The cornerstone of understanding how to gain muscle mass, is to understand what ‘anabolism’ means. During an ‘anabolic state’, tissues in the body obtain energy for growth and maintenance. Anabolism is about building up. And it requires energy to occur.
Bulking up requires that you strive for an ‘anabolic state’. This means that you need to consume a lot of energy-giving foods, to provide for the state to occur. Here’s us telling you what you should do to get into the anabolic state, and gain muscle mass.
#1 High caloric intake
Just having a high-protein diet will not do. You need to have adequate calories per day. A good thumb rule to follow is:
Multiply your body weight by 10 or 12, depending on how in shape you are. Then add on 1000-1500 calories per day.
#2 Load up on the carbs
Carbs are your fuel for exercise. Carbohydrates get stored as glycogen. The idea is to have sufficient glycogen levels in the body so that there is no dip in the protein for energy production.
Carbs also promote release of insulin in the body, a hormone that is responsible for maintaining the anabolic environment in the body.
#3 Eat plenty of protein
Muscle is protein, and protein is amino acids. You cannot build big muscles without having an adequate amount of protein intake.
Consume 1-2 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight. So if you’re weighing 200 lbs, you need to have 200 grams of protein every day.
Load up on good protein – chicken, fish, egg whites and whey.
#4 Eat multiple meals
Have smaller, frequent meals to promote release of insulin. When you consume food, your blood glucose levels rise. To counteract this, your body releases insulin to lower blood glucose levels. Insulin is great for maintaining the anabolic environment (see point #2). More insulin, the better. Space out your meals by having about 6 small meals a day.
#5 Drink plenty of water & get enough rest
These two are the most overlooked factors in body building. You need water to ensure you aren’t dehydrated, which affects your muscle size. You need rest because when else will your body grow? Our bodies need recovery time after intense training, to grow bigger and stronger. Set aside a day or two as rest days – and make sure you get plenty of it.
Remember to keep a healthy balance between training and rest. You want to maintain an anabolic state to gain muscle mass. But don’t over-do your gym time. The key is to eat well, eat carbs and proteins. Do consult your physician or trainer before taking on any supplements.