You can get big without taking drugs. It’s been proven time and time again. Natural bodybuilders are everywhere and demonstrate that the right training and the right nutrition can result in massive muscle gain.
To build muscle you have to get strong. You have to force your muscles beyond their limits by lifting more weight and getting more volume. But beyond food, weight and working out, there are some other important things you might want to consider. Here’s just 10 of ’em.
10 NATURAL WAYS TO BUILD MORE MUSCLE
1. EAT MORE GOOD FOOD MORE REGULARLY
Building muscle requires fuel – lots of the right fuel. If you’re not building at the rate you want you could be starving your muscle of necessary protein, fats and carbohydrates – yes, fats and carbs. This is particularly true if you’re naturally lean.
If you doubt that you have to eat more to gain more, ask Dwayne The Rock Johnson. The Rock eats 7 meals a day to fuel his workouts, including a total of 36 oz cod, 8 oz chicken, 8 oz steak, 12 egg whites, 2 egg yolks, 2 cups oatmeal, 12 oz sweet potato, 12 oz baked potato, 3 cups veggies, 6 cups rice, and a couple salads. See the full diet in detail here.
2. GET MORE SLEEP EVERY NIGHT
Human growth hormone (HGH) is released by the brain into the bloodstream during exercise and during sleep. While you’re snoozing HGH is repairing (i.e. building) muscle and body tissue. If you’re healthy HGH is normally released during the first first sleep cycle of the night. Learn more about human growth hormone here.
3. TURN UP THE VOLUME (TRAINING)
Volume training is a time tested training method for bodybuilders. Volume training involves doing 5+ exercises with each body part. Each exercise typically involves doing 4 sets of 8-12 reps. This means that in total, you’ll end up doing about 200 reps per body part. This article is a great read if you want to learn more about volume training.
4. PUT THE EFFORT INTO INCREASING YOUR MAX LIFTS
To increase your bulk it’s essential that you increase your max lifts. Heavy lifting boosts the testosterone levels in your body. Muscle growth is achieved by convincing the muscle that it needs to grow. This is achieved by stressing it beyond what it can comfortably handle. Just be sure you’re 100% on your form. Otherwise heavy lifting is just a good way to hurt yourself.
5. MAKE SURE YOU RECOVER PROPERLY
Chill out and take some time to recover regularly to help your muscles repair and grow. Just as your muscles need overwhelming stress to force them to grow, they also need adequate recovery time to repair. It’s the repair process that builds more muscle, so don’t over-do it.
But recovery time doesn’t mean lazing around at home on the couch. Far from it. You can get your recovery time in the gym by reducing the weight, upping the reps or doing fewer sets. You could also just outside for a change – try taking a hike, riding a bike, or hitting the court.
6. KEEP YOUR WORKOUTS INTERESTING
If you’ve hit a plateau it’s possible your body has become used to your routine. Change things up regularly and the stress on your muscles will increase. Variety is a great way to add complexity to your routine and target different groups of muscles, nerves and tendons.
7. BUDDY UP WITH A TRAINING PARTNER AND SPOTTER
If you’re spending hours in the gym every day it can be tempting to power up your iPod and go it alone. This can be a great way to avoid distraction and stay in the zone throughout your workout, but spending at least some of your training time with a partner can bring more than just social benefits.
When you’ve got someone to compete with and push you in the weight room your testosterone levels will get a useful boost. A partner can also keep you honest and help you ensure your form is correct so you can handle more weight.
8. DEVELOP A CONSISTENT TRAINING HABIT
It’s well known that developing a solid habit takes about a month of consistency. Once you have a good habit it also becomes hard to break it. You can’t hope to gain much bulk by going to the gym sporadically or infrequently. To help you get a consistent workout in 3-4 days a week you can establish a consistent time and day and stick to it until it’s second nature.
9. GET HELP FROM A STRENGTH COACH
There’s only so much you can learn from reading bodybuilding forums and magazines. If you want to get bigger you need to get some professional training. Professional strength coaches know what they’re doing and they’ve achieved the success you’re after. Take advantage of their knowledge and experience to perfect your routine and form and learn some more effective exercises.
10. UP THE ANTE ON YOUR INTENSITY
If you want to grow muscle you have to work hard in the gym. Focus and intensity are essential to making sure your training is everything it’s supposed to be. It’s ok to joke around and enjoy the social life in your gym in the right doses, but spending too much time fooling around instead of working out is a distraction you can’t afford. It’s also distracting to other people using the gym.
So there you have it. 10 proven natural ways to build more muscle. Now get off the net and get back to the gym!