Building muscle1 hasn’t been the prime focus of mankind, but not at least for the past few decades.
Even modern women find it a cynosure to stack muscles, while the concept of beauty is getting redefined.
As a result, gyms are getting crowded than ever before, supplement manufacturers got a thrust, and the gym apparel industry has become a mainstream market of its own.
It doesn’t matter how you build muscles; the end result should be a jaw drop, and this ill-notion even game room for harmful synthetic steroids to prevail in the industry.
There are many ways to define your physique, trim, and shred muscles, but what else would beat nature’s way of doing it?
In this article, we are focusing on some of the tips and tricks to build muscle naturally through managing some of your daily tasks and diet.
Let’s wind this intro and move to the topic where you will explore 8 incredible methods to naturally buff up.
How muscle development happens?
Muscle growth is something that we can voluntarily control, and that is the basis of bodybuilding.
This process of muscle development occurs in 3 stages:
1. By creating tension on muscles
This happens when you lift weights above the threshold of muscle strength, thereby forcing change in muscle chemistry.
This would initiate lots of biochemical signaling, including the mTOR pathway and satellite cell activation, which is the first step in muscle growth.
2. Inducing a metabolic stress
When you lift weights and give tension to the muscles, it creates swelling around the muscle tissue because of glycogen addition.
However, this is a kind of muscle growth that will help in muscle development without increasing the size.
3. Through muscle damage
The most popular mechanism of muscle growth occurs through the mechanism of muscle damage.
Here the damage is of ‘micro’ nature and doesn’t cause any harm for the individual instead helps in buffing up.
When you lift weights, the muscles get tiny ‘micro’ sized tears which are painless in nature.
The body repairs these tiny tears by releasing inflammatory signals which would mend the gaps, thus contributing to muscle growth.
How to gain muscles naturally?
1. Know what you eat
Many of the newbies fail to keep track of their food consumption and rather eat a lot and work out a lot.
This strategy might work till a point, but once you need to define your physique, then tracking the food intake matters.
Various government bodies have defined minimum dietary intake values, and most of us might be lucky enough to eat more than that.
When you eat more food, excess food gets stored, and it becomes difficult to eliminate it from the body since the workout you do might become insufficient in burning those extra calories.
2. Sleep like a baby
Do you want to build muscles?
Then without a second thought go and get some good quality sleep.
Yes, you might have heard it a hundred times by now, and it is so important that skipping an hour of sleep from your daily minimum is more like killing a day worth hard work.
It is when you sleep, your body fully dedicates its machinery towards growth and repair2.
A bodybuilder must get a minimum of 7 ~ 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep since the amount of muscle repair, and nutrient allocation in a bodybuilder is very different from that of an average person.
3. Go slow
Now that you have started your weight training, all that is in your mind is to get buffed up.
As a part of it, you might be busy loading a humongous number of calories, getting plenty of sleep, investing a fortune on the supplement, and running through your workout.
Well, that last thing has to be a bit slowed down.
When you do your reps, slower the better.
When muscles are subjected to tension for a more extended time, they tend to grow more effectively than when you speed things up.
4. Push a bit harder
Bodybuilding is all about pushing limits, and if you stay inside your comfort zone, the progress gets delayed.
Unless you are ready to experiment with your body, the results won’t be shining as they are supposed to be.
When you fail to add weights, the muscles get tolerant to the amount of tension, thus compromising the overall idea of weight training.
Always try to push your limits by climbing the numbers, trying new workout strategies, and changing diet plans.
5. Workout for the brain
If you think that muscle building is all about weight lifting, then you’re terribly wrong.
You need good psychological health in order to excel in muscle building because when it comes to the body, everything is interconnected.
Meditation, yoga, breathing exercises, etc. are good for your brain. Also, supplementing omega-3-fatty acids, vitamin B12, folates, DHA, etc. would help in the functioning of the brain as well.
When your brain works fine, physiological stress on your loose muscles can effectively be converted into a well-defined figure.
Brain health is essential for releasing hormones and growth factors that are necessary for muscle development.
6. Be pragmatic about your gains
There are no magic tricks to beef you up in a month; instead, it is a chain of complicated events involving hard work, supplementation, motivation, sweating, dieting, and getting injured.
So always be logical when setting your expectations about bodybuilding. You might have to spend years on your body to sculpt a beautiful figure out of it.
And all those synthetic drugs promising you magic merely is bogus and might even put you in danger.
For beginners, the initial change in the physique will be motivating, but as you get on the track, things are going to be slightly challenging but not unachievable.
7. Carbohydrate is the king
Many would prefer a carb less diet in order to stay lean and build some lean mass.
Well, this strategy might backfire, because carbs3 are there for two other reasons than what you think.
Firstly, they are important for muscle growth by fueling the workout through their glycogen synthesis, and secondly, they can avoid catabolism or muscle loss.
Carbs are the more accessible and readily available source of energy, and for that reason, the body burns carbs for fuel before moving on to fat or protein.
However, make sure that you don’t go overloading crabs because excess can become deposits adding too much mass.
If you think supplementations are artificial means of muscle gaining, sadly that not the story.
Here is the clear picture: For bodybuilding, you need a lot of nutrients, mainly proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals, etc.
On average, a bodybuilder might have to take 2.5k calories+ a day and scavenging all that form your daily diet might be cumbersome.
This is where steroid-free food supplements come in to play, and they are nothing more than concentrated nutrients in powder or capsule form.
For example, couple scoops of protein powder might be equivalent to having 10 eggs with a benefit of not adding too much cholesterol in the system.
So, focus on good quality supplementations, from reputed brands which are free from steroids.
Even though the results might look promising for steroids, the sustainability and longevity of those muscles aren’t good, plus the harmful side effects are a never-ending list especially when you don’t know what you are using.
These tips and tricks might be small tweaks in your bodybuilding life, but they are very effective and influence the results significantly.
Diet is a crucial factor and try to focus on foods that can add more carbs in your system so that you can supplement rest of it.
Also, have a good idea about the amounts of nutrients that you load daily, as this will help you decide on the type and amount of supplement.
Always interact with your doctor because it has many benefits like eliminating any possible risks of injuries, keeping your vitals under check or even they can help you in deciding a perfect diet plan.
Dedicating a reasonable amount of time for your inner health will significantly boost the entire bodybuilding because of the role of brain health in physiological well-being.
And one last thing we haven’t mentioned on the list is to keep reading more about bodybuilding as science keeps updating every day!
- Clarkson, Priscilla M., and Eric S. Rawson. “Nutritional supplements to increase muscle mass.” Critical reviews in food science and nutrition 39.4 (1999): 317-328. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10408699991279196
- Dattilo, Murilo, et al. “Sleep and muscle recovery: endocrinological and molecular basis for a new and promising hypothesis.” Medical hypotheses 77.2 (2011): 220-222. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0306987711001800
- Børsheim, Elisabet, et al. “Effect of carbohydrate intake on net muscle protein synthesis during recovery from resistance exercise.” Journal of applied physiology 96.2 (2004): 674-678. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0306987711001800