In this blog, I want to talk to you about the four key elements of building muscle mass (naturally).
I was doing a check-in with one of my small group training clients and he asked me what the best ways to build muscle were.
I knew this would be a solid topic to blog about that I could give out some concise information that you could take away and implement into your life.
The first key element is making sure you have enough protein to build & maintain muscle mass.
This is where plant-based eating gets hard, getting this amount of protein from a plant-based diet from whole foods is going to be near impossible.
A protein intake I suggest is 1.6- 2.2 grams per kg of body weight per day.
For simple maths, if you’re 100 kgs, that means you will need to be consuming in between 160-220 grams of protein per day.
In terms of sources of protein, most cuts of meat are great but red meats do contain higher quantities of minerals & vitamins.
The second key element is having a great training program that is based around volume, by volume, I mean sets x reps x weight.
5×5 strength training has a different stimulus to 5×10 in terms of volume production and the effects on the human body, the latter has been shown to produce better results in terms of muscular development and increase cross-sectional area.
The program must conducive to build muscle mass, and the main key element is having the right amount of volume, this volume must increase week to week.
Generally, the more reps the better if the emphasis is on increasing muscular size.
What separates a “good” program from an amazing program is having a deload in the final week where you would get your super-compensation effect on the body.
The third fundamental key of building muscle mass is ensuring sleep is at an optimal level. For anyone that wants to have optimal sleep ensuring they get between seven to nine hours sleep per night as an absolute minimum.
High-end elite athletes have been shown to reach 9-10 hours per night giving the body sufficient time to rebuild, repair and regenerate.
If you’re sleeping like poorly, you’re not going to be having the right environment to build muscle tissue and your body won’t be as anabolic as it could be.
The fourth key element of building muscle mass is making sure you’re in a calorie surplus. A a calorie surplus means you’re consuming more calories via food than your body requires to sustain its daily requirements.
As like a rough rule of thumb I would suggest having a 10-15% calorie surplus as a minimum for the goal of muscle building.
The latest nutritional research states that anywhere from 260 to 480 calories a day in a calorie surplus will be enough to build muscle mass as the body would have the nutritional requirements to build.
In review making sure you have these four elements is vital to ensuring your giving you body the correct nutrition and stimulus to build muscle.
- Protein intake min 1.6-2.2g per kg of bodyweight.
- High volume training program.
- 7-9 hours sleep.
- Eating in a calorie surplus.
Let me know your thoughts