditions, age, and sex.
Do the right exercises.
Make sure that every exercise is effective for your fitness goals. Do not just blindly follow instructions without knowing the target areas of each exercise. To help you become more knowledgeable about common muscle exercises, here are categories based on focus areas:
Overhead press is the most ideal exercise for building shoulder muscles. What you need to use is one barbell or a pair of dumbbells. The first stance is holding the weight at shoulder or chest level. Your palms should face forward. Then, lift the dumbbells or barbell above your head with fully extended arms. Just make sure to bend your elbows slightly to avoid injury.
First of all, the most effective exercise for chest muscles is the bench-press. To start, be in your comfort zone first. Do not lift extremely heavy weights yet for you might get injured. Beginners usually use a five- or 10-pound weight on both sides. The stance should have your arms apart from each other, following your shoulder’s width. Then, push it up until you fully extend your arms upwards.
The repetition should be eight to 10 times for three sets. To slowly teach you how to lift heavier weights, add a little bit more weight for each set. You have to continue this routine for months before you add heavier weights. However, you should reduce the reps to only six to eight per set.
Another chest exercise that is similar to bench-press is the incline bench-press. The difference is on the 40-degree tilt on one end. This is more challenging than the ordinary bench-press.
Lastly, the simplest chest exercise is the push-up. Basically, your arms should be at shoulder-width if you are still a beginner. For a more challenging stance, place your hands closer to each other. This targets your triceps as well.
To be more specific, there are exercises targeting the back’s main muscles such as the teres major, rhomboids, and latissimus dorsi.
When it comes to the simplest and most common one, we have the pull-up. You may purchase a doorway pull-up bar so you can do it anytime in your own home gym. To successfully lift yourself up until your chin reaches the bar, try your best to position your legs further back. Also, make sure your hands are aligned with your shoulders. Regarding your palms, they should face toward you.
What you need to focus on when we speak about arm exercises are the biceps and the triceps. The biceps are muscles you directly see when you spot muscular arms. Meanwhile, the triceps are beneath the biceps. When enhanced, they make your arms look good when lifted. If they are not developed, it results in jiggly arm fat. It will also be impossible for you to carry heavier weight when you bench-press.
To target your biceps, do dumbbell curls. There are two options to choose from. You may use a weighted bar so you can exercise both arms at the same time. While standing up, you should first hold the bar with your arms extending downwards. Then, lift the bar until it reaches your chest. This is only possible when you curl your arms upward.
On the other hand, if you do not have a bar, use a dumbbell. Simply sit down with your thighs spreading out. Put the dumbbell on the ground first for you still have to position your arm between your thighs. To lift the dumbbell, press your elbow against your thigh so the weight can go all the way to your chest. Again, curl your arms. Repeat the process with the other arm.
Meanwhile, with triceps, you need to do dips. This is an exercise you can do anywhere for you do not need any equipment. Just look for something elevated like a bench, chair or low table. To begin, put your hands on the surface behind you. Again, they should be shoulder-width apart. Stretch your body and feet forward. To start moving, bend your elbows so you can lower your body until your bottom almost touches the ground. Get back up to your original stance. Repeat this eight times for three sets. For a more intense one, lift one foot during the whole process. Remember, do not use your legs just to get up. Make sure to only use your arms.
Finally, the cherry on top, it is time to learn how to get muscles in your abdomen. Just like dips, planking does not need any equipment. You just have to make sure that the ground is comfortable for your lower arms. One way to accomplish that is by using a non-slip yoga mat. The whole point is to lift yourself just by using your forearms and toes. You have to face the floor or be parallel to it. The challenge is to keep your whole body straight for a really, really long time.
The next common ab exercise is called the crunches. The simpler one is called the standard while the other is oblique. For the normal version, lie down on the floor while your arms are behind your head. Do not lock your hands. Your feet should be flat on the floor so bend your knees. To start, lift your shoulders a few inches off the ground. The pressure should be on your abdomen. Then, simply go back to your original position. Do this 20 times nonstop for three sets.
On the other hand, oblique crunches require you to make your shoulder reach the opposite knee. To balance the formation of your abs, alternate sides.
A sad reality for a lot of male fitness buffs is how they forget to develop muscles on their legs. Running or cardio exercises do not enhance leg muscles. Since men tend to grow huge with developed muscles, their upper body becomes disproportionate with their legs if they fail to do the leg workout. Four of the most effective exercises to achieve muscular legs are Belgian squats, front squats, standard squats, and deadlifts.
How to Get Muscles
Proper diet and exercise are enough to develop muscles. One cannot be effective without the other. They really should go hand in hand. Remembering the aforementioned tips on how to get muscles will give you faster results.
We cannot avoid an aching body sometimes when we do a heavy workout. In order for you to go back to the gym as soon as possible, learn how to speed up muscle recovery. While waiting for your muscles to heal, you can wash your gym shoes. However, make sure to clean them properly to preserve the quality of your footwear. Lastly, if you are looking for more equipment to add to your home gym, check out our take on the best compact exercise bike and upright exercise bike.