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The Truth About Muscle Gain

Updated on February 26, 2014

If you want to gain muscle then you need to be taking the proper steps to reach that goal.

I’m going to tell you one of the most important exercises, one of the most important nutrients and some lifestyle changes you need to make in order to pack on slabs of muscle.

After reading this article you will be well on your way to budging muscles or a curvy body (for you ladies out there).

Do NOT Avoid Me

If you go to a gym you may notice a lot of top-heavy people because for some reason they don’t want to work their legs. A disproportioned body isn’t a healthy body and it’s only half muscular. One big reason for this lower-body neglect is because exercises like squats are difficult. Squats are difficult for one reason: THEY WORK!

Squats are one of the most productive exercises you can do if you want to build muscle. They work your entire body by getting more than one prime mover involved and many synergists. When you squat you’ll be working your quadriceps (front of your thigh), hamstrings (back of your thigh), gluteus maximus (your butt), spinal erectors (keep your spine upright) and abdominals (your stomach). So you can see why people might skip this exercise; they don’t want a full body workout from one exercise.

By not avoiding exercises like squats you enable yourself to get a better workout in less time and pack muscle onto areas that are in severe need of help. If you build a strong base through squats then you will notice your lifts go up in some of your upper body exercises too because you’re a lot sturdier. That is the first truth about muscle gain, or “muscle gain truth”. It’s easy to avoid the difficult, compound exercises but if you don’t you’ll improve your performance from top to bottom. There is also a nutrient you should never neglect the consumption of.

Eat Me

I’m sure you can guess what nutrient I’m talking about: it’s protein. You hear this time and time again because you need protein in order to develop and maintain your muscle gains.

If you don’t get enough protein your body won’t have the nutrients necessary to build additional muscle and you could risk losing some of the muscle you already have.

If you find that you’re slacking in the protein department because of the high costs of protein-rich foods then protein supplements might be a good option for you. Two of the best protein forms are whey (milk) and albumen (egg) proteins but if you’re vegan or vegetarian then you can opt for soy protein powders.

And if you don’t feel like buying supplements then stick with lean cuts of grass-fed meat, low-fat dairy products, free-range eggs or egg whites, beans like soy products and nuts like almonds. But adding squats and extra protein to your life isn’t all you need to do in order to achieve impressive muscle gains.

The Icing on the Cake

Along with eating more protein you’re going to need to increase your overall daily calories by around 500-1000 extra calories. In order to build muscle your body needs excess energy (calories) otherwise all you’ll do is maintain the current amount of muscle you already have. When your tank is empty you can’t go any farther, so up your calories a little bit and you’ll start to notice more muscle gains.

You’ll also want to reduce some of the cardio exercises that you do. If you do a lot of cardio then you’re being counterproductive for two reasons. If you burn up all the excess calories with your cardio then your body won’t be able to create and store the muscle you desire. And if you perform cardio exercises for a long period of time then your body is going to realize that you don’t need excess muscle for your workouts.

Look at a marathon runner and then look at a sprinter… their bodies are built that way because that’s the amount of muscle they need for the workouts they do. So limit the amount of cardio you do to help your body realize your intentions and start building the muscle you want.

Your body is smart but you need to help it out in some areas. Your body can’t make you do anything; it just does what you want and then creates a body that is better suited for your activities. But it can’t make these changes unless you’re getting enough sleep. Your body repairs itself while you sleep so if you want muscle gains then aim to get your 8 hours each night.

Give your body time to repair the damage you did during your workout and you’ll come out stronger than you were before. Just as a cake without icing isn’t very tasty, a person that doesn’t follow these 3 guidelines won’t be very muscular.

What you have just read is a proven system for achieving a muscular body. With the right exercises, proper nutrition and adequate amounts of sleep I guarantee that you will see muscle gains. Now that you know the muscle gain truth your journey toward muscle will be an easy one.

How Do YOU Build Muscle?

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    • Bendo13 profile image

      Ben Guinter 6 years ago from Colorado Springs, Colorado

      Thanks, BenJAMMIN2! I usually try not to confuse people too much but I'm sure your writing style is what more advanced lifters are looking for!

    • profile image

      BenJAMMIN2 6 years ago

      I like this article. Simple, doesn't need much explanation, and the things you listed really do work. Your articles are very reader friendly. I find myself delving pretty deep into detail sometimes, which is good for some readers I guess, but I'm sure I lose readers too. Haha. Solid article.

    • Bendo13 profile image

      Ben Guinter 6 years ago from Colorado Springs, Colorado

      Thanks Joe! Glad to see you still enjoy my writing. I'll be popping up some new fitness articles once I get my next workout set up... good to have you as a reader!

    • joecseko profile image

      Joe Cseko jr 6 years ago from New York, USA, Earth

      As usual, great work. That's coming from a pretty tough critic in this arena. You have to be one of the most consistent writers on this site. Your articles are factual, well laid out, as well as easy to read and assimilate.

    • Bendo13 profile image

      Ben Guinter 7 years ago from Colorado Springs, Colorado

      Thanks for reading, Hello, hello, glad you got something out of it.

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 7 years ago from London, UK

      That is a great advice