If you’re new in the gym or a seasoned bodybuilder enhancing the way you work is always something to look out for. Getting the same results in a shorter amount of time and getting an advantage is always a plus point when it comes to gaining muscles.
In this post, we’ll show you, 7 things that you can do today for better muscle growth. So have a seat and enjoy. you can apply some of these things starting today too, gain an advantage over others in the gym.
Do More Compound movements
We all know that if you want to become stronger overall then compound movements should be the bread and butter of your workouts. Having compound exercises such as squats, deadlifts, bench press, shoulder press, pull-ups, kettlebell swings have numerous advantages.
Let us see why should you be adding them in your routines
- Why do compound exercises work? As the name suggests compound exercises engage more muscles at once. Which means getting more work done in less time. Compound exercises also help you train almost every muscle in your body. 
- You can lift heavier weights, when you’re using multiple muscles at the same time it becomes easier to lift. The higher than the amount of weight you lift with each rep, the more muscles you grow in the same amount of time.
- Getting more work done in less time is one of the benefits of compound movements in these busy times
- You also burn way more calories throughout your workout, because you’re using more muscles.
- Compound exercises simulate real-world activities. They also improve your coordination, reaction time and balance. If you’re an athlete who needs all these qualities then focusing a bit more on compound movements would not hurt.
- When you keep doing many of the compound movements over time, you develop even the most unnoticed muscles which you might’ve not paid much attention to. This helps reduce the risk of injury in sports.
- Compound exercises also you keep your heart rate elevated for a longer period of time giving you some cardiovascular benefits.
Many people in the gym avoid doing many compound movements because they are hard to perform right. If you struggle to keep a good form while doing these movements then ask a professional to help you, but doing these simple exercises consistently will provide great benefits over time.
Eat enough protein
It goes without saying that when you’re breaking down your muscles on a regular basis it becomes paramount to repair them as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Consuming enough protein will help you with preserving muscle strength despite aging and help maintain a lean, fat-burning physique. Although most people recommend consuming protein right after your workout, if you’re a beginner then spacing out your protein intake equally over the day will give you the best results.
Protein is necessary for muscle building muscles but how much protein should you consume for optimal performance and efficiency? Let’s find out.
The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for protein is a modest 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight. Which means that it is the minimum amount of protein that you need to live a healthy life, but it is not the specific amount of protein that you might need.
What it means is, people who do a lot of high-intensity training with high volume would need a lot more protein than someone who doesn’t. Which makes things more complicated because there is no upper limit to how much protein you should be consuming, although there are health effects by over-consumption of protein.
Research suggests consuming as much as 1.6 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight is still a safe thing to do. This would also equate to roughly 15% to 25% of your total daily calories, although it could be above or below this range depending on your activity level, age, and sex. Overall, eating slightly more protein while training would be the thing to do for your bodies ability to recover well.
Lift more often
If you lift just 2 times a week and compare yourself with someone who is lifting 4 times a week, it’s simple to understand that the person who is under stress for longer will be able to build more muscles.
Try to have your gym sessions for at least 4 times a week. Short high-intensity training works better than long low-intensity sessions. The more time you’re under tension with higher intensity the better your chances of muscle growth.
It is also good to mix and match a little bit with low load, high volume training and mix it with high load, low volume training in between. It is also important for your note that it is easy to overtrain when you’re on high intensity, this kind of high-intensity training with heavy loads can lead to central nervous system overtraining.
The same goes for high volume training with low intensity which can lead to overtraining of the musculoskeletal system. Overall keeping a check on overtraining and lifting more often will help you grow right over time.
Get your form right
We’ve all been there, staring at someone in the gym whose form is all over the place. Not only having a bad form will make you prone to injuries but it will also not help you engage your muscles properly. This double combo makes things worse over time as you start lifting heavier weights with bad form.
Performing exercises with a bad form are one of the most dangerous things you can do for your body, especially exercises like squats and deadlifts if performed with a curved back can lead to serious injuries.
Coming to weights, using too heavy weights can also hurt your form so keep that in check. if it feels too heavy then maybe it really is. Performing an exercise with bad form is way worse than saying you performed a squat with X kgs of weight.
Practicing correct form is the easiest shortcut you can take in order to leapfrog the competition and see more muscle growth than most people.
Get Enough Sleep
Getting enough sleep is one of the keys to more muscle growth. If you really want to boost your performance in the gym then make sure you’re getting this part right.
We all know that sleep is an essential component for the cellular, organic and systemic functions of an organism. Not getting enough sleep is potentially the biggest reason why most people can’t get the most out of their efforts in the gym. The absence of sleep can be an extremely harmful thing for our health, it can have a negative impact on our feeding behavior, glucose regulation, blood pressure, cognitive processes, and even hormonal axes.
We repair our body when we are asleep, this repair work takes a few hours every day. If you’re awake and not entering this deep sleep mode, you can potentially hurt our body over time. The toxins that should be eliminated stay in the body, this harmful chemical can interfere with other functions of the body causing more problems.
Sleeping for 8 hours in a silent dark place is the best way to go about it. Having externals lights, alarms and even coffee or energy drinks can disturb our circadian rhythm also known as our natural wake and sleep cycle.
Research conducted one week of sleep restriction in young healthy men and saw their testosterone drop by 10% to 15% with an increase in cortisol levels as well. Almost 40% of adults don’t get enough sleep time due to our modern societies.
Getting healthy starts with having a sleep cycle that can help you grow, Make it a routine and a priority to get enough sleep if you’re serious about your muscle growth.
Increase your IGF-1 a little
IGF-1 or Insulin-Like Growth Factor is a hormone the is similar to the structure of insulin. IGF-1 works with growth hormones to reproduce and regenerate cells in your body.
The growth hormone made by the pituitary gland stimulates the liver to produce IGF-1. This IGF-1 then stimulates the growth in cells throughout the body, like in the womb and through adolescence.
IGF-1 will help strengthen the tissues, improve the bone density, help build muscle. It also helps in healing of skin, bones and gut lining. IGF-1 is needed for most of the thing and is a swiss knife that can help the body depending on what the body needs.
Some other way IGF-1 can be helpful for you are:
- Anti-aging effects.
- Having good levels of IGF-1 is correlated with greater telomere length. Telomeres in the DNA are one of the predictors of longevity.
- IGF-1 increases Antioxidants.
- IGF-1 is shown to increase glutathione peroxidase, this is an important antioxidant enzyme that protects cells which are exposed to radiation by preventing death.
- Decreases Inflammation and Autoimmunity.
- When IGF-1 levels are low the inflammation levels tend to be high.
- IGF-1 Helps In Learning and memory.
- By acting as an antianxiety and antidepressant it can help the brain. IGF-1 is also known to help speed up mental processing in men older than 25 years.
In short, having proper levels of IGF-1 can do wonders to your body. Now the question comes in how can you increase the levels of IGF-1? Let us see
How to increase your IGF-1 levels naturally:
- Eat enough calories.
- Get enough proteins.
- Consume the right kinds of fats.
- Increase the intake of casein.
- Vitamin C.
Eating the things mentioned can help you increase the levels of IGF-1 naturally.
Focus on your ‘Human Growth Hormone’ HGH
Like IGF-1 that was mentioned above human growth hormone is a natural hormone produced by the pituitary gland. It is a small protein that gets secreted into the bloodstream. HGH is important for cell regeneration and cell reproduction.
The production of human growth hormone is controlled by a complex set of hormones that are produced in the hypothalamus of our brain and also in the intestinal tract and pancreas.
Pituitary gland puts out HGH in bursts. The levels of HGH rise usually in events following exercise, trauma, and sleep.
We usually produce more HGH during the night than in day time, that’s also one of the reasons to get enough sleep. Like most hormones levels of HGH start to increase as we grow older until about puberty after which they start to decline form middle age.
HGH does a few amazing things for our body like:
- Raises the levels of Insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1) as discussed above.
- Helps boost protein production.
- Interferes with the action of insulin and raises the blood sugar levels.
- Promote the utilization of fats.
- Can have anti-aging effects.
So how can you raise your human growth hormone naturally?
- Try to lose your body fat.
- Intermittent fasting.
- Supplementing with arginine.
- Using creatine.
- Including glutamine supplements in your diet.
- Supplementing with melatonin.
- Taking Beta-alanine before your workouts.
- Exercising at a higher intensity.
- Taking some GABA supplements.
- Reducing the amount of sugar you consume.
- Trying cold and heat therapy.
Trying even a few of these things will help increase your HGH levels.
Be patient, It takes time
If you’ve tried everything and still can’t see any results and if you’re thinking of giving up, be patient. You should know that it takes time.
Seeing the results of training will always take time, it’s like putting a seed in the ground. watering it every day, fertilizing it and make sure nothing damages it. All in the hopes of seeing a tree in that place after a few years.
It can take months and even years to get to your goal, but consistency and hard work pay off eventually. Growing muscles is a game of breaking, adapting and building, over and over again. There are no shortcuts to get there. It’s a grueling and hard, you might see no results for months and it’s normal.
The best bodybuilders around the world faced the same kind of issues, they kept their head down and kept going on. Learning and adapting with time.
If you’re someone who is new to building muscles, all you have to do is be patient and keep doing what you’re doing. Learn from the people who have already been there and make sure to be consistent, Putting one brick at a time.
- Leproult, R., and. V. Cauter. 2011. “Effect of 1 Week of Sleep Restriction on Testosterone Levels in Young Healthy Men.” June 1, 2011. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4445839/.
- Gentil, P., S. Soares, and M. Bottaro. 2015. “Single vs. Multi-Joint Resistance Exercises: Effects on Muscle Strength and Hypertrophy.” June 22, 2015. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4592763/. The present study aimed to compare the effects of MJ vs. SJ exercises on muscle size and strength gains in untrained young men.
- M, D., A. HK, M. A, M. N. M, S. HS, T. S, and D. M. MT. 2011. “Sleep and Muscle Recovery: Endocrinological and Molecular Basis for a New and Promising Hypothesis. – PubMed – NCBI.” August 2011. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21550729.
- Allen, R. E., and L. K. Boxhorn. 1989. “Regulation of Skeletal Muscle Satellite Cell Proliferation and Differentiation by Transforming Growth Factor‐beta, Insulin‐like Growth Factor I, and Fibroblast Growth Factor.” February 1989. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/jcp.1041380213. By altering the concentrations of TGF‐beta, FGF, and IGF‐I, satellite cells can be induced to proliferate, differentiate, or to remain quiescent.
- Rudman, D., A. G. Feller, H. S. Nagraj, H. S. Nagraj, and G. A. Gergans. 1990. “Effects of Human Growth Hormone in Men over 60 Years Old.” July 5, 1990. https://www.nejm.org/action/cookieAbsent. The declining activity of the growth hormone-insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) axis with advancing age may contribute to the decrease in lean body mass and the increase in mass of adipose tissue that occurs with aging.
- Salomon, F., R. C. Cuneo, R. Hesp, and P. H. Sonksen. 1989. “The Effects of Treatment with Recombinant Human Growth Hormone on Body Composition and Metabolism in Adults with Growth Hormone Deficiency.” December 28, 1989. https://www.nejm.org/action/cookieAbsent.