How to Gain Muscle

How to gain muscle, neon fire icon, neon rectangle, created by LWL

A common goal of weightlifting is to gain muscle, but how do you do that? Let’s talk about it!

The simple answer is to perform resistance training and consume protein and nutrients, according to this article. This has to be broken down into different concepts of muscle growth.

Rep Ranges

Deciding what your targeted rep range is for various exercises will help you work towards building muscle. This will depend on your goals. Fewer reps of 1-5 are achieved for more strength, the mid-range of 6-12 results in muscle growth, and 12-20 reps are suited for people wanting to build muscular endurance. If you’re in the low rep range, you’ll want to lift heavy weights, whereas there’s room to adjust the weight to be lighter for higher rep ranges.

An example of this is the bench press, such as doing 5×5 (5 sets, 5 reps each). For tricep pushdowns, you may see something like 4×10 or 3×12.

Setting up a Routine

To gain muscle and achieve your fitness goals, you need to have a consistent routine for your exercises. Read this blog I wrote about picking the right workout split. This includes doing the same exercises consistently and applying progressive overload. If you do the same exercises consistently, you will see results and get stronger. In addition, don’t overdo it, a workout only needs 4-5 exercises.

Eating to Gain Muscle

This comes with its challenges, but ultimately the main priority to gaining muscle is consuming protein. The guideline is to consume 0.72 grams of protein per pound of body weight. So you may see someone who weighs 140 lbs consuming nearly 140 g of protein.

You may have heard the terms ‘bulking’ and ‘cutting’, which are cycles of eating that entails eating above or below your maintenance calories. To bulk, athletes may eat up to 500 calories or more over their regular calorie intake, whereas those cutting will eat 300-500 calories below. Both cycles require a sufficient amount of protein to build muscle.

Carbs and fats are important nutrients to incorporate into your diet, though protein should be a priority.

Ultimately, this will look different for some lifters, but everyone should be lifting weights and consuming enough protein to see results in muscle growth. Contact me to discuss more!

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