The 8 Golden Rules of New Muscle
Gaining muscles far beyond what you gained before is “new muscle.”
When it comes to “losing muscle,” good news is, muscle grows back after a cutting phase or a lengthy break from lifting. Thus, you can do the same workout like before and you will become your old, fit self.
However, gaining muscles more than what you had will become successful only if you know these 8 golden rules.
1. Change Little Things Often
Muscle growth plateaus. Your 5 more pounds in weight wouldn’t change your physique one iota.
What you need to do is change the little things often: the rep ranges, time under tension, the weight you use, rest periods and doing different exercises that target the same muscle groups.
Keep your muscles guessing.
2. Give Your Muscles Time to Adapt
It may sound like a contradiction to the first one, but it’s not. It just means to give your muscles time to heal to trigger growth.
Never stress a body part more than 2-3 times a week. One full rest day a week is a must. Every 2-3 months, take 1 week off.
3. Don’t Reinvent the Wheel when it Comes to Nutrition
Just eat the right amounts of proper foods at the right time. You don’t need to complicate your nutrition. Just spread nutrients in multiple meals during the day.
Just some specifics: 1.5 grams of protein per pound of lean body weight per day is the goal and post-workout is still the best time to drink a fast-digesting protein like whey.
4. Change Big Things Every Once in a While
When you change the little things, muscle tissue catches on.
You need to learn something new every 6-8 weeks.
Change from muscle-growth phase to a strength phase, to ripping-up phase, to a cross-training phase…
5. Perform Free-Weight Exercises First
Free weights ask multiple demands on your muscles. How? Not only do you need to lift the weight, you have to stabilize it with your other muscles. You don’t get to do this with exercise machines.
After warm-up, do free weights. If you want, machine workout can follow.
6. Focus on Form Above All
When tendons and ligaments hurt, your goal of new muscle goes down the drain.
Keep them healthy if you want to get enough workout stress for muscle tissue. Just make sure that in a day or two, tendons and ligaments healed already.
Have someone take a look at your form. Many fitness buffs always have it wrong.
7. Know that the More You Have, the Harder it is to Add
The more you already added muscles, the harder it is to grow some more.
However, going through the process is definitely worth it.
Just remember not to rush anything because you don’t want to court injury.
8. Embrace Muscle-Building as Health-Building
Some people think that muscle-building is superficial.
However, many of them aren’t aware that the process of gaining more muscles has tons of benefits: you become disciplined, focused and conscious with what you eat. Plus, the more muscles you have, the faster your metabolic rate.
Who can ask for more than that?