Updated: Apr 9
Building muscle is hard work, but you can make the process easier by paying attention to how your body is reacting to the stress that it is under through training and by getting good rest and nutrition.
The most effective way to build muscle is by weight training.
You should weight train at least 3 times a week, with each session lasting about one hour. The weights you use should be heavy enough that you can only complete approximately 10-15 repetitions before your muscles fatigue and you're unable to continue. If your repetition range is less than 8 reps per set or more than 15 reps per set, then the weight may be too light or too heavy respectively.
Learn more about the types of weight training.
Nutrition is an important part of the overall health and fitness equation. If you don't fuel your body properly with the right nutrients, then you're less likely to be able to train at a high intensity level for a long period of time.
The most important thing when it comes to nutrition is getting enough protein in your diet. Protein provides amino acids that are used by the body for building muscle tissue and repairing damaged muscle fibres after exercise. Carbohydrates provide energy during exercise as well as other functions like helping maintain blood sugar levels throughout the day and preventing fatigue during workouts. Fats play an essential role in supplying energy as well as contributing toward healthy skin and hair, proper cell function and even brain development. The best way to ensure proper hydration before training sessions or races is by drinking water; however, athletes can also benefit from electrolyte drinks containing sodium chloride or potassium chloride which help replace lost electrolytes due to sweating during activity.
Protein intake recommendations vary depending on age, gender, activity levels and goals but generally speaking 1 gram per kilogram (2 pounds) of body weight per day should be enough for most people who are trying build lean muscle mass without gaining too much fat mass along with it - unless they are following some sort of bulking program where higher caloric intakes may be needed in order for someone who has been previously underweighted increase both their lean mass while minimising fat gain at same time."
Rest is just as important as the workouts themselves. Rest helps you recover from your workouts, which allows you to work out more efficiently and with more intensity each time. In addition to rest being necessary for muscle growth and recovery, it’s also necessary for maintaining a healthy mental state. Without proper rest, you will be less likely to make progress in the gym because your body won’t be able to recover properly after an intense workout session. Also not getting enough sleep will affect your physical appearance by making it harder for muscles to grow due lack of energy production during the day.
How much rest do I need?
The amount of sleep you need depends on how old you are and how much training experience you have under your belt (or around your waist). As a general rule of thumb:
Up until age 25: 7-9 hours per night (varies based on gender)
Get a good nights sleep.
Sleep is an important part of recovery, as it's when your body rebuilds muscle tissue. Just like how you need to eat enough calories to build muscle, you also need adequate rest to do so effectively. Sleep deprivation can interfere with your ability to build muscle, but it's crucial that you get enough sleep!
If you're over 18 years old and have had trouble sleeping for more than a month in a row, see a doctor about the possibility of insomnia or another sleep disorder. Otherwise, follow these steps:
Set a wake time and go to bed at approximately the same time each day; this will help regulate your circadian rhythm (your internal clock).
Avoid stimulants such as caffeine after lunchtime; try drinking decaffeinated coffee instead or herbal tea with honey if coffee is necessary for focus during the day. Your blood sugar levels should be stable throughout the day without these stimulants so that they don't disrupt night-time restfulness later on.
Building muscle is hard work, but you can make the process easier by paying attention to how your body is reacting to the stress that it is under and by getting good rest and nutrition.
For example, if you're feeling more sore than usual after a workout, it may be because your body wasn't adequately prepared for that particular exercise. Or maybe you skipped breakfast before heading out for your run—your muscles will feel more taxed when they're not properly fuelled.
If you notice any signs of overtraining or muscle soreness that isn't going away after a couple days off from training, call in an expert who knows how to diagnose these issues and help determine an effective treatment plan.
We hope you now have a better understanding of how to build muscle and can apply this knowledge to your own training. In summary:
Do weight training 3x per week
Eat more food overall
Eat more protein
Ensure you get enough rest between workouts
Get 8 hours of sleep per night
Add more reps, sets or weight every 2 weeks
Want to learn more? Check out all PE Buddy's videos
Check out our website for more
Get teaching resources for this topic
Mr D, your online PE Buddy