Body image issues may be focused more on women, but that does not mean that men do not suffer from body insecurities as well.
If you have been struggling to pack on some muscle, just know that you are not alone. Approximately 40% of men feel they are not satisfied with their bodies due to lack of muscle.
Bigger muscles instinctually make a man appear more protective and safe to a woman. Research also tells us that most women prefer a strong and muscular man over the other body types.
If you have been trying to learn how to get bigger muscles, and feeling frustrated with the lack of results, there are some answers.
Thankfully, we have the answers for you. Keep on reading to learn how to get bigger muscles, even if you have an ectomorph body type!
Let’s get started.
1. Eat More Protein
Studies show that to gain more muscle mass, you need to be in a surplus of calories from protein sources. Ideally, you need to consume between 1.2 and 1.7 grams of protein per pound of lean body mass.
Protein supplementation has been shown to enhance muscle mass and performance when training adequately. This means that you also have to be training regularly for the protein to be synthesized by your body. Otherwise, you just have expensive urine and could increase your chances of developing kidney stones.
Good sources of protein include:
- Red meat
- Lean pork such as pork tenderloin
- Fish such as salmon, tilapia, tuna, halibut, etc.
- Duck eggs
- Greek yogurt
- Cottage cheese
- Nuts and seeds (still more of a fat source)
2. Eat More. Period
The more you eat, the easier it is to pack on muscle. Do not let this encourage you to go eat fast food and pizza every night though! If so, you would turn out like an overweight person with hidden muscles.
This means that you need more high-quality, clean food in your diet. This means high-quality sources of protein like explained above, and at regular increments throughout the day.
Eating protein before bed can increase your protein synthesis and metabolism during the night. Many professional bodybuilders consume a steak before hitting the sack.
If you are having a hard time putting weight on in general, consider increasing your calories by about 25%. If you need to maintain weight but add muscle, increase your calories by about 10-15%.
3. Consume More Quality Carbohydrates
When you are in a muscle bulking/growth phase, you need to consume a large portion of slow-digesting carbohydrates as well as protein. To keep yourself lean while you bulk, increase the carbohydrates in the earlier portion of the day and slow down the consumption as the day progresses. While you sleep, you do not need carbs for energy, so it will just become stored as fat.
Quality slow-digesting carbohydrates include:
- Brown rice
- Whole oats (not quick)
- Steel-cut oats
- Whole wheat pasta
- Protein pancakes
You can get creative in the kitchen so that you do not feel bored with eating the same meals, however, most bodybuilding diets do consist of similar food items with the same micronutrient and macronutrient breakdowns.
4. Tweak Your Workouts
To pack on more muscle, you need to be challenging your body to the point where it needs to start building more muscle to adapt to the workouts.
This is called the SAID principle, Specific Adaption to Imposed Demand. If you want to know how to get bigger muscles, you need to know how to train properly in the gym.
If you are just aimlessly walking around and copying what other bodybuilders are doing, STOP. If you are working with just any new personal trainer, stop that as well. You need to ask a professionally trained personal trainer who specializes in strength training exercises, or else you are just wasting your time and money.
Your workouts need to be with lower reps, around the 6-8 rep range, with at least 3-4 sets. The trick is to fatigue at that last rep, if you can continue doing more with proper form, you are not challenging yourself enough.
5. Watch Your Form
Now that you are lifting heavier, you need to be very careful about your performance and form. If you are lifting heavy with improper form, not only could you injure yourself, you are also hurting your results.
For example, if you are swinging up the weights in a biceps curl, which muscle is working? Not much of the biceps! Swinging weights will only injure you and take away from the focus on the muscle that needs to be worked.
Lower the weight until you understand the perfect form, then increase until you are fatiguing while maintaining that perfect form.
6. Track Your Progress
There is no way to know how your progress is going if you are not tracking it. You live in your body, so you cannot easily see the changes that are happening until they are very apparent.
Tracking your progress will also help you to keep going when times are tough because once you get that taste of success, you will be hooked to keep on going!
Track your physical progress by weighing yourself, measuring your arms, waist, legs, etc. Then track your performance progress by measuring the weight increases you have been making. You should also be tracking your food intake, and how you are feeling during the progress.
Learn More About How to Get Bigger Muscles
Knowing how to get bigger muscles is a journey in itself. You will need to measure, record, and repeat everything that is working and ditch the habits that are not.
If you found this article helpful, check out more like this under the health and fitness section of our blog.