When in the weight room working out, men are a strange species. Regardless if the person is a stranger or not, no question is off-limits. Usually, one of the first questions that is asked is what the other guy’s weight is. “How much do you weigh?” is a common thing to hear shouted across the weight room for all to hear. Can you imagine women yelling out questions like that to each other? There would be fights breaking out everywhere!
If you have been strength training for years or are just starting your health and fitness journey, there is one main thing that you would like to be able to do as a guy. You want to put on more muscle mass. I’m not talking about just putting on more weight as that is easy to do especially as you get older. Anyone can simply eat all sloppy and add serious pounds of fat to their frame. You want to add more muscle. You want to be able to push more weight on the bench press and move on to curling 50s while training your biceps.
The truth is you can’t add more muscle unless you focus on your diet as much as you do on the current strength training program you are doing. Here is how to add ten pounds of muscle in eight short weeks through diet and exercise.
Protein, Protein, and More Protein
Protein combined with strength training builds quality muscle. How much protein do you have to consume to add more muscle mass? Well, I hope you are hungry. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends that a person consume 0.5 to 0.8 grams of protein per day per pound of body weight. This means that if you weigh 200 pounds and want to add muscle, you should be eating 100 to 160 grams of protein per day. Professional bodybuilders will eat one to two grams of protein per pound of bodyweight when training.
Trying to consume that much protein while eating clean can be difficult. If you have not learned to enjoy protein shakes, now is the time as one serving can contain up to 30 grams or more of protein. However, you don’t want to get all your protein through shakes. Protein powders can be hard to digest in the first place and could leave you with an upset stomach if you overdo it.
Consider adding several high protein foods to your diet. Chicken and turkey always provide a good chunk of protein. Seafood does as well as I have witnessed men carrying around cans of tuna with them when they want to gain muscle mass. If you need some go-to foods you can take with you on the spur of a moment, beef jerky, peanut butter, nuts, yogurt, milk, and even some beans are all high in protein.
Protein makes you feel full faster and longer so there is a very good chance you will be dropping pounds of fat while adding pounds of muscle. This is the reason you can eat a bag of chips and a package of cookies and still be hungry, but if you eat a chicken breast, you are stuffed for the next few hours.
Strength Training Exercises to Build Muscle
In the perfect world, you would have your workouts split up into muscle groups and train each one twice a week. We’ve already covered how muscles can grow best at two times a week as that is the scientifically proven sweet spot. However, we all lead busy lives. It can be difficult to fit in three workouts a week, let alone a training session a day! This is why I would focus on compound exercises if you don’t have enough time on your hands. Compound exercises are strength training movements that work out several muscle groups at one time. If you know you only have two days to train this week, focus on these compound exercises as they truly will provide you with a full-body workout.
There is nothing worse than a man with big arms and tiny legs. You have worked so hard at getting those pythons noticed only to have them overshadowed in a comical way by skinny wheels. Squats will take care of this predicament as it works the entire lower half of your body (quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and calves) and abdominals, lower back, and upper back.
Want to add some thickness? The bench press will train chest, a bit of the core, triceps, some back, and even the front of your shoulders. Perfect compound exercise if you are short on time.
It would be easier to figure out which muscles deadlifts do not work. Almost your whole body is engaged when doing deadlifts. If you want to add serious muscle, this is one of the key exercises you should be doing.
If you can only do a few pull-ups at first, don’t get discouraged. Soon you will be cranking them out. You just have to get used to the movement. And when you do, you will be training lats, traps, biceps, back, shoulders, and forearms.
Somehow this strength training movement has been forgotten. With the military press, you are standing and pushing the weight up from upper chest area to over your head. This will train the shoulders, triceps, legs, traps, upper chest, and your core.
Too many people think dips only train triceps. You are supporting your entire weight up in the air so it does much more than this. It actually works the chest, triceps, and front of your shoulders.
Keep at It!
With the combination of some motivated strength training and eating protein like it is your job, you can add ten pounds of muscle in eight weeks and decrease all those extra pounds of fat as well. And in eight weeks, if you have “only” added five pounds of muscle, that is just as huge and you should not be disappointed in the least. By staying with it, you will get to the size you want in no time!