With the summer months nearly gone for 2021, it’s the perfect time to start on your summer bod for 2022. While this may seem like a long period of time, for you to notice real results, the sooner you start the better your results will be.
A crucial aspect of your physique is muscle mass. Muscle mass is a measure of how much of your body composition is muscle. Gaining muscle mass can be just what you need to look your best while also gaining a better baseline of strength to enjoy any activity.
Below are seven ways that you can help boost your muscle mass. Everyone’s body is slightly different, and by having multiple ways to boost your muscle mass you can pick and choose the tips that will yield the best outcomes for you and your needs.
#1: Testosterone Therapy
Testosterone is the dominant sex hormone in men. Testosterone plays an important role in sex drive regulation, bone density, fat distribution, and the facilitation of increased muscle mass. When you are in your prime, testosterone levels tend to be at their prime, too, and that is why many young adults have an easier time seeing results from the gym than those that are older.
After the age of 30, testosterone levels can see a downward trajectory year by year and eventually lead to declined testosterone levels. In fact, as much as 50% of men over the age of 80 have lower than normal testosterone levels. While you may still be pumping iron at the ripe age of 80, the decline in testosterone associated with aging can actually impact the ease of gaining muscle mass in mid to late adulthood.
Supplementing testosterone through testosterone hormone replacement therapy can provide your body the hormonal boost it needs to get its muscle-building machinery supercharged and ready to pack on the protein.
With a simple medical history, blood test, and physical, Elite HRT can determine if testosterone HRT is right for you and get you on your way to having healthy testosterone levels that can provide a physiological boost to muscle formation.
#2: HGH Therapy
Human Growth Hormone (HGH) is a vital hormone within the body. HGH signals crucial bodily changes during adolescence such as growth and development in addition to regulating body composition and metabolism later in life.
Much like testosterone levels, HGH levels can see a decline as a result of age. With declined HGH levels, you might experience a harder time keeping weight off, constant fatigue, and lower lean muscle mass. The reason for this is that HGH acts as a key fat metabolism signaling molecule. HGH enables the body to utilize fat more readily while simultaneously signaling the body to grow.
Metabolizing fat and supporting muscle tissue growth is an ideal situation for trying to improve your physique and lean muscle mass. HGH replacement therapy can help you in your everyday life and the gym if your levels are lower than ideal.
If you suspect that you have low HGH levels, reach out to Elite HRT to see if you’re a good candidate for HGH therapy. If you are, in three easy steps you can be on your way to having higher levels of sustained energy, an easier time shedding body fat, and overall better quality of life with a balanced level of HGH.
#3: High Protein Diet
Your diet consists of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. All of these calories are necessary for your health and wellness, but increasing lean muscle mass also means increasing your protein intake.
Some people say men need to have as much as 20 grams of protein every three hours to optimize muscle protein synthesis—but, of course, the amount of protein you need every day is going to differ based on your age, gender, and fitness level.
The muscle cells within your body contain high amounts of protein. Because of this, high protein diets can be beneficial to those looking to increase muscle mass. Going to the gym you have most likely seen many people drinking their pea, creatine, or whey protein shakes. These shakes contain the building blocks of protein known as essential amino acids and are absorbed through the digestive tract where they can be utilized within the body.
Protein powders and shakes only represent a small subset of the protein you should intake when trying to build muscle mass. Choosing foods high in protein like lean meats, nuts, and beans can all ensure your body has the protein it needs to grow muscles.
It’s easy to incorporate poultry like chicken or turkey, low-fat dairy like greek yogurt or cottage cheese, and even a combination of nuts and whole grains into your diet to boost your protein intake. Of course, other hallmarks of a healthy diet include the right balance of complex carbs like fruits, vegetables, and rice, which is also essential when trying to build muscle.
Exercise is a crucial aspect of boosting muscle mass because it is what signals your body to build muscle tissue.
During exercise, your muscles are placed under strain. The strain results in some muscle tissue tearing at a microscopic level. These microtears need to be repaired, and in response, the body will build back the microtears stronger and larger than before. The end result is an increase in muscle mass and increases in strength.
While many exercises illicit microtears, weight lifting is one of the most efficient ways to gain muscle mass. When you lift weights, you are targeting very specific muscle groups and are placing a large strain on them to lift or push a set of weights. This strain induces microtears and when lifting responsibly can yield benefits such as increased muscle mass. Popular forms of weight lifting to boost muscle mass include the deadlift, bench press, and simply using free weights with high-rep, targeted sets.
While one of the more efficient means of gaining muscle mass, improper weight lifting can be dangerous and could pose a risk of larger more serious tearing. That’s why it’s important to start with body weight exercises when strength training to ensure that you perfect your form and gain a solid starting base before you add heavier weights. Enlisting the help of a personal trainer can also ensure that you’re looking out for your safety while also optimizing your training schedule.
Another benefit weight lifting has over other exercises is that with weight lifting, you can continue placing the same amount of strain on muscle groups even as you get stronger by simply going up in weight. So when your body adapts and grows stronger, you can simply increase your weight to continue building up more muscle.
Still, you should continue incorporating cardio and high intensity interval training (HIIT) into your training schedule as well, as rest days from strength training are extremely important. Rest days don’t only mean days off from exercise—it also means working out different muscle groups on different days to give each part of your body time to recover.
Building muscle mass is not all about hitting the gym 24/7. Contrary to that, your body actually needs time in between workouts to recoup. As described above, exercise induces microtears in muscle tissue. These tears within the body are treated similarly to other damages induced on the body. Much like how your body needs time to heal a wound, it also needs time to repair internal micro damages inflicted on muscle tissue.
Recovery is best thought of in terms of the period of time when your hard work at the gym begins to pay off. During recovery, your body undergoes muscle repair, growth, and protein synthesis. Essentially working out causes the damage and recovery days are when your body is able to implement muscle growth and repair.
Recovery is not a one size fits all task. For weight lifters, you can target specific regions of the body and on the following days work on other parts of the body. For example, you could have arm day and the next day have leg day. This gives your body a break in the regions worked and can allow for recovery to occur.
With other activities that require full-body engagement like rock climbing or swimming, you would want to take an entire day to recover from activity to give your muscles time to build back microtears.
Sleep is something that almost everyone could do with more of. When people typically think about the benefits of sleep, increased alertness and attentiveness come to mind. While these are certainly true, it only represents a small part of the benefits sleep has to offer. Sleep has system-wide benefits that help to regulate hormonal balance, mental wellbeing, and more.
For building muscle mass, sleep plays an integral role in the body’s ability to recover and build muscle. It has been shown that a lack of sleep can hinder the muscle recovery process, so by getting adequate sleep you can ensure your body has the uninterrupted time it needs to expedite muscle recovery get you on a road to building muscle mass as fast as you can.
While diet represents the ideal for getting your daily intake of nutrition, sometimes your body can utilize a helping hand getting the molecules and building blocks it needs to perform at its best. Certain vitamins, minerals, and amino acids can have a difficult time absorbing into the body. With a low bioavailability, the lack of these molecules can pose a roadblock for bodily functions that would otherwise support muscle building.
Nutraceuticals are high-grade forms of vitamins and amino acids that can give your body the support it needs. For muscle recovery and development of muscle mass, injectable BCAAs and isolated amino acids can give your muscles the support they need to function and recover at their very best.
Boosting muscle mass requires an all-in approach to see real results. Ensuring hormone levels are in check, eating a high protein diet, exercising, taking the time to recover, getting adequate sleep, and utilizing supplementation and nutraceuticals can help you to reach your fitness goals.
While these tips can help support muscle growth, there is no working around the hard work and dedication required to grow and maintain muscle mass. Staying persistent while also following the tips outlined above can help to get you to where you want to be.
Understanding How Testosterone Affects Men | National Institutes of Health.
Testosterone for the aging male; current evidence and recommended practice
Claims for the anabolic effects of growth hormone: a case of the Emperor’s new clothes?
Sleep and muscle recovery: Endocrinological and molecular basis for a new and promising hypothesis