What Is Muscle Mass And How Do You Improve It?
Bodybuilding is an essential part of many people’s healthy lifestyle. While there are different specific goals in mind, such as muscle building or weight loss, it’s important to learn the basics of bodybuilding before committing to this goal.
In bodybuilding, the first thing that you should learn is muscle mass and ways on how you can improve it.
What Is Muscle Mass?
Muscle mass is simply a group of cells that have been organized to produce more than just collagen and elastin. Muscle mass is equivalent to the weight of your muscles measured in kilograms (kg) or pounds (lb).
Muscle mass has the three major muscle groups, namely the skeletal muscles, smooth muscular fibers, and the fluid contained in the muscle groups. Muscle is a living tissue, which enables the body to do a variety of things, like moving, working out, performing daily chores, walking, and breathing. The body consists of different types of muscles as well as tissues that support the muscle. When you exercise, you increase the level of protein and other nutrients in the muscles, which, in turn, enable the muscle to work.
As protein and other nutrients increase due to movement, your body will need to produce more energy to utilize these nutrients. In order to store the energy, the body needs the cells to contain some type of storage. Cells in the muscle produce energy through chemical reactions such as oxidation or the breaking down of compounds. These chemical reactions also produce carbon dioxide, water, and other substances. The water that’s produced contains electrolytes, which are essential for the cells to produce energy. The amount of energy that’s produced is known as adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is the unit of energy used by the cell to make the cells work.
Ways To Build Muscle Mass
Since you’ll be doing the exercises in a structured manner, bodybuilding helps keep you fit and trim. Before pursuing this physical activity, you should know that building your muscle mass doesn’t only happen in the gym. Also, a combination of proper diet and exercise is necessary to achieve your desired results.
Moreover, men and women have noticeable differences in bodybuilding. Compared to women, men have higher muscle production, but it shouldn’t be an excuse to reduce one’s effort in building muscle mass. Despite these differences, women can also achieve huge gains in muscle mass and power as long as they follow the proper way of doing it.
With this in mind, here are four ways on how you can build your muscle mass:
- Stack Up On Protein and Calories
Protein is the building block of our muscles. Eating a lot of protein-rich foods is one of the fundamentals of your bodybuilding journey. Since your certain goal is to improve your muscle mass, you’ll have to consume more protein than the normal diet.
To accomplish various processes, such as hormone production, your body needs energy from protein. Therefore, as these processes use up protein that’s stored in your body, there will be less protein available for your muscle building. To counteract this, you’ll need to store more protein before your body uses up the old ones. The same rule applies to stacking up on calories.
However, there are some people who find it difficult to consume a lot of these essential building blocks daily, particularly proteins and calories. If this applies to you, you can take mass-gaining supplements that can help you get the most out of your muscle building. If you haven’t found the right product yet, check out these mass gainer shakes—serious mass vs true mass. Then, choose which one will suit your needs better.
- Add Fruits and Vegetables To Your Meal
Along with proteins and calories, you should never deprive your body of nutritious fruits and vegetables. Many bodybuilders commit this mistake of cutting down other food sources except proteins and calories.
Fruits and vegetables are good sources of antioxidants, which are beneficial in preventing cell damage. If you cut down fruits and vegetables with antioxidants, you’re compromising your energy levels and immune system. Fruits and vegetables ensure that you get the right amount of vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, and selenium.
Furthermore, vegetables including broccoli, mushrooms, cabbages, and carrots provide bulk and fiber for your body, so make sure to add them to your snacks and meals. In terms of adding fruits for fiber, you’ll have to be more careful in choosing the right fruits and timing in eating them because many fruits contain high levels of starch.
- Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate!
To achieve healthy muscle gain, your diet should be a combination of these nutrients discussed, and you should never forget water. Staying hydrated is essential in sustaining your body during training sessions. Becoming dehydrated can hinder your bodybuilding progress.
During strength training, your body loses a lot of water through sweating. Thus, you need to rehydrate whenever you’re thirsty since dehydration can impair your muscle recovery after a workout. You can also have a protein shake drink that offers both hydration and protein benefits.
Here are other reasons why you should keep yourself hydrated during muscle building:
- Maintains muscle pump
- Improves exercise performance
- Provides energy for your workout
- Boosts muscle growth
- Prevents muscle cramps
- Perform Big and Heavy Trainings
Individuals signing up for muscle building should always be up for more physical challenges. While biceps curls are fulfilling to do, you’ll have to exert more effort than that. When doing biceps curl, only a small area of your body is required to move: elbow, some forearm muscles, bicep brachii, and anterior deltoid. These types of single movements aren’t ideal in bodybuilding. In order to achieve muscle gains more effectively, you should engage in bigger, compound movements that you can do during heavy training.
Building muscle is an ongoing process, which is something that you should never take lightly. By consistently working on heavy training, your muscles will grow stronger over time. However, don’t push your body too hard up to fatigue and exhaustion as this will only backfire on your progress. It’s crucial to keep your muscle groups moving every day, but make sure that they’re not past your body’s capabilities.
Ideally, extreme heavy training, which can be too hard on your body, should only be limited up to thrice a week, and not on consecutive days.
When it comes to building muscle mass, it’s important that you know what’s necessary for you to succeed. While there are many ways to go about building muscle, the methods and tips discussed in this article ensure that you’ll improve your muscle mass as long as you stay committed and consistent with it.
Additionally, you can find a trainer who can teach you the proper way to lift weights, perform the proper exercises, and build the right amount of muscle mass with each workout.