How to Gain Muscle Fast – 10 Tips for Men for Protein Synthesis

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If you’re even remotely interested in fitness, every time you open your phone’s social media apps, you’ll be inundated with giant dude deadlift carts, protein powder ads, and professional athletes talking about their weightlifting routines. There are so many techniques for building your biceps, growing your back, or burning your triceps, you could even put a third of them into practice and train for months. Not everyone tries to be like Arnold in the gym — but building muscle isn’t just about looking bloated.

There are no one-size-fits-all guidelines for healthy living, and neither is staying active. After all, the best exercise routines are the ones you can keep consistent. Maybe you’re a yogi, cyclist, or jiu-jitsu fanatic. No matter what you like, you can always benefit from building muscle. Strength training makes all your other athletic endeavors and activities of daily living more efficient.

Why is building muscle good?

Building muscle can do more for your body than just increase strength. Yes, there are orgasms from hitting your squat max, but the benefits run much deeper than those senses of accomplishment.

1. Maximize Muscle Building

The more protein your body stores — in a process called protein synthesis — the longer your muscles will grow. But your body is constantly using up its protein reserves for other uses, such as making hormones.

The result is less protein available for muscle building. To counteract this, you need to “build and store new proteins faster than your body can break down old proteins,” says Michael Houston, Ph.D., a professor of nutrition at Virginia Tech.

According to a landmark study in the Journal of Applied Physiology, get about 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight, which is about the maximum your body can use in a day.

For example, a 160-pound man should eat about 160 grams of protein per day — the amount he gets in 8 ounces of chicken breast, 1 cup of cottage cheese, a roast beef sandwich, 2 eggs, a glass of milk, and 2 ounces of peanuts. Divide your remaining daily calories evenly between carbohydrates and fat.

2. Eat more

In addition to adequate protein, you need more calories. Use the formula below to calculate the amount you need to gain 1 pound per day. (Give yourself 2 weeks for the results to show up on the bathroom scale. If you haven’t gained by then, add 500 calories per day.

  • one. Your weight (lbs):_____
  • B. Multiply A by 12 to get your basic calorie needs: _____
  • C. Multiply B by 1.6 to estimate your resting metabolic rate (calories burned without taking into account exercise): _____
  • D. Strength Training: Multiply the number of minutes you lift weights per week by 5: _____
  • E. Aerobic training: Multiply the number of minutes you run, cycle, and play sports each week by 8: _____
  • F. Add D and E and divide by 7:_____
  • G. Add C and F to get your daily calorie needs: _____
  • H. Add 500 to G: _____. This is the estimated daily calories you need to gain 1 pound per week.

3. Do big things, not small things

Yes, bicep curls are fun, but if you want to add muscle, you have to do more to challenge your body. One key to doing this, Samuel said, is through the so-called “multi-joint” movement. “Yes, isolation training has value,” Samuel says, “but it can’t be the backbone of your training.

Instead, you want to perform an exercise that challenges multiple joints and muscles. Take the dumbbell row, for example. Each row of reps challenges the biceps, lats, and abs. Using multiple muscle groups allows you to lift more weight, which Samuel says is a key stimulus for growth (more on that later). It pushes you to use your muscles together, just like you do in real life. “Multijoint movements are key to the workout,” he says.

Make sure moves like squats, deadlifts, pull-ups, and bench presses are part of your workouts to take advantage of this. All of these will stimulate multiple muscle groups at the same time, which is what you want to do in order to grow.

4. Heavy train

If you want to build muscle and strength, you have to train heavy, says CSCS’ Curtis Shannon. “There are many benefits to heavy, safe, efficient training,” Shannon said. “High-intensity training not only challenges the muscles concentrically but also eccentrically. If not done correctly, the stimulation of heavyweights with controlled descent and return will lead to greater muscle tear and rebuild.

This means that not every set you do should have you pump 10-15 reps. Yes, high-rep sets can be valuable, but for multi-joint movements like squats, bench presses, and deadlifts, don’t be afraid to do a set of, say 5 reps. This will allow you to use more weight and build purer strength, says Samuel. As you progress, this new strength will allow you to lift heavier weights for more repetitions.

One way you can address this in your training: At the beginning of every workout, you do low-rep sets. Do 4 sets of 3-5 reps on the first exercise, then 3 sets of 10-12 reps per step. “It’s the best of both worlds,” says Samuel, “letting you build sheer strength early on and then pile on reps later.

5. Have a drink first

A 2001 study from the University of Texas found that weightlifters who drank a shake containing amino acids and carbohydrates before a workout increased protein synthesis more than those who drank the same shake after a workout.

The shake contains 6 grams of essential amino acids — the muscle-building blocks of protein — and 35 grams of carbohydrates.

“Because exercise increases blood flow to working tissues, drinking a carbohydrate-protein mix before a workout may lead to greater absorption of amino acids in the muscles,” said Dr. Kevin Tipton, an exercise and nutrition researcher at the University of Texas at Galveston.

For a shake, you’ll need about 10 to 20 grams of protein — usually about a scoop of whey protein powder. Can’t drink a protein drink in your stomach? You can get the same nutrition from a sandwich made with 4 ounces of deli turkey and a slice of American cheese on whole-wheat bread. But a drink is even better.

“A liquid meal is absorbed faster,” says Kalman. too difficult. Have a drink 30 to 60 minutes before your workout.

6. Don’t always try hard

Robert Daly // Getty Images

Your body should be moving every day, but that doesn’t mean your workouts should leave you tired and exhausted. “If you train your hardest every day, your body doesn’t get a chance to grow,” says Samuel. “Choose where to attack.” The goal is to finish each workout feeling good, not dead. Limit your weight room workouts to 12-16 total sets of work, and never exceed that.

That doesn’t mean you can’t get in a brutal workout on a regular basis. However, limit workouts that push your body to the limit to three times a week, and never on back-to-back days. “You need recovery to grow,” Samuel said. “Continuously training to the point of exhaustion is counterproductive to the recovery required for muscle growth.”

7. Cut Carbs After Your Workout

Research shows that if you feed your body carbohydrates, you’ll rebuild muscle faster on rest days.

“A post-workout meal that contains carbohydrates increases your insulin levels,” which in turn slows down the rate at which protein is broken down, says Kalman. Eat bananas, sports drinks, and peanut butter sandwiches.

8. Challenge yourself with progressive overload

As we mentioned before, a major key to muscle building is pushing your muscles to meet increasing challenges. In general, most bodybuilders assume this means you have to lift more weight per workout. That’s not the case, Samuel said. “At a certain point, it becomes more difficult to put more weight on the bar,” he says. “If it wasn’t for that, everyone would be benching 300 pounds.

Don’t simply add weight to every exercise, says Samuel. But strive to improve each set of exercises in some way. “Even if you’re not gaining weight, you can push yourself differently,” he says. “You might do 10 deadlifts on this set. On the next set, instead of adding weight, do the same 10 reps, but with sharper form.

Sometimes, maintaining the same weight for four sets a day can provide a lot of challenge, especially when you’re improving your execution with each set, says Samuel. There are other forms of progressive overload. You can reduce the rest time between sets, say, from 120 seconds to 90 seconds, or you can increase the number of repetitions, or you can even do more sets.

“The goal is to improve every workout,” says Samuel, “but know that improvement doesn’t always look the same. I might deadlift 315 pounds 4 times today and not be able to add weight. But if I Am able to squeeze out a 5th and even better control my 4th than last week puts me on the right track.

9. Make the most of tight times

A sometimes-forgotten way to gradually overload muscles is to subject them to more periods of tension called “stress time.” When your muscles are working, whether they’re under the bar on the bench press or your biceps are trying to curl up a dumbbell, they’re under “tension” with the weight. You can feel this, too: If you’re holding dumbbells by your sides, your biceps won’t be tense. The moment you start curling them up, you’ll feel them flex under the “tension” of the dumbbell.

Experienced lifters often use this tension to their advantage. They don’t just lift and lower weights (say, bicep curls), they lift weights in a specific rhythm. For example, they might curl up as fast as they can, then hold the weight well for each rep, dropping the weight in 3 seconds.

Doing this puts your muscles under tension for longer than a typical set, where you may be lifting and lowering weights without any specific amount of time. During a set, intense extra time can help stimulate muscle growth.

Note that you can do this with almost any strength workout. It is not suitable for explosive movements such as kettlebell swings, snatches and cleans. But squats, deadlifts, curls, pull-ups, and push-ups (among many others) can be tweaked to add more time under tension, pushing the muscles farther with each repetition.

10. Get at least 6 hours of sleep

Sleep is often the forgotten variable in the muscle journey. You spend a lot of time training, but what you often don’t realize is this: While you’re asleep, your muscles are recovering and your body is growing. It is also during this period that muscle growth hormone is secreted.

You know by now that ideally, you want to get 8 to 10 hours of sleep. Of course, this doesn’t always happen, but if you want to hit 8 hours, you want to do everything you can to maximize the quality of time you get.

So, if you’re serious about muscle, think about your sleep settings. Try to go to bed at the same time every day, and try to get up at the same time every day. Sleep in a cool room that is completely dark and completely quiet. All of these little things that optimize sleep quality can have an underappreciated effect on your ability to build muscle.

Whey for Muscle Growth

Drink this protein energy shake before every workout.

Weight-gaining powders may seem like an easy solution to the skinny problem. After all, they contain as many as 2,200 calories in one serving. But you don’t get what you pay for.

“High-calorie weight gain drinks typically get more than 80 percent of their calories from sugar,” says Dr. Doug Kalman. Cutting out so much sugar can give you an upset stomach and diarrhea.

So, in a sense, you’re flushing a lot of money down the toilet. “By spreading your calories throughout the day, you’ll get better results,” says Kalman.

And use a protein shake. Look for whey protein powder at the nutrition store. Mix one scoop of powder with the following ingredients for a homemade pre-workout muscle shake:

  • 1 teaspoon olive or flaxseed oil
  • 1/2 c fat-free yogurt
  • 1 c grape or apple juice

Statistics per shake:  335 calories, 27 grams protein, 45 grams carbohydrates, 6 grams fat

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