If one of your workout goals is to get bigger muscles, you probably already know that you’ll have to make some specific changes to your fitness routine in order to accomplish your goals. After making some significant adjustments, you’ll notice that your body will start to respond favorably. Here are some effective tips for how to increase muscle mass.
Eat More Protein
Getting lots of protein in your diet is essential for muscle mass. Protein helps to both build your muscles and protect them from strain and damage. If you eat meat, it may be beneficial to add a steak or two to your weekly menu. You can also get healthy protein from fatty fish like tuna or salmon. Eating these fish grilled with a side of veggies, or in a salad, will help you reach your protein goals. If you’d rather stick to a vegetarian diet, non-GMO soy, raw nuts and lots of leafy greens can increase the protein in your diet. Of course, whey protein and soy or coconut protein powder can also boost your daily protein. It’s best to eat one gram of protein for each pound of your body weight in order to pack on the muscle.
Exercise Large Muscle Groups
You can also learn how to increase muscle mass by working out the largest muscle groups on your body. This increases protein synthesis and helps you to get the results you want. If you’re just starting out, you can pretty much work out any muscle group and start to see an improvement. However, if you’ve been working out for a while, you’ll need to target muscle groups in order to see progress. Your back, legs and chest are the largest groups of muscles, so focus on these each time you work out (taking rest days in between) in order to make these muscles bigger. Intense workouts, in addition to eating healthy, protein-filled meals, will result in strong, noticeable muscles in a short amount of time.
How to Increase Muscle Mass Continued
Have a Good Pre-Workout Smoothie
Before you hit the gym, its best to drink a smoothie that is rich in amino acids and healthy carbohydrates. This helps your body to properly synthesize protein, and provides more strength to your muscles. According to a 2001 University of Texas study, weight lifters who drank a shake with these ingredients before working out experienced more protein synthesis than those who drank the shake after their workout sessions. The study also suggested that the shake you consume should contain 35 grams of carbohydrates and 6 grams of essential amino acids.
Take a Break
Finally, in order for your muscles to increase in size at a healthy rate, it’s ideal that you lift weights every other day. You should to a full-body workout on your exercise days, then take a full 24-hour break from the gym. An intense workout can increase your protein synthesis for up to 48 hours, so you’ll still be getting the benefits from the previous workout when you have your next gym day. After just a few weeks of this regimen, you’ll likely find that your muscle tone, definition and overall size have improved.