The internet is flooded with a lot of false information and pseudo-science surrounding muscle building. You might come across several gym bros and fitness gurus pushing that it is technically impossible to achieve a ripped physique without the use of complicated supplements or drugs. It is important to note that not all supplements are “unnatural” or “artificial.” There are many mass gainers and protein supplement companies where some might be involved in black-hat practices.
However, our objective is to guide you on achieving muscle mass and building strength without relying on any supplements or food pills. Physical fitness and exercise do not have to be as complicated as fitness magazines and influencers make it seem.
Discipline in the kitchen and consistency with whatever exercise routine you pick for yourself is more than enough to remain strong and physically fit. However, there are a few extra (completely natural) tips that we believe could be useful on your fitness journey:
- Increase Your Calcium Intake
Since childhood, we are made to consume milk and milk-based products by our parents. We’re told that dairy products promote bone health as they contain healthy amounts of calcium. However, most of us might be unaware that the positive impacts of calcium go far beyond our bone strength.
Calcium impacts our muscles, cell functions, and nerves, and it is a vital nutrient in maintaining healthy communication between our brain and other parts of the body. During our workouts, every time a muscle contraction takes place, calcium is released.
Moreover, as our bodies start to age, calcium becomes critical for our bodies. Therefore, calcium should be a priority in our diet plans. If you are interested in testing your muscle health, you can check out manual muscle testing and learn more about it.
- Eat Foods That Promote Muscle Health
What is the one thing common in all bodybuilding supplements? They are all protein-based supplements. Protein is one of the biggest drivers of natural muscle growth and strength in our bodies. It is an irreplaceable part of our food pyramid, which is why it is recommended that 40% of our daily caloric intake should come from protein-based foods.
How much protein should you consume if you are aiming to build muscle mass and strength? Most fitness experts’ general rule of thumb is to consume 1g of protein per pound of body weight. If a person weighs 200lbs, it is recommended to aim for 200g of protein in their diet.
Some protein-rich food items include chicken breasts, beef, lamb, tuna, Greek yogurt, soybeans, lentils, and fish. An essential element of protein-based foods is creatine. Creatine is what gives us the energy we exert during our exercise.
Increased creatine consumption leads to more strength and a higher rep range in the gym.
- Resistance Training or Weightlifting
There are countless forms of exercise types and routines available for an average fitness enthusiast. Ranging from powerlifting, Pilates, yoga, Cross-fit, etc. However, if your objective is to promote muscle building and increased strength, you should opt for a fitness routine that involves resistance training or weightlifting.
A lot of physical training types mentioned above routines have a strong focus on strength training. Why strength training? Because lifting weights is the best way to increase muscle mass and gain strength.
Constant progression is essential. Without progressing to higher weights, your body will plateau, and your muscles will stop responding to the exercise. Switching up exercise types or rep ranges will also come in handy to “shock” your muscles.
Muscles, just like our brain, tend to adapt quickly to recognized movements. Therefore, switching up your routine from time to time to avoid boredom and strength plateaus is recommended.
- Regular Cardio
You might wonder why we discussed cardio when we mentioned that strength training and weightlifting have the most significant impact on muscle mass and strength? We might not realize it, but our bodies are a bit more complicated than we think.
While an argument can be made that cardio helps keep fat levels in check, it extends far beyond that. Cardio is crucial to keep our hearts in pristine condition and build stamina. Stamina, however, is vital if one wishes to hit their daily workout targets consistently.
Therefore, a healthy combination of weightlifting and cardio has the power to produce many superior results instead of relying on either one of the two. Cardio also promotes bone and muscle growth alongside fat burning.
We hope that our above tips will be helpful for you but always remember that you can never achieve fitness overnight. Becoming strong and getting in shape takes years of hard work, consistency, and discipline.
Fitness is a life-long commitment. If you wish to pursue a shortcut route to building strength and muscles, there is a 100% chance that you will be met with disappointment. Therefore, set realistic expectations and be true to your goals.
Know that you can’t bench or squat 100kgs on your first month in the gym. However, becoming strong enough to squat such weight is not difficult either. With the proper diet and progressive overload, you will be lifting such weights sooner than you think.