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How to Build Muscle Naturally: The Definitive Guide









How to Build Muscle Naturally: The 


Definitive Guide


More strength is more muscle. The heavier the weights you lift, the stronger your body becomes, and 
the bigger your muscles grow. Your muscles increase in size so they can lift heavier weights. This is 
why strength is size – lift heavy weights and you’ll gain muscle mass naturally.

How to Build Muscle Naturally: The Definitive Guide
How to Build Muscle Naturally: The Definitive Guide


Most people try to build muscle by doing high rep isolation exercises until pumped and sore. But this rarely works because you can’t lift heavy enough to trigger muscle growth. Only lifters who are already strong or use drugs can build muscle by doing mostly isolation 
exercises like curls and flies.

 Muscle 


Natural lifters need compound exercises to build muscle. You need to mostly Squat, Bench, Deadlift, OHPress and Row. You need to lift heavy. Do this and you can gain up to 43lb of muscle without using drugs or training more than three times a week. This even works for skinny hardgainers like me.




Introduction


How to Build Muscle




The biggest muscle building mistake people make is training like a bodybuilder. Many bodybuilders use drugs but won’t tell you. And they rarely built the bulk of their muscle size with the routines they do now. That’s why bodybuilding routines don’t work for most people. This is what works…
  1. Get Stronger. The best bodybuilders that ever existed were strong. They knew more strength is more muscle. Increase your Squat to 140kg/300lb, Bench Press to 100kg/220lb, and Deadlift to 180kg/400lb. Your overall muscle mass will increase because strength is size.
  2. Add Weight. Forget about pump and soreness. Instead focus on adding weight on the bar. Try to lift more than last time. You’ll get stronger which will increase your overall muscle mass. If you don’t lift more today than last month or year, you’re not building muscle.
  3. Do Compounds. Do exercises that work several muscles at the same time. You’ll be able to lift heavier weights which will trigger more muscle growth. The bulk of your routine should consist of heavy Squats, Bench, Deadlifts, Overhead Presses and Barbell Rows.
  4. Use Barbells. You can lift heavier weights with barbells than any other tools. You also have to balance the weight yourself. Barbells involve more muscles and trigger more growth. Use free weights not attached to machines. Start light and use proper form to avoid injury.
  5. Increase Frequency. The more often you train a muscle, the more you trigger it to grow. The more you do an exercise, the quicker your technique improves, and the heavier you can lift. Start Squatting, pressing and pulling three times a week instead of only once.
  6.  Muscle 

  7. Recover. Your muscles need to recover from your workouts to grow stronger and bigger. They can’t recover if you work them hard every day. Even your mind needs a break. Take three to four rest days a week. Help your muscles recover by getting plenty of food, water and sleep.
  8.  Muscle 

  9. Eat More. Your body uses food to fuel workouts, and recover muscles. Your muscles can’t recover and grow if there’s a shortage of food. Most guys need at least 3000kcal/day to build muscle. Skinny guys with high metabolisms need even more to gain weight.
  10. Eat Protein. Your body uses protein to build new muscle, and recover damaged muscle tissue post-workout. You need 2.2g protein per kilogram of body-weight (1g/lb) to maximize muscle recovery and build muscle. For an 80kg/175lb guy, that’s about 175g of protein per day.
  11. Get Real. You can’t get steroid-like results without using steroids. You can’t turn into Arnold in three months because building muscle takes time. Celebrities set unrealistic expectations. Stop trying to look like them. Focus on improving yourself. It will save you frustration.
  12.  Muscle 


  13. Be Consistent. Most guys gain 0.25kg/0.5lb of lean muscle per week if they do an effective training program and eat well. You can’t gain muscle faster than this. It takes a year to gain 12kg/24lb of lean muscle and see dramatic change. Consistency is therefore key.

Rate of Muscle Gain

Most guys can gain 0.25kg/0.5lb of lean muscle per week when they start lifting. That’s about 1kg/2lb of muscle per month or 12kg/24lb in a year. This assumes you do an effective training program, eat well, and are consistent. Muscle gains slow down after the first year.
Effective TrainingWeekly Muscle GainMonthly Muscle GainYearly Muscle Gain
1 year0.25kg / 0.5lb1kg / 2lb12kg / 24lb
2 years0.12kg / 0.25lb0.5kg / 1lb6kg / 12lb
3 yearstoo small to track0.25kg / 0.5lb3kg / 6lb
Your body-weight can increase by more than 1kg/2lb per month when you start lifting. Your muscles store glycogen to fuel your workouts. Glycogen binds to water which causes water retention and a fuller look. This water weight increases your body-weight. But it’s not pure muscle tissue.
Some guys can gain more than 1kg/2lb of muscle per month. Teens gain muscle faster because they have more testosterone. Skinny kids gain muscle faster because they start under-weight. People who lifted before gain muscle faster thanks to muscle memory. Drugs change everything.

 Muscle 

On the other hand, older people gain muscle more slowly because they have less testosterone. Same with females – they usually gain only half the muscle or 12lb the first year. Strong lifters gain muscle more slowly than weak lifters because they already have more muscle mass.
But on average you can expect to gain about 1kg/2lb of muscle per month during your first year on an effective training program. So if you’ve been going to the gym for you can still gain 12kg/24lb of muscle in the next 12 months.
Most of your muscle gains will happen the first three years. In the beginning you’re weak and have little muscle. So you gain strength and muscle fast – these are the newbie gains. I started out skinny-fat at 60kg/135lb. My weight climbed to 80kg/175lb the first three years, most of it the first year.
But my weight hasn’t changed much since then. The more strength and muscle you have, the harder to gain more. This is the law of diminishing returns – it takes more work to get more, and the return is smaller. Luckily the gains are easier to maintain, and come back faster after a break.

 Muscle 

It’s harder to build muscle than to lose fat or get stronger. You can easily lose 0.5kg/1lb of fat per week by eating slightly less. You can easily add 2.5kg/5lb per workout on Squats for weeks But you can’t build more than 0.5kg/1lb of muscle per week. Compare…
Squat GainsFat LossMuscle Gains
1 Week7.5kg / 15lb0.5kg / 1lb0.25kg / 0.5lb
1 Month30kg / 60lb2kg / 4lb1kg / 2lb
3 Months90kg / 180lb6kg / 12lb3kg / 6lb
This explains why you can’t look like top bodybuilders, fitness models or celebrities in three months. They’ve usually been training for years – Arnold was lifting weights for eight years before winning his first Mr Olympia. And don’t ignore the lightning, tanning, photoshop, drugs, …
You can’t gain more than 1kg/2lb of muscle per month. This is the human genetic limit. The only way to gain muscle faster is by not going slower. It takes a year to gain 12kg/24lb of 
muscle and make a big change. Be consistent and stay focused so it 


 Muscle
Your maximum muscular body-weight depends mostly on your height and bone-structure. Tall people can build more muscle mass than short people. People with large, thick frames can gain more muscle than people with narrow builts and small wrists/ankles like me.

 Muscle 

Casey Butt Phd has come up with formulas to determine the maximum amount of muscle mass you can gain naturally. His research is based on the muscle size of the world’s top bodybuilders before anabolic steroids existed. I’ve turned Casey’s formula in a simple table below.
HeightMaximum Body-weightMaximum Biceps Size
1m62 / 5'4"78kg / 172lb41.5cm / 16.3"
1m67 / 5'6"82kg / 181lb42.1cm / 16.6"
1m73 / 5’8”86kg / 190lb42.7cm / 16.8"
1m77 / 5’10”90kg / 199lb43.4cm / 17.1"
1m83 / 6’0”94kg / 207lb44cm / 17.3"
1m87 / 6’2”98kg / 216lb44.6cm / 17.6"
1m93 / 6'4"102kg / 224lb45.3cm / 17.8"
1m98 / 6'6"106kg / 233lb45.9cm / 18.1"

Muscle Shape









High vs low biceps insertions. Notice the difference in peak.
High vs low biceps insertions. Notice the difference in peak.

Your genetics determine the shape of your muscles. People’s muscles look different for the same reason their faces look different. You can increase the size of your muscles by lifting heavy weights. But you can’t change their shape because you can’t change your genetics. Examples…
  • Frame size. People with a short torso like me will have a fuller look than people with a long torso. There’s less muscle mass needed to fill up the same amount of space. People with a long torso will tend to look skinnier and have a smaller waist.
  • Muscle insertions. Your biceps will have a bigger peak if you have high biceps insertions. Your calves will look smaller if you have high calf attachments like me because there’s less muscles to work with – most of your lower leg will be bones and tendons.
  • Length of limbs. People with long arms and legs like me will tend to look skinnier because there’s more space to fill up. They need to increase their overall muscle size more to make their arms and legs look big. They’ll need to weigh more at the same height by eating more.
  •  Muscle 

Note that you can’t isolate parts of a muscle. You can’t work your lower or outer biceps, or your inner-chest. You’re either working the whole muscle, or you don’t. What you can do is increase the overall size of the muscle so it fills out more. You do that by lifting heavy and eating more.

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