All You Need to Know About Gaining Muscle Mass

The amount of time it will take for you to notice muscle mass development will depend on how often you train, your diet, and your metabolism. As such, instead of expecting big changes, we recommend that you focus on your form and the small gains that you can see as you go along.
All You Need to Know About Gaining Muscle Mass

Last update: 05 December, 2018

If gaining muscle mass is your objective, we recommend that you read this article. We’ll tell you all you need to know for your muscles to become more visible and appear more developed.

Advice for gaining muscle mass

Perhaps you’ve lost motivation throughout your plan for gaining muscle mass because you haven’t seen short-term gains? You may think that you’ll never get those toned arms that you had initially envisioned. No matter what you do, you despair that you won’t achieve your objective. But, the truth is that you might be missing something in your technique or habits that, once fixed, will improve your results!

1. Weight and repetitions

One of the most common questions asked in the gym is, “How much weight should I lift to gain muscle mass?” The second question that people most frequently ask is, “How many repetitions should I do?” Of course, there’s no single perfect answer to these questions.

It all depends on the type of exercise, the level of physical fitness, the age, and the experience level of the person lifting weights. Some experts say that in order to get the best results, you shouldn’t lift more than 80 percent of your maximum capacity. That is to say, if you can only lift 130 pounds (including the bar), you shouldn’t try to lift more than 104 pounds during your routines. With regard to how many repetitions you should do, experts recommend 8 to 12.

You need to lift at the gym for gaining muscle mass

As opposed to what people usually think, lifting a lot of weight isn’t the best way to gain muscle mass. In fact, some disciplines, such as calisthenics, use just your body weight to develop the muscles.

2. Duration and rest

Another important factor that determines how much muscle you’ll build is how much exercise you do. Many people mistakenly believe that going to the gym every day for three hours will get you better muscles in no time.

Actually, the body needs to rest in order to recover itself from its efforts during workouts. Aside from that, the muscle fibers must repair the damage they suffer when they lift weights. As a general rule, a session should last between 60 and 90 minutes and you should leave a day of rest between sessions. For example, you can train Monday, Wednesday, and Friday or Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Don’t forget that you should also enjoy eight full hours of sleep every night.

3. Your lifting technique

One of the best techniques for gaining muscle mass is to lift weights in an “explosive” manner. This means lifting the weight up quickly and then bringing it back down slowly.

It’s very important for a professional to observe you while you train, whether you do so in the gym or at the park. He will be in charge of informing you about the correct technique that you need to use for each exercise.

A trainer can help you with gaining muscle mass

Watching yourself in the mirror while you lift weights is very important. It’s not a matter of vanity, but rather, this will allow you to analyze whether you’re using the correct form. Also, pay attention to the signals the body gives you. Pain after exercise sessions is often due to bad technique rather than the effort you put on the exercises themselves.

4. Diet and nutrition

If your goal is gaining muscle mass, there are some foods that are essential to include in your diet plan. You might think that you’ll be limited to chicken, eggs, and bananas. However, you can use other options to consume the nutrition you need.

For example, we recommend that you include: spinach (better when raw), low-fat dairy (yogurt, milk, butter), lean meats, tuna (canned, with water), legumes (lentils, garbanzos), nuts (almonds, walnuts), fruits (strawberries, grapes, pears), carbohydrates (wheat, oatmeal, etc.). The members of this last group are a better option when they’re made of whole grain.

Oatmeal can help you with gaining muscle mass

When you begin strength training, it’s possible that you’ll notice increased endurance in a few days, but you might not see great changes in your muscle mass. This is normal, and even expected, since your body is getting used to all of the effort.

Some experts estimate that you should expect to wait at least eight weeks before seeing visual improvements in your musculature. Some only begin to see effects from training after three months.

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All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Delgado. (2010). BCAA, un complemento para ganar masa muscular. Vitónica.

The contents of this publication are written for informational purposes. At no time do they facilitate or replace the diagnoses, treatments, or recommendations of a professional. Consult your trusted specialist if you have any doubts and seek their approval before beginning any procedure.