Millions of men spend countless hours in the gym trying to build muscle. Unfortunately, they often sabotage themselves by doing the wrong things once they leave the gym. If you want to get bigger, employ the following four strategies.
Drink a Protein Shake before Bedtime
A study out of Maastricht University Medical Center suggests that late-night protein consumption helps to build muscle; in fact, they determined that a protein shake before bedtime can increase overnight muscle protein synthesis by more than 20 percent.
Get More Sleep
Sleep is critical to building strength and size, because it boosts the production of two hormones that are necessary for muscle growth. According to sleep expert Dr. Roger Roubal, inadequate sleep can cause all sorts of problems for men who are trying to get in better shape.
“Obviously, sleep deprivation can lead to fatigue, which is going to hamper any sort of workout routine,” he said. “That said, it also results in less testosterone and HGH. These two important hormones are critical for muscle production. They also help to support good overall health. This is just one of the reasons why men who suffer from sleep disorders tend to have less energy and virility. If you want to be healthy and physically fit, it’s important to get more sleep, whether that means changing negative lifestyle habits or seeking treatment for sleep apnea or snoring problems.”
Create a Caloric Surplus
Many men believe they need high amounts of protein to build more muscle. While this may be true; it’s only half the equation. Our bodies need thousands of calories every day to keep our brains, organs and muscles functioning. If you only eat enough calories to maintain your weight, muscle growth will not occur. To get bigger, you need to create a caloric surplus, meaning you have to consume more calories that you burn. This means eating plenty of carbohydrates and healthy fats in addition to protein.
Obviously, no one wants to gain fat when they’re trying to build muscle; however, it’s not realistic to expect muscle growth without some fat accumulation as well. Once you gain enough muscle, you can cut back on calories and increase cardiovascular exercise until your physique looks a little more toned.
To promote more muscle growth, it’s important to eat a lot. That said, how you eat can make a big difference in determining your success. Typically it’s best to consume numerous small meals throughout the day instead of three big meals. Since our bodies can only utilize a certain amount of protein at any given time, it’s best to break your intake up into smaller portions. It’s also better to provide a steady stream of muscle-building fuel, because it helps to stimulate more muscle growth, while limiting fat production.
The Key to Success
It’s important to put everything you have into your workouts; however, it’s also important to remember that muscle growth occurs outside the gym. To make sure you aren’t wasting your workouts, be sure to eat well and get plenty of rest; or you may end up breaking down your muscles instead of building them up.
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Ryan Lawrence writes for Off-Topic Media. Thanks to Dr. Roger Roubal for contributing histo this story.