Are you feeling low confidence level? Need to alter new dresses? Or have many irritating names from friends? Okay, now it’s time to transform yourself.
Whether you’re building muscle or gaining weight, it requires intense heavy training with the calorie surplus diet means you have to consume more calories than you burn, and the calories should come from a healthy balanced diet.
Here we’ll go through fifteen tips on how to build muscle naturally. By following these tips, you’ll able to maximize your gains more efficiently.
15 Tips on How to Build Muscle Naturally
Note, our body can build around 1-1.5 pounds of muscle a week. But if you consume extra calories for building more muscles fast, then you’ll gain excess fat too. It would be best and recommended to consume an additional 300 to 500 calories per day to gain lean muscle mass.
Whether you’re a beginner or somebody who’s hit a plateau–here are fifteen simple tips that will help you build muscle with a strategic and realistic approach.
1. Complete your calculation first
In this complete guide, we’ll go through the most practical approach to building muscle muss. So first, calculate your BMR. BMR is about how much calorie burns your body per day. There’re two ways to calculate it, for men and women, respectively:
- BMR for Men = 66.47 + (13.75 * weight [kg]) + (5.003 * height [cm]) − (6.755 * age [years])
- BMR for Women = 655.1 + (9.563 * weight [kg]) + (1.85 * height [cm]) − (4.676 * age [years])
For example, a man with 52 kg weight, 170 cm in height, and 20 years old, after calculation, the BMR is 1495.32 kcal. Let’s put this into the Harris-Benedict Formula to find out daily maintenance calories:
- Exercise 3-5 days/wk: BMR * 1.55 = Total Calorie Need (maintenance calories/day)
- Exercise 3-5 days/wk: 1495.32 * 1.55 = 2318 kcal/day (example)
Once you’ve calculated your maintenance calories, now apply the muscle building formula means add 500 calories (recommended) to build 1 to 1.5 pound of lean muscle a week. If we take the above men’s example, he needs (2318 + 500) = 2818 kcal/day to gain 1 pound a week.
2. Plan your meal smartly
After completing your calculation, it’s time to plan your meal. Let’s assume; your daily calories is 2800 (after adding 500 kcal). Next steps:
- Divide those calories into 5 to 6 meals, which means (2800/5) = 560 kcal/meal (approx.)
- Eat every 2.5 to 3 hours.
- The macro breakdown would be 50% carb, 30% protein, and 20% fat.
Divide your total calories into six meals, but if you can’t take six meals, have atleast five meals targeting 2800 calories a day, and eat every 2.5 to 3 hour depending on your metabolism. The macro breakdown would be:
- 50% carbs of 2800 calories: 1400 kcal. means 350g carbs (whereas 1g carb = 4 kcal)
- 30% protein of 2800 calories: 840 kcal. means 210g protein (whereas 1g protein = 4 kcal)
- 20% fat of 2800 calories: 560 kcal. means 62.22g fat (whereas 1g fat = 9 kcal)
You can increase or decrease +- 5% calories from the macros (carb, protein, fat) according to your needs. You should focus on four meals of complex carbs and two meals of simple carbs, take protein food in every meal, and moderate fat food.
Top foods to include in your diet:
- Complex carbs: Oats, brown rice, brown bread, sweet potato, brown rice cake, millet, quinoa, wheat roti, wheat pasta, beans, etc.
- Protein foods: Chicken, fish, eggs, mutton, milk, yogurt, greek yogurt, paneer, soy, whey, etc.
- Healthy Fat: Peanuts, cashews, almonds, walnuts, peanut butter, flaxseeds, chia seeds, sunflower seeds, whole egg, salmon fish, olive oil, etc.
Note: You must make sure that you’re taking 2-4 servings of fruits and 2-3 servings of vegetables every day. These are very important foods, where you are getting more enzymes for proper breakdown of foods, sound absorption, digestion, vitamins, minerals, etc.
3. Grocery shopping is important
Do grocery shopping for a week or two on Sunday. Because when you feel lazy or skipping a workout, you already know that you’ve invested your money for two weeks, so you need to eat foods and perform some exercises.
It is crucial to shopping for two weeks which will push you to do some hard work at least for two weeks, and after two weeks when the results came, you’ll want to keep doing it.
4. Set realistic goals
Set up around 1 pound or max to max 1.5 pounds weight gaining goal every week, which is a natural and realistic number to achieve. Don’t expect much higher or unrealistic number because there’re high chances of failure, where most people quite.
So, aim for 1-1.5 pounds a week means 4 to 6 pounds a month, and if you follow this routine, you’ll gain 12 to 18 pounds in 3 months, which is an incredible number. If you build slightly less still it’s okay because gaining is gaining, you know that.
5. Follow a proper workout plan
To gain muscle mass, it is crucial to understand that everything comes down to just one concept: the intensity of your training. Not only you might think it is, but how intensely focused you are on that goal, and how your mindset for going to get there.
Let me clarify that this intensity does not necessarily mean what I’m talking here. What we’re talking about is an element of that, how intensely focused you’re on your goal–muscle building, and how really commited are you to it?
It starts with a plan because if you don’t have that you’re not getting there. When you go to the gym, you have to have some plan for that day and how it will get you closer to your desired goal. And then how it relates in the bigger picture to where you’re going to go from there.
So before entering the gym, make sure you have a proper workout plan (including workouts, sets, and reps) that helps achieve your long-term goal.
6. Train 4-5 times a week
Your aim should be working out 4 to 5 times a week keeping the eyes on the muscle-building goal. If we follow the 80/20 rule, 80% is your nutrition, 20% depends on your exercise.
It seems your nutrition is most important for gaining muscle, and it is! But you can’t afford to skip workouts and focus on diet. It doesn’t make sense to focus on one thing. You have to exercise with proper nutrition to gain quality muscle mass consistently.
7. Add compound movements
As a beginner or skinny guy, your number one focus should be lifting heavy compound movement for gaining muscle. Aim for eight or fewer reps to activate type 2b muscle fiber which is the most critical muscle-building mass muscle fiber.
To activate type 2b muscle fiber, add compound movement exercises like:
- Bench press
- Barbell row
- Overhead barbell press
Focus on exercises where two or more (multiple) muscles involve in the same move, which is excellent for muscle mass building. At the same time, it helps to boost up your testosterone level naturally, so the compound is vital.
8. Drink more water
Staying hydrated is the key, not only for achieving your fitness goals but also for leading an overall healthy lifestyle. We all know that our body comprises 70% of water, so we need to drink more water for our body’s proper functioning.
When consuming lots of foods to gain weight, it needs a high amount of water for proper absorption and to maintain a flow of the nutrients and blood in your body.
Make sure you’re drinking 3 to 4 liters of water a day where 700 ml – 1 liter of water during the workout so that your blood can adequately pump up your targeted muscle, making your training more effective. It is one of the keys to becoming overall well-being.
9. Add high-calorie smoothie
As a beginner or skinny guy, sometimes it’s quite tough to digest so many foods to fulfill your daily calorie intake. In that case, a high-calorie smoothie is an excellent option that you can add to your diet to complete your total needed calories per day.
You can have 1 or 2 smoothies in a day, for example: add two smoothies in your mid-morning and evening snack, or you can have this as a pre-workout meal (60 to 90 minutes before workout).
10. Add digestive enzymes (optional)
If you feel any digestive issue or your body can’t properly breakdown the foods, you can take digestive enzymes which helps to properly breakdown the foods.
Alternatively, add green salads to your diet, which is also an excellent option to naturally break your foods.
11. Get full body massage
Body massage is not only for getting pleasure, but it also gives your muscle gaining journey extra benefits. It will take the tension, stress from your muscle and make room for muscle growth.
You can do body massage once every 2nd week for 20 to 30 minutes. You can do it yourself or hire someone to massage your full body (it’s your choice).
12. Take proper sleep
When our question is how to build muscle? The only way to build bigger muscles is to allow your body to recover between workouts properly. So you must make sure taking 7 to 8 hours of quality night sleep every day.
In fact, I would say that even if you get everything else right up to this point, if you screw this up, you will blow all opportunities to grow muscles as big as possible.
13. Watch workout videos and listen music
Watch a motivational or workout video of any bodybuilder or fitness model 20-30 before training that mentally boosts you and motivates you to do some hard work.
Let’s assume you’re going to do legs workout. You’ve watched legs workout of a bodybuilder or fitness model, which actually increases your mental capacity and makes ready your mind do the same thing.
14. Check body measurements and weight
Check your weight and body measurement once a week–Sunday is the best day.
Checkout your body fat percentage, weight, body measurements, take selfies. It will help you to know, are you achieve the 1-pound weekly goal? These small results will help you stay focused on your plan.
15. Stay consistent and positive
Discipline, consistency, and a positive mindset are essential to achieving any goal (including fitness goals). If you’ve decided to work out for five days a week, you have to stick with your routine no matter what situation will come.
If your results aren’t as expected, keep a positive mindset every time. Tell yourself, Yes! The results will come. Yes! I will transform, I will gain muscle, and you’ll definitely achieve your desired goal by the time.
So, be patient and give it 3 to 6 months, and in the end, you’ll feel proud by seeing your amazing body transformation.
I hope now you know the exact process of how to build muscle mass by following the above tips. All you need to do is consistently follow these tips with a positive mindset.
Remember, for building muscle; you have to take a calorie surplus diet with 4 to 5 times heavy intense workout (including cardio exercise) and aim for one pound a week for lean muscle growth. Don’t expect fast results, be patient and focused on your plan.
Have any question or quarries? Feel free to ask in the comment section below.
Best of Luck!