Have you seen that ONE guy at the gym? He’s been working hard at the gym and he still shows no progress after 6 months? Well at least he gets a ribbon for effort. Unless he understands a few basic concepts for muscle gain, he will continue to show no progress. In this article I will be breaking down the absolute must-haves in order to accelerate your muscle gain; whether you are a guy or girl. Ask your personal trainer in Richmond what their priorities are for muscle gain. 

TRAIN – Between 3 – 6 days/week

This is the absolute minimum that you must be able to do. Even non gym-goers should know this one. In order to build muscle, you must stress it enough so that adaptation happens. This concept is called S.A.I.D.; specific adaptation to imposed demands. Your body will adapt to the stressors you provide it. It is important to understand that to build muscle, you must break it down. Physiologically, it is the RECOVERY of the muscle break down that allows you to build muscle. 

CALORIC SURPLUS – Bodyweight x 1.5

A lot of people will tell you this when you are trying to build muscle: “EAT MORE”. To an extent, this is true. You must feed your muscles in order for them to grow. And this must be over the regular caloric intake over time. But how much should you eat? Everyone’s body is different and their caloric needs can be different but the general rule is take your body’s daily caloric intake and multiply it by 1.5. For example, if your daily caloric intake is 2500 and you should be aiming for 3750 calories. The idea is to EAT MORE! 

PROTEIN INTAKE – Bodyweight x 1

This is one that most people might not know. Eating a lot and training often still stands, but having enough protein is critical. The reason for this is to aid in building muscle as well as KEEPING lean muscle. Let’s not forget about the second reason. Keeping lean muscle is very important because building muscle gain is a long term goal. Getting ripped is not going to happen overnight or even within a few months. You must look at it from a long term perspective. Your protein sources can come from a variety of courses such as whey protein, chicken or other alternative protein sources. Ask your personal trainer in Richmond about the other sources of protein. 

So how much protein? Your bodyweight number should be how many grams of protein you should be taking per day. For example, if I was 150 pounds looking to gain muscle then I should be looking at taking in 150 grams of protein PER DAY. You can break that up into 5 servings of 30 grams of protein throughout the day. Remember, your body can only absorb 30 grams of protein in one sitting. 

SLEEP – Minimum 6 hours per night

I have mentioned above that muscle gain does not result from stressing the muscle, and it occurs from the recovery from the stress. A lot of gym-goers neglect the effects of recovery because they don’t see it as important as the training part. It is a major mistake because it will heavily impact their gains. You must maximize your sleep/recover in order to achieve the full effects of your training. 

How can you maximize sleep for full benefits? First, ensure your sleeping area is as dark as you can. Close the blinds, close the door, turn off any unnecessary lights. Secondly, ensure your room is at a cool temperature. Aim for a temperature that is slightly colder than at room temperature. Lastly, put away any electronic devices an hour before you sleep. The blue light emitted from cellphones or computers will inhibit recovery effects in your sleep. Ask your personal trainer in Richmond how much they sleep. 

CREATINE – Not necessary but effective

This one is not mandatory but definitely helps when you are trying to put on size. Creatine allows water to be pumped into the muscles which lets you lift more weight within a training session. When you are able to train at a higher intensity, your adaptation will be greater. I would recommend going on creatine for 1 week then off of it for 1 – 2 weeks. 

Until next time, 

Coach Marco

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