Most of us have reached a plateau in our muscle gain, and with all the advice on how to get more muscle, it can be difficult to find the right solution. Here are 5 surprisingly simple ways to get more out of your workouts and help you move beyond the plateau.
1. Increase Your Protein Intake
One of the most important elements of building muscle is to increase your protein intake. Proteins play an essential role in helping your muscles repair and grow, so adding more to your diet can make a difference. Aim to increase your daily intake by 0.2-0.4g of protein per pound of your body weight and make sure to get enough from a variety of sources such as poultry, red meat, eggs, dairy, beans, and legumes.
2. Get Enough Sleep
Sleep plays an integral role in muscle recovery. Not only does it help your body recover faster, but it also increases the amount of testosterone and growth hormones released, leading to more muscle growth. Aim to get 7-9 hours of sleep each night and limit the amount of caffeine you consume late at night.
3. Increase Strength Training
Increasing the amount of strength training you’re doing can help you build more muscle, as it encourages your body to increase its response and adapt to the extra strain. Focus on compound exercises that work multiple muscle groups at once such as squats, deadlifts, and presses. Additionally, strive to increase the amount of weight you use over time and incorporate supersets and drop sets into your routine.
4. Have Rest Days
It’s important to allow enough time for your muscles to rest and repair. Having rest days gives your body time to heal and prevents you from overtraining. Aim for one to two rest days per week or if you prefer, lighter workouts such as yoga or low-intensity cardio can be beneficial as well.
5. Eat Carbs
Carbohydrates are an essential part of muscle building as they provide the energy needed to perform strength- and resistance-training exercises. The type of carbs you consume is also important; aim to focus on complex carbohydrates such as oatmeal, brown rice, quinoa, and sweet potatoes, as these are less likely to cause blood sugar spikes.
Building more muscle doesn’t have to be a difficult task. Incorporate these five surprisingly simple tips into your routine to help you get more out of your workouts and reach your muscle-gaining goals.
• Increase your protein intake
• Get enough sleep
• Increase strength training
• Have rest days
• Eat complex carbohydrates
By making these small changes and following a consistent routine, you’ll be well on your way to increased muscle growth.
What are the best exercises to build muscle mass?
4. Bench Press
5. Overhead Press
6. Barbell Rows
8. Dumbbell Rows
9. Plyometric Exercises
What exercises target specific muscle groups?
1. Push-Ups for chest, triceps, and front deltoids
2. Pull-Ups for back, shoulders and biceps
3. Lunges for quads, hamstrings, and glutes
4. Bicep Curls for biceps
5. Tricep Dips for triceps
6. Shoulder Press for shoulders
7. Calf Raises for calves
8. Planks for core
9. Rows for back, biceps, and lats
10. Step-Ups for quads and glutes
What are the best exercises to tone specific muscle groups?
Upper body: Push-ups, pull-ups, shoulder presses, shoulder raises, tricep dips, lat pull-downs.
Core: Plank, side plank, crunches, reverse crunches, Russian twists, bicycle crunches.
Lower body: Squats, lunges, glute bridges, donkey kicks, single-leg deadlifts, jump squats.
What exercises are best for toning your abs?
1. Crunches – Lie on your back on a mat, with your feet flat on the floor and your knees bent. Place your hands behind your head, elbows pointing to the side, andcontract your abs to lift your upper body off the floor. At the peak of the motion, pause and hold for a count of one.
2. Plank – Begin in a tall push-up position, with your hands stacked directly beneath your shoulders. Pull your abs in tight, squeeze your glutes and hold for a count of one. Make sure you do not arch your back, instead keep it straight and rigid throughout the motion.
3. Bicycle Crunches – Lie on the floor and bring your legs up to a 90-degree angle, with your knees bent. Place your hands lightly behind your head, elbows pointing to the side. Alternately twist your torso, bringing one elbow and knee up towards each other while simultaneously extending the other out straight and contracting your abs. Pause and hold for a count of one, and then repeat on the opposite side.
4. V-Ups – Lie on your back on a mat, with your arms outstretched overhead and your legs long. Lift your upper body and both legs off the floor at the same time until your legs form a 90-degree angle. Pause and hold for a count of one, before slowly returning to the starting position.
5. Russian Twists – Sit on the floor with your legs bent in front of you and your feet off the ground. Lean back slightly and rotate your torso from left to right, bringing your hands from one side of your body to the other. Pause and hold for a count of one, before repeating on the other side.