Eating more protein will make your muscles grow – right? Well, eating more protein isn’t the only thing you should be doing…
Unless you are working out vigorously, this isn’t true.
What is true?
Proteins are the building blocks of muscle tissue, but you must work those if you actually want muscle growth.
Eating unnecessary amounts of protein will only overexert your kidneys and lead to elevated insulin levels – which you definitely don’t want.
You could eat your bodyweight in protein, but unless you are doing resistance exercises, your muscles won’t be growing any time soon.
Although, you shouldn’t count out a high protein diet. Increased proteins can help you decrease your carbohydrate intake and provide an increased amount of energy to help you lose weight.
A protein and energy-building diet are helpful if you are chronically tired and depressed, and if your diet is filled with lots of bread, pasta, baked goods, and sweets.
Depending on your metabolism and body-type, adopting a high-protein diet CAN trim off extra pounds and help you maintain strength and muscle mass.
The Bottom Line On Getting Bigger Muscles
Train Harder (But Don’t Kill Yourself)
The two greatest mistakes people make when training is not pushing themselves hard enough or pushing way harder than they should.
Both of these can stunt progress, but overdoing it in the gym can eat up time, health, and motivation. It leads to overtraining and is impossible to sustain for extended periods of time.
The key to great long-term muscle growth is a rigorous diet and training routine that makes progress beyond the “newbie” phase (first 6-8 months).
You have to follow properly designed workout programs, progressively overload your muscles, handle heavier weights, and ensure that you’re giving your body an adequate amount of time to recover.
There are often inner obstacles you’ll have to overcome as well, as many people will psych themselves out when starting to lift heavy. Telling themselves that “they can’t do it” or “it’s just too much weight.”
Eat ENOUGH Protein
Almost no workout program can overcome a poor diet, so if you don’t spend the time to get your food right, you won’t see the results you want.
A big part of getting your food right is getting enough protein consistently and even on the days you’re not training.
Eating protein every day is one of the most important points, but protein frequency also plays a role. You should consider eating protein every 3 hours to produce the most favorable net protein balance, which relates directly to muscle growth.
Use Proper Form – No Cheating
Improper form is called “cheating” for a reason. Every time you use it, you’re cheating yourself out of bigger gains.
After all, the goal of each rep isn’t to see how much weight you can max out with, it’s to make your muscles do as much good work as possible.
Every rep should use proper technique and full range of motion. The primary goal is to keep the weights handled in a controlled manner.
Poor technique will take you out of the gym by increasing the risk of injury and reducing the effectiveness of your training.
Getting Your Calories
Eating only protein simply isn’t enough. If you want to build muscle quickly and effectively, you will be needing to increase calorie intake as well.
If you feed your body less than it burns, you’re going to create a negative energy balance or a “calorie deficit” (essential for weight loss – not gain).
A calorie deficit while trying to gain muscle will lead to an impaired ability to add muscle tissue, reduced anabolic/increased catabolic hormone levels, and poor workout performance.
Maximizing your muscle growth almost absolutely requires that you’re not in a calorie deficit. The most reliable way to do this is to overshoot your body’s energy needs by diving into a “calorie surplus” – EAT BIG TO GET BIG.
Muscle Rest & Recovery
Your body replaces trillions of cells in your body every day in a process known as “cell turnover,” which is regulated by a complex system of proteins and hormones.
Your muscles are also a part of this process and undergo something known as “protein synthesis.”
As long as you remain healthy, the cycle of cellular degradation and regeneration should remain balanced, but things are different when you throw in resistance training.
Resistance training creates small tears in your muscle fibers, and the body will naturally increase protein synthesis rates and begin the repair process. Making each cell bigger and stronger to help handle the stimulus that caused the damage.
Be sure to take enough time for rest between workouts and focus on improving muscle recovery with BCAAs and staying hydrated. The result will be better muscle growth over time.
The thing about building muscle and strength is that it comes very slowly, month by month, day by day.
If you’re just beginning your journey, you’re going to see huge jumps of strength in the first few months, but eventually, it will seem as if your progress has plateaued. From this point on, you will have to work for every rep, every lift, and every pound of muscle.
Keeping a journal of your progress, ensuring enough rest and recovery, and eating enough of the right foods will greatly help you see your improvements when it seems like there aren’t any.