Image by: istolethetv
By Jake Bradshaw
Sometimes it seems impossible for guys to build muscles in the areas they want to. Often times we think it has to do with our workout regime, but in reality, it’s a bit more complex than that. It takes more than just a killer workout to build mass. It takes a thoroughly structured body plan. Take these steps to get to know your body. It will only do what we command it to do. So take charge!
#1) Aim For Protein Synthesis
If you truly want to build muscle, know about protein synthesis and how to manipulate it for your benefit. Basically, it’s the amount of protein your body stores and the more you have, the larger your muscles will grow. Period. But the trouble is your body is consistently draining protein for other uses, like making hormones, for example.
To keep up with the consistent loss, you have to build and store new proteins faster than the rate at which your body is breaking it down. Besides the obvious strategies, like drinking protein shakes or taking supplements, one of the most proven beneficial ways is to obtain it like the cavemen did: by eating food.
According to a study in the Journal of Applied Physiology, the rough maximum amount of protein our bodies can use in a day is about 1 gram per pound of body weight. So if you weigh 180lbs, you should consume 180 grams of protein a day. This can easily be found in two 8-ounce chicken breasts, a couple eggs, and a turkey sandwich.
Don’t just rely on supplements. They’re not solids which means they don’t abide by the same rules of digestion that applies to real food. This way, you reap the benefits of both protein absorption and metabolism stability.
#2) Work The Biggest Muscles First
Our bodies are built on balance. Wherever there are muscles in your body, you stand a better chance at building them elsewhere too. The best solution for this is to work your biggest muscles first, then focus on the other minor areas later.
The largest muscles groups we have are the chest, back and legs. These are the three target areas you need to go full throttle on first, otherwise, the rest of your body won’t receive the message of continuing to build elsewhere. Together with your current regiment, your body will begin a synthesis towards muscle balance, which will increase growth in other areas.
A simple solution to this would be to add squats, deadlifts, pull-ups, bench presses, dips, military presses, and bent-over rows to your workout at least two or three times a week. Each of them require three sets of eight to twelve repetitions with about 60 second rest periods between.
#3) Don’t Underestimate Pre-Workout Smoothies
According to a study at the University of Texas, weight lifters who drank a shake containing amino acids and carbohydrates before working out increased their protein synthesis more than lifters who drank shakes after exercising. The reason for this is because when you exercise, you increase the blood flow to your working tissues. So drinking a carb-protein mixture before will lead to greater uptake of the amino acids within your muscles.
A good combination would be 10 – 20 grams of protein (typically one scoop of your favorite whey-protein powder). If you think that you may get the same amount of workout energy through food, you’re half right. Liquid shakes are absorbed by your body faster (almost instantly), it’s best to stick with it.
#4) Eat, Eat, Eat!
Here’s what most guys don’t get. The food we eat eventually turns into protein, which then builds our muscles. It all starts with food. If we don’t eat every three hours while we still kill ourselves at the gym, we’re limiting the rate at which our body builds new proteins.
Most guys worry that the more they eat, the more fat they’ll gain. This is absolutely false. The fat you gain from food is most likely from bad fats within the food itself. Eating clean organic food every three hours will not only keep the metabolism running, but will also be the primary source for your muscles – and guess what burns fat? Muscles.
*Fun Fact: studies have shown that by eating a bowl of ice cream (any kind) two hours after a workout, you trigger a surge of insulin better than most foods ever will. This will stall post-workout protein breakdown.
#5) Don’t Forget To Rest
Your muscles grow when you’re resting, not when you’re working out. Plain and simple. This is why it’s crucial to lift every other day. It gives your body the time it needs to recover while also reprogramming your muscle/fat collection.
Think of your body like a thinking computer. Whenever you work out a new area, your body tries to utilize whatever it has to offer in order to implement the new muscle gain. But it can only do this while you’re resting. After a few weeks, you will start to see your body finally start to balance itself out.