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Struggle to GAIN muscle? 5 most important ways to add muscle that you need to start doing now!

Are you a hard gainer?

So you’ve been trying to gain muscle in the gym for a while and it doesn’t seem you’re getting anywhere. Have you followed every workout plan and diet on the internet and still no progress?

Look no further because I’ll outline some of the key components to gaining muscle and guess what, the answers don’t just lie in the gym.

Are you naturally a slim build with not a lot of muscle and what might appear as low body fat and a smaller frame? I’ve discovered these types of people both men and women when physically active they can quickly burn through energy and keep weight off. However, they have a hard time putting weight on, especially muscle.

So what should I do to gain muscle and tone up?

Planning a winner’s mentality - As cliché as this may sound but actually having a winner’s attitude and goal in place puts you at the forefront. You need to start thinking about the end goal and visualising where you'd like to be, so start asking the question how do I want to look, how muscular or toned do I want to be and under what time frame?  When the goal is set, you now have the advantage to apply yourself in becoming one step closer to your goal. Adapting a winners mentality has a big part in this, because there will be times when things don’t go your way e.g. progress may appear too slow. However, just like a winner; you have to pick yourself upkeep going and believe in yourself.

Nutrient timing and portion- Eating regular and larger portions may probably not come as natural to you. However, this is probably one of the most important factors in increasing muscle and tone. Just by eating every so often (I go with a rule of thumb of every 3 hours) you will start to see some weight gain, whether that is muscle or fat is of course dependant on the content of your nutrition and training. You should increase your food intake across the board (protein, carbohydrates & fats), taking small steps will probably be a good idea e.g. start to add breakfast or a mid morning snack of nuts or pre-made meat if you don't already. Gradually increase your food intake where most appropriate on a daily bases to build up your appetite.

Resistance training and frequency- Minimise cardio if you’re serious about muscle growth. Your priority should come from lifting weights, it's that simple. This applies to both men and women, which I recommend a minimum of 3 to 4 resistance training sessions per week, even as little as 30 minutes can do the trick. Incorporate full body compoundexercises such as squats and deadlifts that require a whole lot of effort creating the right stimulus for muscle growth and development.

Training load & intensity- You may feel your training at an intense rate for growing muscle, but odds are you need to train a little smarter. If you’ve been doing the same workout for a while and it’s not as difficult as the first few weeks you tried, that probably means something needs to change. How might you change the intensity or load? Increasing the weight, slowing down the tempo of an exercise, using techniques such as drop sets, partials and forced reps etc . Using the above strategies may just be the missing link to gaining quality muscle and toning up around the edges!

Rest and recovery- When you’ve implemented changes to your training you’ll need time for your muscles to recover. Training experience will dictate how much rest you have in between sessions. You should still be able to apply the same level of effort for the following sessions. A balanced nutritional plan and a good nights sleep can aid recovery. I recommend you having a minimum of 6-8 hours of sleep per night to properly grow and repair muscle.

If you want to find out more ways to add lean muscle and tone up then contact me below and I'll be happy to get back in touch and set that plan for you.

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