10 Tips For Building Muscle Mass

muscle building tips

10 Tips For Building Muscle Mass

Muscle is the key to achieving many fitness goals. Without adequate muscle on our bodies we appear flabby, unshapely, utilise less energy throughout the day and are significantly weaker than we should be.

Adding muscle to your frame should definitely be one of your goals whether you’re male or female. Building muscle can be a challenging process and it takes time. Not just in the gym, but for the repair and recovery to occur post workout to actually build the muscle we work so hard for. With the right approach, mindset and us on your side, it is definitely possible.

Here are 10 tips to help you on muscle building quest:

Start with a plan

You’ve probably heard that old saying “Failing to plan is planning to fail” before. This is definitely the case with building muscle. Having a clear idea of your goals, as well as a well-thought-out plan for how to achieve them, is crucial for success. Consider working with a personal trainer or nutrition coach to help you create a customised plan that takes into account your specific needs and limitations.

Focus on compound exercises

You may not be aware, there are two main categories of exercises you’ll do as part of any plan aimed toward building muscle. Compound and Isolation exercises.

Compound exercises, which involve multiple joints and muscle groups, are key for building large amounts of muscle mass quickly and efficiently.

Some examples of compound exercises include the big 3 gym lifts of squats, deadlifts, bench press but also extend to other multi-joint movements like rows. Most effective muscle building workout plans include variations of these movements and focus around pushing, pulling, squatting and hinging from the hips to move weight.

They are considered the most effective because they incorporate multiple muscles to coordinate and can span multiple muscle groups to execute. Including these exercises in your workouts help target multiple muscle groups at once, saving time and maximising your gains.

Don’t forget about nutrition

Exercise alone is not enough for building muscle. A 1 hour workout is only 4% of your day, the other 96% you’re recovering and preparing for the next one. 

You need to make sure you are fueling your body with the right nutrients in order to support muscle growth. Aim for a balanced diet that includes plenty of protein, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates. Gravitate towards whole food sources of nutrition, but don’t forget to enjoy yourself.

Whether you gain muscle or not is predicated on whether you’re getting the right amount of calories in and maintaining the appropriate protein daily. Utilise a calorie tracking app like MyFitness Pal to ensure you’re getting enough total calories and protein in your diet. 


Increase your protein intake

Protein is a non-negotiable for building and repairing muscle tissue, so it’s important to make sure you are getting enough of it in your diet. If you have never tracked your food before you will likely find you’re not eating enough intuitively to fuel your goal.

Good sources of protein include chicken, beef, eggs, fish, and dairy products.If you’re vegan or vegetarian you may find it difficult to get enough in total and from a varied amount of sources.

A high quality protein powder is always a great option for anyone struggling to hit daily protein requirements. Speaking of which, if you don’t know how much protein you need I wrote about it a little while ago.

Stay hydrated

Proper hydration is important for muscle growth, as well as overall health. Our bodies are made up of an astounding amount of water and included in the water we drink are other essential minerals that help our muscles fire properly.

Aside from this, water is the main resource nutrients are carried through the body in – even if they are carried in your blood, you still need adequate water to transport the nutrients around your body.

Make sure you are drinking plenty of water throughout the day, especially during and after workouts. Just being 1% dehydrated decreases performance and means you’re sacrificing results. 

Stay hydrated, perform better, recover better.

Don’t skimp on sleep

OK, before you go telling me Arnold said “Sleep a little faster” let’s just take note of the fact we aren’t all Arnold. Yes, he worked astoundingly hard and slept 6 hours a night to get the most out of the remaining 18 hours, but anabolics also help you recover better than any natural athlete ever will.

Getting enough sleep is crucial for muscle recovery and growth. Hormones fire at maximum rates during sleep for good reason – nothing else is happening. It’s the optimal time to repair the damage caused through the days activities.

Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep per night to ensure that your muscles, tendons and ligaments have the time they need to repair and grow.

Vary your workouts

Varying your workouts does not mean you need to “confuse your muscles”. Muscles do not think and respond independently of other organs in the body. The human body is designed to become efficient in its tasks and adapt to stressors.

For example, if it experiences a stress such as running a kilometer enough times it must respond by trying to transport oxygen to muscles better to cope with the stress, improving the efficiency in which the cardiovascular system handles the stress.

The same adaptation occurs with our muscles with regards to the capability of lifting a weight. The capacity of the muscles, tendons and ligaments involved increases the more you do it.

Consider switching up variables such as the exercises, reps, sets, load and rest periods on a routine basis to keep your muscles adequately challenged and responding to the training stimulus.

Use proper form

Using proper form and technique for an exercise is essential for maximising gains. One of the many advantages for doing so is minimising the risk of injury, which will keep you out of the gym and stifle your progress.

Ensuring you are using proper form when performing exercises ensures you are stimulating the correct and intended muscle. This enables you to make muscle gains faster and pays dividends over time.

Be consistent

Building muscle requires consistency and dedication. You need to stick to your workout and nutrition plan in order to see results. As the old saying goes, “Don’t be disappointed with the results you didn’t get from the work you didn’t do”.

The biggest factor in your consistency is whether the plan you are following is one you can adhere to. If your workout plan has you lifting heavy 7 days a week it’s likely you won’t stick to it very long as you won’t be able to recover from the workload.

The same applies to your nutrition, if you can’t get the food in consistently for whatever reason, the results won’t come.

Sometimes we need to dial it back to achieve the desired outcome.

Be patient

As always, things do not happen overnight. Building muscle takes time, as does developing strength and size. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t see results right away. Stay consistent with your workouts and nutrition, and be patient. 

If you’re new to the gym or weight lifting you’re at an advantage here though – Most of the gains in strength, muscle and size will occur in the first two years of your lifting career. In the industry we call these “newbie gains”.

In all cases though the consistency, time and effort will pay off and you will begin to see the results you’ve been working towards. By following these tips and staying consistent with your workouts and nutrition, you will build muscle mass and achieve the physique you’ve always wanted.

Share this post