Regular physical exercise brings a whole host of health benefits to the modern man, and building lean muscle is one of the best things you can do for your mental and physical health. Sculpting an enviable physique will boost your confidence and self-esteem, it will make everything you wear fit better, but most importantly, a muscular frame will give you raw power and strength. And who doesn’t want to be physically strong and able?
In your pursuit of more muscle mass, though, you might be tempted to simply push your workouts to their absolute limit, push through the dreaded muscle soreness, and grind your way to success. But that would inevitably lead to failure. What you need to do instead is to take a calculated, well thought-out approach that will maximize muscle growth and recovery.
Let’s take a look at what this approach looks like and how you can add lean muscle without gaining unwanted fat in the process.
Settle on the right workout split
First and foremost, are you training properly to maximize muscle gain? You might think that lifting any set of weights for a set number of reps will get you the results you want, but it actually takes careful planning and strategizing to create a winning workout split. So, what should you do?
To start, you want to align your workouts with your goals. If your goal is to build as much muscle as possible, then you will need to apply the bodybuilding style of training. That means training hard and with intensity, using heavy weights, but also utilizing different rep ranges.
For maximum hypertrophy, consider training every muscle group at least two times a week with different exercises, and use rep ranges that include 6-8 reps, 8-12 reps, and 12-20 reps.
Tidy up your nutrition
No matter how hard you train and no matter how well you optimize your workouts for hypertrophy, always remember that you cannot out-train a bad diet. If your nutrition and supplementation are not in line with your workout regime and your goals, you will always fall short of the mark. Why? Because your body needs the rich macro and micro nutrients to recover from exercise, build new muscle mass, and keep the fat at bay.
Only by focusing on a protein-rich diet can you satisfy your body’s post-workout requirements, and provide it with the nutrients it needs to repair damaged tissue. It’s also important to start taking natural vitamin supplements as well, to improve muscle recovery and support health processes in your body. Consider supplementing with magnesium, vitamin D3, calcium, and zinc for total body health and recovery.
Don’t let the lockdown stop you
During the COVID-19 crisis, you might be reluctant to go to your local gym out of fear of catching the virus, and no one can blame you. But even if you’re not worried about COVID, you still might not be able to train as much (or at all) due to the lockdowns in your area. Whether the gym is closed, or you don’t want to risk getting infected, none of this should hold you back on your muscle-building journey.
The best thing you can do to keep adding muscle is to build a home gym. This doesn’t have to be anything fancy, nor do you need to spend a lot of money. Simply invest in the most useful pieces of equipment that target specific muscle groups, like a versatile tricep bar that you can use to build your triceps but also your biceps and forearms.
Consider the functionality of every piece of equipment, and get these types of versatile tools that will get you the results you want.
Do the best muscle-building exercises
When it comes to your exercise selection, whether you’re training at home or at the gym, the exercises you do will make all the difference. If you want to build as much size as possible, the compound movements involving numerous muscle groups should be at the forefront of your training split.
Consider starting every workout session with one of the major movements using the right fitness machines, such as a squat, a deadlift, an overhead press, and a bench press. These are the big four, which you can then complement with isolation exercises to target specific muscles.
Learn to rest and recover properly
In the end, you can’t hope to gain new muscle mass if you’re not letting your body recover from the previous training session. Yes, you can work out if you’re still sore, but only if you hit other muscle groups that are primed for exercise.
To recover properly, you need to optimize your sleep cycles and get a solid eight hours of sleep every night. On your off days, consider staying active by walking and doing some dynamic stretching exercises to keep the blood flow moving to the affected muscles and help them recover quickly.
Over to you
Building muscle is one of the best things you can do for your long-term health, confidence, and your future as a man in this crazy world. Be sure to stick to these timeless tips to maximize muscle gain without adding unwanted fat in the process.