13 Things Everyone Should Know about Gaining Serious Mass
Get the imposing Herculean physique you’ve been dreaming of by gaining serious muscle mass the natural way. Whether you are aiming to transform your body from scrawny to brawny like what Taylor Lautner did in a year, or from chubby to burly like what Chris Pratt achieved in several months, these straightforward and practical tips will help steer you toward that goal.
In case you are already buff but targeting to have the hardcore beefy look worthy for bodybuilding competitions, this article is also for you.
Besides looking good with your shirt off and becoming more attractive to the opposite sex, bulking up the right way brings other sensible benefits. It does not only make you physically stronger; it likewise enhances your cognitive power and makes you more confident about yourself and your abilities.
It could even open new doors of opportunity for you as in the case of the two aforementioned actors. Taylor was able to retain his role in the successful Twilight film saga, while Chris transitioned from comedic supporting characters to lead action hero parts.
Here are some tips to help you get bigger and stronger faster. It is divided into two sections, namely the Nutritional & Lifestyle Aspect and the Training Aspect. Like an epoxy that comes in two tubes (catalyst and hardener), the said parts should be mixed right and thoroughly for getting the best result.
On the Nutritional and Lifestyle Aspect:
1. Hydrate with Natural Thirst-Quenchers.
Water, of course, should be on the top of your list. Not only that it detoxifies your body and help it absorb carbs and proteins better, it likewise plays a key role in delivering nutrients to your muscle cells that lead to growth. Other great natural hydrating agents include vegetable and fruit juices, coconut water, matcha or green tea and milk.
Always keep in mind that even minimal dehydration can significantly decrease your physical and mental performance during workout sessions or other activities, so drink, drink, drink.
2. Obtain More Protein
It is no secret that all legendary bodybuilders with multiple Mr. Universe and/or Mr. Olympia titles loaded up on lean meat, eggs, fishes, cheeses and other protein-rich food on a daily basis, while in training.
When bulking up, it is recommended that you consume at least a gram of protein for every pound of your body weight every day. A gram-and-a-half if you are in a hurry in packing up the pounds like say, you are preparing for an upcoming competition.
As much as possible, however, stick to lean meat and shun high-fat and high-sodium processed meats such as sausages, hams, etc.
3. Escalate Your Caloric Intake.
It is true that you should eat more if you want to bulk up, but avoid bingeing, as such habit increases the chances of you developing Type II Diabetes, kidney stones, gallstones and other health problems in the long run.
So instead of hitting every buffet places in town, increase the frequency of your daily meals from 3 to 5-6 times a day. Not only that it will give you constant supply of energy throughout the day including in your workout session, it also increases your body’s capability to produce lean muscle tissue and reduce stored fats.
It is also pertinent that you eat balanced meals with the right combination of proteins (lean meats, eggs, etc.), carbs (pasta, potatoes, whole grains, etc.), unsaturated fats (omega3-rich fish, nuts, avocado, etc.) and antioxidant-rich foods such as fruits and vegetables.
4. Get enough sleep
Muscle growth is optimized during the recovery phase. Pumping iron without resting is like paddling without lifting the oars out of the water to bring back to the starting position for the next stroke.
It will not get your boat very far. That moment when the oars break out of the water surface is called the “recovery”, a phase that is as essential as giving your strained muscles a time to rest. A time away from any forces of resistance in order to get the optimum desired result.
A restful sleep is best for promoting muscle tissue recovery and growth.
5. Complement with Supplements
I am not talking about anabolic steroids and other harmful and outlawed performance-enhancing drugs.
Use (but do not abuse) FDA-approved and organic supplements only such as creatine, whey protein and organic power smoothies that give energy boosts and promotes muscle growth.
You can also take multivitamins and green teas that can supply your body with essential amino acids to neutralize the cholesterol level from the high-meat diet that you need for packing serious mass.
On the Training Aspect:
1. Compound It!
Referring to weight training exercises that work out various muscle groups simultaneously, compound movements are essential for achieving a hulking physique.
Among the most effective and widely practiced by hardcore bodybuilders are Squats, Deadlifts, Bench Presses, Barbell Rows and Overhead Presses.
2. Don’t Overdo It!
The recovery phase is almost as important as the diet and actual training. Train up to 4 days a week only, or 5 at the most, and give your muscles the time to rest, repair and re-energize.
Treat your abdominal muscles in the same way. Instead of doing crunches every single day, focus on strengthening your entire core with a combination of various workouts that also targets the back and oblique muscles.
3. Push Through Your Limit
As you progress with your training, you should gradually add free weights to your compound sets. Do it until you can lift masses almost twice your own body weight or even more.
The legendary weightlifter Bill Pearl who mentored many other great bodybuilders at one time or another was known to squat and deadlift almost thrice his own body weight, as well as bench a barbell more than twice as heavy at him, among other feats in achieving his perfect physique.
4. Build Your Strength En Route to Building Your Body.
You will not be able to progressively increase your training weights or even the number of sets and reps of your workout without getting stronger first.
Many former Mr. Universe and Mr. Olympia multi-titlists also competed in international Weightlifting tournaments including in the Olympics such as Marvin Eder and John Grimek, among others.
Many other bodybuilding luminaries such as Reg Park, Ronnie Coleman, and Arnold Schwarzenegger can deadlift between 700 to 800 lbs. and bench up to 400 lbs. in their heydays.
5. Combine Compounds with Isolation Training.
While compound sets are best for building overall strength and packing in the masses, isolation sets such as bicep curls and chest flies help chisel certain muscle groups to gain more definition.
You should also focus on doing the right forms, techniques, and frequency of repetitions to get the best workout results.
6. Cut back on Cardio
Faced with the prospect of being replaced in his key role in the Twilight movie franchise, Taylor Lautner has to gain some serious muscle mass before the shooting for the first sequel begins.
Other than a few warm up exercises, aerobic activities were not included in his training program, which obviously helped the actor to gain 30 lbs. of lean muscles in a short period of time.
Although it is essential for building stamina and for strengthening heart muscles, aerobics can impede rapid bulking up processes.
7. Be Patient and Realistic
Another thing, it takes patience, discipline and consistency to achieve the body of your dream as most men can only gain as much as 1 kg. or 20 lbs. of lean muscles per month.
Although you can bulk up faster by “juicing”, the adverse short and long term side effects is not really worth it. You can also get heavier faster by pigging out, but the resulting bulk has a high percentage of fat in it.
8. Learn from the Pros and from Your Peers
If you have a gym membership, ask a resident trainer to make a specific bodybuilding program according to your goal. If you can afford to pay a qualified personal trainer then much better.
You can likewise get a training buddy at the gym with similar physical goals as yours. Not only that you can spot for each other, you can also motivate one another.
Even the great Schwarzenegger has a training buddy in the person of 2-time Mr. Olympia, Franco Colombo, who can deadlift and bench the same volume of free weights as the former actor turned California Governor.
Getting a well-chiseled physique can positively impact your life in many different ways. You don’t have to be a professional or competitive weightlifter; an actor or a professional athlete, to reap the tremendous benefits of gaining a substantial amount of lean muscles in the right places.
It can help you exude more confidence and energy in tackling the tasks and challenges of each day and help you advance in your respective career or enterprise.