This one is NOT for the gym rats. This is a no fluff, basic overview of how to gain muscle for someone who isn’t a regular at the gym. If you are interested becoming less scrawny or want to shed some weight, this article is for you.
First things first, you must commit. And we’re not talking about buying some new workout gear, supplements, or a gym membership (that does help though). We are talking about mental commitment. In order to really succeed, you must have a long-term mentality. You cannot go into this thinking you’ll see results sometime next week. If you do that, you’ll be disappointed and give up because results don’t happen quickly. Results take time and hard work. Therefore, you must mentally commit yourself to making gains. Only after you have fully committed, you’ll be prepared to put in the hard work it takes to see results. Consistency is king. Eventually, you (and others) will be ‘mirin.
Second, reach out to one or two of your friends who frequent the gym. Don’t worry about working out with them all the time, just once every other week or so. Not only will they provide you with advice (be careful about Bro Science) but they will keep you accountable.
Next, realize that you WILL NOT gain muscle mass if you do not have a proper diet. Eating is legitimately 80% of your results. Go back and read that sentence again…80% of your results. Use an online calorie counter to figure out how much you need to consume in order to make gains. If you get home from the gym and snack only on carbs, you are just wasting your time. Protein, protein, and more protein. Get some whey protein. We recommend Gold Standard.
The rule of thumb is to aim for your weight in grams of protein. For example, if you weigh 180 pounds, your goal is to consume 180 grams of protein per day. This will vary somewhat depending on your body type, but it’s a general guideline.
On the topic of supplements, be wary about being suckered into buying over-priced, virtually unnecessary supplements. Especially in the beginning, we recommend keeping things very simple: whey protein, a multivitamin, and (maybe) creatine. As you become more and more serious, you may understand your body’s needs better and begin experimenting with different supplements. But for now, no need to spend a small fortune on unnecessary supplements.
Starting out, split your workouts between upper and lower body. Meaning, one day you’ll do chest, arms, and back. And the next time you’ll do legs. Wash, rinse, and repeat. As a beginner, we recommend 10 reps (number of times you do the exercise) per set and 3 sets (collection of reps) per muscle group exercise. Your workout should consist of 6-8 exercises total. It’s probably not a bad idea to do some cardio here and there, but focus on lifting. Utilize sites such as www.bodybuilding.com for more details on constructing a workout plan and/or proper muscle group exercises.
We suggest keeping workouts under 90 minutes and going 3-4 times per week in the beginning stages. It is very important that you do not push yourself too hard. If you workout for 2 hours every single day, you will probably get burned out and stop. All that being said, if you’re not challenging yourself, you won’t see results.
- Long-term mentality.
- Find a workout buddy.
- Food and protein. Don’t get suckered into buying all those supplements.
- Keep your workouts simple. In the beginning, split upper and lower body. Don’t overdo it or else you might get burned out.
Now go out there and get it!
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