It is possible to gain a pound of muscle in a week. What’s more, the benefits of doing so go beyond the physical advantage of making you look buff. So, even if you are not a bodybuilder or weightlifter, a pound of muscle every week can do wonders for your overall wellbeing.
As it turns out gaining muscle is one way to boost the body’s metabolic rate. This, in turn, helps the body burn fat faster to produce energy. Added muscles also help make daily tasks easier to carry out.
Chances are you have encountered a jar or two you can’t open no matter how hard you try. More so, you have struggled with bringing in bags of groceries from the car into the kitchen. In both cases, help isn’t always close by when you need it.
You can build your strength for such tasks and more with the muscles you gain every week. Over time, you will be happy at how much more you are able to do. But you’ll be even more amazed at how simple it is to build muscle.
What does it take to gain muscle?
Before you get started, it’s important to understand what it takes to gain a pound of muscle. While the process of growth also known as Muscle Hypertrophy often requires pumping iron, other factors also come into play.
1. Eating carbohydrates do help
Chances are many would have a negative reaction at the thought of consuming carbohydrates. The truth is you need to eat carbs to increase your body’s level of Glycogen for the muscles to use during training.
However, it’s important to clarify the kinds of carbohydrates you can consume. Among the foods, you should consider are sweet potatoes, rice, beans, even pasta, and bread are acceptable. In other words, complex carbs as these take longer for the body to process. So, it allows for a steady supply of energy to sustain you all day long.
Of course, eating carbs should be part of a balanced diet consisting of protein and healthy fats. Healthy fats help reduce swelling, increase your heart’s health and can lower your blood cholesterol.
Depending on how much you weigh, it is advisable to consume 2.2 grams of protein per kilogram. Protein helps you gain muscle at the same time it aids your body’s muscle recovery.
2. Eat often
One of the more interesting aspects of eating when you want to gain muscle is the license you have to do so regularly. Food consumption helps your body produce new proteins.
Eating every three hours is a good rule to observe for two reasons. First, it minimizes hunger. Second, it keeps you from overeating as it helps take out cravings.
Be sure to include protein in every meal you take. Likewise, add fruits and vegetables. But limit carbs as part of your post workout meal.
3. Rest is essential
Most people believe continuous workout sessions are the key to gain a pound of muscle per week. While working out is vital, it is equally important to give your body time to rest following a rigorous exercise routine.
You should know muscles don’t develop while you work them out. The truth is they grow while they are at rest following training. The rest aids protein production.
Take a break for a day or up to three or four days. Use your rest days wisely by taking a balanced diet, staying hydrated, and getting enough sleep.
4. Workout tips to gain muscle
The question of how much weight lifting to gain a pound of muscle is often the first concern for many. It is reasonable to do so. But it’s also best to know how to do it right so you can get the best results.
5. Opt for barbells over machines
Chances are many would scoff at the idea of using free weights. With numerous machines to work out with, why would you choose barbells? Well, here’s two reasons why you should.
First, using barbells forces you to do the work and not rely on a machine. Second, as you balance the weights in your hands, you’re stimulating more muscles in the process. In turn, encouraging more development.
As a rule, when lifting weights to gain a pound of muscle per week, remember to increase how much you lift from the last time. Otherwise, you won’t see any marked difference after several weeks of doing so.
6. Work in groups
For best results, it’s advisable to divide your workouts between the upper and lower body. In doing so, the muscle groups in both areas receive adequate training and rest.
You can vary your weekly schedule according to your personal preference. For instance, each part can get worked out twice and three days of rest to recover in a week.
On the other hand, you can opt to spread the workouts over a two-week period. In doing so, your body gets a full day of rest after each type of training.
7. Getting into a routine is best
A workout routine can increase your chances to gain 1 pound of muscle a week. A routine takes into account every area within each large muscle group for a more efficient workout. These types of compound workouts combined with isolation exercises can provide you with better results.
A sample routine for the upper body would include rows, bench press, the incline dumbbell press, lat pull-downs, lateral raises, triceps pushdowns, and dumbbell curls.
For the lower body, a sample routine would have squats, split squats, lying leg curls, seated calf raises, and ab reps.
8. Rep confusion
Talk about the number of reps can get confusing. It depends on what you hope to achieve. In this case, your aim for muscle hypertrophy is an 8 to 12 rep range.
Anything beyond 12 means the weight you’re lifting is too easy. Anything less than 8 means the weight you’re lifting is too heavy.
Following an exercise routine and observing a balanced diet can help you gain a pound of muscle in a week. Better yet, you’ll become stronger and feel better about yourself for getting in good shape. Your efforts will pay off in the end, as you’ll be able to do a lot more.