It is people just starting out whose goal straight away is to look like Ronnie Coleman who are the ones to fail and give up. If your goal is to build mass, then you need to look over your training schedule and diet to see if it reflects that.
The most important part of putting on mass is the overlooked diet. The food you eat provides the necessary building blocks to repair and build more muscle tissue. You will get nowhere if you train perfectly in the gym then goes home and pile the burgers and fries on your plate.
Building muscle requires energy. This energy is from the daily intake of calories. Your daily food intake should be split into carbs, protein and fat - 40%, 40%, 20%.
|RATIO OF PROTEIN/CARBS/FATS CALCULATOR|
Enter your daily caloric intake (in kcals) and press "Calculate".
The timing of your meals is also crucial. To determine the average amount of calories you consume a day, add up all the calories you eat in a week and divide it by seven. It may be helpful to keep a log of what and when you have eaten.
Furthermore, you must cycle your diet. For example, increase your caloric intake by 1,500 calories for two weeks then go back down to your original calorie intake. This helps stimulate growth. Also, eat 5-6 small meals a day as it increases nutrient absorption. Eating 5-6 meals a day also speeds up your metabolism, which is crucial when building muscle.
You should be getting at least 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight or you will not gain muscle. You must also not over-do the amount of protein you take as too much will just pass right through you.
The most important meal is your post workout meal that is straight after your workout. This is because your muscles act like blotting paper and need to soak up the carbohydrates and protein. Unlike when you are trying to cut up, your final meal before bed should contain carbs and protein.
The way you perform in the gym will also be a reflection on your gains. It is no use trying to bench 180 lbs if you can only really manage 150. The gym's not a place to impress anybody, and if you try to lift too much you will end up using terrible form which just makes you look stupid and will not help you at all - so start with weights which are comfortable to lift around the 8-12 rep range.
To find out the type of weights you should be lifting when you first start your program, try out several different weights until you find a weight which you can manage 8-12 reps and keep a note of that weight. You should then try and increase the weight by around 2.5 to 5 pounds.
If you can do this, you will know that you are making progress. It is impossible to make good gains by lifting the same weight month after month. You should go to the gym around 3 times a week to see good gains and a minimum of 2 times a week.
You should stop all cardio whatsoever if you want to gain mass. This is because by doing cardio, you burn calories and that releases cortisol that makes it harder to gain mass. Most people hate cardio, so I'm sure most people would be glad to hear this!
To make gains, you must get at least 7 hours of sleep per night. Remember, the muscles are worked hard and ripped apart while in the gym, and they then repair and grow while you're asleep. Not having much sleep will decrease your gains dramatically.
Supplements help enhance your training, but are no substitute for a good diet. Supplements will not do anything if you do not train properly or eat burgers and fries all day. Some popular supplements for mass gain include:
This works wonders for some people, but does nothing for others. Creatine works by giving you a boost in your workouts and has been known for people to put on 10 lbs of muscle in the first two weeks! When I tried it, I did not gain 10 lbs of muscle suddenly - but my gains increased greatly. It retains your water, so when you take it remember to be hydrated at all times.
L-Glutamine is an amino acid. Your body provides glutamine but to help repair the intestines it needs around 20 grams a day. It is also a very good supplement for building muscle. Some say more important and effective than even creatine!
- Meal Replacement Powders
These are very important, as for most teenagers in school cannot fit in 5-6 meals a day, so a quick meal replacement powder on the trot is very helpful between classes.
- Protein Powders
You know how much the body needs protein, so do yourself a favor and buy a respectable brand!
These are very important, as athletes and bodybuilders use up a lot of vitamins which you lose when you sweat. Multivitamins help replace these lost vitamins.
If you are starting out, don't waste your money on supplements as for the first four months you will make good gains without them - but when you reach a plateau, they can be very useful in putting on mass.
| What's A Plateau?
A level of attainment or achievement in weight loss or bodybuilding where one gets "stuck in a rut", barring further progress or noticable results. As obvious as it may seem, if you continue to do the same thing, you will continue to get the same results. Click here for tips on breaking through plateaus.
I, personally, do not do it, but several people in my gym keep a training log that they use to keep track of the weights and reps they do during each training session. This is a good idea so you can keep track of your progress, and also to identify and keep an eye on certain body parts that are lagging.
Well, there you have it! Remember: without the proper nutrition, training, sleep and supplements that I have explained, you will never get the ultimate physique that you are looking for.