Consuming whey protein powder and sufficient dietary protein is considered a key factor to gain muscle. This article highlights the importance of sufficient protein intake as well as other factors that are often ignored but are key to building lean muscle.
In this article, we will discuss the top 5 ways which will help you pack on some lean muscle mass naturally.
1. Lifting heavy
There is no shortcut to gaining muscle mass. If you want to pack on muscle, it is critical that you get out of your comfort zone and challenge your body.
Focus on compound movements
You must focus on compound movements such as deadlifts, squats, and bench presses as a rule of thumb. Compound movements are extremely efficient and help you work multiple muscles and joints at the same time. Another key reason for performing compound movements is the fact that you can lift much more weight when compared to isolation movements. For instance, it is much easier to lift a much heavier weight when doing barbell squats when compared to doing a leg extension (isolation movement)
Focus on lesser repetitions
When it comes to the number of repetitions, always go for 6 to 8 reps and lift heavy. At times, you may even go for 5 reps in a set. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t hit 12 to 15 reps. Hitting 12 to 15 reps is ideal for isolation movements (movements that work on a single muscle at a time) such as a bicep curl.
Focus on progressive overload
Progressive overload doesn’t necessarily mean increasing the weight on each set. For example, if you performed 10 repetitions of squats with 50 kg and are finding it extremely challenging, then on the next set you can focus on improving your form and technique rather than just increasing the weight.
2. Consume sufficient protein
Once your muscle breaks down through exercise, it is essential to get the required nutrients to help in muscle repair. Protein plays a key role in building muscle and it is essential to meet your daily protein requirements. So how much protein is required a day? According to nutritionists and experts, a sedentary individual requires at least 1 gram of protein per kg of body weight. This requirement is higher for anyone who is into regular exercise or weight training. The requirement can go up to 2 grams/kg of body weight. There are two major sources of getting your dietary protein:
Protein from food
Always try to consume first class sources of protein. These protein sources are complete proteins since they contain all the essential amino acids that are required for protein synthesis. Leucine is an essential amino acid that plays a key role in muscle building.
The first-class sources of protein include eggs, chicken, and fish to name a few.
Since it is difficult for most people to meet their daily protein requirements from the food it is essential to consume a whey protein supplement. Each serving of whey protein gives you anywhere between 24 to 28 grams of protein on an average depending on the brand.
Apart from this, whey protein contains all the essential amino acids including leucine. Getting essential amino acids, such as leucine is extremely critical for muscle building as these amino acids aren’t produced by the body. Apart from this, whey protein is one of the fastest absorbing proteins and consuming a scoop of protein post workout can help in quick muscle repair and recovery.
Below are some whey powders that can help you meet your daily protein requirements:
Foodstrong Daily protein: Enriched with immunity boosting turmeric, green tea, and the goodness of almonds, daily protein is made from premium grass-fed whey and contains no hormones, soy, or antibiotics.
Foodstrong Shape Shake: A premium isolate protein made from the goodness of grass-fed whey, green tea extract and immunity boosting turmeric, shape shake is sweetened with a combination of stevia and sucralose.
3. Avoid skipping breakfast
In case you are looking to pack on some lean muscle mass, it is essential that you are on a slight calorie surplus, which means that you consume about 10 to 15% higher calories a day than your regular daily requirements. It is also essential to spread out your meals and include a protein source in every meal.
Starting your day with a healthy breakfast is extremely critical; breakfast being the first meal of the day, should include a source of protein such as eggs or a whey protein shake, a source of fat such as nuts and a source of complex carbohydrates.
4. Get enough rest
Your muscles grow when you sleep! Research suggests that the growth hormone is released while you sleep and all the muscle repair happens while you are sleeping. Apart from this a good night’s sleep also helps you focus on performing better at the gym the next day.
You should at least aim at getting at least 6 hours of quality sleep every night in order to achieve your muscle building goals.
Apart from this, it is advised to keep at least one day a week as a rest day in order to allow for muscle recovery.
5. Stay hydrated
About 50% of our body is made of water. Dehydration can slow down the process of protein synthesis and can increase your risk of injury. It is advised to at least consume 4 litres of water a day. Staying hydrated also plays a key role in fat loss since it helps curb cravings and avoid binge eating.
There is no shortcut when it comes to gaining muscle naturally, however, following a few effective and simple methods as discussed above and staying consistent can help you achieve your goals and help you see real results.
Laila Azzahra is a professional writer and blogger that loves to write about technology, business, entertainment, science, and health.