Are you not seeing the results you want in the gym?
Maybe you are working out for longer but with little change to your overall performance.
While you may think that building muscle and improving muscle performance is as simple as training harder and longer, this is not always the case.
If you are struggling to build muscle or are not performing as well as you want, then the guide below is exactly what you need.
Read on to discover seven foolproof ways to improve muscle performance and get the body you have always dreamed of.
What is muscular strength?
Before you find out how to build muscle, it is important to understand what muscular strength is.
In its simplest terms, muscular strength refers to the amount of force a muscle can produce with one singular effort. Although many believe that your strength determines muscular strength, the truth is a little more complicated than this.
According to the American Council on Exercise, muscular strength combines muscular endurance and power. The former refers to your ability to produce and sustain muscle force over time, and the latter is your ability to produce enough force to move weight in the shortest amount of time.
What are the benefits of muscular strength?
There are several reasons why you should invest your time and effort in improving your muscular strength, including:
- To build more lean muscle
- To increase your metabolism
- To reduce your overall body fat percentage
- To improve sporting performance
- To boost weight loss
- To reduce your risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes
- To reduce your risk of injuries
What affects how quickly you build muscle?
Do you notice other people developing muscle quicker than you despite you putting in more hours at the gym?
There are several factors that affect how quickly someone builds muscle such as what you eat, the intensity of your workouts, your age, and your gender.
It is worth that genetics can also play a part in muscle performance and development and can affect how easily and how fast you build muscle.
Don’t feel disheartened if you see someone gaining muscle faster than you, as everybody’s body is different.
How to build muscle and improve muscle performance
As mentioned earlier, there are several lifestyle changes that you can make to help build muscle and improve your overall muscle performance.
- Always warm up before working out
It goes without saying that you should always make sure that you properly warm up your muscles before you commence a workout. This is particularly true if you are about to embark on a muscle-building routine, as a failure to warm up can result in injuries.
As a general rule, you should aim to get your heart rate up and your blood pumping during a warm-up routine. You may also want to try lifting a few lighter weights and carrying out some dynamic warm-up exercises such as arm circles and leg kicks.
- Consume sufficient calories
One of the biggest mistakes that people make when trying to build muscle is to not consuming enough calories to help their muscles grow.
As a general rule, if you want to build muscle without gaining fat, you need to consume an extra 300-500 calories per day on top of your recommended daily intake. Ensure you consume plenty of protein, carbs, healthy fats, and an array of fruits and vegetables.
- Master the correct form
It doesn’t matter how many reps you are doing or how heavy the weights you are lifting if you do not have the right form. Also, make sure that you are lifting the right weights for your current fitness level. If you are new to weight lifting, choose a weight that feels around an effort level of 6 on a scale from 1-10 and gradually increase as you grow stronger.
- Try compound exercises
Compound exercises are a great choice if you are short on time but still want to see amazing results. These types of exercises require the use of multiple joints and muscles, delivering maximum results in the shortest amount of time.
Some of the most effective compound exercises are bench presses, deadlifts, and dips.
- Aid recovery
It is vital that you allow your muscles to recover after lifting weights or carrying out strengthening exercises. As well as taking the time to rest, there are other techniques that you can adopt to aid muscle recovery and prevent injuries.
Hot and cold therapies have proven to be very effective at aiding recovery, as have whole body red light therapy devices that use infrared light to reduce inflammation and swelling and to aid recovery.
- Remain consistent in your efforts
If you want to see great results, then you need to make sure you are consistent with your muscle-building efforts. Ideally, you should be performing strengthening exercises at least three times a week, with cardio sessions in between.
That being said, make sure you also give your body time to recover after each weight-lifting session.
- Get a gym buddy
If you sometimes lack the motivation to work out, then you need a gym buddy. To the uninitiated, this is someone who works with you and helps you achieve your goals.
A gym buddy can be someone you met at the gym, a friend, a family member, or a colleague. It doesn’t matter who you pick as long as they can inspire and support you in your journey.
The bottom line
It takes time and effort to build muscle and increase strength, so you need to make sure you are fully committed to the process and don’t get disheartened if you have slow progress – it is still progress.
Use the above tips as a guideline and adjust them to suit your bespoke needs, lifestyle, and training goals.
Although some days may feel like an uphill struggle, especially if you are not seeing results as quickly as you expected, keep working hard, and you will get there!