Gaining muscle must rank as one of the most common reasons for people seeking to join a gym alongside weight loss.
Well in many ways gaining muscle can be so much harder than weight loss. Seeking the help of a professional personal trainer will definitely help. But we have tried to sum up three of our best diet tips for those looking to gain some great muscle mass in the gym.
So we start, as it so often does with nutrition, in particular with calorie in take.
To gain muscle mass you should ideally be eating in what is called a ‘calorie surplus’.
There will be some people who, because of their genetics, will not need to aim for this, but on the whole, most people will need to start monitoring their calorie in-take and ensure they are eating more than they burn off. Essentially, we want to be eating as little as possible but at the same time still gaining muscle. Typically we will start eating around 250-500 calories over your calorie maintenance as a starting point and then build gradually from there.
Some of those extra calories will result in a slight increase in body fat. Keep an eye on this by using scales or a body fat machine if you have access to one in your local gym.
Now we have sorted calories, let’s turn to protein…
Hitting a protein goal is absolutely key to gaining muscle in the gym.
When you are working on building muscle in the gym we want protein in take to be high. That roughly equates to around 1-1.2g of protein per 1 pound of body weight. So, if you weigh 200lbs, you need to aim for 200g of protein a day in your diet.
By doing this you will start to see a decent increase in muscle build.
With a muscle building programme you will be eating more and more of certain types of food and that can be hard.
If you struggle to eat, particularly if you don’t have a massive appetite, this will be a challenge. To combat this we need to be including easy to eat foods more regularly.
That is going to be things like protein shakes and nut butters. Adding the nut butters into things like shakes will allow you to bulk up on calories and it should be easier to consume.
So, there you go, our 3 top tips on how to approach your nutrition if you goal is building muscle. Beyond nutrition, the training will be absolutely key. Have a look through some of our other blogs and on our Instagram and YouTube channel for top training tips and exercise ideas which you will be able to use for muscle building.