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10 tips for gaining muscle mass

Gaining muscle is not only a concern for aesthetics. Building a muscular and toned body is also useful to feel good in your body, prevent back pain, increase bone density, improve performance, reduce injuries or lose weight. Gaining muscle mass is therefore favorable for your health and well-being on a daily basis. However, developing your musculature takes time and requires energy and diligence. Discover our 10 tips for building muscle.


10 tips for gaining muscle mass

1. Bodybuilding, one of the best ways to gain muscle

It's simple but it's always good to remember that the practice of bodybuilding remains one of the best ways to aim for muscle development. Certainly, sports activities such as football, running or swimming will allow you to tone up while burning calories. However, bodybuilding thanks to the principle of overcompensation will push your muscles into their entrenchment with each training. Whether at home or in the weight room, it is therefore the ideal activity to gain muscle.

2. TO GAIN MASS, BE DILIGENT AND ORGANIZED

Of course, it is not enough to register in the weight room to gain muscle. It will be necessary to be assiduous and organized. Plan your workouts in advance in your schedule and stick to it. 3 bodybuilding sessions per week is a minimum to get results in a reasonable time. If your schedule allows, integrate a 4th session in order to put all the chances on your side. On average, sessions from 1h to 1h30 maximum will allow you to aim for a muscle mass gain. In fact, organize yourself to plan between 3 and 6 hours of training per week.

3. TAKE CARE OF YOUR EXECUTION TECHNIQUE

 Full of goodwill, one often wishes to do too much at the expense of a correct execution technique. During your strength training, a good execution technique should be your top priority. If this is not the case, it is better to lower the load so as not to injure yourself and promote better muscle recruitment.

This is because poor execution technique can lead to injury. We think in particular of the execution of the squat or the deadlift. A round back to the deadlift can lead to a herniated disc within a few months.

 Another common mistake is to engage other muscle groups to lift heavier. For example, in bicep curl we often see practitioners "cheating" during the realization of the movement with the help of their back. In fact, the muscular recruitment of the biceps will be of lower quality. 

Posture work and quality placement are therefore essential if you want to gain muscle effectively and without risk of injury.

4. PERFORM SUFFICIENTLY INTENSE WORKOUTS 

No one likes to waste their time. Muscle mass gain is a medium- to long-term goal, so be serious from the beginning. Performing intense sports sessions is one of the keys to success. Intense does not mean handling extreme loads. An intense session is a workout to your full potential. If you feel able to do better during your session, do it.

The taste for effort and surpassing yourself will allow you to gain muscle faster. It's simple, training at 100% of your abilities is always more effective than 50%. To aim for muscle development, it is therefore preferable to carry out short (1 hour) but intense workouts, limiting, for example, the number of exercises to 3 per muscle group.

5. Diet, a key factor in building muscle mass 

It is impossible not to mention the nutritional aspect when considering gaining muscle. As important as training, it is necessary to properly manage your macronutrient consumption. As part of a goal of muscle development, both men and women, we recommend the consumption of 2 g of protein per day and per kilo of body weight and 1 g of fat / day / kg of body weight.

Proteins are used to build muscle while participating in recovery. They are essential for building muscle. It is therefore advisable to have a dose of varied proteins at each meal (fish, shellfish, white meats, red meats, eggs, vegetable proteins).

Lipids contribute to the normal functioning of the body, especially the brain and all of our cells. It is necessary, of course, to consume good quality lipids (olive oil, almonds, cashew nuts, avocado, salmon, mackerel, eggs, flax seeds ...).

Carbohydrates provide energy to the human body. To gain muscle, it is advisable to eat slightly above one's needs,this is called mass gain. This caloric surplus is possible thanks to the intake of carbohydrates on its plate. During this phase you will necessarily take a little fat mass as well.

Scientific studies tend to remind us that carbohydrates are just as important as proteins for gaining muscle. Moreover, a study presented in the Guide to dietary supplements for athletes (Delavier and Gundill) has shown that in young men practicing bodybuilding, the gain of muscle mass and strength over 8 weeks is more important in subjects consuming a lot of carbohydrates rather than a lot of protein. 

Added to this is the fact that eating significantly less than our caloric needs results in rapid muscle wasting, even if physical activity is maintained. A diet very low in protein can also induce muscle wasting. In order to properly cover our needs as part of a mass gain, diet is therefore of paramount importance.

6. A BOOST THANKS TO FOOD SUPPLEMENTS

 To gain muscle, there is no shortage of food supplements. Not all of them are useful, having not proven their effectiveness from a scientific point of view. To make it easier for you, we have selected for you the best food supplements to gain muscle:
  • Whey protein
  •  BCAA 
  • Creatine
Protein powder is an easy and economical solution to meet its protein needs. Generally, it is advisable to consume whey as a snack, before and after your sports session. People who have trouble gaining weight (ectomorphs) will instead turn to a gainer (protein enriched with carbohydrates).

In this scientific study,researchers have demonstrated that whey supplementation combined with strength training allows significant gains. The group that took whey gained 2.3 kg of muscle, compared to 900 g for the placebo group.

BCAAs improve recovery. They are composed of 3 amino acids namely leucine, isoleucine and valine. They have the effect of boosting protein synthesis while reducing fatigue. As part of a bodybuilding program, the consumption of 5 to 10 g of BCAAs is recommended daily.

Creatine is useful for providing energy to cells, including ATP. It helps to repel fatigue thanks to an increase in phosphocreatine stocks. Concretely, the athlete will be able to continue his muscular effort longer at high intensity. Finally, thanks to an acceleration of ATP synthesis, creatine optimizes recovery. Less fatigue, more strength and better recovery are therefore the three assets of creatine. It is recommended to consume between 3 and 5 g per day.

7. Recovery, the key word to gain muscle 

We used to say that it is during rest that the body makes muscle. It's true! Recovery plays a major role in your muscle mass gain. By recovery, we can evoke:
  • Rest time between sets 
  • The number of recovery days between weight training sessions 
  • The number of hours of sleep
Other factors come into play such as your stress level, your diet, your pace of life, etc. Nevertheless, it is advisable, as far as possible, to give 48 hours of rest to the muscle group solicited. This is what emerges from the various scientific studies that you can find in The Delavier method of bodybuilding. Indeed, "it takes an average of 48 hours to recover your strength on the isolation exercises. It takes at least one more day to find it on the basic exercises." Regarding sleep, the average is 8 hours per night. However, in addition to the duration, this sleep must be restorative.

As part of a muscle development goal, nerve, muscle and joint recovery is therefore not to be neglected, quite the contrary. Not worrying about its recovery slows down your muscle gain while greatly increasing the risk of injury. Avoiding overtraining is one of the parameters on which one must be vigilant.

8. STAY HYDRATED 

It is a great classic that should be remembered. Drinking 1.5 liters of water per day, on average, is important for maintaining good health. Indeed, let's not forget that 60% of our body is composed of water. Good hydration facilitates the elimination of waste, participates in homeostasis, maintains blood volume or moisturizes the skin.

In addition, bodybuilding sessions induce water loss due to sweating. It is therefore advisable to hydrate properly throughout the day and its training.

LISTEN TO YOUR BODY

 Treating small bumps at the first signs will allow you not to slow down your progress. One of the most common mistakes is wanting to train despite pain. This will only make the problem worse. Instead, look for the source of your discomfort and treat the pain with a specialist (sports doctor, osteopath, physiotherapist).

When aiming for muscle gain, one may be confronted with the appearance of tendonitis. Don't take them lightly. Once installed, tendinopathies take a very long time to treat.

Listening to your body is also found during your training itself. A scientific study looked at the importance of the mind-muscle connection in muscle activation in bodybuilding. Concretely, during your bench press session, muscle recruitment on the pectorals will be of better quality by focusing specifically on this muscle group. The study highlights that muscle activation is greater when the athlete is focused on movement (internal concentration) rather than on the result (external concentration). In fact, don't just try to raise and lower your weight bar. A voluntary contraction of the worked muscle will allow you to develop this muscle faster.

10. Optimize your mass gain with the services of a professional sports coach

Who better than a professional can help you achieve your goal? A qualified and experienced sports coach is the best person to accompany you towards your muscle gain.

A personal trainer's role is to create a personalized training program according to your goal, your level and your morphology. 

He ensures the proper execution of the latter by correcting your movements and directing you to the loads to be used. At your side in the gym or at home, your coach is there to encourage you to give 100%. Thanks to intensification techniques, it will push you to your limits so that you give the best of yourself during each session.

You want to put all the chances on your side to succeed in your mass gain, do not hesitate to call on a ProTrainer sports coach,in order to benefit from a tailor-made sports and food program, and a professional follow-up.

TO CONCLUDE

 As you will have understood, gaining muscle is possible, whatever your level or morphology, provided you give yourself the means by respecting some basic rules. However, it is important to note that men leave with a head start thanks to increased testosterone production. Nevertheless, ladies, thanks to your seriousness and your work, you too will be able to obtain a toned and athletic figure.

These tips for building muscle are the result of scientific studies that have proven themselves in the gym. We encourage you to apply them while being supervised by a professional sports coach to put all the chances on your side. Quality support will allow you to get on the right track to develop your muscle mass harmoniously and without injuring yourself.

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