How to gain muscle mass? you need only three things: a lot of willpower, a good workout and a healthy diet. How many times have you heard that abs are done first at the table and then in the gym? Nothing more true!
Increasing muscle mass and decreasing body fat is not easy but it is possible by finding the right balance between nutrition and the gym. These two are complementary and it is impossible to achieve a sculpted physique by sacrificing even one of the two things.
Muscle mass and Body fat: What are they?
Fat is the set of lipids that are present in our body. It is made up of two types of fat: primary fat and storage fat.
- The primary fat is fat located in the bone marrow, kidneys, central nervous system, mammary glands and other tissues. This type of fat is of fundamental importance for physiological well-being and is defined as “the minimum percentage of fat mass compatible with a state of good health“. For women, the correct primary fat percentage should not fall below 12%, while for men this should not fall below 3-5%.
- The storage fat, is accumulated in the adipose tissue and is found in the subcutaneous and visceral parts. It is the main energy source for our body. In general, the fat storage percentage should stabilize at 12% of the total fat.
Muscle mass, on the other hand, represents “all that remains in the body after having deprived it of the storage fat“.
It is made up of muscles, internal organs, essential fat, connective tissue, teeth and bones. Muscle mass allows you to collect useful information on basal metabolic rate and differs strongly from fat-free lean mass. The latter is in fact defined as “all that remains in the body after having deprived it of all its lipid component, including primary fat“.
How to gain muscle mass: lets see some useful advices
Eat lots of protein. To gain lean mass and lose weight, it is essential that a large amount of protein is given in the diet. In particular, keep in mind that:
- Their consumption is subject to a series of factors: gender, age, current level of training and the goals to be achieved.
- Normally it is recommended to take 2 grams for each kg of weight.
- It is necessary to prefer lean foods as they do not have a high number of calories. To gain muscle mass I recommend that you diet mainly consists of chicken, eggs, fish, lean meat and legumes. The basic portion of protein must be between 90 and 120 grams.
- These contain a lot of nutrients, being high in fiber and low in calories. They bring to our body many vitamins, antioxidants and minerals that promote metabolism and help keep the body in perfect health.
- Nutritionists recommend consuming 5 to 9 servings every day. It is therefore advisable to include them in every meal and snack.
Don’t eat too many grains. how to gain muscle mass? one of the secrets is limiting the amount of carbohydrates in the diet. To this end, know that:
- The ideal serving of cereals is around 30 grams.
- It is good to prefer the consumption of whole grains to refined ones: they contain much more fiber and nutrients (and often taste better too!)
Snack before and after training. Proper nutrition to gain muscle mass also includes snacks. Eating certain foods before and after training helps not only to gather the energy needed to better cope with sports activity, but also helps the muscles in post-workout recovery. Some recommended foods are: yogurt and fruit before training; meat and vegetables after.
Limit sweets, fats, alcohol and salt. If you want to decrease fat mass, resign yourself to excluding (or at least limiting) foods that contain a high amount of refined sugars. These, in addition to not being particularly healthy and especially if combined with alcoholic beverages, contain many calories that do not help in weight loss.
Other tips on physical activity
Include cardio-type activities in your training. Cardio activities are a must for fat loss, so:
- It is advisable to do about 150 minutes of cardio activity (such as jogging or cycling), preferring a type of training that varies in intensity and makes you sweat.
- Prefer HIIT-type workouts, which are useful for speeding up your metabolism and burning lots of calories quickly
Reserve a day or two for strength training to strengthen muscle mass.
Do more repetitions and add compound exercises. If you want to increase the volume of the muscles, you need to increase the number of repetitions for each exercise:
- Try to repeat the same exercise 6 to 12 times for each set: each time you increase the repetitions, the muscles face more effort and work harder.
- include compound exercises which engage multiple muscles at the same time as well as isolated exercises dedicated to a few muscles.
Sleep. I know, this is not part of exercise but it is just as important! Know that those with sleep disorders are more likely to gain weight. Therefore:
- Rest from 7 to 9 hours each night.
- Manage stress.
What are you waiting for to put them into practice?