5 Best Tips For Muscle Growth

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3 progressive overload tips for gains

On today’s episode of Live Lean TV, I’m sharing my 5 best tips for muscle growth as well as 3 progressive overload techniques for bigger muscles.

Regardless if you are a:

  • male or female
  • young or old
  • beginner or advanced
  • obese or too skinny

You should love the muscle you currently have, and fall in love with the goal of adding new muscle growth.

Why you need to maintain and build muscle as you age

When it comes to older people, I often see them sticking to the cardio machines, as “cardio” is considered good for the heart.

However, due to sarcopenia, many older people lose their lean muscle mass as they age.

This loss in muscle, can cause them to lose the ability and strength to do many daily tasks.

Therefore, older people should be focusing their training on building and maintaining lean muscle as it is the key to staying younger, longer.

5 Best Tips For Muscle Growth

Why you need to maintain and build muscle even if your goal is weight loss (especially women)

If you think you’re wasting you time reading this, because your goal is weight loss, not muscle growth, listen up.

When it comes to weight loss, maintaining and building lean muscle should be your best friend.

I see so many people getting this wrong in the gym, especially women.

They show up everyday and slave away on the same treadmill for 1-2 hours a day, as they chase the dream of weight loss.

Then 2 weeks passes by, and you never see them again, because they’re bored out of their mind.

In other words, they’ve become another gym statistic.

Now don’t get me wrong, some low intensity steady state cardio has it’s place for people who are extremely overweight in the beginning.

However, in the beginning, these LISS cardio workouts should be combined with a properly structured resistance training program.

The reason is muscle.

Regardless if you’re a man or women, lean muscle growth is the key to your body’s metabolic engine.

This is because muscle is a metabolically active tissue that will help you burn more calories, even at rest.

Think of it this way.

A car with a bigger engine burns more gas, just like a body with more muscles, burns more calories.

Who wouldn’t like to burn more calories just by sitting on the couch?

5 tips for muscle growth:

5 Best Tips For Muscle Growth

#1. Consume more protein:

Yes I know, I sound like a broken record.

But eating foods high in protein is so important and often overlooked.

Protein is the main building block of muscle.

By consuming protein, you stimulate protein synthesis, which is the process necessary for the body to use the amino acids in the protein, to build and repair lean muscle tissue.

The combination of lifting weights and consuming foods high in protein that contain a complete essential amino acid profile, is what’s required to stimulate muscle protein synthesis.

So how much protein is enough?

5 Best Tips For Muscle Growth

How much protein to eat in one day is often debated and really depends on your activity levels.

Typically a general recommendation that I use for the average person is to consume 1 gram of protein per pound of lean body mass.

Protein intake calculation example:

For example, I’m 175 pounds, at 8% body fat.

This means my body composition is comprised of:

  • 14 pounds of stored body fat (175 x 0.08)
  • 61 pounds of lean body mass (175 – 14)

So based on this general protein intake recommendation, I would aim to consume at least 161 grams of protein per day, to help build muscle.

However, if you’re an athlete and/or very active, your body may require more protein to properly grow and repair muscle tissue.

If you’re just starting, try to consume at least 1.6 grams of protein/kilogram of bodyweight or 0.75 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight.

Spread this total protein intake goal throughout the day, optimally 20-30g of protein, every 3-4 hours to maximize protein synthesis.

2. Aim to progressively overload the muscle during your workouts:

For muscle growth, you need to progressively overload the muscle during your workouts.

Progressive overload can be accomplished in a few different ways:

#1. Increase the intensity of your lifts:

The most popular mechanism of progress overload is by increasing the intensity of your workouts by lifting more weight than your body is used to.

However, as you can understand, muscle growth and strength building is not a linear thing.

In other words, you can’t just keep adding more weight to the bar throughout your life, as you’d eventually run out of room to add new plates to the bar.

Strength training doesn’t work that way.

That’s why there are other progressive overload mechanisms to follow.

5 Best Tips For Muscle Growth

#2. Increase volume of your workouts:

To increase the volume of your workouts, you would progressively aim to increase the amount of sets and reps for your workout.

For example:

Week 1:

  • Complete 135 pounds for 3 sets of 12 reps on the barbell back squat.

This would equal a total volume of 36 reps.

Week 2:

Instead of increasing the intensity, i.e. the weight on the bar, you would keep the weight at 135 pounds.

But to increase the volume, you would either:

  • increase the workout to 4 sets of 12, which would equal a total volume of 48 reps.
  • or increase the workout to 3 sets of 15, which would equal a total volume of 45 reps.

Even though you kept the weight the same, you still overloaded the muscle with more reps, thus you’re increasing muscle growth.

#3. Increase the density of your workouts:

This is what our Team Live Lean members are doing with this month’s Destination Density, 4 week workout program.

Increasing the density simply means doing the same or more volume in a shorter period of time.

For example, you can accomplish this by reducing the rest periods between sets.

Therefore, your body is being overloaded with more work in less time.

The key with progressive overload for muscle growth, is to keep progressing with your workouts, by doing more in the current workout, than you did in the previous workout.

#3. Consume more essential omega 3 fatty acids 

5 Best Tips For Muscle Growth

Essential omega 3 fatty acids play many critical roles in the body, as they are used as the building blocks of most cell membranes.

Although not often talked about when it comes to muscle growth, research may show that the omega 3 fatty acids, DHA and EPA, are anabolic and help promote muscle growth and protein synthesis.

Omega 3 fatty acids are considered essential, since they can not be produced by the body.

This means they must be obtained through food and supplementation.

Since most people are deficient in omega 3 fatty acids, I always recommend people order cold water fish, like wild salmon, when they go out to eat, as well as supplementing with a high quality fish oil.

Both wild salmon and fish oils are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids.

I personally supplement with fish oil every day.

4. Increase testosterone

Testosterone is more than just a sex hormone as it also plays a major role in muscle growth.

In addition to this, studies show naturally increasing your testosterone production also helps:

  • increase strength
  • burns more fat
  • improves energy and sexual libido
  • reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease
  • increase satellite cells

Satellite cells are found at the end of your muscle fibers, and act like repairmen to help speed up recovery after a tough workout.

If you’re looking to how to increase testosterone naturally, check out the 6 natural ways to conquer low testosterone here.

5. Workout program selection

It’s real.

The best tip for muscle growth is to follow a properly structured workout program.

Once I invested in my first program, my entire journey changed.

Please don’t waste your time by trying to do this alone.

4 muscle building mistakes:

  • #1. Following the wrong training styles:

These training styles don’t use any of the progressive overload mechanisms discussed earlier, thus they don’t create new muscle growth.

  • #2. Poor exercise selection:

Just because you want bigger biceps, there are faster ways to get them, rather then just doing the same bicep curls every day.

A proper program should combine both compound movements like the:

You can combine compound movements like these, with isolation movements like the standing dumbbell bicep curl.

By doing this, you’ll build a complete, strong, and well balanced physique.

Compound movements are often neglected which is a big mistake as they allow you to stimulate a lot of muscles, at one time, thus creating more muscle growth, in less time.

  • #3. Following a random training schedule that doesn’t account for proper recovery:

This way, they train when they feel like it, instead of following a workout schedule that targets the body with the proper amount of work and rest that is required for muscle growth.

  • #4. Only targeting certain “mirror muscles”:

This creates an unbalanced physique that doesn’t perform well, and lets be real, looks ridiculous, and often leads to more injuries.

Bottom line on the 5 best tips for muscle growth

Incorporate these 5 tips for muscle growth and start Living Lean today.

If you’re looking for my best gym workout program for muscle building, I highly recommend you try my 42 day Live Lean MASS 2.0 program.

If you don’t have access to a gym or are a beginner, go take our Live Lean Body Quiz to find the best program for you, based on your goals, current fitness level, and access to equipment.

Remember, you’re just one program away from a life of Living Lean.

Thanks for watching and keep Living Lean.


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Brad Gouthro is the founder of Live Lean TV, a media company focused on helping men and women “Live Lean” 365 days a year. Brad’s programs and content have helped millions of people all over the world learn how to get in shape, and more importantly, sustain it for life.

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