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If you’re trying to get the fit and muscular body from all of those magazine covers, you’re going to be putting in a lot of work. Those bodies require effort and they don’t happen overnight.

You can build muscle too with the right workout regimen and diet, but it won’t be easy. If you want to learn how to gain muscle mass, it will take a lot of trial and error and a lot of learning about how your own body functions best.

There are a few ways to get started on your muscle-building journey though. There is a science behind how we gain muscle and get stronger!

Keep reading to learn more about getting that chiseled and strong look that you’re aiming for.

You Need to Lift Heavy

This one might be obvious, but you need to be lifting heavy things if you want to be gaining muscles. 

The human body adapts to what it’s being expected to do. If you’re sitting on the couch most days doing nothing more than lifting the remote, your body isn’t going to adapt to lift much more than remote weight.

If you’re running on flat surfaces every day, your body isn’t going to magically get more muscular and buff just because you’re working out. It’s not the right type! That said, running through hills or uneven surfaces? You might totally gain some muscle if you do it correctly. More on cardio later. 

Everyone starts somewhere and you definitely don’t want to overdo it, but starting a lifting routine is the first step to success.

You’re going to want to be working towards progressive overload, or progressively increasing the stress and demands that you’re putting on your body to make improvements in strength and endurance. This is how you successfully gain muscle that will last.

Lifting can take a lot out of you, so you also require recovery. It’s easy to go too hard too fast and end up burning yourself out. The body, when exercising, is creating microtears in the muscle. Recovery time is essential to build that muscle. There are recovery supplements to aid in this process and get you stronger, faster like those seen here

You Need to Eat

If you’re trying to really get ripped, you’re going to have to get out of the dieting mindset. It’s incredibly difficult to lose fat and gain muscle mass at the same time. You can train smart and eat a balanced diet to gain muscle efficiently, though.

While there’s some dispute on whether or not bulking is the best way to go about successful and maintainable muscle growth, you do need to be eating enough calories to put on mass. That’s just how the body works. You can not build muscle out of just anything. You need food, and preferably, the right kinds of food. 

You should use a calorie counter online and try to find your maintenance calories. This is the number of calories that you need to sustain you at your level of exercise. Add to this, but only a little bit at a time. See where that takes you. Overfeeding by only small amounts (a few hundred calories per day) will keep your fat gains minimal. 

Remember, if you’re working out more, you’re going to be burning more calories. 

You don’t have to track every day, but if you’re intent on really gaining muscle, you need to pay attention to your diet. 

These foods that your eating shouldn’t all be snack foods either. You’re going to need to have a lot of protein. 

The amount of protein that you need will depend on a lot of factors. There are also calculators for this online, though this is also a pretty widely disputed topic amongst fitness and health experts. 

Basically, the more the better. You should have a high-protein diet to begin with (many American adults do if they eat meat), but consider supplementing with protein shakes or bars if you feel that you aren’t getting enough. 

You Need to Cut Back on Cardio

Cardio is important to your overall health. This is undeniably true, as much as some powerlifting junkies love to deny it. 

That said, it can cut back on your gains if you’re using it irresponsibly. 

You want to keep your exercise in short bursts while you’re building muscle. This applies to lifting (and let’s face it, if you’re lifting correctly at a difficult weight, you won’t be able to do it for too long anyway) but also to cardio.

HIIT cardio (or high-intensity interval training) can be done from time to time to help keep your body in great shape without long-form cardio cutting into your muscle building, and there are even some methods of HIIT that incorporate strength-building moves. 

Running might be therapeutic and it might be something you don’t want to give up. If that’s the case, running at an incline is better for the glutes and quads. If you’re an outdoor runner, finding hills or natural areas with uneven land to run on can be an effective solution.

Keep your cardio short. Runners have great, toned bodies, but they don’t tend to have the bulk and muscle mass that you’re aiming for. 

How to Gain Muscle Mass: Fuel and Heavy Lifting 

There are no shortcuts to getting that rocking body that you see on fitness magazines or on the stage at bodybuilding competitions. Those people worked hard for their physiques. That doesn’t mean that you can’t do it too. 

If you’re trying to figure out how to gain muscle mass for yourself, you need to start in the kitchen and the gym. It’s all about fueling your body right and lifting heavy objects. You got this. 

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