In this post I will be discussing the basics of building muscle trough weightlifting and proper nutrition.
If you’re considering or have just started training this information may be useful to you.
It’s very important to understand the fundamentals of weightlifting and nutrition before you get into the gym, if you don’t have the proper knowledge you can risk injuries, sickness or even worse, NO GAINS.
With that said, lets get into it.
The absolute first thing you need to look at before you start your fitness journey is your diet and nutrition. If you’re not eating to support muscle gain you are going to waist countless hours of struggle and sweating in the gym for nothing.
You need to make sure you’re eating enough calories, to build muscle you need to be in a surplus of energy, this meaning that you have to eat more calories than you burn. To do this you need to know what your maintenance calories are, this is the number of calories you need to keep your weight where it is, not gaining and not losing any weight.
You can get a good indicator of your maintenance calories by using a online calculator.
Keep in mind that the calculator is just and a indication, everyone’s calorie need’s are different depending on activity level, body composition and gender. When you have calculated your maintenance calories you need to add around 200-300 calories to that, this will put you in a calorific surplus, and those extra calories will be used to build up your broken muscle fibers after all your hard work in the gym.
Now that you have your calories under control you need to divide them into macronutients, also known as macros. Macros are divided into four groups – protein, carbohydrate, fat and alcohol, we’re mainly going to look at protein, carbohydrate and fat. Each of these macros contain a specific amount of calories, protein and carbs contain 4 calories while fat contains 9 calories per gram.
Whats most important is to make sure you’re eating a sufficient amount of protein, this is the macronutrient your body uses to build muscle. To get a sufficient amount of protein you need to get in somewhere between 1,8-2,5 grams of protein per kg of body weight.
Someone who weighs 75kg would need about 150 grams of protein. (2×75=150)
When you have figured out your protein need you have to fill up the rest of your calories with fats and carbohydrates, I would recommend getting around 20-30% of your calories form fat and fill up the rest with carbs.
Example using the same person at 75kg:
Lets say this person needs 3000 calories be able to put on weight.
150 grams of protein = 20% of calories.
95 grams of fat = 30% of calories
375 grams of carbs = 50 % of calories.
This person would now be in a surplus while getting enough of all three macronutrients and be able to build muscle.
Now that you have your nutrition under control you are finally ready to step into the gym and put on those muscles. So, how do you start? And what do you do?
Well, you need to understand how your muscles works, I will not go to much in depth of this right now, but I’ll cover the basics.
When you’re at the gym, lifting heavy weights and putting stress on your muscle, you are tearing it down, you are actually getting weaker.
After your workout your body will start a process called protein synthesis, this is the process that builds the muscle back up again, this time stronger than before.
As a result of that you’re also getting bigger. Your body does this to adapt to the stress you’re putting it trough, witch is why you need to focus on progressive overload. Progressive overload is when you increase the workload your putting on your muscle, either by lifting the same weight for more reps or by increasing the weight you’re lifting. But its not all about lifting as much as possible every time you’re at the gym, you also have to make sure your technique is correct in order to put stress on the muscle you are trying to work.
In the beginning, the first year or two, you want to focus on compound movements. These are exercises that activates more muscles and bigger muscle groups, like deadlifts, benchpress, squats, militarypress and other big movements. If you focus on getting stronger in these exercises by increasing the workload you will be able to build a strong foundation of muscle, witch will help you get stronger in your isolation movements as well.
Its also important to remember that the process of protein synthesis takes about 48 hours, so you have to make sure your muscles gets to rest in this period. That does not mean you have to lie in bed and can’t go to the gym, it only means that you have to design your program to hit different muscles at different days.
If you still want to learn more you can feel free to check out some more of our content!