People who’ve mastered the task of putting on muscle all do 3 things in common. And yes, I lied. Despite what you’d like to hear me say, there is no “secret” to packing on muscle. Genetics is an important part of how you put muscle on, but with the right diet and supplementation program, you can overcome your genetics. Basically, the way to put on muscle is to create the perfect muscle-building environment by adjusting 3 major components.
1- Lift Heavy
This may sound like a no-brainer. But it’s necessary to put on muscle. Lifting heavy rips and tears the muscle fibers and forces them to repair themselves. In the process, they gain either size, density, or both. (Even women should lift heavy if they’re trying to tone, because it will build the muscle that is necessary for that tone- the third “secret” is what will keep women from becoming bulky.) There are all sorts of ways that you can adjust your workout in order to lift heavy. One of the most popular ways is doing a pyramid of 4 sets where you increase the weight and do fewer reps. ie: 12, 10, 8, and 6 reps. Doing that helps you lift heavy, but at the same time, work on the endurance of the muscle as well. Taking a good pre-workout will help you be able to lift heavier if it has the right combination of compounds in it.
2- Eat Enough Protein To Facilitate Muscle Growth
If you’re trying to build muscle without eating protein, you’re wasting your time. (Carbs are also an important part of building muscle too.) It’s generally accepted that you should be eating 1 gram of protein per pound of weight to gain muscle. But if you have a higher-than-average percentage of either fat or muscle, that won’t be exactly right as you don’t need that much protein if your bodyfat is unusually high, and you need more if you have a higher amount of muscle to maintain. The exact equation is Lean Mass Weight (kg) x 2.75 = Daily Protein Requirement. If you’re not getting enough protein your body will essentially cannibalize itself to create more protein and you’ll be in a never-ending cycle of never putting on more muscle. If you get too much protein, it will store extra in your fat cells. There’s a delicate balance to achieve, and if you want to gain muscle, you’ll need to find it!
It’s also important WHEN you eat that protein. I eat every 3 hours, and have roughly 30 grams of protein each meal. (Eating more than your body will absorb is pretty useless.) But the most critical times for protein are after waking (It’s been likely 8 hours since your last protein) and post-workout (you have about a 30 min window until your body starts repairing after your workout). That’s why a protein shake is so critical after your workout, because it immediately gets the proteins to your bloodstream without having to digest and break them down first.
There are two hormones that are critical to building muscle: testosterone and human growth hormone (HGH). Yes, ladies your body naturally produces testosterone along with its estrogen and the same rings true for the gentleman as well. Everyone’s body produces different amounts of each of these hormones which explains why some women have an easier time putting on muscle, and some men have it more difficult. But if you’re going to put on muscle, it’s always a good idea to try and up your hormone levels. You can increase your testosterone by taking a test booster with an estrogen blocker in it. (Ladies- I would NOT recommend this for you.) And you can increase your HGH simply by getting enough sleep at night. See, your body produces HGH during your 3rd stage of sleep when it’s repairing itself. The more times in a night you reach your 3rd stage of sleep, the more ‘growth’ your body will produce. There are numerous HGH increasing supplements on the market that all contain combinations of different compounds that essentially help you sleep better. Get more sleep with one of these supplements and you’ve found the fountain of youth.
People ask me ALL the time what supplements I’m taking, what workouts I’m doing, what my diet is like, etc. I’m currently taking a supplement for each of those points, so I might as well share. (I even did one more and got a discount code to share so you could take them too!) Lately, I’ve been taking the “3G stack” from G-Force Nutrition that addresses each of the above-mentioned points:
1- Grenade Pre-Workout Drink. This stuff is awesome. It’s a true N.O. pre-workout, and you’ll feel it. Try to lift heavy with this stuff, and you’ll keep going up the weight rack. (I hit my dumbbell shoulder press all-time max the first time I drank this before my workout.)
2- My Whey Protein Powder. I’m very big into getting a high quality protein. When it comes to protein powders, you get what you pay for. My Whey is absolutely incredible, worth every penny, and a value for what it will do for you. I’ve been adding the Pound Cake flavor to my oatmeal with a little bit of water, and it tastes JUST like an old-fashioned donut. Seriously, it is absolutely incredible. It’s worth check out!
3- Thermal Igniter Fat Burner & Sleep Aid. Not only does this have the right combination of supplements to increase your HGH, but it also acts as a fat burner. Take a couple before bed and watch the fat come off and the muscle go on! I know that sounds too good to be true. But I am honestly taking each of these, myself, right now and can say it will absolutely help.
The people at G-Force Nutrition were nice enough to give me a discount code to share: “ERIC113.” That code will get you 20% off each of the supplements (including 20% off the already-discounted price of the 3G stack), or 10% off a purchase of JUST the protein powder.
Let me know if you’ve tried their stuff before, and if you do- let us know what you think! And even more, we want to see your progress pics as you start building more muscle! Share them on our Facebook Page: The Hot Bod Squad.
– The Squad