Building and maintaining muscle comes with countless benefits for your body and mind. It helps manage blood sugar and control body fat. It also builds stamina and strength.
Muscle supports your joints and facilitates building healthy bones, too. Of course, the advantages don’t stop there. You’ll also enjoy improvements in your emotional state and massive leaps in self-confidence.
Getting shredded will put you firmly in the Alpha category while bringing you plenty of admirers. But how to bulk up for skinny guys? Building muscle is a physical act that requires dedication, determination, and trusted knowledge.
While we can’t help you with the first two ingredients, here’s the knowledge you need to succeed at bodybuilding.
1. Understand the Process
Are you ready to add more mass to your frame? Making this decision is the first step towards a brighter and better future. But before you launch into an exercise program or begin eating clean, you need a thorough understanding of how the muscle-building process works.
Ultimately, what you’re going for is a state of muscle hypertrophy. This refers to muscle adaptations resulting from consistent exposure to increasingly intense forms of resistance training.
By pursuing a progressively overloaded regime, you’ll increase the size of your muscle fibers, both in length and diameter. In other words, muscle hypertrophy stems from strategic, consistent workouts. These sweat sessions should progress in difficulty to leave you looking swole.
Why is increasing the intensity and difficulty of workouts over time so crucial to building muscle mass? Because progressive overload and effort remain definitive drivers of muscle gain.
2. Arm Yourself With a Plan
How do you avoid falling into an exercise rut? Maintaining a progressively more challenging workout schedule requires a strategic plan. This plan represents a framework for your nutritional habits and resistance training.
This plan should help you work towards achieving your ultimate fitness objectives. What if you’re not a huge fan of planning?
Then, you’ll have trouble reaching your goals. Remember that muscle mass increases require progressive overload.
3. Add Pleasure to Your Routine
While it’s important to keep challenging yourself, don’t assume that your workouts have to be all work and no play. When it comes to a muscle-building strategy, it doesn’t have to be rigid or joyless. In other words, add some variety and fun to your efforts.
This principle should extend to other areas of your routine as well. What do we mean? Find ways to adapt your favorite foods and flavors into nutritious and healthy staples.
Remember that if you’re consistent about putting in your hours at the gym and fueling up smartly, you’ll have room for occasional indulgences. When it’s all said and done, create a plan that fits your lifestyle and goals. This plan needs to be both realistic and detailed so you know how to meet your fitness objectives.
4. Eat More
When it comes to a muscle-building diet, get used to taking in more calories. If you want to bulk up, watch your calorie intake to make sure you consume enough food each day.
How many calories should you take in? To calculate your ideal caloric intake, here’s an easy formula that you can use.
Start by taking your weight in pounds and multiplying it by 12. The figure you get represents your basic daily calorie needs.
Next, multiply your basic daily calorie needs by 1.6, which will provide you with an estimate of your resting metabolic rate. What’s your resting metabolic rate? The number of calories your body burns without factoring in exercise.
After this, multiply the number of minutes you spend doing resistance training per week by five. Multiply the number of minutes of aerobic training (e.g., cycling, running, playing sports) that you do per week by eight.
Take the two numbers you get and add them. Then, divide this sum by seven to get the number of calories burned per day doing physical activities. Now, add this to your resting metabolic rate. Add 500 additional calories to this figure, and you know exactly how many calories you must consume per day to gain one pound per week.
It’ll take approximately two weeks of diligent eating before you start to see the scale tick upwards. What if you still don’t see results at this point? Then, add 500 calories to your daily diet.
5. Protein Up
The more protein your body stores, the larger your muscles will become. The process of storing protein in your body is known as protein synthesis, and your body faces constant challenges from other processes of the body.
Why? Because your body loves to draw on protein reserves for other bodily functions, including the creation of hormones.
The result? You have less protein available for muscle building. To combat these issues, you need to build and store new proteins at a faster rate than your body can break them down.
What’s a good baseline to get started? Aim to consume one gram of protein for every pound of body weight. This ratio will ensure you always take in enough of this vital nutrient for daily use.
6. Know What a Daily Menu Should Look Like
Let’s say you weight 165 lbs. Aim to eat 165 grams of protein every day.
What would a menu containing 165 lbs look like for a given day? It might include:
- Eight ounces of chicken breast
- One roast-beef sandwich
- Two ounces of peanuts
- A cup and a half of cottage cheese
- Three eggs
- One glass of milk
Where should the rest of your daily calories come from? Equally divide them between fats and carbohydrates for the best results.
7. Always Go Heavy
What’s one of the most critical aspects of building strength and muscle? You need to train heavy. To do this without getting injured, we recommend working with a private trainer until you master the form of each exercise.
Why go heavy? Because it challenges the muscles in ways that more reps at a lower weight simply cannot. When done correctly, your muscles will experience more tear and rebuild.
The goal is to challenge your muscles, so don’t expect to get ten to 15 reps every set. This statement doesn’t mean that high-rep sets no longer have value to you. They most definitely do.
Nevertheless, there’s tremendous value in doing as few as five reps of multi-joint moves such as deadlifts, bench presses, or squats at your top limit.
When you use heavier weights, you’ll build pure strength. As you cultivate more overall power, you’ll continue pushing the envelope and lifting heavier weights for more reps.
8. Make the Most of Your Reps
What’s an excellent way to do this? Consider leading off every resistance training session with an exercise that lets you train low-rep. For example, this might be four sets of three to five reps for your initial workout
Next, progress to three sets of between ten and 12 reps of every move that you do. This routine will let you take advantage of the best of both worlds. Not only will you build raw strength, but you’ll also have the chance to pile on toning reps towards the end of your workout.
9. Think Multi-Joint Exercises
To build muscle as quickly as possible, find various ways to challenge your body. This includes working multi-joint movements into your routine. Sure, isolation training also has value when it comes to toning, but multi-joint exercises should be the backbone of your regimen.
What do we mean by multi-joint exercises? These include moves that challenge multiple joints and muscles simultaneously.
For example, let’s consider the difference between bicep curls and dumbbell rows. Biceps curls work on your bicep muscle in isolation.
Now, think about all of the different muscle groups triggered by dumbbell rows. They include your lats, abs, and biceps. When you use multiple muscle groups to lift more weight, it triggers a key stimulator of growth.
In other words, multi-joint exercises are essential to bodybuilding. Other examples you’ll want to incorporate into your routine include deadlifts, pull-ups, bench presses, and squats. Each of these exercises will stimulate multiple muscle groups at the same time, challenging muscles to grow.
10. Start With a Drink
Did you know that weightlifters who drink a shake with amino acids and carbohydrates before their workout experience increased protein synthesis compared to non-shake drinking peers? For best results, what should a shake contain?
It should have at least ten to 20 grams of protein, which is what you’ll get in a typical scoop of whey protein powder. Protein represents the building block of muscles.
But do you need to drink the shake before your workout for the best results? Yes, because exercise increases blood flow to your muscle tissues. So, when you preface it with a carbohydrate-protein mixture, it leads to a greater intake of amino acids in your working tissues.
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What if the thought of protein shakes makes you sick? Opt for a healthy sandwich instead. Four ounces of deli turkey, a slice of American cheese, and whole wheat bread does the trick.
That said, you’ll enjoy the best and fastest absorption from a beverage. For optimal results, drink it between 30 and 60 minutes before exercising.
11. Post-Workout Carbs Matter
While you should pile on protein before a workout, if you want to rebuild muscle more quickly after, eat carbs post-workout.
Why does this work? Post-workout meals featuring carbohydrates increase your insulin levels. This jump in insulin slows the protein breakdown rate, which means more rapid recovery over the long-term.
What are some carbohydrate-rich foods worth considering? Try a peanut-butter sandwich, a sports drink, or a banana.
12. Provide Your Body With Regular Fuel
Remember that if you don’t eat enough, you’ll defeat the purpose of working out to build muscle. How often should you down more fuel? Aim for a meal every three hours.
How many calories should you eat at each of these meals? Take your daily number of calories and divide it by six. This will give you a rough estimate of how many calories you should pack into each meal.
Besides regularly taking in calories, make sure that you’re consuming enough protein. This works out to about 20 grams every three hours.
13. Warm Milk Works
People have long lauded the benefits of a glass of warm milk before bed to fall asleep. But it serves other purposes (whether hot or cold), too.
The calories in milk stick with you while you’re sleeping, which will decrease the protein breakdown that occurs in your muscles while you sleep. Other options that work include a cup of cottage cheese, a small bowl of fruit, or one cup of Raisin Bran with one cup of skim milk.
14. Scream for Ice Cream
Although it may sound counterintuitive, add a bowl of ice cream into your daily routine about two hours before exercising.
Why? Because it triggers one of the best spikes in insulin you can get from food. Like eating carbs after a workout, the ice cream will help you avoid post-workout protein breakdown.
15. Take It Easy
You’ll need to work hard and push the envelope to get shredded. That said, no one can bring 100 percent performance and dedication to each workout. Some days will be better than others, so don’t beat yourself up.
If you bring your hardest work out every day, your body won’t have a chance to recover and grow. Instead of constantly training to the point of exhaustion, reserve these challenges for no more than three times per week.
How to Bulk Up for Skinny Guys
Stay consistent about workouts to build muscle, adhering to a muscle-building diet, and muscle building supplements in your pre-workout shakes, and you’ll be amazed by the results.
When it comes to how to bulk up for skinny guys, it’s all about perseverance and commitment to your fitness goals. Are you ready for more health and fitness tips to help you lead your best life? Browse our blog now.