4 KEYS TO BUILDING MUSCLE

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been interested in fitness, strength and conditioning. I can date it back to attending my first collegiate football game when I was 8 or 9 years old, the game planted a desire in my heart to someday play on that field. 

After the game, I told my dad who went on to tell me I needed to get much bigger, faster and stronger to be able to reach my goal. 

This small seed has grown to a lifetime commitment to my own health and fitness and helping others reach their goals.

In my journey, I tried a lot of different training programs, often spending three to four hours lifting in the gym. I did have some success and reached my goals, but spending hours upon hours at the gym after my football career just wasn’t sustainable.  

After a few years of struggling to balance work and personal life while trying to make fitness a priority, I stumbled on a recipe that helped me build muscle, burn fat and have the healthy, athletic body I had always been striving for.

If your goal is to build muscle, the road can be bumpy and often the results can feel out of reach. You’re not alone! It’s common to work for months to years with little progress if you don’t have a plan or a coach to guide you down the right path.

Even though it will take some work, there are many benefits to building muscle, including improved body composition, decreased risk of chronic disease, ability to handle stress better, improved sleep, having the capability to play with your kids and pets, improved mental health, and the list goes on and on!

My goal is to give you the keys to a simple, effective and time efficient plan that I’ve been using to build muscle for over 13 years! Here are some of the main highlights:

KEY #1 – HIRE A COACH, SET GOALS, DEVELOP A PLAN, AND COMMIT

First, hire a nutrition coach. The biggest obstacle for building muscle is the lack of a nutrition plan built specifically for you. A nutrition coach will help you set goals, make a game-plan specific to your body type and needs, wade through all the nonsense on the internet, and hold you accountable.  In my last qualification for the CrossFit Games, hiring a nutrition coach was the key to helping me hit my peak performance and experiencing success!

Second, hire a fitness coach. Figuring out what exercises to perform, how to safely perform them, how many sets and reps to do, how often and for how long can be mind spinning. 

A coach takes the guesswork out of it for you, will help you identify your goals, figure out why they are important to you, how you’ll feel when you accomplish them and set up a game-plan to get there.

Finally, commit to your goal. Write it down somewhere, tell others about it and remember: “A goal without commitment, is just a wish.”

Coaching, goal setting, game-planning and accountability is what our coaching staff is all about at Lincoln Nutrition & Fitness. 

Schedule a No Sweat Intro HERE to find out if our coaches are a good fit for you.

KEY #2 – PRIORITIZE YOUR NUTRITION

I used to think that I could skip breakfast, gobble a cheeseburger for lunch and finish the day with a salad, spend a few extra minutes on the treadmill and still meet my goals. I was lying to myself and you’re lying to yourself if you think the same. 

Working out harder or longer does NOT replace nutrition. If you want to build muscle, look good and live a healthy lifestyle you have to prioritize nutrition over training. You’re only setting yourself up for long, meaningless hours in the gym. 

You need to nourish your body with the right nutrients to build muscle. Nutrition gives your body the vitamins and minerals it needs for your muscle to repair after a hard workout, regulates hormones that are essential for muscle growth and on top of that improves mood and assists in better sleep which all leads to building muscle and preventing chronic disease. 

With proper nutrition, you can literally increase your results exponentially while spending less than an hour in the gym.

Here are four simple things you can do today to prioritize your nutrition for building muscle.

  1. Increase your daily protein intake. Protein assists in muscle tissue repair after a hard training session which is a key in muscle growth.
  1. Increase your carbohydrate intake. Much like protein, carbohydrates replenish sugars used during a tough workout, allowing you to recover better and give you energy for your next session.
  1. Eat a vegetable and fruit with every meal. Vegetables and fruits are packed with vitamins and minerals that are essential for muscle development.
  1. Drink 80 to 100 ounces of water everyday. Drinking water helps flush out toxins and aids in recovery so you can hit your next workout with intensity.

To build a nutrition plan specific to your goals, schedule a free consultation with a Nutrition Coach HERE.

KEY #3 – LIFT HEAVY WEIGHTS

Lifting heavy weights is a critical piece to your success as it’s a key to building muscle and gaining a lean, toned and athletic body. 

When the body builds lean muscle, it increases your resting metabolic rate, burning more calories, and increasing lean body composition. 

Not only is lifting heavy beneficial for building muscle it is important for longevity and health.

Here are three things you can do now to build muscle:

  1. Perform multi-jointed, functional exercises. These are exercises that take your joints and muscles through a full range of motion and commonly performed in everyday life. 

Squats, deadlifts, and pressing & pulling exercises are the best examples to get the most bang out of your buck. These types of exercises also elicit hormonal responses that aid in building muscle. 

  1. Use 3-4 sets of 6-12 reps for each exercise. Perform these sets at the heaviest weights possible at least four days per week. Lifting heavy and often will help you build the muscle you want. 
  1. Train like an athlete. Think about a sprinter or a running back. They are typically lean and muscular. Their training commonly consists of quicker, explosive, and fast movements. Include sprints, box jumps and olympic lifts into your training.

For a personalized training program, schedule a free personal training consultation HERE.

KEY #4 – PERFORM HIGH INTENSITY INTERVAL TRAINING

If your goal is to build muscle, then moderate weights and bodyweight movements taken to failure in intense bouts of exercise are a great way to burn fat and build lean muscle without spending long, boring hours on the treadmill and elliptical. 

High intensity interval training consists of working hard for bouts of ten seconds to several minutes with rest to fully recover from each bout.

  1. Include high intensity training at least three times per week. This pushes your muscle to full capacity for building muscle and burning calories for up to 72 hours after your workout. 
  1. Only perform a longer endurance workout once per week. Endurance style workouts are beneficial for aiding in recovery from high intensity training sessions, but not as potent in stimulating muscle growth. They are beneficial, but should not be performed frequently if you want to build muscle.

At Lincoln Nutrition & Fitness, we offer you both nutrition and fitness coaching, from personal training to group CrossFit classes we have the keys to help you build muscle. 

Our personal trainers and group coaches value lifting heavy weights, and using multi-jointed, functional exercises performed at high intensity. You don’t have to guess about what to do! Schedule a free consultation with a coach to see how we can help you with your goals! →  I’M READY TO MEET WITH A COACH!

COACH PHIL KNIEP – Owner & CEO of Lincoln Nutrition & Fitness

Precision Nutrition L1 Coach

CrossFit Level 2 Trainer

Endurance Certified

Mobility Certified

Scaling Certified

3x CrossFit Games Qualifier

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