For us men, we have multiple reasons why we want to start training. For health reasons, to lose weight, get stronger, performance-based but when we look at the finish line. When we think of ourselves and how the finished product looks, it generally will encompass us with some added muscles.
So how long does this take? Well, if you follow these tips, it should take you sooner than later.
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1. Training Age
The first thing to keep in mind is our “training age.” This doesn’t mean your current age, though that plays a factor. We don’t build muscle at the rate we did in our 20s but amazing gains are still within our grasp. Our training age refers to:
How long have you been exercising? Have you been lifting regularly your whole life? Are you just starting? This will determine how much muscle you can potentially gain every month.
The good news is… if you are a beginner, you will be able to build muscle more quickly. You can see up to gains of up to 2lbs a month, which is huge.
As you start to get a little older in your training age, that number will decrease, and you will need to find other ways to stimulate your muscles but getting started first and becoming regular should be your primary focus.
We all know men who are just genetically more gifted than others. This could mean strength, fast metabolism and even growing muscle quickly.
So how do you know if you are blessed with these genetics? The only real way to find out is to start lifting weights, swinging kettlebells around regularly and see what happens.
I had a workout buddy at University, and his name was Zain. His body was that of a Greek God. We would all lift together at the gym, and he would build muscle faster than the both of us. I always used to say, “Zain, you have amazing genetics, you are so lucky.” and he would always turn around say, “What’s the point of having good genetics if you don’t use them.”
So in a nutshell, you still need to work hard to activate these good genes to create the body you want.
Now the good news is that you do not be a genetic anomaly to see those muscle gains. Most men fall within the middle category. They can build muscle (maybe not at the Zain) level, but they aren’t hard gainers. Hard gainers are what I would define as people who eat and eat but don’t gain much weight. This is also true, they are lifting, but they have a more challenging time seeing muscle hypertrophy.
Now if you’ve been a listener to the podcast for a while, you have heard my stance on supplements before.
I’ve taken my fair share of Protein and Creatine in the past. I’ll vouch they work because I see a difference, but I have never felt they are MUST HAVE in your diet. I’ll admit, though, I’m slowly starting to open up about supplements of all different kinds, especially those that would help boost my testosterone and I’ll share what I know in an upcoming podcast.
The two big muscle-building protein supplements you need to focus on are Creatine and Protein.
Creatine Monohydrate is what I’ve used in the past. What majority of men use when it’s time to take creatine.
A highly studied supplement increases muscle performance in short-duration, high-intensity resistance exercises. It gives you that extra boost.
Protein comes in various forms, most popular in powders. Protein is an essential macronutrient that helps build muscle, repair tissue, and make enzymes and hormones.
Both supplements you can find almost in any drug store, Costco, Amazon and the online market; it is very accessible.
Now, if you are a beginner and just starting, I suggest you wait. See what gains you can make without it and see if you are happy with your results. These are just supplements. They help you supplement your training, but you still need to work hard.
4. Training Routine
This is the most important part of building any muscle in your body. You can take as many supplements as you want, but you will not see any gains if you don’t put the time into your workouts.
This means how are you training? Are you lifting once a week? If so… you will see some change but not as much as if you were lifting 3-4x a week.
The more you train, the more muscle you are going to build. I personally like either total body workouts or Upper Body/Lower Body splits.
This gives my body a chance to recover, and if I miss a workout, I know I’ll be covered.
So for example an old school bodybuilding workout requires you to have a dedicated Chest day. So you complete around 10-20 Chest exercises in a day. Typically a Monday! #nationalmenschestday
But you can break up into two or even three separate workout days. This allows you to do the same amount of chest exercises that you would do on a dedicated day and spread it out in a few. We aren’t 20 years old; we have major responsibilities such as our careers, partners, kids, families, and social life. You are bound to miss a day or two.
Another way you can cover yourself if you have a hectic schedule is total body workouts. So you hit both lower body and upper workouts in the same day.
Depending on how hard you hit it, you can even do another workout the next day or take the next 1-2 days off and hit it again.