5 Tips for How to Build and Maintain Muscle

Building muscle takes time and discipline. What's more, training alone is not enough. A good diet and a good night's sleep will give you the best chance of success. Discover 5 easy tips to build muscle. These tips are unisex and apply whether you train at home or in a gym.

Building muscle takes time and discipline. What’s more, training alone is not enough. A good diet and a good night’s sleep will give you the best chance of success. Discover 5 easy tips to build muscle. These tips are unisex and apply whether you train at home or in a gym.

Tip #1: Train hard!

To gain muscle, there’s no need to look for a way to build muscle. It’s best to take your time and apply simple advice that has been proven over the years.

Building muscle starts in the weight room, the gym or at home.

To begin with, you should know that losing weight is relatively quick, unlike gaining muscle, where the physical transformation takes years. If you want to be as muscular as the magazines in less than 6 months, don’t bother. By training 3 times a week, you will obtain satisfactory results from the 1st or 2nd year depending on your genetic potential.

Our first piece of advice is to train intensely. Today, weight training has become very popular, including weight training for women, and you can find athletes of all ages, more or less serious and assiduous. Don’t waste your time at the gym. We advise you to train between 1 hour and 1.5 hours maximum, respecting your rest periods (about 1.5 minutes between sets). Usually, make sure you do 3 to 4 exercises per muscle.

Training intensely does not necessarily mean putting a lot of weight on the bar. This is the main mistake of the beginner. If you are just starting out, focus on mastering the empty bar and then the light weight. Don’t rush through the steps.

Training intensely means doing a workout that matches your abilities and your form of the day.

Good to know: 8 to 12 repetitions to aim for hypertrophy

In weight training, we recommend working at a range of 8 to 12 repetitions with a load of 60% – 70% of 1 RM. For beginners and intermediate level people, 3 sets of work per muscle with this moderate load is optimal.
In concrete terms, if you manage to lift 1 x 80 kg in the bench press (1 RM), you will need to work between 48 kg and 56 kg over 8 to 12 repetitions. 3 to 4 exercises per muscle are recommended.

Tip #2: Train Regularly

Wanting to gain muscle is a thankless task. You train diligently for 6 months, take a 3 week break and feel like you’ve lost almost everything. It is this regularity and assiduity that is the beauty of bodybuilding. The idea is not to train 7 days a week for 1 month and then take a break for 1 month. It is better to train 3 to 4 times a week throughout the year. Some weeks you will train twice, others 4 times, but you will be able to gain muscle if you are a regular exerciser.

In fact, you should know that your training program depends on the number of weekly workouts you do.

1x /  week2x /  week3x /  week4x /  week5x /  week
Full bodyHalf BodySplit routineSplit routineSplit routine

Weekly training program

  • A full body workout consists of training all muscle groups in the same session.
  • A Half Body workout will allow you to train 1x the upper body and 1x the lower body during the week.
  • A Split Routine workout allows you to target 1 to 2 muscle groups per session. This is the most common type of split routine.
3x /  week4x /  week5x /  week
Pectoraux – BrasJambesDos- EpaulesPectoraux – BicepsDos- TricepsJambesEpaules – TrapèzesPectorauxDosJambesBiceps – TricepsEpaules – Trapèzes

Split routine workout

Tip #3: Avoid injury

Now that the basics are in place, it’s time to look at the “extras”. Indeed, gaining muscle is not limited to the gym. To reach your goal, it is necessary to avoid injury, which will slow down your progress and alter your health and your morale.

To do this, it is necessary to master the execution of the movements. As Fréderic DELAVIER reminds us, “except for accidents, most injuries in bodybuilding are predictable and avoidable”. Michael GUNDILL adds “we always get injured stupidly… I have never seen an intelligent injury”.

The load used is a means of gaining muscle, not a goal to be reached. So leave your ego in the locker room and train to your own ability. If you are aiming for 10 reps, the load lifted should allow you to do 10 (or even 12) with perfect execution from the first to the last rep.

Avoiding injury also requires a quality warm-up of at least 10 minutes. Remember to listen to your body. It is possible that certain exercises cause pain depending on your morphology and the length of your limbs. Not everyone is cut out to do a bench press with a barbell. Some people will opt for dumbbells or the Smith machine. If an exercise causes you pain, stop it right away. There are many variations.

Tendonitis is probably the most common injury in weight training. To avoid them, it is advisable to choose non-traumatic exercises but also to avoid stretching your joints completely. For example, if you are doing thigh presses, never fully extend your knees. Keep a slight flex to protect the knee joint.

Tip #4: Get some rest!

Recovery takes place at the muscle, nerve and joint levels. In fact, it is customary to leave 24 to 48 hours of rest between each muscle before the next request. This does not necessarily mean that you have to rest completely for 48 hours, but it is preferable not to work your pectoral muscles or your shoulders two days in a row for a long period of time, for example.

Having a restful sleep indirectly allows you to gain muscle while improving your future performance. Each person has specific needs but it is estimated that the average length of a quality night’s sleep for an adult is between 7 and 9 hours.

Other simple techniques for good recovery include cryotherapy, self-massage, stretching, proper hydration, and wearing compression garments. In 2013, a study of 19 people looked at the effects of compression garments on recovery after a strength training session. The results indicated that a garment composed of 75% nylon and 25% elastane worn for 24 hours continuously after the session improved recovery. These are therefore all avenues to be exploited to recover well.

Good to know: Sleep to progress!

Sleep allows you to optimize your sports performance, build muscle and progress more quickly. When you sleep, your body secretes hormones that are beneficial to recovery.

Tip #5: Eat a high-protein diet

This is probably what sets bodybuilding apart from other sports. Bodybuilding is a way of life because your diet is inseparable from your training at the gym. It is very difficult to build muscle without a proper diet.

A high-protein diet should be valued at 1.5 to 2 g of protein per kilo of body weight. In concrete terms, if you weigh 60 kg, we recommend that you consume between 90 g and 120 g of protein per day.

Protein is used to build muscle mass. There is nothing miraculous about it, but it is a little help. For information, 100 g of chicken contains 22 g of protein, 1 egg contains about 6 g. This is why exercisers consume Whey type protein supplements (if you want to buy whey protein, we recommend the Isolat Whey Elite from Apurna). Here a portion of whey contains about 30g of protein.

We do not advise you to embark on these cycles mass gain – dry. It is better to opt for a muscle gain where you will eat slightly above your needs all year long in order to build muscle without gaining fat. It will take longer to reach your goal but the constraints will be less. If you are overweight, it is advisable to return to your ideal weight if aesthetics is your goal.

Muscle gain ? Gaining mass? Dry?

A muscle gain is eating slightly above your daily requirements. If your body needs 2000 kcal to keep your weight stable, you will eat 2200 kcal per day. This surplus will allow you to build muscle.

A mass gain is based on the same principle but the calories are increased significantly, with a surplus of +600kcal /day for example. In this case, the surplus allows you to create muscle but also to gain fat that you will have to lose in a few months during a dry run.

Drying consists (generally before the summer) in reducing your carbohydrates in order to lose fat without losing too much muscle through a protein-rich diet.

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