Build Muscle: 5 Tips To Add 5 Pounds Of Solid Mass

Putting on size isn't rocket science, but you do have to know what you're doing. This simple guide can help you succeed.

Rome wasn't built in a day, and your body won't be, either. Want a realistic goal that's sure to noticeably change your physique? Start by adding five pounds of muscle.

No one can turn into a muscle-bound monster overnight, but you will look better, be stronger, and burn more body fat at rest -- all because you moved the needle on your scale five hash marks to the right.

Adding five pounds of the hard stuff is achievable, manageable, and more than enough to create significant change. These tips will help you accomplish your goals.

1/
Modesty is the Best Policy

Shooting for the stars is great, but adding muscle is a marathon -- not a sprint. Anybody (and I mean anybody) has the capacity to add five pounds of muscle to their frame.

The timeline is relatively short for beginners. You can pack on the size, or get damn close, after just five weeks of training and eating for size. With just one month of exercise and solid nutrition, you'll know where you stand.

It's fine to have bigger, more ambitious long-term goals. I encourage it! I want to build 10-to-15 pounds of muscle in the next year.

But start with a stepping stone. Don't try to leap the Grand Canyon like Evil Knievel. Later, after you've added five pounds of muscle, add another five, and another...

2/
Track, Don't Slack

Tracking your progress is essential to short- and long-term results. Too many beanpoles wander into the gym and start repping "curls for the girls" without an actual workout plan, clear goal, or training log. Quite simply: If you don't track your progress, you won't progress.

Measure your body fat and lean body mass before you start training, and again after you've lifted for five weeks. You can use a service like Body Fat Test, or make things really simple with skin calipers.

You should also be recording your workouts, beating your previous numbers, and taking progress pictures. Post them to BodySpace for extra motivation, accountability, and community support.

In the end, however you do it, track your workouts and your body so you know you're making progress! If you're not making progress, it's time to change the routine.

3/
KISS

Keep it simple, stupid! (You're probably not stupid; it's just a saying.) Develop a simple workout routine with big lifts like the squat, bench press, overhead press and deadlift. Don't get a finicky 27-different-lifts-a-day routine with four sets for each exercise. It's not necessary in the beginning. You'll get fed up with the complexity, you won't make as much progress, and you won't build a solid foundation for future gains.

Work the biggest muscles of your body first (glutes, quads, hamstrings, pectorals and back). By training your big movers with compound lifts, you'll be able to lift safely - and heavily - in the gym.

Use a simple workout, work hard, refuel post-workout, and hit repeat. That's the best advice I have for everyone -- from beginning lifters to experienced gym rats.

4/
Nutrition Rules All

Adding just five pounds of muscle requires proper nutrition! Your diet doesn't need to be perfect, but pay attention to these basic rules:

  1. You must be in positive caloric balance to build mass. If you want to put on weight of any kind - whether muscle or fat -- you need to eat more! That's how the mathematics of weight gain works.
  2. Eat your protein! You can't build new muscle without it. Good sources of complete proteins include fish, beef, chicken and any other dead animal. Milk, Greek yogurt and eggs are also great choices.

Your bare minimum should be 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight per day. For more rapid muscle gains, bump that amount up to 1 1/2 or even 2 grams per pound.

5/
Take The Right Supplements

You're not going to need a barrage of supplements your first day in the gym. In the beginning, focus on eating healthfully, recovering, and performing well.

Protein powder is a must if you're going to hit the target I mentioned. Check out whey protein, which is essential post-workout and beneficial any time of the day. Multivitamins are your insurance against any vitamin deficiencies. Creatine will help maintain and build new muscle tissue, as well as increase your strength. It's okay to add more supplements as needed, once your priorities are in order and you can make good use of them.

Muscle-Building
Meal Plan!

This diet plan is designed for someone who needs to eat 2,000 calories to maintain their body weight. This meal plan includes about 2,300 calories, since the person in this example is looking to put on muscle mass.

Breakfast

Calories: 585 | Fats: 31g | Protein: 36g | Carbs: 42g

Pre-Workout Shake

Calories: 412 | Fats: 1g | Protein: 41g | Carbs: 61g

Post-Workout Shake

Calories: 314 | Fats: 6g | Protein: 28g | Carbs: 40g

Lunch

Calories: 441 | Fats: 37g | Protein: 10g | Carbs: 24g

Dinner

Calories: 548 | Fats: 27g | Protein: 63g | Carbs: 10g

Nutrition Facts
Daily Totals
 
Calories 2338
Total Fat102g
Total Carb177g
Protein178g

*All caloric measurements and macronutrient amounts were calculated using DietController food tracking software.

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About The Author

Aaron McCloud is an American College of Sports Medicine certified trainer with 10 years experience practicing weight lifting and martial arts.

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ewell7

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ewell7

Great Article! I like the simplicity of the meals structured. Great Tips!

Jun 6, 2012 10:52pm | report
 
gillespi005

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gillespi005

Very simple yet effective article! Thankyou for showing people that you need to eat to grow!

Forgive me but not too long ago was there not an article about top exercises to avoid and smith machine squat was #1 or #2? (aka the picture in this article) :-X

Jun 7, 2012 4:09am | report
 
RUNNER14

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RUNNER14

good article. planning on going on creatine this summer, hopefully plan to gain a few founds!!!!

Jun 7, 2012 5:45am | report
 
jwethall

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jwethall

I'm not being an elitist, but this meal plan is one of the worst I've seen yet. Yes putting on mass as a beginner is easier because you are undertrained and your body will respond faster, but you still need the right food. There aren't even any complex carbs in this plan (rice, potatos, ect). The carbs in fruit are mainly fructose, a monosaccharide, which is a simple carb. I would not expect to put on any real size following this diet plan

Jun 7, 2012 8:56am | report
 
jwethall

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jwethall

Also, if you want to put on 5 lbs of lean mass in about a month, start taking BCAA's. Inner Armour makes a good product, 6.2g of Leucine/scoop and I think its 40 servings for 27 bucks with shipping on this site. USP labs also makes a good product.

Jun 7, 2012 9:02am | report
BoostGetsULaid

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BoostGetsULaid

I completely agree with you, I thought this article was a joke at first. I know bikini competitors that eat way more than that and better than that.

Jun 7, 2012 2:02pm | report
jwethall

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jwethall

for sure. My wife does bikini, eats 6 times a day, and consumes more food than this while getting ready for the stage....

Jun 7, 2012 3:07pm | report
buda12345

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buda12345

dude, i eat more than that to lose weight

Jun 10, 2012 6:44am | report
time2eat

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time2eat

A 6th grader could barely put mass on with that meal plan

Jun 11, 2012 12:03pm | report
Stormfront999

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Stormfront999

its what you eat and leads to stronger better work out

Jun 7, 2012 9:32am | report
 
gianniolimpia77

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gianniolimpia77

Simple and clear!

Jun 7, 2012 10:24am | report
 
bishop16

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bishop16

i love this article the meal plan is so simple and good

Jun 9, 2012 10:20am | report
 
brianism

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brianism

Swordfish steak... because we want the highest level of mercury...

Jun 9, 2012 2:36pm | report
 
nicolacapra

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nicolacapra

Nothing new, good article for beginners!!!

Jun 10, 2012 11:02am | report
 
  • Body Stats
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AK1615

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AK1615

The tips are on point. I'm just confused on how the Meal Plans pre workout shake contains more protein and kcals than the post workout shake including nuts.

Jun 10, 2012 1:30pm | report
 
TheInnerBeast

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TheInnerBeast

Good article for beginners, its great to see that they are putting an emphasis on nutrition. Because that is the key to success. Altho the meal plan is lacking, its a good place to start, and build off of for beginners.

Jun 11, 2012 7:59am | report
 
Ty_lo

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Ty_lo

My lord, this is one of the worst diet plans I have seen in awhile. Where are the complex carbs....you need them to gain mass. My wife eats more on her legs days. Id like to know who reviewed this article.

Jun 11, 2012 11:42am | report
 
scotchchris

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scotchchris

"Your bare minimum should be 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight per day. For MORE RAPID MUSCLE GAINS, bump that amount up to 1 1/2 or even 2 grams per pound."

Fuckin' Bollocks.

Jun 15, 2012 3:53pm | report
 
martinholik88

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martinholik88

Dude, do you even lift?

Apr 10, 2013 9:05am | report
 
  • Body Stats
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Showing 1 - 19 of 19 Comments

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